The School Council Visit the Houses of Parliament
Monega’s School Council went on a very exciting trip to the Houses of Parliament to learn about this very prominent building.
We all travelled up to the centre of London by coach.
On arrival we had to put all our bags and belongings in a tray to be scanned and then walk through a metal detector. This was to ensure security was tight and that nothing dangerous could be brought in to endanger life.
We then walked into the ‘Great Hall’. The ceiling was impressive and made out of wood, - apparently it leaks where the roof opened to allow out smoke from the fireplace inside the hall.
A man called Kevin Gordon introduced himself as our tour guide. He told us that we could not take photos once we walked from the Great Hall.
Walking along, we saw large statues, paintings, elaborate furniture and decorative wallpaper. Many of the paintings were of Kings and Queens past and present. Also lots of statues of past prime ministers were in the huge corridors and lobbies.
We visited the House of Lords and were told not to sit on the red leather seats because it would wear out the expensive leather if lots of people sat down on them. The present government sit one side and the opposition, the other side. Lord Sugar sits on the opposition side.
The Queen opens parliament and sits on a gold throne which is made of actual gold. (Apparently Michael Jackson visited and attempted to buy the gold throne from out government – it was not sold!!)
When the Queen visits the Houses of Parliament, a blue carpet is laid for her to walk on.
When Queen Victoria reigned, she would visit here and she had her very own secret, hidden toilet behind the wooden panels. It was made out of brass - so that would be freezing cold to sit on –Brrr!! Also she was so small, she needed a footstool to rest her feet upon.
The reigning monarch is not allowed inside the House of Commons. She sends her representative, the Black Rod, to knock on their door very loudly to summon them to the House of Lords for her speech for the State opening of Parliament.
We were informed of Oliver Cromwell’s role in our history. He took over when King Charles I was beheaded and he was not popular. Oliver Cromwell was the leader of this country for ten years, and then he died of malaria. Charles I’s son became King, Charles II. He dug up Oliver Cromwell’s body and put him on trial. He was found guilty and sentenced to death although he was already dead. His head was chopped off and displayed on a spike for people to see that he was a traitor.
In the Great Hall, Henry VIII used to play tennis; he was not very good as many of his balls ended up in the ceiling.
During our tour, Stephen Timms, our local MP introduced himself and explained his role and suggested coming to our school which would be very exciting. He gave all of us his card and contact details.
So, the School Council had a mind-blowing, informative experience – we will never forget it. We learnt such a lot.
Monega School Council