The coach has dropped everyone off and children and staff have returned home to their families. Manchester 2015 is over and it will live long in the memory for all involved.
A big thank you to Stevie our very patient and most helpful driver who accompanied us on our journey from first thing Tuesday morning to late Friday night. His services were invaluable.
The children were very well behaved and were praised on numerous occasions each day by members of the public wherever we went. If it was said once it was said a hundred times the girls and boys were a credit to their parents, families, teachers and school. So we thank everyone for that. We'll done, everyone, on a very successful trip !
Sweet dreams ! Choo ! Choo !
The final part of our trip involved a visit to Old Trafford or the Theatre of Dreams, home to the Red Devils, Manchester United.
The youngsters were able to wear actual jerseys worn in Barclay Premiership, Carling Cup and FA Cup as well as Champions' League matches by a variety of former United stars as well as goalkeeper gloves and football boots. They asked lots of questions but we're not able to extract any information about future signings into the club or transfers out !
This was followed by a stadium tour where the group learnt many facts about the stadium itself, the pitch and the differences between former manager Sir Alex Ferguson and present manager Louis Van Gaal. It was all very interesting and informative !
The ground can seat roughly 75, 000 spectators with demand far outstripping supply. The pitch was relaid 2 years ago at a cost of over £1m with over 18 miles of under soil heating laid. United are the only Premiership club that gives free admittance to wheelchair bound and the blind. There is a police station under one stand for unruly supporters. The club will receive over £75m each year for the next 10 years from Chevrolet for shirt sponsorship rights; this alone pays the players' wages. The players meet the day before a match, either home or away, and stay in an hotel overnight. Mobile phones are taken off them until after the game ! Van Gaal insists that all players and their families attend a post match meal together as a means of bonding and that all players attend the Old Trafford staff Christmas party where they mix with everyone from programme sellers to kitchen staff, from groundsmen to doormen to create a more family atmosphere around the club.
An incredible club and a highly profitable business !
Our final night. The time has flown in.
Everyone had a great time in Alton Towers. As you can see from the pictures the children tried all the rides possible. Oblivion and some others were done twice ! As one youngster said it is the only vertical drop roller coaster in Britain. But rest assured that didn't put anyone off. God was prayed to and mummy was called for on quite a few occasions !
Alton Towers will live long in the memory. Choo ! Choo !
The children are fast asleep ! There are a lot of tired youngsters about. The full day packed with exciting and energy sapping events has taken its toll.
No doubt they'll have re-energised themselves during the night and be raring to go when we reach Alton Towers ! The last thing said before the girls and boys disappeared into their rooms was discussion about breakfast - what they'd have and how much of things they'd eat !
They're certainly thinking ahead !
A fantastic time was had at the ten pin bowling by all ! The music was loud. The children danced and boogied away. They sang along and generally had a ball !
There were strikes when all ten pins were knocked down in one shot, spares where it took two goes to topple the ten, high scores and low scores and some very, very close misses that will all contribute to a great story when this trip is recalled when the children get home and in years to come when friends meet up and discuss old times !
The canoeing and sailing got a unanimous thumbs up and that was even before anyone got onto the water !
The girls and boys enjoyed themselves immensely in sail boats, tethered Canadian and open canoes. There were lots of capsizes, falls over board and paddles let slip, but no one was hurt as they laughed and splashed away the afternoon. The trick was to splash and soak, but not get splashed and soaked !
Don't Kill the Bunny !
Sorry about the quality but downloading photos so that everyone can see what the girls and boys have been up to today
We stopped for 40 minutes at Gretna Green to stretch our legs before resuming our journey
Children and adults are in good form, fed and now watching a DVD
Eoighan M celebrated his 11th birthday today so we'll all have a bit of birthday cake before heading to bed
There's the museum of science and industry tomorrow followed by water sports in the afternoon. And if that's not enough ten pin bowling in the evening