Baker’s Beacon Blog – Week 8

10 November 2022

Dear Parents,

I hope everyone had a restful half term.

The Bakers’ break did not start off well despite looking forward to a trip down to Cornwall on the Monday of the first week to meet up with some old friends. We set off in our (relatively new) electric car that I had previously had no issue with charging at home or at our (very forward thinking and environmentally responsible) Beacon charging points. Setting off with a full ‘tank’ of electricity, I had planned to Fast Charge at various Services south of Bristol on the M5 whilst we had some lunch. With 60 miles still remaining on the car, we stopped at Sedgemoor Services – the fast charge was available and I plugged in…but no response. “Try wiggling it a bit”, suggested a motorist on the other charger which I did but still no joy. “Back in the car!” I declared to the family and we set off, 20 miles further down the M5 to the next Services, at Taunton. Same problem here, my car just wouldn’t talk to the Fast Charger. The Slow Charge worked…but with just ten miles an hour of charge and still 90 miles to go to the south coast, we would be there all night. 30 miles on the dash and 22 miles to the next charge point at Tiverton, “Third time lucky, worth a try” I told my increasingly frustrated family.

If there is a moral to this story it should be ‘never trust the stated mileage on an electric car’, as the 30 miles left seemed to decrease a lot faster than the stated mileage to the next Services on the motorway. With a mere 5 miles to go to the Services and 6 on the dash, the car announced with a warning that it was going into ‘low power mode’. The radio, air con, sat nav all shut down and an eerie silence of the car, a nervous family and 40 mph maximum speed deafened the interior of the vehicle. As the exit slip road came into view, there was a collective sigh of relief but even this was short-lived as all of a sudden a new message from the car: ‘shutdown in process, find a safe place to pull over immediately!’ We crept towards the Services and pulled into the charging point with what felt like no more than natural momentum. The Fast Charge was being used but the Slow Charge was fine and I plugged in, the green light came on…and we were saved…I think we even had a family hug.

Ultimately, I could never get the Fast Charge to work. I called out the AA but they said it was a common problem relating to a software update that clearly hadn’t installed; “These things are more computers than cars sir – it needs a re-boot and an update back at the garage.” We stayed plugged into the Slow Charge but at no more than 20 miles an hour, it was too long and too risky to charge up and continue the journey so we booked into the Travelodge on the forecourt and drove straight home the next day fully charged. Very stressful, very time consuming but ultimately, one of those shared family experiences that we’ll remember for the rest of our lives…and at least I got some Lighthouse content out of it…

There is no ‘Senior Schools Fair’ at The Beacon this year as this is a bi-annual event, but if you interested in seeing what schools are out there and meeting Heads and Registrars all in one place, do come along to the Independent Schools Show at the Evolution London in Battersea Park this Saturday and Sunday. Entrance is free but tickets must be booked in advance here to this highly significant showcase event.  All the best and highest profile schools are there, including ourselves on Stand 245 – do come and say hello. As an incentive, you might even be lucky enough to pick up a piece of extremely limited edition and unique Beacon merchandise…if they haven’t already disappeared into the eager hands of prospective Beacon boys of the future…

Have a good weekend,

Nick Baker

Early Years’ Stay & Play – Tuesday 21 May

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