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Avril Kay Scase - Rhowniar, Wales, 1966
I was sent as a very shy 17 year old to Rhowniar at the end of August 1966 for a four week course by my employer, ICI Fibres; I was horrified that my travelling and work companion, Maureen, was to be in a different group . Slightly mollified by our �5 (!) spending money from the Company, our train journey from Gloucester to Towyn was not easy, missing a connection in Shrewsbury, being shunned by the local travellers speaking Welsh once we got up into the hills. Once we got to Rhowniar, however, I had a fabulous time, my love for Kendal Mint Cake has never dimmed (and I can't eat it now as I'm diabetic!) I met all sorts of young women, from all sorts of walks of life, we even had a crane driver with our group (something for the equal rights people to chew over in those days) and several from WD & HO Wills (Bristol) I remember the cross country with some amusement, I didn't want to do it as I'd never done it before, so I walked all the way - and wasn't last coming in! Whilst we were in the middle of a drama session, we were visited by Edward Heath. Our canoeing session in the estuary was cancelled as the weather was too rough, so our group was taken down the slate mines - where we encountered a group from Aberdovey OB School. Our instructors were not amused! Map reading skills, awakened in the Girl Guides, were honed to the point I have refused the offer of a satnav, on the basis that I'm quite capable of reading a map and I've got a tongue in my head. Anyone given the chance of an Outward Bound Course should take it with open arms, as I have never forgotten the experience and what it taught me about team work, how different people live depending on their background and the 'Serve' ethos. I have been active in the Royal British Legion and its Women's Section for almost 45 years and their motto is Service not Self. I have been a Welfare caseworker for them for 12 years, since retirement loomed early and happened 8 years ago.