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Jerry Whitmarsh - Ullswater, The Lake District, 1978
I attended the first course of the year in particularly bad winter conditions. I met up with a couple of other Police Cadets. I enjoyed meeting up with others from very different walks of life; a lad from borstal, a keen cyclist from Bolton and a very tall lad from the Netherlands, who struggled with blisters are ones who stick in my mind. It was no disappointment that the weather was bad enough for the lake swim to be cancelled. Being the stretcher casualty lowered down a rock face in the snow and ice was certainly interesting. Despite the bad weather my biggest challenge was having to give a lecture from the stage. I chose my favourite sport of cricket and it seemed to go OK, as I had to wrap it up before I'd finished. The most notable event was very sad. An older chap overtook us walking his dog, while we were roped together on Swirral Edge. We heard whistles a short time later and the chap had come off the top of Helvellyn, nearly taking the senior course out who were climbing. We waited for ages, having to build a snow wall for shelter and later assisted recovering his body back to the services below. Overall an unforgettable experience in a beautiful part of the world I have returned to many times. This all came back to me as I was only thinking today that it is now approaching the 40th anniversary. Either I was very young; I am now very old or both! My only regret was I was very proud of my end of course badge and despite searching round my parents cupboards and loft I can't find it any more.