Geoffrey Sorsby
Back to alumni stories

Geoffrey Sorsby - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1958

596236 B9 3105 456 C B217 BD02 CA496353
I’m 80 years old and recently found my OBS badge which spurred me to write about my experience at eskdale in 1958 (could be 1957 memory fades a little)
I was apprenticed as a player/welder with a sheffield engineering company that manufactured steel rolling mills. I later progressed into the drawing office and retired as an electro/mechanical project engineer with another company
I remember a group of us arriving at the railway station late at night due to the train being delayed and no one was there to meet us somehow we got a message to the school and a Land Rover was sent to collect us. We were given a cup of tea and a sandwich and put into our patrol dormitories mine was Scott patrol. Our dormitory was the annex at the side of the main building and had 5 bunk beds.
The photo is our patrol a great set of lads and a very ecelect mix, police cadets, private school students, apprentices etc
After initial indoctrination a patrol captain, quartermaster and duty captain was selected. I was chosen as duty captain and was given an alarm clock and a horn. When our patrol instructor was on duty I had to wake him up and then go round all the dormitories waking everybody up, organise each patrol and set them off running around the tarn (5/8 mile I believe) and into the stable block where there was several shower trays and a tank of cold water above with a handle connected to a valve you had to stand beneath this and on command pull the handle and hold it for 10 seconds anybody that didn’t do it the whole group had to do it again (we could not swim in the tarn because of the fallout from the seascale nuclear plant a few years earlier
I remember the ropes course in the woods where I had the fastest time of our intake
Also the climbing scheme which I thoroughly enjoyed I even got our instructor to get a lieutenant who was on furlow from the Royal Navy submarines to take me up Napes needle on the side of Great Gable where I stood on top
I also have a memory of going back to the station by coach at the end of our month and clouds of cigarette smoke streaming out of the bus windows now we were free of our promise not to smoke during our course
Great memories