Monday, 13 April 2009

Bristol fashion.....

Had the fun of taking the Iranian students currently studying at my former employer's faculty on a day out to Bristol. They are fun, there are five of them and though they are all 30+ and have wives, children and responsible positions in their home country its a bit like having five overgrown schoolboys in one's charge, yet their interest in everything you show them. Today we visited the ss Great Britain in her dry dock and the surrounding museum displays. Watching their reactions to this amazing ship and the re-creation of her accommodation which shows in stark contrast the difference between the comparative luxury of the First Class versus the Steerage. There was a moment of huge amusement when a young woman sitting on her own in a saloon in First Class was mistaken for a dummy (The dummy "lady" was seated at the other end of the upholstered bench) and one of the students seated himself giving excited instructions for the cameraman who only realised the mistake when the young woman began to giggle. Fortunately, she thought the whole thing was hilarious and rather flattering.

Last Saturday we took the same group to Chepstow and Caerwent. At Chepstow we were lucky enough to encounter a group of re-enactors who happily explained the armour, the long bow, the weaponry and gave the guys some fun demonstrations. Perhaps the most impressive one being the 16 year old who shipped the string and then bent his Yew wood long bow which has a measured "pull" of 150 pounds. Even the largest of the students could not draw the bow to its full extent, something I think they will remember for a long time - especially after the owner - the sixteen year old - then notched an arrow and sent it clean through the target at around 25 yards! The castle itself is now largely a ruin, but there is a good display and a number of well thought out re-creations in some roomswhich give a really good idea of how it functioned and its inhabitant's lived.

Caerwent was a little disappointing, but I will have to take another look at the remains of the Roman town another day - perhaps when I can do so without having to worry about my charges scattering like a herd of cats across a working farm!


1 comment:

  1. I was surprised myself at how difficult drawing a bow can be depending on the pull.

    What a fun excursion! I bet your charges enjoyed themselves immensely.