17th March 2000 at 00:00
A weekend in the life of Polwhele House, Truro, Cornwall

It was a long journey. Nineteen children plus four adults left Truro on Sunday morning and didn't get home until midnight on Monday. They went to see the Millennium Dome. and it was well worth the exhaustion and the five-hour journey to London. Organiser Alison Bleakley said: "Don't believe the adverse publicity. It was brilliant." The pre-prep and prep school for three to 13-year-olds won free tickets for the visit in an offer open to every school. Dome day started at 8am on the Monday with a viewing of the Blackadder film. Then they saw the living island and home planet exhibitions, with the millennium aerial show to finish. Next wa a boat trip to Greenwich to see the Cutty Sark, and a journey on the Docklands Light Railway. "The children were fascinated that there was no driver on the train," said Mrs Bleakley. The previous day they had spent the afternoon at the Science Museum then heard Big Ben strike as they walked over Westminster Bridge to see the London Eye and stay the night at the old County Hall, part of which is a hotel. The trip ended with a visit to the House of Commons where they met their MP for Truro and St Austell, Matthew Taylor (a Liberal Democrat), and used one of the committee rooms for a debate on hunting. Then to Paddington for that 260-mile return journey.

Snaps by parent Mark Bailey

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