Peter Smith
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Peter Smith - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1955

On a cold winters day in February I changed trains at Crewe and felt a massive amount of home sickness. This was the first time I had been away from home and Crewe did not look inviting. My next train came an hour later and took me to Ravensglass. there I met up with the rest of the months intake and we were collected by lorry for onwards travel to the house, On arrival the obvious assumption was that we would stay in the house. No such luck we had the stables convertedd into accomodation. The first morning saw us in the showers (cold) followed by a run round the lake in shorts and singlets. Progress to breakfast and then all sorts of tests to prove fitness This system progressed through until Sunday when the ice was broken off the lake to allow us to jump in each morning instead of having a cold shower (What a bonus). We set off after breakfast for church and had the rest of the day to ourselves. Monday saww the first of the so called schemes. A trip across the fells to get useed to climbing and living out in the wolds. this trip was tthe leadeer to such things as mountain rescure, absailing and scree running. eventually we were gruoped in fives and threes to go for a few days to cover as many of the fells as pssible. our progress was watched each day and in the event that a fell was claimed on returrn that had not been climbed points were docked. I led one group and we covered a great distance over a three day period. Sleeping in the cornerrs of the stone walls using three capes for cover ground cover and form a tent. Teddy suits kept us warm leaving only a small slit to breath through when fully fitted. I do have the dubious honour of falling off Helvellyn but managed to dig in before going all the way down. Field events were played out on the frront lawn and a field test sent us off in our groups to collect a sheep, frog spawn and spring flowers. Bearing in mind the ground was covered in snow thesee were something of a problem. I cannot tell you what a wonderful experience this mont was and I have returned during holidays a number of times. It is something I would recommend to anyone in their later teens as it providees an insight to character and comradship. Peter Snith