Grand Tour by Elisabeth Skinner MBE – Edinburgh

26 July 2022

After a successful field visit to Edinburgh with five Level 5 students, I spent a couple of weeks testing for Covid as two of the group showed signs of the virus before we left Edinburgh and a third went down with it in the following week. Fortunately, I remained Covid-free as I had plenty to keep me busy with local history events in the village. On July 13th my teaching colleagues and I spent a day listening to online presentations from six final year students giving progress reports on their dissertations and on the following day we held a Course Management Board and staff meeting – all online.

As we prepare to take a break over August, I popped down the road from Sheepscombe to the parish of Churchdown just eight miles away and lying in the Severn Vale between the city of Gloucester and the spa town of Cheltenham where I met up with Level Four student, Geraldine Connor, the clerk. We decamped to the community centre’s buzzing café to chat about the last set of assignments and allowing me to offer reassurance on the next assignments due in at the end of October. We then went across the road and beyond the parish council offices to see the allotments, a play area and a popular skate park. Geraldine told me with some pride of the successful jubilee celebrations that she and her staff organized on the large open space and explained how the mountain bike track was in need of repair. We walked round a wildlife and pond area where we met groundsman Graham engaged in the tough job of pulling ragwort which can be poisonous to animals.

Geraldine is my 48th student visit. I might be able to see two or three more over the holiday season, but I plan to travel round the last group of students in the Midlands, Cheshire and North Wales as we approach autumn. For the time being, my plan is to enjoy some rest and recuperation before winding up again for a week of study days at De Montfort University in Leicester in early September.

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By Elisabeth Skinner MBE. Follow her progress on Twitter – @lisabethski.

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