Alan Burton
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Alan Burton - Ullswater, The Lake District, 1964

In November 1963 or 1964 (I'm not exactly sure which year) I was placed on an Outward Bound Course at Ullswater in the Lake District for 4weeks. I joined Mummery Patrol on course 'U94'. and I have fond memories of being woken at 0600 hours each morning and going for a run in shorts and a vest with snow on the ground, followed up by a cold shower; we then had to clean our dormitory before sitting down to breakfast.

There was snow on the ground when we arrived and quite soon after, we were out on the Circuit Training Course finding out how unfit we were.

As a young lad of 16/17 it was the first time I had been taught to use a compass, read a map and learn First Aid, which has stayed with me for the rest of my career.

We all had a great time on expeditions, camping in the hills and one particular memory springs to mind whereby we were on a 3 day hike in the mountains and was caught out by strong winds of up to 80MPH which blew away our tents and we ended up sleeping in the roof of a cowshed on bales of hay with the cattle moaning and groaning all night beneath us.

We were also a local Mountain rescue team and I can remember on one occasion, we went off to rescue a sheep that was stuck on a crag on the side of a mountain. With great teamwork putting together what we had learnt and with leadership from our instructor we rescued the sheep and returned it to the farmer none the worse for wear who was very grateful.

In January of 1965 my company was approached by the Outward Bound Trust and requested that I join them as a Temporary Instructor at the Moray Sea School at Burghead, Scotland for 6 months. Not only did I use my skills that I had learnt at Ullswater, but also I leant new skills on the water. Sailing, canoeing and seamanship terminology.

At the Morey Sea School we were a Lifeboat Station with a fully equipped lifeboat and I can remember the dip & lug whaling boats that we sailed in the Moray Firth and canoeing in the freezing waters around Burghead,

Gordonstoun School (Where Prince Charles attended school) was nearby and on many occasions we were rock climbing and abseiling along side each other.