Ronald Thompson

Centre

Eskdale, The Lake District

Date

1956

Your Story

(not sure that this is the exact year) I was a wimp, I was bullied, I was the middle child of eleven children and my father was a vicious drunkard, There really was no hope. I was nominated for an Outward Bound Course through the Colliery youth club and was sponsored by Morley Brewery in Nottingham. Terrified is hardly the word that summed up my first journey alone out of the small colliery village by bus and train to ESKDALE OBS .... What followed in the next four weeks was to change my life for ever. The comradery of boys in similar situations, patience, positivity and expertise of the OBS staff plus the fantastic and mind blowing experiences of mountain climbing, abseiling, bivvying and yes jumping into freezing cold water from a bridge, wow was I a wimp or what?. .. many, many things are still fresh in my mind ... how to read a newspaper, orienteering alone and in the pouring rain I was lost but determined to get back, 'freezing' on the rock face and being talked up. The experience has been with me for 60 years, it change my outlook, my life, my confidence. From a disadvantaged teenager with NO life experience or a positive future, I retired 25 years ago as the Director of Nursing of a University Teaching Hospital and I owe that to the Outward Bound Trust... Thank you guys. Ron Thompson