John Collins
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John Collins - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1961

I was an Apprentice Mechanical Engineer with Ford Motor Company. In 1961, aged 19, I was given the chance of a 4 week course at Eskdale. Having left home at 17 I was leading a very unfit life and was over weight. Well, 4 weeks at Eskdale soon changed all that! I came home minus a stone and looking so fit everyone remarked on it. I remember the early morning run around the lake and then being doused under a dam of cold spring water called 'The Wimsy' Not the best way to start the day. I remember long three day hikes seeing no sign of civilization. A 24hr solo hike sleeping under a sheet drinking from streams eating 'hard tact' biscuit all in all a very tough 4 weeks. In 2015 I revisited Eskdale and was made most welcome and boy how things have changed! I remember bunk room sleeping quarters but now replaced with en suite bedrooms! I found my original photograph with my wife recognising me as our youngest son looks so much like me. Thank you Eskdale and Ford Motor Company for an experience I will never forget.