Friday, 21 November 2014

Mr. Dixon's Reflections on the best visit ever!

It's early afternoon on the M25 and we're coming home 10 mph! I'm just reflecting on the many amazing and unique experiences and opportunities we've had on our European adventure. We have talked about career-defining moments this week and this week is up there with the best of them. In fact I think this has been the best school week ever!

The events of the week have been catalogued on our blog so admirably by Mrs. Edwards and we all owe her great thanks for that. What an amazing record for everyone to share - almost as it happened. In fact, people have followed the blog from all over Europe and it was actually the biggest internet railway news story in Germany with thousands and thousands of hits!

From the initial request from Brian the Bull for some PG involvement for something to do with Citizens' Rail to Mrs. Ennis's creative and inspired efforts in Year 4 last year to open Manchester Road Railway Station in Burnley to Uwe Mueller's invitation to Aachen, Germany from that same Year 4 presentation; this has been an extremely well-organised and well-co-ordinated effort from well before the start to ...a bit further along the M25.

I have so many people to thank: from our ever-reliable and brilliant PG link in Mrs. Ashton for keeping our parents at home informed of up-to-date information from Mrs. Ennis and to everyone back at PG in whom I had every confidence. So many thanks to Mr. Klee, Mrs. Gardiner and Mrs. Atkinson for all their expert leadership in holding the fort; to all our Year 5 parents for sending positive and supportive messages via the blog that Mrs. Edwards always passed on.

Huge thanks to Richard Watts, Rail Development Team Manager at Lancashire County Council and all our sponsors for making it all possible:- Citizens' Rail; Interreg IVB; Community Rail Lancashire; Abellio; DCRDF; and UK-German Connections for all their contributions and efforts on our behalf.

Brian Haworth, Marje Birch and our resident artist, Alastair Nicholson who accompanied us and they have provided superb support and have been a great help. Thank you.

Special mention and thanks to the very generous Paul Altzer for our most special day in Heerlen in the Netherlands. What a truly amazing day!

The Mayors of Padiham, Burnley and Aachen have all been so interested in our project; Moorhouse's Brewery, Padiham TESCO, Farmhouse Biscuits, Lancashire Tourist Board and Burnley Football Club have all been very generous and supportive and we appreciate it all. Thank you.

The Burgermeister von Aachen...that's 'the Mayor of Aachen' in German (Check me out!), of our PG children said, "You are an excellent example of 'living Europe' in the 21st century" and she asked us to; "Keep this European feeling close to your hearts and pass it on to other young people." Wunderbarr!

Our German PG Team have worked together tirelessly all week (Seriously!) and I'm incredibly grateful for all the love and encouragement that has totally surrounded our group of 29 youngsters all week, keeping them safe and well, night and day. This has been a 24 hour a day project from a very early Monday morning to probably a late Friday night.... and we all deserve a weekend off! I desperately hope the children's 'real' parents appreciate the efforts our two dads and four mums have made this week. At school we pray: 'Thank you for our happy school at Padiham Green'. This has been a happy week! Mrs. Ennis, Mrs. Edwards, Mr. Wright, Mrs. De'Ath and Mrs. McGowan have all made sure of that. They have all been immense and we have all been incredibly proud of the way our children have conducted themselves in the many arenas they've been exposed to this week. I've seen emotion and pride in every eye and in every smile and I'm proud to work with people like that and as Mrs. Atkinson observes: it's the Padiham Green Way.

But just like you've missed your children, we've missed ours too and I want to extend my thanks to all the people in our families at home who have stepped up to fill our boots - thank you for this wonderful support - and we need you too!

This week an anonymous blog stated:

'Best school. Best kids. Best teachers. What more can I say? THANK YOU!'

I agree. Mr. D. X


  1. Would like to thank everyone of you for looking after the kids, Joshua has said he had a fantastic time :) thanks again and well done to you too and enjoy your weekend - Joshuas mum

  2. Only just seen this blog mr dixon, I can say from the bottom of our hearts THANKYOU ALL so much for looking after my child so brilliantly, alfie had told us many , many great stories of his trip and im sure he will remember it for the rest of his?! Such a great experience for all of you and all very lucky to have had this trip. Thankyou from all the family and to all the teachers xxx alfies mum xx

  3. Please could I thank all the staff from PG Aachen trip for giving my son this fantastic opportunity. Owen has had a fab time..lots of stories to tell. Memories he can keep!! Thank you for taking good care of him. Owen mum and dad xx