Harrietta Holmes was very excited as she left home for Rose Hill High School that morning. This was totally out of character for her because she usually hated school having never been popular or having friends. Today, her class was going on a trip to Draycott Towers which is a popular theme park and Harrietta intended to try every single ride at least once.
Having arrived at the school, Harrietta went straight to the bus pick up point and waited for a teacher to turn up so that she would have someone to talk to, at least for a little while. Pretty soon, all the teachers and children were there and the bus arrived. The children were counted on and allocated their seats and the bus set off towards it's destination.
It didn't take long for the rain to start and the children to become restless. Some ate their packed lunch on the bus so that it would have settled before they hit the fast rides at Draycott Towers. Harietta didn't feel the need to eat hers straight away because she planned to start on the slower rides and work her way up to the faster ones in the afternoon.
Before much longer, the teachers were running up and down the bus handing out paper towels, covering vomit with sand and adjusting the seating plan to split up trouble makers and get the travel sick passengers at the front of the bus to try and save their poor legs too much walking.
No one seemed to notice the rain turn gradually from rain to sleet then to snow and start to settle on the road. Before long, roads were beginning to be closed and the news on the radio was beginning to report that schools were being closed as well.
Back at Rose Hill High School, Mrs. Carson glanced out of the window for what seemed like the hundredth time that morning. She didn't like the way that the snow was settling on the ground so fast. She sighed knowing that if it didn't slow down any time soon, she would have to close the school so that the staff and students could get home incase it got to the point of snow drifts.
After another half an hour, Mrs Carson came to the difficult decision of closing the school and calling the bus back. Leaving her office and going into the next room, she sighed "Carole, ring round the teachers and tell them to send them home".
Meanwhile, on the bus, the main road to Draycott Towers had been closed and the bus driver had to reluctantly turn back towards Rose Hill High School. He knew that the journey back was going to be long and difficult.
Eventually, they all arrived back at school. There were times when it didn't look like they'd make it through. After unloading the coach, Mrs Bethell decided that everyone would be better to ride the storm out in the school rather than try to get home with the way that things were so she unlocked the door and told everyone to wait in her class for now while the teachers had a brief meeting to plan the best way forward from that point.
After a bit of debating, the teachers decided that there was no need to worry about heat just yet because the boilers had gone into energy saving mode which meant that they still had heat and plenty of coal because they'd just had a delivery that day. They had to nominate someone to go into the gym and have a look at what P.E equipment could be used incase they couldn't get out anytime soon. Even though Miss. Edwards was a P.E teacher this still had to be done as she may not have looked at things from outside the box in terms of what they could be in times of an emergency.
Mr. Danes said "If we are stuck here for any length of time, there are those big blue mats that we can use to sleep on"
Mr. Archer said "There's the costumes in the Drama department, they should do foor covers".
Catherine Smart, the librarian said "That's a great idea, Paul".
There was enough food and water to see everyone through for the moment and the children were starting to get noisy so the staff members decided to head back in and get a badminton tournement underway. There wasn't enough room for everyone on the indoor courts so the table tennis tables were opened too. As the blue mats hadn't yet been dragged out for the night, the gym was also opened for football.
Everyone was told not to get anything from any of the vending machines without permission from the teachers, too, because if they were stuck here for longer than a short while, the snacks may be needed as they started to dig to various parts of the school and ultimately out of the drift to go home (for it was now clear that they weren't going to be leaving the school anytime soon).
After a quick chat, the teachers decided to be truthful with the teenagers so all the equipment was put away and the teenagers assembled on chairs as they would be for assembly on a normal school day. It was decided that Mr. Jameson would break the bad news since he was the nearest thing to a head teacher that was in the school at the present time. Mr. Jameson also explained that, for the most part, the school rules were going to remain but not applied as religiously as on a normal school day. There were also going to be some lessons still and everyone was expected to help with keeping the school clean.
Not all the rules went down very well, although some of the pupils were quick to sign up for jobs while others were more reluctant. Harrietta volunteered to wash the clothes by hand and hang them from the climbing frame in the gym to dry, it was lucky that the water hadn't froze in the pipes in this part of the school. She started by gathering together all the spare P.E kit and other lost property that she could find so that people had clothes to change into.
Martin Mason discovered that no one had a key to the cleaning room of that part of the school so he put a chair through the window of the cleaning cupboard where a spade was discovered right at the back. This was a good thing really because the snow was well over the top of the main doors by now. He and Russell Rossetti carried the industrial floor buffer to the gym so that they could clean the floor before the big blue mats were put down ready for bed. The job needed 2 people because there was no way that you could get to the gym without going up steps and the cleaner was too heavy for one person alone.
Once this had been done, everyone had a few bars of chocolate and a can of pop from the tuckshop before going to bed for the night because it was accepted that there would't be any decent food until they had dug to the dining room across the road and the sooner this job was done, the better for everyone.
8.45 am saw everyone woken by the bell. Everyone had a wash and breakfast before doing their lessons. The only lessons available in that part of the school was PE, Drama and Music. So with these lessons over, lunch was eaten. Lunch was whatever sandwiches hadn't been eaten yesterday before they were split into two groups. Group 2 were sent have a rest for a while, while group one was taken with whatever they could find to dig and the buckets to the main door. The group was split in half again and group A were the diggers and group B were the disposers. Group B had to take the full buckets to the sinks in the toilets and empty them in the sinks so that the water would run down the plug as the snow melted. Once all the sinks in that part of the school were full, group A stopped work to allow the snow to melt.
Once the snow had melted and been disposed of, group B started to dig. This went on until tea time when everyone ate an allotment of snacks out of the vending machines then began to unwind in preparation for bed time.
It took 3 days of digging round the clock in this fashion to dig to the school canteen across the road and by this time the vending machines and tuck shop were almost emptied. It was a good thing that Mr. Mason had a key to that part of the school.
Now that the pressure was off because everyone had food for a while, thoughts began to turn to getting out of here. No one knew how much of Rose Hill was snowed in so the teachers decided to wait to be rescued rather than trying to dig out.
The reasoning behind this was that the snow inside the tunnel was shiny which would mean that it was melting somewhere. They remained hopeful that it was from the top rather than the sides of the tunnel.
In the meantime, on the other side of the drift, some of the parents had gathered. To see the drift from this angle, it made the school look a little like a giant igloo. The Caretaker of Rose Hill High School only lived around the corner from the school and he'd been monitoring the snow in the hope that he'd be able to dig in and get the group out but even he knew that it was foolish for one man to try to take on this job alone.
He opened his house to the parents who had bought spades and they split up into groups to dig in the same way that the children had. As they dug into the mound of snow, the tunnel walls began to fold in on them which made the job a lot harder than it looked. Luckily, the tunnel of those inside went in a different direction to the one that they were digging now so it didn't collapse. After digging for a few feet, they ran out of snow!
A few of the dads accompanied by the caretaker carefully decided to explore what they thought was a crevice in the snow and they took off in the direction the crevice went. Pretty soon, they were shouting the mums to come in.
In the excitement of the moment, they didn't think that the tunnell could fall in with them shouting like that. Luckily, it held though and everyone was able to get out safely.