Bob Beams
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Bob Beams - Aberdovey, Wales, 1966

Sent by Nottingham City Police as a Cadet, for which I am eternally grateful for being chosen. Fisher Watch, January 1966. Being woken at 6am with 'wake up wake up its a tropical heatwave outside' followed by PT and a cold shower. 'Character building' they said. The 4 day trek included Cader Idris. Learned many dirty songs. Was petrified of falling into the Dovey from the kayak - which had sheets of ice in the estuary. Survived the month feeling this fittest I had ever been. Interesting bunch we were, Police Cadets, merchant seamen to be, Borstal inmates. Still seems weired! A lad in our Watch told us he was in (Borstal) for stealing cars and was studying to be a motor mechanic (which we presumed would then equip him with the skill of 'ringing' the engines!). But we all got on, the cameraderie was fantastic, irrespective of our backgrounds. OBSS was a life-changing experience for me and remains to this day, the most amazing 4 weeks of my life. I got the Seal Club tie for the 6-hour survival submersion exercise. Thankfully I have never needed the technique ;-) I have just re-visited OBSS, 41 years later * and was given a copy of my Report - I had never seen it! Now I so want to thank our Instructor Peter Gurnell - does anybody know where he is. Or hopefully is. Peter must be in his late 80's now. Hope I am not too late to thank him for the nice words I have only just seen. * omg but the place has gone soft. Girls! 5 star Watch accommodation! No cold showers! The Wall is still there but has steps up the back! Caledon, W. Cape, South Africa