Alan Slatford
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Alan Slatford - Ullswater, The Lake District, 1971

I went to Ullswater April/May 1971 Sponsored by Ford Motor Co. I was an apprentice at the time and I guess it helped in giving me some leadership & team working skills early on in my working life. It also gave me the walking bug.
I returned there this June for the first time whilst on holiday in the lakes. Numerous changes have taken place.
I remember the early morning wake up call to run down to the lake, strip off and jump in off the jetty whilst in our birthday suits. Needless to say it was all male participation then. One morning the jetty was iced over and we thought we got away with it, No chance! down into the communal showers and on with the cold water, Brrrr!
One day we learnt how to do a Bivouac and late the next afternoon we were dropped off individually a few miles away to find a place to put one up, sleep in it and walk back the next morning. When I woke I was a bit damp as the frost on the under side of the bivouac had dripped on me but was still frozen to the side where my body heat hadn't reached, then I had to start the petrol primus, not easy I can remember.
It was at Scafell Crags that I found I wasn't keen on heights and didn't do well with the rock climbing. However, when it came to abseiling it was brilliant and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I could go on and on about the instructors the other members of Scott house and places we went to do things but I'll leave it there for another time perhaps.
There were many enjoyable things and some pretty hard stuff but I came off that course a non smoker, 10lbs lighter and the fittest I had ever been. On the last days we did sit ups and press ups to compare with what we did on the first full day. I achieved more than a hundred in both these at the end.
I did enjoy that first pint after nearly a month of abstinence greatly the first night home.