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Peter Wright - Eskdale, The Lake District, 1957
I was an apprentice with Bristol Aero Engines when the Company sent me on a course at Eskdale. I thoroughly enjoyed my month at Eskdale although I could have done without the 6.00am shower in the cold mountain stream. I was initially quite apprehensive about rock climbing but I was taken solo on a quite difficult climb by our platoon leader, another name I cannot remember (be fair I am 78), who made it seem quite simple if you stuck to the rules. There was competition between the platoons with the platoon leaders keen to win the best platoon award. Each platoon had to put on a comedy sketch to entertain the staff. We did not have a clue what to do so the lads just pushed me on the stage and told me to just do something funny. I made it up as I went along and to my surprise was voted best act by all the staff. Platoon leader was pleased thank god. It was quite a tough regime for a 17 year old but never the less more than worth while. I would have been more than happy to stay another month. I was with a great bunch of lads in our platoon, the name of which again I cannot remember. I was actually awarded honours in my general assessment which came as a bit of a surprise considering how much we fooled around. My only regret was that I never took up the chance to go back and stay in the old boys hut. Being a first year apprentice I could not really afford the train fare and as time went by I never got round to it. My time at Eskdale really improved my confidence and I still cherish the memories I have of my time there.