Ian Sinclair
Back to alumni stories

Ian Sinclair - Devon on Ashburton, 1978

I have been involved with Outward Bound for many years since the 1970's, as a participant on a "specialist course" organised by Bulmers Leadership Training Programme at the OB Centre at Ashburton; as a parent of two daughters who both attended OB courses; with a son-in-law who has been an Instructor at OB Aberdovery, and as the Organiser/Secretary of the Solihull OB Association for over 20 years.
I first became aware of Outward Bound when we saw a poster adverting an Open Day at the Aberdovey Centre (the poster was in a shop in Machynlleth, and, as we were holidaying in a flat in Aberdovery, we thought we would go along).
From just casually seeing that poster, so much of my and my family's life was changed over the next 30 years !
What persuaded my daughters to get involved was buying a tent that OB was selling as being suplus to their requirements. From such small items, major events follow !
Jean went on a course at OB Aberdovey where her "tutor" was a police woman who had been involved with the hunt for the killer of "the Whittle girl" and who told gripping stories of the hunt for that killer. Fiona subsequently went on a (very wet) course at OB Loch Eil. Both survived the experiences & benefitted greatly.
My experience of OB came at a much later age in life, when I was already an Assistant Director of Legal Services at Severn Trent Water Authority. As I was the youngest & fittest (the Directors considered !!) (early 40's) of the Assistant Directors, I was sent on a Leadership Training course at OB Ashburton organised by the Training Department of Bulmers Cider.
I had survived being a boarder at a Public School, and had been on CCPR courses, but that OB course was an eye-opener to so many new people, activities & experiences, as well as sights & sounds.
It must have done me " a lot of good", as I subsequently went on to encourage many STWA staff to go on OB and Leadership Trust courses.
I devoted much time and energy in the following years to arranging many young people from Solihull to go on OB courses. Probably the most useful involvement was arranging, over many years, for young people from Forest Oak School (for children with "moderate learning difficulties") to go on a week's annual OB course at OB Aberdovey - the benefit so many of those "deprived" children gained from such courses was enormous.
There is much else I could write, but I am an enthusiast for OB and have derived much benefit & interest from my involvement with OB,certainly in my younger years !!