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History - Head back to the future

What the lesson is about

Sometimes a monument is just a monument. or at least that's what pupils seem to think as their teacher witters on excitedly about historical sites. But what if you could take them back in time, writes Victoria Grace Walden.

I joined Professor Quantum's time-travelling bus tour, as he guided us around London on his specially equipped bus, providing witty tales of past and future. We were transported to sites that told the capital's life story, from the invasion of 1066 and the 17th-century English Civil War to the dark days of Jack the Ripper in 1888. We spoke via video phone to Samuel Pepys' maid - at the very moment St Paul's Cathedral was burning in 1666 - and to the Duke of Wellington. We also witnessed the devastation of the Blitz during the Second World War.

The professor's attempts to truly transport us back in time were unsuccessful because of a failure of vital equipment (or so he said). But the screens inside the bus gave us a glimpse of the past and how it influenced the present.

Time Tours Ltd created the time-travelling adventure to encourage a younger audience to enjoy the history of the capital. Matthew Tibbey, the general manager, has worked in education for 10 years, specialising in learning outside the classroom.

The Time Tour team picks up school groups from Kings Cross, Waterloo, Liverpool Street or Paddington. The bus is also available for private hire, visiting key heritage sites such as the Royal Observatory or the Tower of London.

For school bookings, visit or email

What else?

See history unfold before your eyes on an interactive world atlas from TimeMaps.

Explore the Great Fire of London with resources by julsgate.

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