The YSTV Summer Expedition was the brainchild of Jen Ayerst when she became Production Director in May 2004. The idea was to make a programme that showed freshers how much of a fun time we had socially as a station, whilst also giving us a holiday at the end of the academic year. The idea was in many ways a rip-off of the annual Blue Peter event of the same name. A group of (mostly graduating) YSTV members had gone on a canal boat holiday in summer 2003, however this was not filmed and was not a YSTV event.
The event has been continually panned by judges when entered for NaSTA awards, as apparently it is of no interest to anyone but ourselves. This may be true, but it's great fun for us...
The first summer expedition was to Dublin. The travellers were Jen Ayerst, Rowan de Pomerai, Giles Burdett, Drew Perry, Kate Rushworth, Cally Nixon, Dave Baker, Jonathan Bufton and Anthony Laverty. YSTV members spent five nights in a hostel in the city centre, visiting a variety of places including the Guinness factory, a zoo (which many felt was a bit crap due to it having very few animals), and an old prison. They also saw a memorial to Oscar Wilde known as "the fag on the crag", another memorial to Dermot Morgan and an amazing pub that served pints of Smirnoff Ice (which seemed a better idea before drinking than after). Jonathan commented on a stature commemorating the potato famine, "Where are all the potatoes?!". Ahem.
The programme was edited by Jen Ayerst and featured a Steve Walker computer generated title sequence. The distinctive closing sequence where the travellers all ran over a Teletubbies-style hill doesn't record what happened off-camera on the other side, with a number of people skidding all over the place on the unexpectedly muddy grass...
The second summer expedition was organised rather later than the first. With a short deadline, a few UK options were floated, before we decided on Rowan de Pomerai's suggestion of going to... Yorkshire! Rowan was joined by Jonathan Bufton, Kate Rushworth, Kev Larkin, Sarah Leese, Tom Hughes, Dave Baker and on the trip to The Deep Richard Ash, Rob Humphrey and Cally Nixon. The locality was actually a very good idea as we saved money by being able to sleep in our own beds every night, and saw bits of the region we'd never got around to - such as a day in Scarborough, visits to the York Dungeon, Bradford's National Museum of Photography Film and Television, The Deep in Hull, York Minster, a boat trip down the Ouse and the York Brewery. The trip to Bradford began in confusion about whether we could actually travel due to the 7/7 terrorist attacks on the London transport system.
Highlights included Kev making a sandcastle out of a Tony Blair rubber mask, Sarah's monologue to camera slightly worse-for-wear at the end of the first night's drinking games and Rowan's spoof Parkinson-style chat show at the end of the week.
This programme was edited by Rowan de Pomerai and featured a popular title sequence which introduced the people by using unflattering video clips of them and a swanky black and white posterised sort of effect.
The third annual summer expedition was a canal boat holiday - a week's cruise on the Four Counties Ring.
The crew consisted of Dave Baker, Rob Humphrey, Rick Selby and Matthew Tole who were experienced canal cruisers; and Sarah Cheyne, Rowan de Pomerai, Kev Larkin, Sarah Leese, Richard Ash and Ian Martindale who were more fresh-faced.
Starting and ending at Norbury, the crew took the ring on clockwise.
Notable moments included:
- Pirates on the first day
- Washing and styling Rob's hair
- Writing messages on an unsuspecting (and asleep) Ian's back in lipstick
- Matthew finding the 50% Vodka a little strong and revealing his PIN for his switch card
- Running out of water on more than one occasion..., and having to empty the waste tank at the other end.
- Nuts magazine, and the walrus
No summer expedition was organised this year due to the YSTV 40 Birthday Party organisation, which along with Woodstock made the summer term more pushed for time than usual. A number of current and former YSTV members did however visit the Center Parcs resort in Sherwood Forest in September that year for a long weekend of wholesome Blue Peter-style activities, although no-one filmed it!
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