The look on the kids faces as they filed into school assembly and found a BMW GS1200 Adventure and a tent parked in their hall was a sight to behold. To initiate our link with St Lawrence’s Primary School the Headmaster Jonathan Pygott was kind enough to let us kickstart things (get it) with a visit to their assembly. ‘Gooooood mooorning Mister Pygott’ rang out from the kids as they sat in lines on the floor. The site and sound of a school assembly brought back all sorts of memories from our own school years. We too used to sit in lines on the floor and greet the Headmaster politely (at the top of our voices) and it’s nice to know some things don’t change.
Parked at the front of the hall with its panniers fitted the bike must have looked huge to the children. Our tent was set up beside it with sleeping mats, sleeping bags, pillows and our cooking kit all laid out for them to see. The Head told the children all about the forthcoming trip and explained the distances and timescale in terms that the younger ones could understand. Although we couldn’t start Bertie up in the hall for fear of choking everyone with fumes, we were allowed to sound the extra loud ‘FIMM Master Blaster’ horn a couple of times. It’s amazing how amusing children find a loud bike horn even with their ears covered by their hands (just a precaution)!
The kids were really interested in the trip and asked lots of questions. Afterward a lot of time was spent examining Bertie and this seemed to involve much jumping aboard, sitting on the sheepskin covered seats and making vroom vroom noises (bit like being at a BMW dealership but without the ridiculous bill at the end of it). Unexpectedly, of all the kit we had with us it was our helmets with their intercom system which seemed to grab most of the attention. With helmets balanced on their heads like bowling balls they all took great delight in standing at opposite ends of the hall talking to each other on the intercom and flipping the sun visor up and down.
Jenny and I really enjoyed the visit and we must say a big thank you to all the children and the teachers at St Lawrence’s Primary School who were lively, interested, polite and a credit to the school. We’re sure there are some future ‘explorers’ at St Lawrence’s! For our part, we will do our best to feedback some interesting material during our trip which we hope will help inspire them to always stay curious about the wider world and the people in it.