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School children allegedly made to walk on railway lines for PE

robbeech

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I haven’t spotted this article on here as yet. It’s an interesting concept, it’s not a main line and it doesn’t ordinarily run trains in the week, and it’s possible it was confirmed as safe before hand though there’s nothing to suggest this, but what message does this give kids of today, at a time when we are seeing an increase in trespassing?

A stunned Leeds father has spoken out over his daughter and her classmates allegedly walking along train tracks for school PE lessons.

When Geoff Smith's daughter came home from Cockburn John Charles Academy in Belle Isle, she told him that she had hurt her knee.

When he asked how she hurt her knee, Geoff was shocked by his 12-year-old daughter's response.

Speaking to LeedsLive , Geoff said: "She told me that for her PE lesson, her and her classmates had left the school grounds to walk along the railway lines at Middleton railway.
 
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Huntergreed

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Yes this is entirely wrong and should never have happened.

A key purpose of education is to ensure children grow up to be responsible, confident and (most importantly!) safe and healthy citizens. Teaching a lesson like this could have disastrous consequences if the children who experienced the lesson then decided to simply apply what they had been taught on a running line (and even worse if that line had third rail!)

Totally irresponsible and whoever decided that should be held accountable for poor decision making and a complete lack of sensible thinking
 

John Luxton

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I taught for 34 years and when appropriate to the topic being taught I always made it clear that under no circumstances should one venture on to a railway line.

Totally irresponsible on the part of the school or teacher concerned.
 

Mcr Warrior

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Isn't there a level crossing immediately to the west of the Cockburn John Charles Academy (leading over towards the South Leeds Sports Stadium, and to Middleton Park)?

Depending on the actual route taken, this may be something of a non-story.
 

Ken_Ilworth

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Not rail related, perhaps a little of topic, but the same Dad was in the local papers in June 2019 - another dispute with the school. On balance, I'm wondering if it is indeed a 'non-story'
 

Bertie the bus

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Same dad was also in the local paper with another dispute with the school in September 2020.

This story sounds like absolute nonsense. There is a public footpath that runs from the school along the route of the railway. Why would they cross the footpath and walk along the railway itself?
 

AlterEgo

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Our friend glued himself to the school gates a couple of years ago. Sounds like a normal fella. Heavily into Grain Of Salt territory.
 

yorkie

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Not clear from the article whether they walked ACROSS or ALONG the track, both words are used. Maybe they just crossed legally.
Same dad was also in the local paper with another dispute with the school in September 2020.

This story sounds like absolute nonsense. There is a public footpath that runs from the school along the route of the railway. Why would they cross the footpath and walk along the railway itself?

Perhaps someone familiar with the area/route may be able to shed some light on this.

I believe @John @ home may be familiar with this area of Leeds?

Also perhaps @43094 @theblackwatch @class47 are familiar with the Middleton Railway?

As someone who has experience of leading trips of this nature, I do find it very hard to believe a teacher would actually lead a school trip walking along tracks as described.

Not rail related, perhaps a little of topic, but the same Dad was in the local papers in June 2019 - another dispute with the school. On balance, I'm wondering if it is indeed a 'non-story'
I found the video for this and I would strongly recommend it; it's hilarious! :lol:
The dad of a girl who was sent home from school for wearing an earring glued his own hands to its front gates in protest.
Be sure to watch to the end!

I have to say, having seen this video, I am doubtful about any claims he makes.
 
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yorksrob

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Perhaps they were trying to re-create the old rail safety video where the school sports day takes place across the railway line !
 

TheEdge

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Our friend glued himself to the school gates a couple of years ago. Sounds like a normal fella. Heavily into Grain Of Salt territory.

Grain of salt? I think you'll need to be taking delivery of a few tons of rock salt to have enough.
 

gledhill56

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Nothing new for this publication to make a mountain out of a molehill purely to get clicks. They constantly twist stories so much they become fantasy.
 

John Luxton

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Quite possibly - can't remember the name. Sure it's on youtube somewhere.
It is on one of the BTF DVDs.

Interestingly it was made just before I myself left school. It was never shown at my school and I didn't see it until I bought the BTF DVD.

However, I did use it as a teaching aid in departmental assemblies for several years usually in the summer just before the school holidays.

It was interesting to watch the reaction of some of the children to the film.

A few thought it funny, most treated it very seriously, but each time I showed it one or two would run out of the assembly in distress.

It was a hard hitting film which even 30 years after it was made had an impact on youngsters.

Perhaps it should be remade?

John
 

Bletchleyite

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I don't recall that one, but the one where the kid got badly burnt on the third rail which finished with his football boots hung up, with the implication that they would never be used again, certainly hit me hard.
 

yorksrob

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It is on one of the BTF DVDs.

Interestingly it was made just before I myself left school. It was never shown at my school and I didn't see it until I bought the BTF DVD.

However, I did use it as a teaching aid in departmental assemblies for several years usually in the summer just before the school holidays.

It was interesting to watch the reaction of some of the children to the film.

A few thought it funny, most treated it very seriously, but each time I showed it one or two would run out of the assembly in distress.

It was a hard hitting film which even 30 years after it was made had an impact on youngsters.

Perhaps it should be remade?

John

We had one called Fatal Attraction (which didn't involve a lady crossing her legs).

Similarly hard hitting though.
 

Master Cutler

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Too many mixed messages for children these days.
Many of the older films show children railway trespassing, such as Hayley Mills in Whistle Down The Wind and Jenny Aguter in Railway Children, so I can imagine how difficult it is for teachers and parents to get the message across to adventurous children.
If the message has been drilled into children about keeping off the railways, but activities in close proximity to running lines are encouraged, I can understand the confusion this can create.
 

DerekC

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A quick look at the OS map shows exact;y what @Bertie the bus says - there is a public bridleway running from the school gates alongside the track all the way to Park Halt which is the end of line. Here's a shot from Google Earth which shows it:

1616162051180.png

At the end of the line there is a connecting path across the end of track, with no buffers, which might easily be taken by a child as "on the railway line":
Although I totally agree about keeping children off the tracks, I think this is a "non-story".

1616162232269.png
 
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John Luxton

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Too many mixed messages for children these days.
Many of the older films show children railway trespassing, such as Hayley Mills in Whistle Down The Wind and Jenny Aguter in Railway Children, so I can imagine how difficult it is for teachers and parents to get the message across to adventurous children.
If the message has been drilled into children about keeping off the railways, but activities in close proximity to running lines are encouraged, I can understand the confusion this can create.

Interesting point - but as most children do appear to be able differentiate between fantasy films and reality, it should not be any more difficult for them to realise in the old days things were different as many of these films were filmed and/or set in the past. Not that it was allowed then, but it was a time when H&S did not dominate peoples' thinking to the extent it does now.

A good educational point can be made that circumstances and attitudes change over time.

Rather along the lines of railtours - 30 years ago a head out of most windows - now a "no-no".
 

sheff1

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Nothing new for this publication to make a mountain out of a molehill purely to get clicks. They constantly twist stories so much they become fantasy.
Well they have certainly got some posters on this thread to weigh in with cries of "irresponsibility".
 

EastisECML

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Not rail related, perhaps a little of topic, but the same Dad was in the local papers in June 2019 - another dispute with the school. On balance, I'm wondering if it is indeed a 'non-story'
He must have his 'compensation face' perfected by now then?

I remember back when I was in the scouts on a camping trip we had to cross over the Tyne valley line whilst on a walk. At a designated footpath crossing through, one at a time, after looking both ways.
 

Bletchleyite

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To be fair I recall getting a bit of parental disdain when I took a small group of Scouts over a marked foot crossing on the level on the A41 near Tring, which feels rather like crossing a motorway. The thing is, it was Sunday morning (so really quiet) and from the crossing concerned you have a clear sightline of well over a mile in both directions, so in reality it's pretty safe (safer than crossing most roads) if you just wait until you can't see a single vehicle before crossing, which is what we did.

Fortunately the parent had the sense to phone me and have a conversation about it (and they were OK with it when I explained exactly which crossing it was, as they knew it themselves) rather than going to the Press...apparently their kid had said to them that we had crossed a motorway.
 

Snow1964

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When I was young, our secondary school used to run activities trips about end of March, which was week at the Butlins camp at Minehead (before it opened for holiday season)

One of the big activities was a hike from Exmoor back to the camp, and the last bit was alongside the tracks to Minehead station, but it was in mid 1970s and it was explained to everyone that line had closed years before which is why tracks were rusty, but should never walk or play on a real railway.

Over the 4 or 5 Activities weeks, for few years thousands of children must have walked that bit of line. I assume they stopped it when line reopened. I guess with hindsight it was walking a disused railway, which is now common, but it just happened to have some bits of track in situ which is now unlikey.

Off topic but there was a bit of isolated track in the camp with couple of steam locos at the time, presumably some sort of static preservation display.
 
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Merthyr Imp

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When I was young, our secondary school used to run activities trips about end of March, which was week at the Butlins camp at Minehead (before it opened for holiday season)

Off topic but there was a bit of isolated track in the camp with couple of steam locos at the time, presumably some sort of static preservation display.
Butlins had a craze at one time for having locomotives on display at some of their camps. Maybe most notably was 'Royal Scot' at Skegness.

Minehead was 'Duchess of Hamilton' and a Terrier:

Locomotives at Butlins, Minehead, 1969 © Robin Webster :: Geograph Britain and Ireland
 

Jan Mayen

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We walked along (not across) a bit of the narrow gauge railway near Devils Bridge back in the seventies. Person in charge checked so we wouldn't be doing it at the same time as a timetabled service. On arrival at the gate the school party was stopped and given a brief, but clear, instruction as to what to do if a train appeared (flatten yourself against the side of the cutting or some such instruction). Mind you the leader at the front or the teacher at the back would have spotted the train first, so no danger.
 

PeterC

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We walked along (not across) a bit of the narrow gauge railway near Devils Bridge back in the seventies. Person in charge checked so we wouldn't be doing it at the same time as a timetabled service. On arrival at the gate the school party was stopped and given a brief, but clear, instruction as to what to do if a train appeared (flatten yourself against the side of the cutting or some such instruction). Mind you the leader at the front or the teacher at the back would have spotted the train first, so no danger.
Fine as long as they aren't running a works train
 

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