Margaret mossop
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Margaret mossop - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1950

My first recollections of Outward Bound were when I read in the local paper (The Whitehaven News) that they were buying Gatehouse Eskdale – the former house of Lord and Lady Rea. At this stage I was in the process of changing jobs, hoping for something nearer my home in Beckermet. I was then working at the Gordonstoun Prep School, based at Aberlowe House. I felt a secretary would be required at this new school, so I got in touch with Outward Bound at their head office and was given the name of Mr John Gwynne (the company secretary).

I met him on one of his trips to Eskdale. He was very interested in my application, but could not confirm anything until the warden had been appointed. In January 1950 Adam Arnold-Brown became warden, and approving of me confirmed my appointment.

As a buyer had already been appointed, I was seeing to the buying elsewhere – for amongst other things loo roll know as Watson’s Folly! These were housed in the Minstrels Gallery in the Staff Common Room. I had little equipment; a good typewriter, a lovely office overlooking the terrace, plenty of inkstands blotters – but no such things as stationary! It was early January and by that time we had all moved into the Gatehouse to get ready for the first course of boys in March.

Time went on and everyone was very busy. By the evening before the boys arrived we “Girls”; Matron Pam, Cook Monica and myself the Secretary all went out on the ropes course as a “tryout”. We were pushed and pulled around by Nick Walter, and then jumped into the Tarn for a quick dip, which was extremely cold! Things ran smoothly, summers being very busy running full courses. Wardens and Bursars changed; Adam was followed by Eric Shipton, who in turn was succeeded by John Lagoe and his wife Joan. The latter still visit me, so very nice to see them.

The School became a Mountain Rescue Centre, and when I hear the sirens going and blue lights flashing I think of my happy days at Outward Bound.