15 hours stranded at a service station - then they missed their ferry!

PUBLISHED: 09:34 15 June 2019 | UPDATED: 12:46 15 June 2019

North Walsham High School. Picture: Google Maps

North Walsham High School. Picture: Google Maps


A group of weary students and teachers arrived back from a school trip to south-western France about 22 hours late, after their coach broke down.

Deputy headteacher Angela Waters was on the school trip to France. Picture: NWHSDeputy headteacher Angela Waters was on the school trip to France. Picture: NWHS

The youngsters from North Walsham High School had been on a six-day watersports trip at an activity centre run by Rockley.

But on their way back from the centre on Friday, June 14, the group of about 50 children and five members of staff were stuck for more than 15 hours outside the town of Alencon in Normandy, because their coach had broken down.

Deputy headteacher Angela Waters was on the trip and said: "We got back to the school at about 9.30am on Saturday, which was about 22 hours late. We were supposed to get back at about 11am on Friday.

"We could have been back sooner but we missed the ferry to Dover by minutes, so we had to wait for the next ferry, two hours later."

The group had waited at a service station while the coach was repaired.

You may also want to watch:

Ms Waters added: "The coach driver was brilliant. We were allowed to stay at a service station. I hate to think what would have happened if we had been stuck on the motorway.

"The kids were warm and it was lovely weather. The coach company sent us 1000 Euros for food.

"The kids were absolutely phenomenal. They found a grassy area and were playing games. But I've had no sleep for two days. I'm very glad to be home."

The school said on its Facebook page: "Finally home after a stressful couple of days. Thank you to all our parents for their support and kind messages. A big thank you to the staff and, of course, the biggest thank you goes to our amazing children."

Headteacher Neil Powell said the oil compressor on the coach, which was part of the package Rockley had provided, had broken and there had been difficulties in finding a replacement coach.

He added: "It was the Le Mans race on the weekend, so pretty much every coach in France was booked."

Rockley have been contacted for comment.

Related articles

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years, through good times and bad. Coronavirus is one of the greatest challenges our community has ever faced, but if we all play our part we will defeat it. We're here to serve as your advocate and trusted source of local information.

In these testing times, your support is more important than ever. Thank you.

Most Read

Most Read

Latest from the North Norfolk News