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  • Kevin Hunt

Farewell 'H': A final trip before he embarks on a new journey

As we come to the end of the academic year we have to say goodbye to one of our older residents. 'H' will be leaving Gretton and we wish him all the best as he moves on to college closer to home. 'H' has been a resident at Gretton for 2 years and a student for much longer than that, (6 years I believe!) so this will be a big and daunting step for him to take, and we hope he has got a lot of happy memories of his time at Gretton to take with him.


As his farewell 'H' didn’t want a party or to be the centre of attention, but wanted to leave quietly so asked to go to Warwick Castle instead. He had a great time and particularly loved watching the birds in the “Falconer’s Quest” , a show where they talked about a young man called Hobby who looked after all the different birds for the King at Warwick Castle. This included Owls, Peregrine Falcons, Harris Hawks, Condors, American Bald Eagles and Golden Eagles to name a few. The display has the birds flying over the heads of the spectators and some are so close that they almost touch the top of peoples head as they swoop past.



From there we spent time in the dungeons and were led to a tower with very little light, where actors played the parts of jesters, plague doctors, witchfinders, torturers and executioners, explaining what they had to do to people during the 14th Century and the Bubonic Plague. 



These actors hid in the darkness, leaping out as we passed by to ensure we screamed out in fright (Well 'H' did but the sight of that just made Kevin laugh which then made 'H' laugh!). 'H' even had to act the part of a prisoner awaiting execution and was told to kneel with his head on the chopping block in front of everybody as the executioner placed the blood splattered basket under his head! 



Unfortunately we could not take photos during this part as they wanted to make things feel as real as they could to how it was at the time, a point shared with 'H' when he said that it was really uncomfortable kneeling with his head on the block waiting to be executed.


Another attraction at the castle was the reenactment of the War of the Roses. Here they tell the story of the Red Rose, which was the emblem of the Lancastrians' battle against the White Rose, the emblem of the House of York and how this brought about the beginning of the Tudor Dynasty. Here there are sword fights, jousting and skilled horseback acrobatics to entertain. Onlookers can choose which side they want to cheer on from either the Red Rose or the White Rose, although I believe 'H' had no say in this as Kevin headed towards the White Rose. 


It was a really nice way for 'H' to spend his last day as a Gretton resident, creating some happy memories to take with him and it was a shame that there was so much going on that we couldn’t see everything even though we had walked a fair way.


As we went home 'H' said that he had not walked as much for a longtime and it reminded me of when 'H' first became a resident in the Boarding service, and highlighted how much he has achieved in the 2 years he had shared with us, whether academically or with regards to his health. 


He has made us laugh, and he has made us cry (with laughter!) and any opportunity he has had to get Barbara or Kevin into trouble with Emma then he has done so with a cheeky smile and a knowing look that he has achieved his goal. He has put smiles on our faces and brightened the days with his facts or stories which he has read up on. 


We are all so proud of the achievements he has made and the young man he has become and we wish him every success for the future.


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