Galina was established in Hull in 1989 by Barry Matthews, a former English teacher & Head of Faculty, with seventeen years' teaching experience. At that time, the company specialised in freesale battlefield tours for adults, with clients booking on an individual basis, as well as providing tours for a number of school groups.
By 1993, Galina was carrying just over 1,500 passengers a year, providing school tours in History, English, Geography & French. On the adult side, the company had also become the Official Tour Operators to the Normandy Veterans' Association, a position we have been proud to hold to this day.
The founding of the company coincided with a number of major commemorative events that took place over the next few years. Chief amongst these were the 50th Anniversary of Dunkirk in 1990, El Alamein in 1992 & the 50th Anniversaries of Monte Cassino, the Normandy Landings & Arnhem in 1994.
After a successful career as a History teacher & Head of Department, Ian Matthews joined the company as a Partner in 1992 to assist in the development of the school tour programme. The classroom experience of both brothers is reflected in the emphasis Galina places on producing tours with genuine educational content that excite, motivate & appeal to students across the ability range.
In 1999, the partners returned to their roots in the north-west & established an office in the centre of Chester. The move to Chester heralded a time of steady growth for the company. The original school tour programme that had formed the basis of Galina's portfolio since the early nineties was expanded with the successful addition of several new subjects including Maths, RS & Music.
In 2008 Galina moved to larger premises in Chester & also installed a new computer system to provide a more efficient service to our clients. This new website will also provide far more tour support for teachers in the form of downloads to help with promoting & organising a tour as well as completing risk assessments.
Passenger numbers rose from 6,500 a year at the start of the millenium to 15,000 by 2010 & it is our intention to continue to develop new study tours over the next few years with the introduction of a programme of UK-based tours for KS3 students in the near future.
Galina became a limited company at the beginning of 2010. It remains an independently-owned concern with a distinctive approach to school travel, appreciated by a growing number of teachers across the country.