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Barry Jones - Ullswater, The Lake District, 1969
I was a participant of Course U142 in August/September 1969. Gaining that small enamel badge gave me an immense sense of achievement, and made the privations of the previous 27 days all worthwhile! I kept in touch with one of my fellow Shackleton Patrol members (the only one who also had a southern accent!) for 3 years after our course, and returned 18 months later, camped in the grounds and were presented to the current course as "Old Boys". We were treated as personal guests of the Warden and his family, and discovered the secrets of the Staff Room! We climbed Helvellyn again, having previously climbed it as part of our 2-day "Tod" expedition - memorable because the Warden had volunteered the services of all 96 course members to carry 35 pounds of sand or cement to the summit in order that the drystone shelter cairn could be permanently constructed. This was in addition to the personal kit for the 2-day hike! My wife and I returned to the Ullswater School in the Summer of 2018, and were made very welcome. We were allowed the run of the buildings and grounds, and just had to check that the jetty (scene of the daily early morning naked plunge!) was still down at the lakeside. It was. On returning our passes to the Office I was amazed and delighted to be given another copy of the original course group photograph as well as the "Private and Confidential" Warden's insightful report on the course and its participants in general, as well as my own personal report! What treasures to obtain - after 49 years. One of my fellow patrol members on Course U142 made (even in that one month) a lasting impression on me, and I still find myself quoting his personal mantra "Do it and then it's done" often, and one of his touching poems was reproduced in the Warden's report. I would love to know what happened to him! Overall, I can't say that I enjoyed all my time on the original course, but with much hindsight and reflection, I think it was a profound and life enhancing experience. Barry Jones Apparently 8 stone 8 pounds on arrival and 8 stone 7 pounds on departure!