A coach carrying our young people for the 53rd year of our German youth exchange, was part of the virtual 12 mile car park surrounding the port of Dover last weekend. Leaving church at 7.30am on Saturday, they didn't arrive at their Daun (pronounced Down) Sports Club hosts until 1.30pm on Sunday – an 18 hour delay! A steady flow of text messages kept parents and hosts up-to-date.
The youngsters and their leaders Steve and Viv Kemp and Dawn Wright played lots of games to while away the time. Hours after they were due to be in Daun, they were playing UNO sat on the fast lane of the A20. So much for risk assessments!
Food and drinks ran out so Steve and daughter Ailsa "set out like intrepid travellers" to find supplies via a slip road they had passed. "We are a bit worried that we might move and lose them" texted Dawn but the increased French security checks and chronic under-staffing ensured that that was not a problem! Sandwiches and pasta were duly delivered and the police brought round water supplies.
The Saturday morning ferry crossing became a 4.45am Sunday one instead! What a story they will have to tell!
For more details on what is the UK's longest running youth exchange, click here.