Moray Sea School, Burghead Scotland
In October 1969 as an 18 year old Liverpool Police Cadet,I attended a month-long course at Moray Sea school. I have to say it was one of the most formative experiences of my life and I remember it vividly to this day. Amongst the police cadets I worked with, Moray always had the reputation for being the toughest of all the Outward Bound centres, and whether that was true or not, the regime and range of activities offered was demanding but really exhilarating; cold showers every morning, punishing physical workouts in "The Box" (gymnasium),judo, running up and down sand dunes, jumping into the sea from the "dipping lugger" - a type of sailing craft which we gave another name too which sounded similar! Of course there was the rock climbing and abseiling down cliffs into the sea edge, and the expedition in the Cairngorms, which in our case took place in 70mph winds necessitating holding onto the tent pole from the inside to stop it blowing away! Through all of these crazy exploits and more, under the guidance of our instructor, Nick Mahay, I somehow was awarded the Aberdeen Cup for the Outstanding Police Cadet on the course. Not sure why this happened, but partly I suspect because although physically the smallest, I was fiercely determined to prove myself in this most demanding of environments. No space to say everything here, but one aspect of the course stayed with me into my future career. On our Watch (we were divided into groups or "Watches", ours was Scott Watch) there was a young guy from the Midlands who he confided was on licence from Borstal. Myself and some other police cadets took him under our wing and supported him to get through the course as we knew it would help him with the parole board. I did become a police officer in Liverpool and stayed for a number of years, but then left to go to university and then to work with offenders and people with mental health issues. I qualified as a social worker and as a counsellor, went to Ethiopia to do charity work, and now (though semi-retired) work privately as a psychotherapist. So I can honestly say that my time at Moray certainly helped shape my adult life very positively. Thanks to all concerned!