As the academic year came to an end, the School's musicians departed for Cokethorpe's first ever music tour. The destination for this maiden tour was The Rhineland, with venues including Cologne Cathedral and one of Boppard's bandstands.
Wednesday 12 July
After a well deserved lie in, we were on a bus towards Phantasialand. As we arrived the gates were cramped with people, and we could hear the excited screams from people inside. We entered, and after deciding a meeting place we got into groups and chose where we wanted to go. In our group, one of us didn't like drops, one of us didn't like heights, and some people didn't want to get wet, but we still had an amazing time. We all lost our fears after going on the massive rollercoaster, The Taron, where heights and drops were included a lot! My personal favourite was the log flume which not only left us soaking wet, but we also got a picture of us shooting down the tunnel! The one that I was most scared of was the Mystery Castle, which began with us walking through 3 haunted rooms with people jumping out at us, and ended with us being strapped onto a chair and being lifted up about 100m and dropped repeatedly. After spending a great day at Phantasialand, we climbed onto the bus, still slightly soggy, and returned for dinner.
After eating, there was a celebration for Athis' birthday. He received an antique plate and a 'Vote Ted' Tshirt, which he was very happy about. We all enjoyed some birthday cake and then it was time to pack. We gathered up our belongings and put them in our suitcases (some tidier than others) and got ready for bed.
Millie Knight (Second Form, Gascoigne)
Tuesday 11 July
On the fourth day of our music tour we went on two guided tours, one of which took place at a castle in Marksburg. At the castle we were shown the multiple coats of arms of each of the families who had owned it, and we learnt it was the only local castle which had never been infiltrated. We then walked down into the wine cellar and through into the kitchen. Here we learnt that they had to use oil from animal fat to heat and light the castle and that a pound of salt was equal to a pound of gold and this was the origin of the term salary. Having walked to the top of the castle to see the cannon, we then descended down to the armoury which housed suits of armour and showed how they developed. After the castle we came back on the bus and traveled to the market square in Rudesheim where we would later be performing.
After lunch in the town, we went to Siegfried's Mechanical Music Museum where we saw machines that could play sixteen instruments all at once, including violins, piano and accordions. My personal favourite was the refurbished fairground music cabinet that even had its own mechanical conductor. We then went on to perform next to the fountain in the market square. As the strings began to play, a crowd grew before us. Thankfully the rain held off for the duration of our concert and I think it was perhaps our best. After, it was onto the highly anticipated quiz night. The quiz night hit every expectation, featuring rounds on history, Fenton's Favourites, Disney, and music performed by Mr Hughes and Miss Mitchell on a kazoo and swanee-whistle which we had to guess. The winners received the prize of the Rudensheim cup which personally was a real honour to receive. The day was very entertaining and set us up nicely for the next day to Phantasialand.
Ollie Charles (Fourth Form, Gascoigne)
Monday 10 July
On Monday we arrived at the vast city of Cologne where we saw extremely talented artists and musicians busking. We had free time to wander round the city and see all the different but cultured shops. After free time in Cologne we were then honoured to sing in the beautiful and stunning Cologne Cathedral. We performed as a choir in the noon prayers at the Cathedral, singing: For The Beauty of the Earth, Pater Noster and Lord of thy Tender Mercy's Sake.
We then performed at one of Boppard's Bandstands, where we had a pleasing turnout who enjoyed the likes of the Choir, Concert band and the String ensemble. The audience thoroughly enjoyed our joint piece (Skyfall) at the end of our concert, which was also a well-known song to them.
After our successful concert, we had a chance to look at Boppard further, to explore the town's life, and eat some refreshing ice cream. Yum!!
Shortly after we went back to our Hotel, got out of our tour clothing and changed into something comfortable to go bowling. We saw the brilliance of the Man, the Myth, the Legend... the one and only Dr Winkley, who graced the bowling world with his continuous strikes! Everyone had an amazing time, laughing, cheering on and overall having fun!
Olivia Stacey (Third Form, Swift) and Alice Woodwards (Third Form, Swift)
Editor's Note: Olivia Stacey's bowling abilities have been understated in this report (being far superior to Dr Winkley's), achieving the tour's top score of an impressive 138.
Sunday 9 July
In the morning we woke up at seven to get ready for breakfast. After packing our lunch, we set off in our bus to see central Cologne. First we came to a boat tour and we saw many impressive buildings and famous sights. Then we went to travel on the city's exciting sky-ride gondola where we saw views of the the city, the River Rhine, a natural thermal spa, and the Rhine Park. After that we went back on the bus to head to our concert venue but annoyingly it had stopped working so we went back to the park for a while whilst they sorted out the vehicle, not knowing that we would not get back on it that day! Because of this we all went to get ice creams and explore more of Cologne. We went to see Cologne Cathedral and the famous padlock bridge where Tom Potter added his padlock dedicated to the British composer, Charles Wood. After that we went to a pizza restaurant and ate there for supper. We had to get a new bus and we got on it at 9.30pm and got back to the hotel at 11.00pm in the evening. Whilst the day was not what we expected, overall it was very fun and enjoyable. After a long day, Cokethorpe School went to sleep.
Elliot Beale (First Form, Feilden)
Friday 7 July and Saturday 8 July
Despite being faced with the strenuous ordeal of a fifteen-hour bus journey, the pupils of Cokethorpe remained resilient in the face of adversity. The bus (having being packed in a prompt and efficient manner) departed school at around eleven-thirty on Friday evening. The journey was long and stretched through four European countries: England, France, Belgium and finally Germany. Upon arrival at 'Hotel L'Europe', a lovely hotel by the riverside of Boppard, we unpacked and enjoyed a sandwich by the river. Particular highlights of the evening included: supper, a walking tour of Boppard, and a very competitive game of giant chess between Elliot Beale (First Form, Feilden) and Robert Hoult (First Form, Gascoigne), with wonderful commentary by Mr Hughes.
Fredi Traish (Fifth Form, Swift)