Bill Nicholls
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Bill Nicholls - Devon on Ashburton, 1970

I have some vivid Outward Bound Memories. It was one of the most memorable times of my life. I was an apprentice at Hydraulics Research Station which at the time was a minister of technology establishment. I was the lucky apprentice picked to go that year which it turns out was in November/December 1970, I had just turned 19.

On the way there I met with other lads going to the same place and some stories of what to expect came out but I never expected to be put right in the action on the day we got there.

On meeting the leader Mr Randle? we were taken on a five mile cross country round the estate and keeping clean or dry was out of the question, we were filthy a & wet by the end from going under a bridge in a water filled ditch. If we did not know what to expect we did after that baptism of fire.

During the next few weeks we went caving, (maggots crawl comes to mind) highlight was jumping of the bridge by the bottom of the drive. Climbing and abseiling of the cliffs at Brixham. Canoeing down the River Dart and hiking which was the build up to the big one at the end. I was the leader for that and plotted a zig zag route through Exmoor & Dartmoor taking in the high points totalling places. I ended up doing the map reading and cooking for the whole trek & I loved it and to top it all we won.

The last day was the event where we had to run cross country and do a tug of war which meant pulling a one ton block of concrete up and down ten times. We just seemed to get faster and every pull. Not sure how we did over all but I think we did well. I could tell more but it would take too much space up and you would fall asleep. Not sure what I took away from it other than having a great time and teaching me that being a member of a team and taking part it what it is about and not trying to go alone and failing.