Annual travel scholarships are awarded to pupils in the Lower Sixth Form to encourage a spirit of adventure, exploration and physical challenge.
In 2018, seven groups and 23 pupils competed for an Adventure Award, and made it through to the final interview stage of the process where they presented their carefully researched plans with real enthusiasm and interest to a committee of eight members of the teaching staff.
The top award, The Grocers’ prize of £400 went to the first mixed group for some years for their plans to visit Florence on the trail of the lemon. Entitled, “The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Medici family through the eyes of the citrus”, Ed Hodgson (Sc), George Pinder (Sc), Tatiana North (Sn), Pandora Bannister (N) were inspired by Helena Attlee’s prizewinning Food Book of the year 2015.
During their presentation the pupils brilliantly conveyed the joyful, intriguing and quirky nature to their quest and convinced the panel that an exploration of the affinity between the fruit and the land of Italy was one well worth supporting.
This year was distinctive for the unique cultural and intellectual ambition of the winners, as well as the personal dynamic to their ideas. The complete list of awards can be viewed here:
Travel Awards 2018 | PDF
The history of these awards dates to the Second World War, with an Old Oundelian called Patrick Dudgeon. He was detailed to be parachuted into Italy with orders to bomb a bridge. He was captured and tortured to betray his plans and companions, but refused to speak, and was executed. The fact that his German interrogator wrote to the British commander saying that Dudgeon was the bravest man he had ever met should give some idea of what he went through before he died. His family wanted to set up something in his memory, and gave money to the School for a travel scholarship to inspire pupils to create their own adventures. Other families have done the same, and we now have several awards available for those pupils who want to plan and organise their own trips, which can be physically challenging or intellectually stimulating; the choice is entirely the pupils.