Michael Trebilcook
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Michael Trebilcook - Devon on Ashburton, 1967

I was sent on the Outward Bound course by the City of London Police at which time I was a Police Cadet. Upon reaching eighteen years of age, it was the “usual thing” for City cadets to go away for one month to an Outward Bound school or, if you were chosen, to go away on a maritime course on the schooner, Sir Winston Churchill. I went to Ashburton for the Outward Bound course in Devon. Slightly apprehensive of what the course would entail I can honestly say that all I learnt and went through on the course has stayed with me to this day.

It is a wonderful thing to know your strengths and weaknesses and I found both during my time at Ashburton. The favourite saying of the Warden was, “Stickabilty” and this has also stayed with me. If I start anything, I will always see it through to the end, however difficult it may be. I have passed this on to my three sons too and truly wish I had been able to send them on an Outward Bound course when they reached eighteen years of age.

Having read my “work book” I wish my writing and my English was better than it is shown and I am somewhat embarrassed by it. But saying this, I can compare how I was back then to how I am now and know that I was greatly improved by completing this course.

I am sixty five years of age now and still remember the four weeks I spent at the Outward Bound School. My instructors were Chris Fawcett and Charles Wells (whom we nicknamed, “Mary”) Both were committed to our success and they did extremely well. That’s me in the photograph, back row, second in from the left. I continued with the City of London police and retired after 30 years service at the rank of sergeant. I look back on life with pride of having completed an Outward Bound course and also have served in the City of London Police.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Trebilcook

Monday 29th May 1967 (1st day)

Arrived at Newton Abbott at 6pm and was picked up by a coach and taken to the school.

On making my bed up I was very surprised to find that each bed had five blankets. I expected to find two at the most.

The evening meal was very nice. Probably to impress people on their first day.

There are eleven people in Grenville, four of whom are police cadets.

Thursday 1st June 1967 (4th day)

Started off with rising at 6.30am and a dip in the river. After the dip, continued with my pre-breakfast duties. After breakfast at 8.30am, I finished off my duties by cleaning the two outside sinks.

At 9am were prayers and the weather forecast. At 9.30am we went on a walk to Hattor Rocks where after lunch we did rock climbing, abseiling etc.

We arrived back at the school at 4.45pm and at 5.05pm we started the “Run-About” for points. At 5.45pm we had a shower, followed by tea at 6.15pm (chicken).

At 8.10pm we were instructed on primus stoves and at 8.45pm, how to pack a rucksack. 9.00pm – cuppa followed by bed.

Thursday 8th June 1967 (11th day)

Got up at 6.30am and had a dip. Did the pre-breakfast duties and then had breakfast. At 9.00am were prayers and then we set out on our three day trek.

When we reached the place where we were to start, we tidied up an old mill house. Then we started our day’s climbing. We climbed until 4pm, then moved on to our campsite.

At the campsite some of us went into a stream for a swim as the water was very warm.

After putting up our bivouacs and having tea, we went to bed. Glad that that day was over.