Tacitus Lecture, the highs and lows – Eve H

On the 17th May last week, 8 year 12s and 2 teachers set off to London to watch the 36th annual Tacitus lecture and stuff happened. From Hors d’oeuvres to pizza and maccies, broken shoes on the streets of London to wine stains down white button ups and a fake name, this trip was a weird one.

we start at lunchtime, the best time of the day, when our little group bounded into a minivan, not knowing what to expect. We then pulled into Manningtree station where Mr Gould and Mr Barraclough promptly ran away for a break before their day with many annoying children. When we got into London we made a quick stop at Spitalfields (where Mr Gould and Barraclough made another break for it) for Pizza and Donuts and Owen got scammed out of a fiver for some grim curry. He then bought Pizza like a normal person. Mr Gould and Barraclough got a coffee, like teachers. We also found a kiosk full of fun sunglasses.

We then set off on our LONG walk to Guildhall, and when I say long, it felt like hours. To be fair, I was the one with a broken shoe. Oh yes, my shoe. One of the more amusing moments on the journey for everyone but me was my shoe breaking on the way to guildhall making movement very difficult and the journey, much longer. Alas, we did make it to the event in the end where we were met with a very pretty building with very pretty art inside (and a fancy bathroom).

We entered and took our lanyards, with Denis acting as Daisy for the day, with her lanyard. The guest speaker was former Minister of State and famous tory, Rory Stewart who has 12 impressive letters after his name. I don’t know what any of them mean. His talk was on populism and poverty which was very insightful but did leave me with a lingering question, why do we talk so much about poverty without doing anything about it? His speech did tackle that question slightly but not enough to answer it, because when has a politician ever actually answered a question, like ever? The Lord Mayor was also in attendance fully decked out in his best outfit – ruffles and all.

Daisy in her full form.

After the talk and questions were answered, we were all invited to the reception where we could chat with people and have some fancy snacks (which were almost as good as the pizza). We met Merlene Emerson (google her) and some of us had the opportunity to meet Rory himself. We were all exceptionally well behaved, except Owen who managed to have red wine ‘accidently’ spilled down him by an older lady.

Owen trying to hide the wine stains

All was well as I waddled back to the train station to grab some maccies before heading back. Then nightmare struck…. Someone forgot their train ticket and no, it wasn’t Owen. Our very own, responsible Emi S lost her ticket…. Shame, shame. It’s fine though, the man let her through. So there we were, sat on a train at 9:30 at night, maccies (or 5 guys for the fancy ones) on our laps and ready for bed. We managed to get back to school at 10:50, which is wayyy past Mr Gould’s bedtime and it showed and promptly went to sleep.

All in all, a good, entertaining trip that definitely followed the traditional, chaotic RHS trips of the past.

– Eve H

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