When the Descendants kids took a half-term trip to The Houses of Parliament at the kind invitation of Rupa Huq, MP Ealing Central & Acton, they looked very much at home!
There are definitely some strong leaders in the group – could this be a sneak preview of things to come…?
On Wednesday, 26th October a group of 24 kids, parents and volunteers assembled outside Parliament ready for the visit.
After going through airport-style security, the group were met by a guide who lead a tour of the building, including both Houses:
The House of Commons
The House of Commons is where the 650 Members of Parliament (MPs) the UK public elects to represent their interests and concerns meet . MPs consider and propose new laws, and can scrutinise government policies by asking ministers questions about current issues either in the Commons Chamber or in Committees.
The House of Lords
The House of Lords is the second chamber of the UK Parliament. It is independent from, and complements the work of, the elected House of Commons. The Lords shares the task of making and shaping laws and checking and challenging the work of the government.
The guide gave a very interesting history of the building and taught the children – and the adults! – lots about the workings of the government. Once the tour was finished, we met Rupa who took us back in to see the arrival of The Speaker and Mace.
She then led the group on a tour around the exterior of the building, including to the terrace at the rear with a view of the Thames. Later, there was a chance to visit the Jewel Tower across the road for another brief look back in time.
The Jewel Tower
In the heart of Westminster, The Jewel Tower dates back almost 650 years. It was built around 1365 to house Edward III’s treasures and was known as the ‘King’s Privy Wardrobe’. One of only two buildings from the medieval Palace of Westminster to survive the fire of 1834, the tower features a 14th century ribbed vault, described by historian Jeremy Ashbee as “an architectural masterpiece”.
After a very busy morning, the group headed down to Trafalgar Square for lunch, followed by a walk back down The Embankment and over the river to see the statue of one our “Sheroes” – Mary Seacole.
Everyone agreed it was an amazing day – what a privilege to be given such an opportunity. And who knows, maybe it won’t be the only time that some of the kids get to walk through those halls… do we have a future MP in the group? Perhaps even a future Prime Minister!
With special thanks to Dr Rupa Huq, MP Ealing Central & Acton
N.B Nigel took so many great pics – expect a gallery soon!