LVIth trip to the Houses of Parliament

Apr 26

On Tuesday 25 April, the LVIth (Year 7) girls set off, accompanied by Mrs Northey and Polly Hughes, on a trip to London to visit the Houses of Parliament and the National Gallery.   They arrived in the Central Lobby of Westminster in time to see the Speaker’s Procession, complete with the infamous call, ‘Hats off, Strangers’.    It was a great start to their visit.  They went on to meet Dorset North MP Simon Hoare in a Committee Room; Simon explained the role of a constituency MP and the girls also learned about the role of back benchers in Parliament.  They were surprised to find out that most MPs, across the party political spectrum, actually got on rather well with each other.

Hanford School-LVth trip to the Houses of Parliament
Outside the Westminster Palace the girls saw the statue of Emmeline Pankhurst,(1858-1928), the founding member of the Women’s Social and Political Union (WSPU) who they had learned about in history.   Emmeline had become involved in women’s suffrage in 1880. She founded the WSPU in 1903 and led it until it disbanded in 1918.  The WSPU was a highly organised group and Emmeline, like other members, was imprisoned and went on hunger strike protests.
Hanford School-LVth trip to the Houses of Parliament 1
After a delicious lunch at St Martin’s in the Fields, the girls headed to the National Gallery.   The special art group did some sketching with Polly and everyone enjoyed seeing a fantastic selection of Renaissance and Impressionist paintings.   All in all a wonderfully interesting and exciting day. 
Coco, wrote to thank Simon Hoare on behalf of the girls: “Being an MP sounds like challenging work!  It is astonishing that you have met the King.  Your stories were jaw-dropping.  Parliament is fascinating, and we are all very jealous that you get to go there for your job.”
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