Ian Macdonald
Back to alumni stories

Ian Macdonald - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1970

As a 17 year old Lucas apprentice I was given the opportunity to attend Eskdale Outward Bound School in January 1970. Which when I was about to attend I was told that nobody from our Apprentice School had ever achieved a Wardens Badge (the silver one) which was only rarely given, with this in mind I set out making this objective my goal and put a 100% into everything I did eg I got a clear round on the obstacle and ropes course, setting what then was the record for the two lap running obstacle course around the lake (I don't know whether it still stands or not) I was third in the cross country which I was in the lead until getting a stitch not far from the finish. I was in Mallory group and our team leader I think he was called Phil asked me to lead our team in the climax of the course the 3 day expedition (I'm glad to say we all got back safely and in one piece) I do and will always consider this to be one of the best and proudest times of my life in achieving a Wardens Badge (which I treasure to this day) which still remains the one and only achieved by a Lucas apprentice 50 years later. In a nutshell I know the month I spent at Eskdale helped me become the confident man I am today and will always be thankful and cherish the opportunity that was given to me. Because it is 50 years to the month since I attended it has made me wish I had kept in touch with the lads I was on the course with and wonder how their lives have turned out. Perhaps writing this story it may get back to some of them I hope so and if it does my good wishes go along with this treasured memory.