Guildford Travel Club Presents

N. Korea – Grenades in the Schoolyard

1st November 2016

Catherine Moorehead

Catherine Moorehead
Guildford Travel Club members may recall Catherine’s last talk on Bhutan. Now, further east, she revisits Beijing after 27 years, then flies to the oddest and most secretive country anywhere: North Korea.

Defying with characteristic cunning government rules about photo legality, she charters a train, an asthmatic  aeroplane and a boat to reach all corners of this attractive, brainwashed country. Starting with the ascent of mysterious Mt Paektu, North Korea's highest point and symbol of national aspiration, she reaches parts visited by few if any other Westerners, up to the extreme north-east, where North Korea, China and Russia meet.

Also included are some surprising events in Pyongyang and the Demilitarised Zone, where the military object to her response to some of their 'history', and her return rail-trip to China through Manchuria.

Catherine Moorehead started life in Nairn,'the Brighton of the North', near Inverness. Educated at the very good local state school, Nairn Academy, and then as a Scholar at Gordonstoun, she progressed to an Hons MA in Eng Lang and Lit at Edinburgh University. After a couple of years teaching in France, she went on to teach English at a succession of state and private schools, finishing with the humorous but serious title of 'Mistress of Scholars' at the Royal Grammar School Guildford.

When not writing and trying to promote real teaching, her main outside interest is hill-walking and mountaineering, having led six expeditions to unexplored parts of Central Asia, and completing her Munros in 1996. Otherwise, she enjoys reading, gastronomy, astronomy, erratically-played chess and expanding her wine and whisky collections.

Catherine is an Associate Member of the Alpine Club and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
Monument to the Workers
Monument to the Workers, Pyongyang
Giant Agricultural Mural
Giant agricultural mural
Brainwashing in a primary school
Brainwashing in a primary school
Child Prodigy Cellist
Child prodigy cellist in a school for the exceptionally talented
Statues of Kim-Il Sung and Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang
Statues of Kim-Il Sung and Kim Jong-Il in Pyongyang