Back in my school days at Pontnewydd Junior School every year we had the school trip and every year it was the same trip. Off we would go to Bristol Zoo on the train. But I have to say I always remember them days with a smile. I remember one year very well we got on the train and it was eight to a carriage. The trains then had separate compartments with a main corridor running the length of the train and we had our own compartment, with four of us boys sitting one side and four girls sitting on the other. And being boys we had a plan!
We knew the train went through the Severn Tunnel this was a large tunnel we had to pass through on our way to Bristol and that just as we reached the tunnel the train would be in total darkness for at least two minutes before they could put the lights on. Our plan was to reach forward and kiss the girls as the train went dark.
Well the train was heading for the tunnel me and my friend Ronny and our other two friends were getting ready to leap forward and kiss the girl facing us. As the train went into the tunnel we leapt forward in the dark my nose hit the forehead of the girl facing me it made a nasty thud, the lights came on.
There was blood everywhere. My nose was bleeding like a tap, all over me, all over the girl and just about everybody else. The teacher in the next carriage heard the noise and came rushing in to what she thought was a blood bath. Guess who spend the rest of the trip sitting next to a teacher and having cotton buds up his nose.
Well we got to the zoo at last;I looked a sight walking around the zoo with a blood stained shirt but what else could I do. Now Bristol zoo had a very large duck pond and Ronny and me decided to go into the gift shop and buy a boat each to sail on it but when we got into the shop they had really neat deep-sea divers. When you sucked they sank and when you blew they rose to the surface. We thought we could have more fun with them so we got one each and headed for the duck pond. We both got down on our knees over the pond to try out our divers but lucky for me I noticed our local bully heading our way but before I had chance to say a word he was on us and his boot was on Ronny's backside and in the pond he went headfirst. Did I mention the water was very green and slimy and lucky for Ronny only about two feet deep?
He spent the rest of the school day walking about the zoo in an old t-shirt and a pair of boxers that one of the keepers at the zoo gave him while his school uniform dried out and a telling off from the teacher for falling in the duck pond. Well in them days you never told or you get another thump but we bided or time and we got him back but that's another story.
by Dennis T Baker
Last Modified on: 05-12-2018