Changing Places: Bradford to Hay

24th May

Amelia 7.10am

It is the morning of the Hay Festival adventure and we are waiting for everyone to arrive.  We have put out belongings in the back of the van and climbed into the huge van.  All of us are so excited to head off to Wales and meet the girls we have been writing to from the other school.

Mariyah 7.45

We have 3hrs and 29mins to go according to PC Tony, but he's laughing as he tells us.  Ms Berry is driving the bus and Rachel is with us (from the Bradford festival) and its a little loud on the bus, we have been told to be a little bit quiet.  The weather isn't good but we are not really bothered, just want to get there.

Umaira  9am

Stuck in traffic and getting a little fed up, but PC Tony tells us that we should soon get through the traffic.  We are going to stop soon and have a little snack.

Sophie 10.15am

Stopped to get some snacks and drinks before setting off again, the place we have stopped is very busy and we are a little loud but that's because we are getting more excited the further we get on this journey.

Summayah 12.45pm

We are all hungry and have stopped to have a McDonalds. Can't wait to arrive at the Hay Festival - its freezing and a little wet but we are not worried about that because we are going to see some authors.


AAAH just seen a spider and its attacked Ms Berry whilst driving, PC Tony doesn't like spiders and wouldn't get it for her.  Funny because we've just gone past a building we a real Spider-Man on the roof.


Just seen a police escort for what PC Tony says is a prisoner, three cars with flashing lights and everyone moves out of the way.  We think we should arrive in next hour (PC Tony says we have another 3hrs to ago).


We have arrived, after driving through winding roads and seeing lots of animals, I asked where we would be sleeping and the teachers said because we were going to the Hay festival we would be sleeping on Hay - the girls screamed but started laughing when they said they didn't mean it.

Hafsa 3pm  

The accommodation was a little too far away so the Director of the Hays Festival arranged for us to move nearer and its brilliant, we are stopping in converted shipping containers.   They fit two people in and they are in a middle of a field.

Hannah 5pm 

Arrived at the Hay Festival grounds and we have been taken into a room called the "Green" room, just for special guests.  Everyone of us have been given a lanyard for VIP - all of us have had a hot drink and I had hot chocolate.  We have met the Director and another lady who's running things (can't spell her name but she's great)  Tea was ok, we went into the staff canteen.  Then we followed the staff and stood outside a white plastic cover, the lady unzipped this and we all went through into our own special room.  It was filled with big bean bags and lockers.  Rachel said it was like our own station 9 3/4 ...  from Harry Potter.

Ayaat 9.44pm 

We have gone to watch Jake Bugg sing and none of us know who he is, the room is full of people and its dark.  There is Jake on stage with just a guitar, and he's amazing.  Its very loud but brilliant.  Everyone is joining in singing, the only thing was a man behind us was a little silly and security asked him to leave but he was a little loud.  

Umaira 9.55pm 

We left the Jake Bugg and Ms Berry is going to get us a little supper to eat back at the accommodation.  We are all excited to finally unpack, eat and try each others rooms out.  We had to wait a bit for Ms Berry  and Rachel to order and get the food. We sat in the van with PC Tony, who told us to be quiet, we kept watching out for Ms Berry and when we saw her bright yellow coat we all stopped talking.

Its time for bed, although don't think we will sleep much....

25th May 7


We have been woken up by Ms Berry and told we have 30mins to get ready and meet for breakfast - aahh but worth it, we got to pick (all cold food). Once we had eaten we set off to the Hays festival to see the first author.


Eh!  we ended up getting a warm breakfast from the staff canteen on site so we are really full up now.

Aayat 9am

Sat inside one of the tents waiting to see Laura Dockrill and OMG she's brilliant and funny and tells us how she started to write even though she didn't spell well.  Children asked her questions and one boy asked where she bought her boots from  "if you have arrived on time you would have heard the answer to that question earlier"  the audience laughed, she said "do you like them" he said "yes" she said "do you want to try them on" and he said "yes" the boy went on stage and they swopped shoes.  Once she had finished we went to the book store and I purchased her book on sale there.  

The next author was Gemma Cairney and she was also amazing and funny and enthusiastic - PC Tony loved it and said that he was a little unsure of what to expect but glad he had come with us to the Hay festival.

After this we had a break and went to our secret room, to wait for a lady from BBC Asian network - when she arrived she took us to the book room and got Laura Dockrill to sign the books we had bought and have our picture taken with her - AMAZI@NG ...

A little nervous because we have to speak on camera like an interview and its scary, people are watching us - We are the first group of students to be invited to the Hay festival from Bradford.

Hannah 12 o'clock 

Really excited - we are meeting out pen pals for the first time, whilst waiting we all become quiet (which Ms Berry loves as its the first time since we set off) PC Tony pretends to be a DJ behind the desk in the room we are meeting them in and he's got us laughing.

When the girls from the other school arrive no one speaks - but once we have been introduced to the students who we have written to we all relax a litte bit (wish we had more time with them).  They are having some lunch with us which is good.

The canteen is a little full and we eat together then have to say goodbye until the come up to the Bradford festival.

Afternoon: Amelia

We went to see Sally Nicolls and listened to her talk about her book and the research she did and the people she spoke to.  Very good and glad women fought for us to get the vote over 100 years ago.  All a little tired and PC Tony nearly fell asleep but we woke him up.

Because we had a long day yesterday the staff have said that once we have had tea we can go back to the accommodation - we are happy, just shame we cannot play outside because of the rain.

26th May 


Today was GREAT in the morning we went to see David Walliams, it was so funny. Ten people asked questions and they got box sets signed by him, we didn't get picked but it didn't matter - there were 1700 people in the room and this was a mixture of adults and children.  It was brilliant -  he's really funny.

Aine met us in the green room before we left so we could say thank you, she surprised the Ms Berry PC  Tony and Rachel with a Festival Hoodie - so funny the looks on their faces...  She then said we had to go to the book shop and pick out our own hoodie whichever colour we wanted...   We all put them on and PC Tony took a picture with Aine all shouting HAY - the Hoodies are really really cosy.


We are going back home now and we have about 7hrs drive ahead.  It looks rainy outside but the trip was fun and I hope to come back here again - I don't like long journeys but it was worth if the festival.

About three hours later:

We are a little bored and have all decided to read the books we have bought by the authors we saw - everyone is engrossed in their books 

THANK YOU for the experience  this is us signing off.....