Richard Andrews
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Richard Andrews - Ullswater, The Lake District, 1967

I was a very young 17 year old when I attended Ullswater Outward Bound during the month of January 1967. I remember shortly after arriving being told three pertinent pieces of information/advice by the Warden Squadron Leader Davis. The first being words to the effect that due to the training and companionship we would never forget the date we attended; and to this date his words have echoed through the years. The second being that as January was always the coldest month we would be spared having to have a daily plunge in the lake but would have to take a cold shower every morning instead. Whilst the third message was that we would only be allowed one blanket to get us used to the outdoors during camping in the icy weather.

The cold shower was a mixed blessing as I still believe to this day that I would have preferred a cold plunge in the lake, which I understand is now taboo due to health and safety reasons.

Another message I remember was given later during our 4 week stay when the Squadron Leader informed us that he did not care much for modern pop culture but one record he did like was 'Walk Tall' by Val Doonican. Due to my youth I looked on this comment as being rather stuffy and pompous; but as one gets older one fully agrees with such sentiments.

I must say in all honesty that I had a love hate relationship with the course, as I missed the occasional shandy in my local public house in Greenwich, my ancient Bull Nose Morris 8 and my small circle of friends. However, that being said there is clearly no doubt in my mind that the strict but fair regime was necessary to get the best out of a large group of male teenagers which is clearly missing in today's society.

Richard Andrews
Shackleton Patrol