Granville HORREY
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Granville HORREY - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1963

In June 1963, when I was aged 19, my employers, the Metal Box Company in Sutton in Ashfield selected me, to attend the Outward Bound Mountain School at Eskdale in the Lake District for a period of one month. Objective - character building and the importance of teamwork.

One hundred guys from all backgrounds were assembled. We were told that some came from Borstal Corrective institutions, but they were not identified - and in the event it did not matter.

Lesson one -on the first day a 6am start, a run round the lake and a shower under an icy waterfall dispelled any ideas that this was to be a holiday! We were split into teams of ten, issued with a non-waterproofed anorak, a 6'x4' bivouac sheet and basic cooking utensils. The teams competed against each other in various events - raft building, circuit training, cross-country runs etc. Drinking and smoking were strictly forbidden and under this routine our fitness quickly improved. Then came the punishing half-mile run up the fell. I ran it faster than I had ever completed a similar run on the flat; also I had never felt so sick in my life but I had made it - just.

That month had many challenges. I remember in particular one day after a long day's hike the instructor told us to drop our packs while he showed us the route he wanted us to take the next day for the 7 mile run. "You all do what I do," he commanded. Then he took off his boots and jumped over a low stonewall. There was a splash and when we peered over at him we saw that he had jumped into the beck. (A Spike Milligan phrase springs to mind "He's fallen in the water!" but we were the Goons) "I said 'do as I do'' he bellowed, "Jump". Some one shouted "but I can't swim". "By the time you are in, there will be plenty who can. Jump" ordered the instructor. So he did and thankfully did not drown.
After the basic training the teams were given a map and sent off unaccompanied on a three day expedition over the fells to a reach a given map reference. It rained heavily. What had been stepping-stones near Harter Fell were under water and little Dave, with his pack, lost his footing. We all had to jump into the water to pull him out. We pushed on and set up for the night. We had to take off our wet clothing, use dry ones for sleeping in, then put on the wet ones back on in the morning, with only our body heat to warm them - not nice! As we climbed higher Dave was shaking, incoherent and showing signs of hypothermia so we decided to take him down to base camp for attention. There was a good fire, Dave was given brandy and told to remain there. We all relaxed thinking we were in for a good night there too but it was not to be. We were told that, as it was still light, we should get back up to 2000ft, sleep in a sheepfold and press on in the morning.
Up on the high fells we met up with some chaps from the Ullswater Outwardbound who were better equipped with waterproofed anoraks and tents. Lucky them. Rex decided to set up his primus stove next his bivi entrance, boil an egg and then use the hot water for his porridge. His breakfast could then be eaten from the luxury of his sleeping bag. Having set up the stove he set off to the stream to wash. Yells informed him that his shelter had caught fire. We rescued his rucksack but our meager individual bivis became a communal one to accommodate him. By now we were comrades sharing our challenge.

It was on the last day of the expedition that the team experienced its first differences. We were on the last lap, in heavy mist, depending on compass bearing in a difficult area. There was a disagreement over which direction to take. The majority won and a wrong decision left us with an extra 12 miles to cover. Needless to say we were not the first team to finish and after a month's hard work, the Champions Award was not for us. However collectively as a team we had done our best and helped each other along the way. The Outward Bound's aims were achieved and we all carried the experience of challenges and human relationships away with us.
These experiences have certainly helped me throughout my working life. Maybe the best individual member of our team was a Borstal boy. Who knows? If so he was one of that and us and that is all that matters.
Regards to the team of '73.