G J Williams
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G J Williams - Aberdovey, Wales, 1958

I left school Christmas 1954 and joined the Midland Electricity Board as an apprentice electrician at Stoke. On March 1st 1958 they sent me to Aberdovey Outward Bound Sea School in Wales. I had never been on my own past Crewe before. Quite an adventure.

We were put into groups of 13 lads per watch. I was in Rodney Watch. We were allotted to a barrack type building, wooden with beds, toilets and showers. We had to keep it spotless. The course was also no smoking. We had all bonded within a couple of days.

We did courses and various lectures. We did map reading, First Aid, sailing, rowing cutters, sail cutters, knots. We went to sea for a three-day sail on the Golden Valley Sailing Ship. The sea was moderately rough. We did a four day mountain expedition and stayed in an isolated farmhouse at night and went to find different places in the day with a map and compass. There was still snow on the mountains.

We did a full day Cader Idris expedition. We travelled to Dolgelly by train then had to find our way back over the summit of Cader and back to school calling at various check points. Pretty tough day.

We did athletics, running, jumping, throwing and we had to do them in certain time etc. and were marked accordingly.

We had tests in everything we had done since we arrived. I was awarded Merit. The Awards were Honours, Merit, Membership.

At the Award giving some of the lads, with tears in their eyes, refused them because they admitted smoking.

A most memorable experience.

G J Williams