My grandson went on his first school visit last week. He was so excited. Really, really excited.


I find it amazing that once again what goes around comes around. He went on a bus (coach I assume) to Whirlow Hall Farm, at Whirlow, near Sheffield. The thing I found incredible about that is years and years ago for my first school trip I also went on a bus to a place near Sheffield, to Ladybower Dam in the Hope Valley.


I was probably a little older than Grandson Rory, 7 or 8 years old and I was just as excited as he.

Rory has a passion already developing and maturing for all wild animals and for farms and farm animals.


Again I remember being the same, but try as I might I never got to a farm. My Dad took me to Moorgreen, Bakewell and Ashover agricultural shows, which was the nearest I got to farm animals. When he left my granddad took me to Moorgreen Show and the circus on its annual visit to Nottingham every year.


There was a farm next to our school. Farmers were not so accommodating or welcomed visitors in those days. So my class was allowed one visit but limited to only a few children in the class.


The teacher chose who went. Sadly I was invisible to teachers. I was neither ultra good nor naughty, neither totally bright nor totally thick and usually ended up a boring 15th out of 30 in class. So no teacher at Primary, Junior or Secondary School knew I existed and barely knew my name. Except one lunchtime when I was 14 years old and I dared to go out of the school gates and wandered 500 yards to the shops in Kimberley.


But I do know teachers are now more caring about all their children and Grandson Rory knows how to make his presence felt. But then again he is far brighter than me even at my age – doesn’t take alot – let alone when I was his age.


Whirlow Hall Farm has everything for Grandson Rory. He loves art and that was all incorporated in the many activities at the Farm.


The Farm is a wonderful place – with animals of all shapes and sizes. On one of the Farm’s guided tours there are piglets, sheep, goats and more – and children are taught what life on the Farm is like.


The blurb on Whirlow Hall Farm website says:


“Want to know the difference between a heifer and a bullock?  Ever wondered what silage does that straw doesn’t?  Ever just wanted to see a pig up close?  How come you get eggs if there’s no cockerel about?


Farm tours are a standard part of our school visit programmes. But we also run farm tours for our other vistors – at weekends, during the holidays or as part of a special event.


Public tours run every hour on the hour between 11am and 3pm on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holiday Mondays.


There is no charge to join a Farm Tour at weekends or during the holidays.  We want everyone to be able to join in, see the animals and learn why what we do is so important. But running the Farm is an expensive business and so we would love it if you gave a donation – whatever you feel is right – to help us help the children that visit.  If you have a large group, or want a private tour, then you need to let us know in advance – and we do ask for a minimum donation.”


What an excellent way to learn and inspire. They do so much for under privileged children too.


Another thing that Grandson Rory was so excited about was going on a bus. He said he had never been on a bus before.


I was horrified. It should be my duty as a responsible grandparent to ensure he samples all life experiences. We’ve, taken him on trains, trams, cars, sat him in Fire Engines and Police Cars but he’s 5 years old and we’ve not taken him on a bus. Disgusting!


When I was a child our only means of transport was buses or walking. We did not have a car and at Grandson Rory’s age I was travelling up to 10 miles on the bus unaccompanied. You cannot allow that to happen today.


We also have our Granddaughter Freya and our youngest Grandson George and have taken them on a bus. Favouritism.


As the subject of our Granddaughter has arisen she too was following her passion last week.

She was so beside herself with excitement due to the Royal Wedding. She had her nose up against the TV screen watching every last moment as she does for her favourite Disney Princess films. You see her passion is Princesses, especially the marrying type, along with ballet and swimming (oh, and school).


To some who think they know and preach what’s right and wrong, that will seem wrong, too stereotyped. But I assure you it developed naturally. No dad has pushed his daughter harder to get into football than Freya’s dad. And she does like it, but Princesses, ballet and swimming are her natural passions.


On Wednesday Granddaughter Freya and myself made a scrapbook of the wedding and she was so thrilled. Her brother 2 year old George made a scrapbook too. But Royal Wedding photos were not for him, he chose Lightning McQeen, dogs, cows, pigs and tigers.


As we put the scrapbook together Granddaughter Freya said to me:


“We didn’t go to the wedding, you know?”


“Why not?” I asked.


“Because they don’t know us, of course.”


So this week my two eldest grandchildren have had exciting day experience that they will remember vividly for the rest of their lives. That cannot be bad.




Once you become fearless life becomes limitless


Happiness is…fulfilling your passion


Militant feminists, I take my hat off to them, they don’t like that.


Love is…the past, the present, the furure


Rocking All Over The World – Status Quo

Highest Chart Position: No.3 19th November 1977

©2018 Phil M Robinson