Raymond Malik
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Raymond Malik - Other Outward Bound Centre, 1973

This was all part of working at ICI Dulux Paints in Slough. Two of us selected to go to the YMCA camp on the western shore of Lake Windermere that summer. The camp was equipped with half a dozen chalets, garden shed really with three bunk beds in each. Straw mattresses. About thirty on the course, run by a chap called Dick Ainsworth, ex marines, commandos, SAS or something, assisted by a couple of YMCA trainers, legs like treetrunks. Every morning was a run down to the lake, swim, FULL IMMERSION of sent back. Cold and green with algy. Then a shower followed by copious amounts of porridge. After that, chalet cleaning to military standards. Then the business of the day be it orienteering, rock climbing, map reading etc etc. After a week we were sent out for a few days on our own following a route through the lakes and hills. Everybody had heavy rucksacks and they thought I was mad taking the heaviest load with all the grub. As the week went on however, my pack got lighter as we chomped through it and theirs got heavier as everything became wetter. Made climbing up Helvellyn a lot easier. On the last night we had to plan a talk in front of the rest, on urban planning of all things. The last morning was spent constructing rafts out of old timber, ropes and oil drums then paddling across Windermere and back. That's us in the photograph prior to setting off. Wouldn't have missed it for the world.