Back to alumni stories

Bob Newton - Ullswater, The Lake District, 1963

A cold shower and a healthy diet - ahead of the times!

I have much to thank Outward Bound for and I have retained everything from my time at Ullswater, including my log book, from which the later anecdotes are taken.

Roy Byfleet, our course instructor, was really great, and how well I remember his dog Coco, who went everywhere with him. From the warden down, everyone was really professional and dedicated, including the cook, Flora McDonald, who it was rumoured was a descendant of Bonny Prince Charlie!

Excerpts from my log book...

Thursday 11th April 1963

6.30am Almost flew out of bed this morning, last one out of bed gets 30 seconds extra in the cold shower ( Poor old Smith!)

8.00am Breakfast

8.45am Inspection - although we desperately needed 10/10, we were only able to get 9 � - well there's always tomorrow!

9.15am Rock climbing - left the school in a very happy mood, singing all the way to (NT) Gowbarrow. The climbing was very enjoyable and although I was not afraid, I experienced a sinking feeling when I thought my left foot was slipping.

Friday 12th April 1963

10.00pm Lights out

NOTE: Given up cigarettes - eat sweets in moderation and now told bread biscuits, cake etc, are no good for us. Thought: I want to be the first man on the moon - and probably by the time I get back, they will have invented some way of making life bearable - without eating dangerously!!...

What I have always remembered and gained from my Outward Bound experiences was that the system was utterly classless - it was a month of adventure, hard work and fun, and, if political correctness and over the top risk assessments could be removed, it would still give some of the poor kids from some of our deprived inner cities goals to aim for.

Perhaps I didn't get to the moon, but I've sat on the rocket many times ready to go.

(Bob kindly posted us this story and we have uploaded it to the website with his permission.)