Neil Spence
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Neil Spence - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1958

I was coming up to 18 when I went on the Course at Eskdale. I was an Engineering apprentice at the time. Working for Ford Motor Company at Dagenham in Essex.
I had never been in mountains before and was in awe of what I saw as the train approached the Lakes across Grange-over-Sands.
I absolutely loved the course of 28 days. It was the biggest event of my young life.
I was there in April 1958 on course number 81. I still have my Log book and some photo's. I was awarded the second class honours. I see from my Certiifcate that my chest measurement went from 35 at the start to 37.5 at the end.
The weather played a part in the course, there was still snow on the tops. The morning jump in the Tarn was extremely cold but I did it bravely as did all the others. The experiences out on the schemes were the highlight of the whole course. Climbing Bowfell Buttress in cloud and rain was brilliant when I got to the top. I remember that my instructor took off his climbing boots and climbed in his socks at one time. He gave me his boots to bring up wearing them around my neck. The solo scheme was a real test as you had no one to really on and from whom you could get encouragment. I am now retired, but will never forget the time I spent as a young man on Outward Bound.