Tired but pleased to be home, the group of Hartismere School sixth formers who were stranded on the Scottish island of Arran in the most treacherous weather conditions seen there in more than six decades, arrived back in Suffolk in the early hours of this morning.[Source: Diss Express]"Tired but pleased to be home, the group of Hartismere School sixth formers who were stranded on the Scottish island of Arran in the most treacherous weather conditions seen there in more than six decades, arrived back in Suffolk in the early hours of this morning.
"The 18 Year 12 students, accompanied by two teachers, have spent the last four days snowed-in at the Loch Ranza Field Studies Centre on the north-west tip of the island which caught the brunt of last Friday’s bad weather.
"They have helped clear paths by shovelling snow, had food delivered by lifeboat, helped distribute food parcels to local residents and kept spirits high by putting on a talent show. And as weather conditions started to lift slightly yesterday, they were finally transported through the snow drifts in a seven-ton truck used in Arctic environments to catch the ferry back to the mainland.
"The party of ‘A’ level geography and biology students were on a week-long field trip to the island and should have made the homeward journey last Friday. But as blizzard conditions swept in, the roads quickly became impassable which meant they could not reach the island’s ferry for the short crossing to the mainland where a coach from Simonds of Diss had been waiting to pick them up.
"As they spent three extra nights at the centre with around another 80 students from other schools, Hartismere School kept parents updated on its website passing on information that they were all in good spirits. Accompanying adults Jayne Hudson, head of geography, and biology teacher Dr Neil Sparshott said they were “very proud” of how the students had conducted themselves and represented the school.
"The centre, like much of the island, was without mains electricity and relying on a basic generator so there was no heating or hot water available and students crowded together to stay warm. However, food was in good supply with plenty of porridge and hot soup on the menu.
"Hartismere deputy head (Key Stage 4) Adrian Hayton said as they were all well, young, fit, safe and well-fed they had not been seen as a priority by the authorities in Arran who had focussed their attention at the weekend on restoring services to the island’s hospital and getting water and electricity reconnected to homes.
"In an interview yesterday with BBC Radio 4’s World at One, student Tom Campbell talked about the party’s ordeal and said he was looking forward to a hot bath and a ‘bacon butty’ when he got home."