Mervyn Buston
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Mervyn Buston - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1962

Outward Bound_0
I was lucky enough to be selected by Solihull Council to go on an OB course. I initially wanted to go to sea school as I was mad about sailing but they told me I would have to climb the mast and not being good at heights I selected Eskdale. I am not sure whether it was 1962 or 3 as my father was quite ill at the time and I did not keep a diary that I remember but I know the course was E125. I went with Clive Fewins from my school and the journey by train was an expedition in itself. I had never been on anything like it before but Clive was in the scouts. I can remember the first time we cooked with our mess tins and they expected them to be cleaned of all the soot from cooking over an open fire! I came across a couple of photographs when I was recently clearing out and have tried to locate some of the guys off Mallory patrol. I have read on another page about the whimsey I remember so well, 3 turns around was compulsory, and the inspection each morning of the dorms and the surrounding areas which I had to attend as QM of the patrol. We had to practise a "rescue" with a stretcher and a "victim" by absailing down the side of the mountain. We lost one member of our patrol very early on when he jumped off a low beam on the assault course and broke a bone in his foot so he had to go home and was promised another visit. The four day hike at the end of the course in your own patrol had also to be curtailed as I had managed to drink some infected water on an expedition which gave me violent sickness for 2 days. It must have been spring becasue we found an abandoned newborn lamb which I carried down to a local farm whilst one of my colleagues fed it condenced milk out of a tin from our supply.The solo expedition was fun too - 24 hours on your own with no other contact although we all camped close to the instructor. We had a concert on the last evening and our instructor had a thing going with the matron and we impersonated him in a sketch with a very risky closing line which caused a lot of mirth! Although I hated it at first, I never thought I would get up the first hill with a full pack, it was so good for character and for team building and have realised many times what a fantastic experience it was. Goose grease that we covered our boots in to make them waterproof still evokes many memories.As someone has commented the health and safety executive would have fit now if the courses were run along similar lines! I went back some 20 years ago but I dont know if it was closed for a break but there was nobody around to reminisce with. posted 19/04/2011