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Thirty Years Of Camping With The Moulton Adventure Group

p.

MOULTON

A

G

THIRTY YEARS OF CAMPING WITH

THE MOULT

L ON ADVENTURE GROUP

*Compiled and written by *

GEOFF CROMPTON

A M

A

OSTLY

TL HUMOROUS ACCOUNT OF ANNUAL C

L AMPS FROM 1970 –

1999

Edited by Phil Ashton, Les Burgess and Daryl Mitchell

THIRTY

YEARS OF

CAMPING

WITH

THE

  • *

*THIRTY YEARS OF CAMPING *

*WITH *

  • *

*THE MOULTON ADVENTURE *

*GROUP *

  • *

*COMPILED AND WRITTEN *

*BY *

*GEOFF CROMPTON *

  • *

[*TELEPHONE CONTACT: 01606 76818 *]

  • *

[*CONTENTS: © GEOFFREY A. CROMPTON *]

  • *

[* FOREWORD: Harold & Mary Mitchell *]

  • *

[*Group Web Site: www.moultonadventuregroup.org *]

  • *

*All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a *

*retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, *

*photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the author *

*Geoffrey A. Crompton. *

  • *

  • *

[*First Printed on 5th May 2008 by: *]

*Book Printing UK, *

*Remus House, *

*Coltsfoot Drive, *

*Woodston, *

*Peterborough *

*PE2 9JX *

i

*FOREWORD *

All of our boys along with Diane our youngest daughter (the Group did not cater for girls

at first), loved going to MAG camps – they were so excited at the prospect of spending a

week under canvas. Our eldest son Wayne accompanied by his younger brother Michael

attended the first camp in the Lake District in 1970. Our third son Daryl loved the Group

so much that he went on to become leader and still leads the Group to this day. After

camp our children came back tired but always elated after having had such a good time -

they never stopped talking about it!

As parents, we encouraged our children to go to the Group for we could see how much

they enjoyed it and how much they benefited from it. It taught them discipline and helped

them to become more independent. Camp also gave them a good experience and training

for life. For example they learned how to cook and look after themselves. They were

involved in all types of outdoor activities including canoeing, boating, rock climbing,

walking, swimming and orienteering etc.

The Group helped them to develop leadership skills too, not only as part of a team, but

progressing on to lead a group. The Group also motivated and encouraged them to obtain

their Duke of Edinburgh“s Award. We are very grateful to Geoff Crompton, who deserves

a commendation for this book and for all he has achieved over the years with the children

of Moulton and the surrounding area. * *

Mary and Harold Mitchell – Moulton 2008

  • *

DEDICATIONS

This book is dedicated to the Staff and Instructors of the Moulton Adventure Group who,

for over 35 years, have unstintingly given of their time and energies to the young people

of Moulton village. May their efforts in some little way have helped to change the course

of many a young life for the better.

[*ALSO INCLUDED IN THIS DEDICATION ARE: *]

Harold Mitchell, without whose help and guidance the building of our Headquarters in

School Lane could not have been undertaken.

Mrs Edie Nelson and her friends who, over many, many years have raised thousands of

pounds for the Group. * *

ii

INTRODUCTION

This book is a mostly light hearted attempt to capture and illustrate the fun and good

fellowship enjoyed by Members and Staff over 30 years of camping with the Moulton

Adventure Group. To save embarrassment, the names of some Members featured in the

tales have been omitted.

[*A Personal View: *]

Living, as we now do in a „Nanny” State, controlled by governments, elf” n” safety and

politically correct bureaucrats, both elected and non-elected, it is most difficult for young

people to grow and mature into rounded, caring, responsible adults. Games with an

element of risk are now off the agenda; British Bulldog, Conkers, One ton, Tree climbing

etc are a few of the many that come to mind. Competitive games are now considered to be

taboo by many schools who believe that everyone should be a winner and that being a

looser will somehow scar a young person for life. These PC bureaucrats/educationalists

seem to forget that children need to be educated and at the same time learn that when they

enter the big wide world there will be winners and there will be losers and that they must

learn to overcome disappointments and move on – GAC. * *

From the very first Camp, the reasons for spending a week under canvas were clearly

defined. To help young people to:

1) Attain a degree of self respect.

2) Attain a certain amount of pride in their achievements.

3) Develop good habits.

4) Build confidence in their abilities.

5) Work with others as a team.

6) Become self sufficient.

7) Cope with adversity.

8) Have lots and lots of fun.

The original Objects, Promise and Motto of the Group are as follows:

[*OBJECT: *]

“To serve God and the community and to foster a spirit of adventure in young people”.

PROMISE:

“I promise to do my best to serve God and my fellow man, to honour my Queen and

Country and to live a clean, active and worthwhile life”.

[*MOTTO: *]

“We Serve”

iii

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

My sincere thanks go to Phil Ashton, Les Burgess and Daryl Mitchell for their remarkable

memory recall and for providing me with a vast number of the Camp tales from

yesteryear. Without their kind help the contents of this book would be much reduced***

May I also thank Phil for performing his computer magic on the numerous photographs

and illustrations throughout the book.

My gratitude is also extended to:

Those past Members of the Group who contributed some of the tales.

My friend, Diane Fletcher, for her help with the script and for proof reading the finished

version.

***Note: During the months preceding the publication of this book, Phil, Les, Daryl and I

had a number of sessions to try to recall the events of the past. However, and despite our

best efforts, we know that we will have missed many tales and omitted to mention the

involvement of some Members and Staff. May I apologise in advance for these

shortcomings. For myself, please put it down to old age and senility! GAC

*Around The Camp Fire *

  • *

iv

*CONTENTS *

  • *

*PAGE *

*TITLE PAGE *

*i *

[*FOREWORD & DEDICATION *]

*ii *

INTRODUCTION

*iii *

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

*iv *

*CONTENTS *

*v *

*ILLUSTRATIONS *

[*vi – ix *]

*THE VILLAGE *

[*x – xi *]

*LIST OF ANNUAL CAMPS 1970 TO 1999 *

*xii *

*SENIOR UNIFORMED STAFF *

*xiii *

*TRUSTEES, INSTRUCTORS AND ADMINISTRATORS *

*xiv *

*THE FOUNDERS, EARLY YEARS AND LATER *

*xv *

*CAMP ORGANISATION *

[*1-25 *]

[*1970 – ANNUAL CAMP DETAILWINDERMERE *]

[*26 – 31 *]

*1971 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CRICCIETH *]

[*32 – 35 *]

*1972 *

[* -DO- 2 CAMPS - CRICCIETH & LAKES *]

[*36 – 40 *]

*1973 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- WINDERMERE *]

[*41 – 44 *]

*1974 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CRICCIETH *]

[*45 – 48 *]

*1975 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- WINDERMERE *]

[*50 – 53 *]

*1976 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CRICCIETH *]

[*54 – 56 *]

*1977 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CONISTON *]

[*57 – 60 *]

*1978 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CRICCIETH *]

[*61 – 64 *]

*1979 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CONISTON *]

[*65 – 66 *]

*1980 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CRICCIETH *]

[*67 – 70 *]

*1981 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CONISTON *]

[*71 – 72 *]

*1982 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- ULLSWATER *]

[*73 – 75 *]

*1983 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- LLYN CWELLYN *]

[*76 – 79 *]

*1984 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CRICCIETH *]

[*80 – 82 *]

*1985 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- WHITBY *]

[*83 – 85 *]

*1986 *

[* -DO- 2 CAMPS - LLYN CWELLYN & LAKES *]

[*86 – 90 *]

*1987 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CRICCIETH *]

[*91 – 93 *]

*1988 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- WHITBY *]

[*94 – 96 *]

*1989 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- LLYN CWELLYN *]

[*97 – 99 *]

*1990 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CRICCIETH *]

[*100 – 102 *]

*1991 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- WHITBY *]

[*103 – 105 *]

*1992 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- LLYN CWELLYN *]

[*106 – 108 *]

*1993 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CRICCIETH *]

[*109 – 111 *]

*1994 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- BALA *]

[*112 – 114 *]

*1995 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CONISTON *]

[*115 – 117 *]

*1996 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- ANGLESEY *]

[*118 – 120 *]

*1997 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- NANT GWYNANT *]

[*121 – 123 *]

*1998 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- CONISTON *]

[*124 – 126 *]

*1999 *

[* -DO- *]

[*- ANGLESEY *]

[*127 – 129 *]

  • *

  • *

v

*ILLUSTRATIONS *

  • *

*Page *

AUTHOR

Back Cover

AROUND THE CAMP FIRE

iv

ROPE BRIDGE AT WHITBY

ix

SCRAMBLING

xiv

JAWSTHE SHARK OF BALA LAKE

xvii

THE FOUNDERS

xviii

MOULTONCIRCA 2000

xix

HEADQUARTERSMOULTON ADVENTURE GROUP

xx

PARENTAL INFORMATION FORMS – 1972

2-4

THE DREADED BOGS

7

PLAYTIME FOR STAFF

7

CAMP ORDERS – 1970

8

CAMP PROGRAMME – 1972

9

DAILY INSPECTION AND SPORTS TENT COMPETITION SHEETS

10

DAILY INSPECTIONDETAILED POINTS SHEETS

11

THE CAMP PENNANT AWARDED EACH DAY

12

DEAD ANTS

16

THE MUD LARK AFTER THE DEAD ANTS FORFEIT

16

THE FFESTINIOG RAILWAY

20

ON TOP OF TRYFAN

21

CAMP MENU SHEET FOR 1973

22

CAMP MENU SHEET FOR 1999

23

RETURNING FROM A WALK ALONG THE CLIFFS

24

GROUP MINIBUSES

25

BOAT HOUSE AND MARINAS AT FELLFOOT

30

FELL FOOT SITE

30

THE FIRST FOUR TENT COMMANDERS

31

vi

CRICCIETH CASTLE

33

TENTS 1, 2 & 3 – 1971

34

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1971

35

CRICCIETH CASTLE

37

THE ROLLED UP BRAILINGS OF THE BELL TENTS

37

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1972

38

RAY EGERTON – „DO YOU WANNA BE IN MY GANG?”

40

MORNING DIPSENIOR CAMP – 1972

40

STOCK PARK MANSION

43

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1973

44

ON PARADE

48

AROUND THE FLAG POLE

48

PUTTING THE MARQUEE UP

48

NURDLES IN FROM OF THE MAIN MARQUEE AND COOK TENT

48

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1974

49

TENT 1 & 2 AND THE SITE – 1975

52

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1975

53

CRICCIETH CASTLE

55

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1976

56

CONISTON SITE

59

THE DUKW OF CONISTON LAKE

59

THE DUKW WITH MAG ON BOARD

59

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1977

60

CRICCIETH CASTLE

63

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1978

64

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1979

66

CRICCIETH CASTLE

69

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1980

70

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1981

72

vii

ULLSWATER VILLAGE AND LAKE

74

INSPECTION – 1982

75

STARTING THE SLOG – 1982

75

THE CANADIAN ON THE LAKE – 1982

75

CROSS COUNTRY – 1982

75

OUTDOOR TABLE TENNIS – 1982

75

ERECTING THE STAFF TENTS – 1982

75

DERELICT BUILDING ON SITE AT LLYN CWELLYN

78

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1983

79

CRICCIETH CASTLE

81

CAMP COMPLEMENT – 1984

82

RIVER ESKWHITBY

84

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1985

85

SAIL BOARDING ON LLYN CWELLYN

87

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1986

88

PREPARING TO SET OUT AROUND WINDERMERE

90

STAFF & MEMBERS AT THE 1986 D.O.E. CAMP

90

STAFF AND MEMBERS BACK AT THE HQ – 1986

90

CAMP FUN PHOTO

92

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1987

93

THE LANDING PIER AT WHITBY

95

CAMP COMPLEMENT – 1988

96

SNOWDONIA

98

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1989

99

A TYPICAL STAFF MEAL GATHERING

101

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1990

102

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1991

105

LAKES AND MOUNTAINSLLYN CWELLYN

107

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1992

108

viii

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1993

111

KAYAK INSTRUCTION ON BALA LAKE

113

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1994

114

ROCK CLIMBING PRACTISE

116

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1995

117

THE SACRED URN CONTAINING THE ASHES

119

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1996

120

JUMPING OFF ELEPHANT ROCK

122

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1997

123

STRIKING CAMP FOR ANOTHER YEAR

125

THE BINGO CALLER“S ASSISTANT

125

CAMP COMPLIMENT – 1998

126

BEAUMARIS CASTLE

128

CHECKING THAT THE BUOYANCY AIDS WORK

128

CAMP COMPLEMENT – 1999

129

  • *

Rope Bridge At Whitby

ix

*THE VILLAGE *

Moulton Village stands in the heart of the Cheshire countryside between the towns of

Northwich and Winsford. It runs more or less parallel with the River Weaver and is

located on a ridge overlooking the vale. The 1086 Doomsday Book mentions that

‘Moletune’ was part of the estate of The Baron Richard de Vernon of Shipbrook. Roughly

translated from the old English the entry reads:

„Moulton. Leofnorth held it – he was a freeman. There is one hide paying tax. There

is land for 2 ploughs.

There is one villager and one smallholder who have 1/2 plough.

There is 1 acre of meadow; Woodland 1 league long and 1 wide; 1 enclosure.

Value was and is 5 shillings (25p)”.

In the middle of the 18th century Moulton and the surrounding area was purchased by the

France-Hayhurst family who took up residence in nearby Bostock Hall. The estate was

sold off during the 1950s. Bostock Hall was converted into flats in the late 90s.

Today (2008) the village boasts two places of worship; The Methodist Chapel dating from

1875 and The Parish Church of St Stephen the Martyr built in 1876. It has two pubs, the

Lion and the Travellers Rest; a County Primary School (built in 1894); village hall;

British Legion Club; Verdin Institute and the Moulton Adventure Groups HQ in School

Lane.

In 1801, the population of the village stood at 103. Since that time numbers have steadily

increased. By 1851 the population had risen to 328; by 1901 to 1004; by 1951 to 1218 and

by 1997 to 2330. In this current year (2008) the figure is in excess of 3000. The heart of

the old village, comprising Main Road, Regent Street, Church Street, Chapel Lane,

Chapel Street, Whitlow Lane and Niddries Lane is now surrounded by new estates of

houses, bungalows and flats.

Employment in the 19th and early 20th century was dominated by the salt industry and the

houses in Regent Street and Church Street were built to house the workers in this industry.

At dawn, salt workers would trudge up „the bank” from their homes, along the path past

the sand pit and down through the railway tunnels to the Newbridge Salt Works. Some

would walk even further and cross the River Weaver via the bridge to clock on at Falk’s

Salt Works. When Sir John Brunner and Ludwig Mond established their chemical plants

in Northwich, towards the end of the 19th century, men from Moulton sought jobs in their

factories at Winnington and Lostock.

  • *

x

During the early part of the 20th century life in Moulton was typical of many a country

village. Men worked on the land and at various trades in and beyond the village. Their

wives brought up large families in small houses – three children to a bed were not

uncommon. The 1891 Census repeatedly lists the occupation of the head of the household

as ‘Salt Boiler’. The job of a ‘Salt Boiler’ was to look after large open pans filled with salt

brine. He tended the fires under the pans and regulated the flow of brine into them until a

combination of time and heat produced the required crystal size. Various grades of salt

from ‘block’ through to very fine granular were made. The process could take up to a week

after which time the pans would be emptied, cleaned and the cycle repeated. It was hot,

steamy, sweaty, labour intensive work with the men stripped to the waist and wearing

clogs to keep their feet dry.

The population of the village increased slightly from 1100 in 1914 to 1150 or so in 1939.

In 1926 and later on in 1932, new houses were built at the entrance to the village. A new

numbering system was introduced affecting most of the properties in Main Road.

Although new people arrived they had little effect on the overall size of the village

population for by this time families had stabilised at approximately seven or below. Large

families of twelve or more were a thing of the past and women, in particular, were glad of

it!

1926 was a momentous year, for this was the year of the General Strike. It was also a red-

letter year for Northwich and the surrounding area. Brunner Mond and Salt Union, the

main employers of labour in the district, merged with other large chemical companies

throughout the land to form Imperial Chemical Industries Ltd (ICI). A new dawn had

begun.

Sometime during the early 1920s, at the height of the Depression, many men employed by

the salt industry in factories along the banks of the River Weaver were laid off. Being

desperately poor, they spent hours each week searching for coal on the local ash/ cinder

tips. They would return to their houses covered in coal dust & looking as black as „crows”.

The Village War Memorial stands at the side of Main Road on land donated by the Salt

Union Ltd after the Great War. On a raised plinth, the figure of a soldier with his rifle in

the ‘at ease’ position faces Regent Street, and surveys the houses from which many of the

46 men who died in two World Wars made their last journey.

xi

CAMPS 1970 – 1999

*GROUP CAMPS *

1970 WINDERMERENEWBY BRIDGE. (Lake site)

1971 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM. (Middle field)

1972 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM. (Middle field)

1973 WINDERMERESTOCK PARK MANSION. (Lake site)

1974 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM. (Top field)

1975 WINDERMERESTOCK PARK MANSION. (Narrow field)

1976 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM. (Middle field)

1977 CONISTON LAKEHALL FARM. (Lake site)

1978 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM (Middle field)

1979 CONISTON LAKEHALL FARM. (Woodland site)

1980 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM. (Middle field)

1981 CONISTON LAKEHALL FARM. (Lake Site)

1982 ULLSWATERSIDE FARM. PATTERDALE. (Lake Site)

1983 LLYN CWELLYNPLANWYDD. (River & Lake site)

1984 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM. (Railway field)

1985 WHITBYSLEIGHTS. (River site)

1986 LLYN CWELLYNPLANWYDD. (River & Lake site)

1987 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM, (Middle field)

1988 WHITBYSLEIGHTS. (River site)

1989 LLYN CWELLYNPLANWYDD. (River & Lake site)

1990 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM. (Middle field)

1991 WHITBYSLEIGHTS. (River site)

1992 LLYN CWELLYNPLANWYDD. (River & Lake site)

1993 CRICCIETHYNYSGAIN FAUR FARM. (Railway field)

1994 BALA LAKE. (River site)

1995 CONISTONHOATHWAITE FARM. (Lake site)

1996 ANGLESEYTANY BANK, DULAS. (Farm site No.1)

1997 LLYN GWYNANTHAFOD LWYFOG. (Lake site)

1998 CONISTONHOATHWAITE FARM. (Lake site)

1999 ANGLESEYDAFARN RHOS FARM. (Farm site No.2)

  • *

[*SENIOR CAMPS: *]

1972 WINDERMERE & ELTERWATER. YOUTH HOSTELLING.

1986 WINDERMERE-LOW WRAY FARM, AMBLESIDE

xii

*SENIOR UNIFORMED STAFF *

[*1969 – 1999 *]

STAFF:

GROUP LEADER

Phil Ashton

1984 – 1986

Alan Bennett

Les Burgess

1983 – 1984

Geoff Crompton

1969 – 1983

Pam Davies

Heather Donald

Chris Eatock

Madge Egerton

June Egerton

Rebecca Egerton

Adrian Fleet

Malcolm Fleet

Brian Holland

Mike Hubbard

Andrew Knight

Daryl Mitchell

1986 – 1993

Helen Mitchell

Teresa Mitchell

Rachel Moreland

1999 – 2001

Aden Pimlott

Andrew Preen

Simon Preen

Andrew Royle

1993 – 1999

Carole Royle

Michelle Royle

Richard Royle

Rachel Sharman

Monica Simpson

Alan Slack

Andrew Wilson

Ray Woodrow * *

xiii

*TRUSTEES, INSTRUCTORS *

[*AND ADMINISTRATORS: *]

  • *

Ken Adamson

Alan Burgess

John Gough

Mike Stephenson

Phil Ashton

Les Burgess

Harold Mitchell Walter Watkin

Tom Bennett

Geoff Crompton

David Nelson

Mr Wyath

Alan Brown

Tony Darlington

Irene Nixon

Bob Brown

Jack Denton

Mr Rumble

  • *

*Scrambling *

  • *

xiv

*THE FOUNDERS *

*GEOFF CROMPTON *

In the mid 60’s Geoff, who then worked for ICI at Runcorn, was transferred to a new job

in Northwich. After two or three years travelling to and fro from Runcorn to Northwich,

he and his wife, Lois, took the decision to „up sticks” and move to Mid-Cheshire with their

two year old daughter, Gillian. They purchased a bungalow in Eaton View, Moulton and

settled down to enjoy village life.

Having spent most of his younger life as an Officer and boy in the 1st Widnes Company of

the Boys’ Brigade and been instrumental in forming a new BB Company in Runcorn in

1959, Geoff was no stranger to voluntary youth work. In 1968, having seen that there was

little to do for young lads in the village, he approached the Elders of the Methodist Church

and asked if they would be interested in the idea of his forming a new Youth Organisation

in the Chapel Hall on one evening a week. The Elders of the Chapel were delighted and

gave the scheme their blessing.

Geoff then had a problem. Did he have the time to run a BB Company and all that that

entailed, or should he form a new hybrid group more suited to the time he had available?

He decided on the latter course and with the help of his wife deliberated long and hard

about the form the group should take. After much thought he came up with the notion of a

group centred around three main tenets: 1) Christian principles, 2) service to the

community and 3) adventurous activities.

Lois thought up the name for the new organisation – ‘The Moulton Adventure Group’ and

Geoff worked on the ‘Object’, ‘Promise’ and ‘Motto’. A crest, basic uniform and badge

system was devised and armed with these Geoff started to „beef up” the detail and to plan

the activities.

Much taken with the concept of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme whilst in the BB,

he contacted the Chairman of the local D. of E. Award Committee, Mr. Doug

Myerscough, Headmaster of Rudheath County Secondary School.

A meeting was arranged, and it was during this meeting that Geoff struck gold, for he was

told of a young married man, Les Burgess, a Gold D. of E. Award winner at 17, who had

recently moved into a bungalow on Weaver Grange, not 70 yards from where he lived! On

the following Sunday afternoon, Geoff knocked on the door of ‘Tryfan’ and a friendship,

which is still strong to this day, was formed.

NOTE: Lois died in June 2004.

xv

*LES BURGESS *

Les first completed the Bronze and Silver Duke of Edinburgh“s Awards while still at

Rudheath School between 1957 & 1959 under the guidance of Mr. Doug Myerscough, the

Headmaster, who was running the scheme. He completed the Gold Award aged 17 in

1961 while working as an apprentice with British Railways in Crewe. After completing

the Gold Award he and his climbing partner, Charles Lishman, joined the Mid Cheshire

D. of E. Committee, run by Colonel Denton and Doug Myerscough. As Expedition

Trainers, they trained scores of young men, and latterly young women, to pass their

Bronze, Silver and Gold Award Expeditions. For 30 years Les served on the Committee,

latterly as Chairman. He finally handed over the reins in 1991. Les also had time to

participate in a Mountaineering and Cultural Expedition to Poland and Slovakia over 2

months in 1965, led by Lord Hunt of Everest fame. Meanwhile, after setting up home in

Moulton village in 1967, he was approached by Geoff Crompton with a proposal to start a

Youth Group for boys in the village.

  • *

*THE EARLY DAYS *

During the early part of 1969 Geoff and Les scrounged around for money and equipment

to enable them to run the Group. They managed to pick up a much used vaulting box and

springboard from Sir John Deane“s G.S., a set of parallel bars from Cuddington Youth

Club, an old mattress and various other „bits and bobs”. By now, news of the new Group

was out and two others were encouraged to help, Ray Woodrow and Tony Darlington. In

addition, two 17 year old lads, stepped forward and asked to be included – Alan Bennett

and Andrew Knight. By the end of 1970 Malcolm Fleet, Aden Pimlott and Alan Slack had

also swelled the Staff ranks.

So, on an evening in early October 1969, the Moulton Adventure Group opened the

Chapel Hall doors to their first nine recruits – and the rest is history. The Group“s first

home was the Methodist Hall, in Chapel Street.

The Group is now 39 years old and still a source for good in the community. Things have

moved on but the basic principles are more or less the same.

During the late „70s and „80s a small number of Staff and parents, led by Harold Mitchell,

toiled for seven years to disassemble, transport and erect a two storey building, donated by

Messrs L Thomason & Co., from a site at Shell Ltd, Carrington. This fine building, which

was acquired by Alan Slack, is now the Groups Headquarters in School Lane, opposite the

Primary School and is valued today in excess of £200k.

xvi

LATER

In 2002, after 33 years service with the Adventure Group and 15 years with the Boys”

Brigade in Widnes and Runcorn, Geoff retired from active voluntary youth work.

However, he is still involved with the village having written two books of dedication

entitled ’34 MEN’ and „ANOTHER DOZEN” to honour the men of Moulton who died in

both WW1 and WW2. All proceeds from the sale of these two books are for service

charities. Geoff is a member of St. Stephens Church and also Secretary of Moulton Royal

British Legion. In 2005 Geoff started to research material for this book. In the same year

Geoff was invited back by the Management of the Group to act as Resource Officer

(Scrounger) to raise money for equipment and the like. He finally „threw in the towel” as

2007 came to a close.

Les, who still works hard for the youngsters of Moulton, is currently the Group Treasurer

and serves on the Management Committee. Although he is coming to an age when most

youth leaders put their feet up, he still enjoys the challenge and wants to carry on giving

what he can to the youth of Moulton and the surrounding area for some years to come.

[*„Jaws” – The Shark Of Bala Lake *]

xvii

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xx

*CAMP ORGANISATION *

  • *

SITE SELECTION:

Good planning is an essential ingredient for a good camp with the first requisite – a good

site. Time and energy needs to be expended to ensure that the chosen venue is right for the

needs of the Group. Usually, this means a day or a weekend away in the months leading

up to Christmas. Staff charged with this task will search for a well drained, flat field with

room for games. It needs to be close to water for swimming and boating etc, near to hills

for walking & climbing and with good vehicle access. It must be near to retail

suppliers/medical facilities and last but not least have affordable site charges.

  • *

*PREPARATION *

  • *

It will come as no surprise that Staff look forward to and enjoy Camp just as much as the

youngsters. An illustration of this occurred one night in January one year when Group

Leader, Daryl Mitchell, asked the assembled parade to indicate if they intended to attend

the Annual Camp in August. Before the Members could answer, Daryl said „You should

all quite clearly understand, that whether you go to Camp or not is incidental – the Staff

are going!”

Chores prior to Camp include:- compiling and distribution of Camp forms to parents;

equipment checking, cleaning and servicing; menus planning; preparation of grocery

orders and their collection; tables/benches etc to be borrowed or hired; vehicle to be

arranged (Local Hauliers to be persuaded to donate, later Rolls Royce Ltd supplied the

vehicle); tent collection; Members and Staff allocated to cars/mini bus/ vehicle; Members

allocated to tents; tent Commanders and seconds selected; Camp rules and orders stressed.

Over the years, loading the vehicle on Friday evening became a well organised event.

Tentage was stowed at the front of the vehicle with robust kit over the base. Fragile gear

was then placed on top. A human caterpillar was used to carry the camp gear from the HQ

to the vehicle parked up in School Lane. Having loaded the lorry the whole load was

tightly secured and made ready for departure early the next day. The kudos of being

selected to travel with the driver to camp became a much sort after perk by junior

members of Staff.

1

Departure on the Saturday morning was sometimes a tearful event for some parents but

often a very joyous one for others – peace perfect peace – and for a whole week!

On arrival at camp the lorry was quickly unloaded to enable the driver to depart the site as

soon as possible. Similarly on the last night of camp preparations were made for unwanted

gear to be made ready for loading on the vehicle as soon as it arrived on Saturday

morning.

  • *

[*Parental Information (1 of 3) *]

2

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[*Parental Information (2 of 3) *]

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3

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Parental Information (1 of 3)

4

*ARRIVAL ON SITE *

  • *

By far the most difficult day of Camp is the first. Regardless of the weather, sleeping tents

must be erected, marquees hauled up; bogs and pits positioned and dug, gear stowed, flag

staff erected and finally a meal prepared. It“s a question of all hands to the wheel with no

„shirkers”. For this reason the youngster“s tents are always erected last so that they have

no place to hide from the graft.

When a group vacates a site and their „bog” pit is filled in, it is usual to tie a couple of

sticks together in the form of a cross to mark the ground as unsafe. One year, the two man

team allocated to digging the pit, noticed one such cross stuck in the ground in the corner

of the field. Intrigued, and not knowing what the cross represented, they decided to

investigate and released the foulest mess and smell imaginable.

On another occasion the team laboured long and hard on the pit, only to discover that the

water table in that area of the field was so high that within hours it was full to the brim,

They then had the job of having to dig another hole elsewhere.

Of course, despite the mayhem of the first few hours, there is always time for good fun

and laughter. Often this takes the form of playing tricks on first time campers. For

example the need for a long stand; a rubber mallet to hammer in cracked pegs; brailing

rollers; buckets of steam for the steam pudding; sky hooks to erect the Marquee and even

pigeons milk from the local Post Office! Most children are gullible enough to fall for this

Camp folklore and in their turn revel in playing the same tricks in later years on others.

Myth: The main poles of the marquee must always be aligned in the direction of Criccieth

Castle….

  • *

*CAMP ROUTINE *

  • *

If a Camp is to run smoothly it must have a daily routine allowing for some flexibility, but

also containing times which are sacrosanct. Daily Inspection is one of these with

Breakfast another. Generally, the first person to rise is the Duty Officer at around 06-30.

Firstly, he makes a brew for his duty section and then cajoles them into shaking a leg at

06-45. At 07-30 the rest of the Camp is persuaded to see the light of day. Sometimes this

can be difficult and requires a degree of coercion. For instance, it is not unknown for the

occupants of a reluctant tent to be dragged into the middle of the field, still in their

sleeping bags, and threatened with a cold water splash.

5

To help build team spirit whilst performing their weekly stint on fatigues Staff sometimes

encouraged their fatigue teams to adopt a „theme” dress code. Over the years fatiguer“s

have dressed as Pirates, Canoeists, and Rock Climbers etc.

Breakfast bacon has, and always will be, a bone of contention at camp. Some like it crisp

whilst others prefer it raw and soggy (No guesses as to the writers choice!!). Dependant

on who is on duty the bacon is fried to their liking. This usually results in much banter

over breakfast between the „Crispies” and the „Soggies”.

Tent Commanders are expected to organise their tents to ensure that everything is „ship

shape” in time for Tent Inspection at circa 09-30. Spuds are peeled, ground sheets brushed

and washed, brailings rolled, tent pegs and guys checked, litter cleared, kit placed in line

outside the tent (inside if wet) with sleeping bags neatly folded and gear stowed in

rucksacks etc. Tent Commanders then ensure that everyone has had a wash and is dressed

in their uniform top etc. Finally, and just prior to Inspection, the Union and Camp flags

are raised at the flag staff.

From the first camp in 1970 and until the beginning of the millennium, it became tradition

for the Group to hold a swimming parade at 08.30 hours. There was always a three line

whip on this parade with very few excuses accepted! Duty Staff led by example and

entered the sea, river or lake waters first, having previously marked the swimming area

with safety buoys etc. Some Members required a deal of persuasion to enter the waters.

One young lady springs immediately to mind, Andrea Edgerton, who would walk up and

down at the waters edge psyching herself up for the ordeal ahead. Her demeanour much

resembled a weightlifter confronting the bar before attempting the lift. Eventually Andrea

would pluck up sufficient courage to creep slowly into the water until it was just deep

enough for her to take her dip. Immediately after she had wet herself all over, she would

flee with her towel wrapped around her, as though all the devils in hell were on her heels.

The long tradition of the 08.30 morning dip is now, sadly, a thing of the past. As the new

millennium got under way a decision was taken to discontinue the custom. It is said that

some lady members of Staff, objected so strongly to having a cold dip before breakfast

that Daryl Mitchell, the Group Leader, finally succumbed to their pressure –poor dears!

After Swimming Parade, Breakfast and Inspection, Camp Bank opened to allow Members

to draw sufficient funds for the day ahead. Tent Inspection involved the awarding of

points in four specific areas, 1) Tent and surrounds. 2) Personal cleanliness. 3) Peeled

potatoes. 4) Personal equipment. On completion of the Inspection, the Duty Officer

presented the camp pennant (made by Mrs Rumble in 1970 and still treasured to this day)

to the Tent Commander. During „on site” days little cash is required, aside from a limited

amount for goodies from the tuck shop which opens after dinner in the evening.

Note: The rest of Camp routine can be viewed on the old (1972) programme that follows.

6

[*The Dreaded Bogs – 1986 *]

*Playtime For Staff *

7

*CAMP ORDERS *

  • *

8

*TYPICAL CAMP PROGRAMME *

*AND POINTS RECORD SHEET *

9

*DAILY INSPECTION *

*POINTS RECORD *

10

11

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*The *

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Awa

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Da

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12

*CAMP FIRES *

  • *

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Without doubt, one of the most popular events at camp is the „Camp Fire”. Traditionally,

these take place on Monday and Friday nights at around 9-30 pm. Dead wood is collected

on the shore or in the woods. In the days preceding the Camp Fire, Staff feed the

imagination of Members by letting slip scary snippets about the ghost story.

Benches are brought from the Marquee and the fire lit, often with the help of a goodly

dose of paraffin if the wood is damp. If it is too wet to hold the event in the open then it is

switched inside to a darkened Marquee with gas rings and storm lamps providing the only

light.

When everyone is settled and the fire burning well the sing-along begins with the ever

faithful song „Camp fires burning", followed by such old favourites as:- „There"s a hole at

the bottom of the sea”; „Lloyd George knows my father”; „Ging gang goolie”; „Ten green

bottles”; „Quarter master stores”; „Green grow the rushes Oh!” and countless others.

Finally and after a jolly good sing along each tent is charged with entertaining the rest of

the Camp with their tent item. Some items are exceptional, some not so good. One in

particular springs to mind, Raymond Egerton standing behind the camp fire, all kitted up

in his „skin head” gear wearing his bovver boots and singing „D“ya wanna be in my gang”.

After the tent items, comes the turn of the Staff to do their bit. For instance „Three wheels

on my wagon” went down well and this Staff review from the 1995 camp at Coniston,

sung to the tune of Cumby yar, was a hoot with everyone:

Come by car to camp, come by car

-Ditto x 2 –

Oh Lord, come by car.

Lorry stuck on field, get the tract-or

Ditto x 2 –

Chill out Andy, chill out Phil.

Kayley“s crying Rache, she wants her Ma.

Ditto x 2 –

Oh Kayley shut your face!!

Bog tents flown away, not too far

S H one T, on the floor

„Get the spade” said Phil, „treats in store”

Lovely toilets, give me more.

13

Eddies gang of three like their jars

Better stick to coke, after dark

If they drink too much, can“t play cards

Stick to Snap, it“s not too hard!

Want my Cheerio“s, it“s not fair

Don“t like sausages, but I want my share

Give me junk to eat and I“ll not care

Oh Mummy, are you there?

Perfect 20 points for Jimbo“s tent.

Never done before, was heaven sent.

Flagpole fell to ground, as you“d expect

We“re not worthy, show respect

If you“ve enjoyed this camp, go by car

To Snowdonia, not too far

Make your mind up soon, ask your Pa

Until then from us, „Ta – ra”.

The monologues of Stanley Holloway are always popular and who will ever forget „The

Lion and Albert”, „The Battle of Hastings”, „The Runcorn Ferry”, or „Sam Small”. After

the Staff contribution, hot cocoa and biscuits are served and spuds incinerated in the ashes

of the fire. Finally, the ghost story. Everyone is asked to calm down, to look into the

embers of the fire and to let their imagination run riot. Two ghost stories are told at each

camp, on the Monday and Friday night. Sometimes they are in two parts, sometimes

separate stories. More often than not they involve the field or locality where the Camp is

taking place. One night at Criccieth, in the early 90“s, Geoff was stuck for an idea for his

Ghost story so he decided to repeat the story he had told in 1971 of „Goronwy the Red”.

The story went down well, but on the following morning a little boy approached Geoff

and said „Mr Crompton, that ghost story you told last night wasn“t right”. Surprised, Geoff

retorted „What do you mean „wasn“t right”, how would you know?” „Well, said the little

boy, my Dad came to camp with the Group many years ago, and he has been telling that

story to the family for years!” – Moral for the future, never repeat a ghost story.

Some others that spring to mind are:

The Hand of Miss Bradfield, PC Hugglesthwaite, The Criccieth Ghost Train, The Atomic

Rat, Tony Darlington, The Hanging Vicar of Fell Foot, The Tomb of „Natas” etc.

14

*CAMP SONG *

  • *

At the very beginning it was thought that it would be a good idea to perpetuate the

memory of Camp by having a „camp song” and recalling a memorable event from each

Camp in verse. It was agreed that a good tune to build the song around would be „John

Brown“s Body” and that an introductory verse should first be written. Some memorable

verses are:

1) The Moulton Adventure Group was formed in “69….. x 3

And now it“s doing fine…..SUBLIME.

1969. We caught our Jeremy chopping at the trees……x3

But he ain“t going to chop no more…..ENCORE.

1970. John and Tony swam across Lake Windermere…..x3

But Chris got stuck halfway…..HURRAY.

1971. Goronwy the Red kept the juniors out of bed…..x3

And he walks Criccieth castle even now…..KPOW.

1977 We had a ride upon a Duck in 1977…..x3

But we had to pump it out all the way…..HURRAY.

1982 Richard got his just deserts in 1982…..x3

When he was covered with cow pooh…..PHEW.

1985 The Red Arrows came and entertained us…..x3

At Whitby “85.

1997 In 1997 we gave ourselves a shock…..x3

When we jumped off the Elephant Rock.

1999 We saw the sun eclipse at Anglesey „99….x3

When the sun and moon combined.

  • *

Note: For a comprehensive list of all of the verses go to the Groups web site at:

www.moultonadventuregroup. org

  • *

15

*DAYTIME GAMES *

  • *

Good fun and games are an integral part of Camp. Aside from the usual cricket, football,

baseball etc some strange activities have crept into the programme. For instance;-

„Dead Ants”

Introduced to Camp by Malcolm Fleet this game involves the selection of a Dead Ant

King/Queen for the day. He/she is allowed to shout „Dead Ants” on three occasions during

the day. On hearing this call, all Members, not engaged on fatigues or, on the „bogs”, run

from wherever they are to the flag staff, drop onto their backs, and wave there legs in the

air, rather like dying ants. The call once went out in the main street of Criccieth and

visitors were amazed when 30 to 40 children and adults dropped onto their backs and

started to wave their legs in the air.

„Scram”.

Much the same as the above but this time members have to hide as quickly as they can

from the sight of the „Scram King/Queen”.

The last to arrive at the flag staff or to hide away has to pay a forfeit. This can take the

form of running a water gauntlet, being coated in mud or even having sea weed wrapped

around them on the beach.

  • *

  • *

*Dead Ants *

The Mud Lark After A Dead Ants Forfeit

16

Nurdles”.

A twenty yard cricket style pitch is paced out (15 „giddles” to be exact) with a triangular

„tudge” made up of three large tent pegs hammered into the ground at each end of the

pitch. Two opponents then position themselves at each end of the pitch armed with three

„nurds” (wooden mallets). The object is to throw the „nurd” so that any part of it

encroaches into the „tudge”. If a dispute arises then the „Tudge” Judge is called to arbitrate

with his „tudge” stick. On occasions an „Inthlog In” is achieved. This happens when the

shaft of the „nurd” embeds itself into soft ground within the „tudge”. Conversely an

„Inthlog Out” occurs when the same thing happens outside the „tudge”. „Headthlogs” also

occur on occasions, but this is rare. If someone inadvertently walks into the playing area

then a shout of „Slung” must ring out.

Daryl Mitchell was once tasked in an English Language class to prepare and deliver a talk.

Not being a very keen pupil Daryl did nothing about his project. On the day appointed he

was called forward to do his bit. Not having prepared anything he was in a fix and

thrashed about in his mind for something to talk about. Suddenly inspiration came; he

would talk about the game of „Nurdles”. This he did and at the end gained the highest

mark with 18 out of 20.

  • *

„Murder Ball”.

A large tent bag is placed at each end of a 50m. square pitch. Two teams are selected and

a rugby ball is placed in the middle of the pitch. Each team then stands behind their

respective tent bag. When the whistle blows they race forward, try to pick up the ball and

place it on their opponents bag at the other end of the field. There are no rules, aside from

the obvious i.e. no dirty play. It is much akin to the Eton Wall Game – hence the name of

the game – „Murder Ball”.

  • *

„Tug of War”

Needs no explanation.

  • *

*Staff v Members. *

These are generally light hearted games of cricket, baseball etc between Staff and

Members. However, there are always exceptions and one springs to mind” a cricket match

at Stock Park Mansion, Windermere. The Staff team comprised both Senior and Junior

Saff. The Members team was determined that they were going to win at all costs. They

even employed their own body-line bowler by the name of Charlie Vernon who

attempted, and pretty near succeeded, in maiming some of the Staff. The Staff batted first

and in the face of the assault from Charlie scored very few runs until Ray Edgerton

reached the crease. See full account of this game under 1975, Windermere.

17

*NIGHT GAMES *

  • *

A favourite activity with all those who attend Camp, including Staff, is the night or wall

game. Youngsters do like to chase about in the dark and so, these games are often played

after cocoa and biscuits.

One of the most popular is the „armband game”. Two teams are selected. One remains in

the Marquee whist the other is allowed 5 minutes to hide within a designated area. The

Members of this team are fitted with plastic arm bands. When the 5 minutes are up, the

catching team goes about its business and, whenever they catch an opponent, they snatch

off his/her armband. The opponent is now dead and must retire to a prepared square in the

middle of the site, lit by a storm lantern at each corner. When both teams have completed

their 10 minute run the arm bands are totted up and the winners declared.

  • *

*THE CROSS COUNTRY RUN *

  • *

Dependent on the persons involved, this activity receives a very mixed reception. Some

love it whilst others hate it. Some excel to such an extent that they surprise everyone

including themselves. Others do the minimum by walking around the course.

Nevertheless the Cross Country run is an integral part of Camp. The course is usually less

than two miles long over rough paths and sometimes through water. At one point, at

Criccieth, the runners are directed around a large rock standing in the shallows and about

ten yards from the shore. Staff are posted along the route to point the runners in the right

direction. Usually this is a fail safe system but on one occasion it backfired when the

leading runner reached a point on the route before the Staff member was in place. Result,

the leading runner, Matt Burgess, headed off in the wrong direction and in consequence

lost the race. Matt was a very, very angry young man that day and could not be consoled

by either his Dad, Les or his younger brother Richard.

  • *

*NICKNAMES *

  • *

Youngsters do like to give each other nicknames. Some that come to mind are: „Blodwin”

(Welsh connection), „Daz”, „Didger” (Australian connection), „Sticker”, „Panhead”

(Because of his hair style), „Jez”, „Duckegg”, „Jimbo”, „Muzza”, „Sticklet” (Brother of

„Sticker”), „Knocker”, „Penguin” and many more. * *

18

One member of Staff, Geoff to be precise, always had difficulty in remembering names

and would address the youngsters as „Egremont”, „Rachmaninoff”, „Gonzales”, „Gladys”,

„Gemima”, or any other silly name that sprang to mind. Nobody took offence for these

names were used with affection and often raised a good laugh.

  • *

*STAFF LEISURE *

  • *

By the mid 70“s the Group was flourishing and well respected in the village. It had a

waiting list of youngsters and had attracted more Staff who had been waiting for someone

to take the lead. The Methodist Chapel Trustees then agreed to an additional night each

week. Tuesday night remained as Parade Night with a Club Night one night of the week

(Table Tennis, Darts and board games etc) and a Judo Night the following week. Alan

Slack took charge of the Club Night and Bob Brown the Judo Night. This effectively

meant that some Staff saw little of each other over the year. The solution, a Staff meal,

and what better place to have it than at Camp when most of the Staff would be together

anyway?

A good idea in theory, but regrettably, impossible to achieve, for it meant that at least two

members of Staff would have to stay on site whilst the others retired to the local hostelry.

Plan „B” was then proposed and adopted. If Mohamed can“t go to the mountain then the

mountain would have to come to Mohamed i.e. a formal meal on camp. This required a

degree of planning and also the cooperation of the youngsters who were asked for one

night in the week, to retire early at 9:00 pm and to be quiet in their tents. Preparations for

the meal started on the Thursday morning with a discussion on the menu. In the early days

this invariably came down to a starter, steak and chips and a sweet followed by cheese and

biscuits. Some wine was provided but regrettably, the Duty Officers had to be persuaded

to have just a sip. The Marquee was cleared after the youngsters had gone to bed and a

large table placed in the centre. This was covered with a white cloth, napkins and

candelabra. Staff were expected, to attend in full Adventure Group Uniform. This grand

affair continues, to an extent, to this day. However, nothing stands still and there have

been some changes and additions along the way. For instance, Daryl Mitchell sometimes

cooks his now famous Chilli Con Carne and at other times, a local takeaway, of some ilk,

will receive the order for the night. Whatever is decided, it is always an enjoyable night

with toasts to The Group, The Queen and peppered with liberal quantities of good

humour.

After the meal and this is repeated on most nights at camp when the youngsters are settled

in their tents, games of some description are organised. Over the years this has taken the

form of Canasta, Solo, Bridge, Cribbage, Trivial Pursuits, Monopoly and many more.

Indeed, it is not unknown, whilst playing Trivial Pursuits, for some Staff still to be in the

Marquee at 3 –to 4 am in the morning.

19

No secret is made to the youngsters that Thursday night is a time for the Staff and a little

reward for all their hard work over the year. They are also told that the Staff will have a

drink but that this does not mean that they will be „getting tipsy” or having more than two

or three glasses of wine with their meal. Staff feel that it is no bad thing to show

youngsters that responsible drinking is acceptable.

  • *

*DAY OUT *

After Inspection on the Thursday morning a packed meal is prepared in readiness for the

camp Day Out. Everyone assembles in the marquee spruced up in their MAG uniforms

and ready for the Camp Photograph. After all the arguments about where to take it, who to

stand/sit by are sorted out it usually falls to Phil to use his time lapse camera to do the

deed. Having set the camera Phil races back to his spot, everyone smiles, and after about

three or four tries, for there is always some nurd who wants to make a gesture or pull a

face, the job is done. It“s then into the transport and off to the chosen location to buy

presents for family and friends back home. Some Staff are allocated to escort small groups

of youngsters around the town/resort whilst others are charged with buying prizes for

presentation at the Camp fire on the final night.

*The Ffestiniog Railway *

20

[*FOOD, FADS & ALLERGIES *]

Camp food is not all Bangers and Mash or Burgers and Beans. With limited equipment at

their disposal Staff do attempt to provide a healthy, balanced diet catering for all tastes.

Meals such as Braised Steak and Onions, Stew (Scouse!) and as mentioned earlier, Chilli

Con carne can often be found on the menu.

However, there is an old saying by John Lydgate: „You can please some of the people all

of the time and all of the people some of the time but you can“t please all of the people all

of the time” and so it is at Camp. Two examples illustrate this; 1) in the early 70“s a young

boy arrived at Camp with his own personal supply of „Ready Brek” and this was all he

would eat – morning, noon and night! Despite this diet he was a fit and active youngster

who grew into a healthy adult. 2) One lovely young lady in the mid 80“s was allergic to

dairy products. Despite the difficulties involved, Staff were able to cater for her dietary

needs.

It often amused Staff when youngsters came to the serving table for their first meal. The

inevitable „I don“t like that” came from the occasional little boy/girl. Geoff“s answer was

always “OK, pass on then”. This response was not quite the answer they expected for

some were used to being spoiled at home. True to say, they quickly learned and by the

Monday of camp week were eating most of what was put in front of them. There was,

however, in the early days, some items on the menu which were a definite mistake. Two

that spring to mind are Kippers and Braised Liver and Onions (not on the same plate of

course!). Now, although the Staff loved both of these meals most youngsters hated them

and so, after having had to finish off 75% of the Kippers one year, they and the Liver were

consigned to history.

Staff had a huge stroke of good fortune one year at Llyn Cwellyn, when the old farmer

appeared at the cookhouse door with a bucket of freshly picked mushrooms. These were

reserved for consumption by „Staff only”. It would have been highly irresponsible to risk

youngsters eating a rogue toadstool, or at least that“s what we told them anyway!

*On Top Of Tryfan *

21

[*CAMP MENU SHEETS FOR 1973 & 1999 *]

  • *

22

  • *

23

*THE MARCH OF TIME *

  • *

Little in today“s world stands still and the Camp experience is no exception. From the

very first the Group had little option but to hire tentage from a Liverpool company – J C

Bradfield Ltd. This company provided most of the equipment, including Bell Tents and

Marquees until the 90“s. As the Group became more affluent and grant applications more

successful, the need to hire equipment gradually diminished. Firstly, the Group purchased

a number of large ridge tents followed by a large marquee and recently, a second marquee

for cooking and food storage. With the demise of the need to hire equipment, the use of

Bell Tents became a thing of the past. A sorry end to what, in some people“s minds, is the

best accommodation tent around. It can still be seen in large numbers whenever TV News

reports the problems of refugees and homeless people throughout the world. The Bell Tent

allowed everyone to stand upright and to lay claim to his/her defined sleeping area. It was

also the best inclement weather tent around, the wind being unable to find a flat surface to

attack – sad, but that“s the march of time.

Another casualty of modern times is the „Tilley” lamp and to an extent the storm lantern.

The purchase of a generator in the 90“s allowed both the Marquee and Cookhouse to be

well lit in the evenings and for the chore of lighting and servicing the lamps every night to

be diminished. However, paraffin storm lanterns are still used around the Camp overnight

and are still serviced every evening. Later, when funds were available, the generator

allowed for the purchase of a box freezer. This was filled with meat, bacon etc from local

Mid Cheshire suppliers during the week before camp. Huge savings over the prices

charged by retail outlets in the holiday towns were achieved and BBQ food became a

regular feature of the menu, usually on Thursday evening, after the day out.

A canoe trailer was purchased, thus saving an awful lot of manhandling of canoes.

Over the years the Group enjoyed the use of two mini buses –„Maggie” and „Maggie Too”.

These are now well gone and the Group now uses mini buses borrowed/hired from local

schools.

Returning From A Walk Along The Cliffs

24

*GROUP MINI BUSES *

[*Maggie (Old Ambulance) *]

[*Maggie „Too” *]

25

*1970 *

*LAKE WINDERMERE *

As this was the first camp of the newly formed Moulton Adventure Group, camping

experience was very limited. In fact only Geoff and Les had attended group camps in the

past. To make life more difficult the rain teemed down on Saturday and spitefully kept

going for most of the week.

As the Group was just 10 months old and very low on funds, camping equipment was

basic. The Dining Tent and Cookhouse comprised large fly sheets. The stove was made by

courtesy of the Engineering Section at ICI Lostock Works – as also was the flag staff!

Cooking utensils came from the same source, but this time from the defunct Industrial

Civil Defence Section. Messrs Harris Road Services kindly donated a vehicle to transport

the equipment to camp with members travelling by car.

Note: As the camp files for 1970 and 1971 have been mislaid statistics such as dates,

costs, members attending, precise tentage details etc are missing or at best, questionable.

  • *

[*Site Details: *]

Fell Foot, Newby Bridge, Windermere.

This is a National Trust site, not more than 20 yards from the lake and more or less

opposite to the Lake Side Steamer terminal. The site is close to a boat house and small

marina. It is well drained, flat and surrounded by trees and bushes. An idyllic camp site.

Dates: August 1970

Numbers: Staff: 5 Members: 14

Tentage: 4 small Ridge tents plus a miscellany of Staff and Store tents. transport

donated by a local Haulage Company

Tent Commanders:

(1) W Mitchell (2) R Egerton (3) J Bancroft (4) A Kenyon.

Camp Song Verses:

We caught our Jeremy chopping at the trees x 3.

But he ain“t gonna chop no more…ore…ore.

(Jeremy Simpson)

John and Tony swam across Lake Windermere x 3

But Chris got stuck halfway – Hurray!

26

(John Bancroft, Tony Kenyon, Chris Williams)

Ghost Story: The Hanging Vicar of Newby Bridge.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

Maybe because this was the first full week“s camp of the Group, memories are still sharp

and there are numerous tales to recount.

  • *

[*1) The Good Samaritan: *]

A number of cars transported the youngsters and Staff to The Lakes. One of the cars was

driven by Mr. Williams, a parent and another by Alan (Bert) Bennett, a Junior Member of

Staff. Bert“s car was a bit of an old banger and when both cars were spotted on the hard

shoulder of the M6 it was assumed that Bert“s car had broken down and that Mr Williams

was offering assistance – WRONG! It was the spanking new car belonging to Mr

Williams that had come to grief and Bert was playing the Good Samaritan.

  • *

[*2) Breakfast (a): *]

On the Sunday morning it was all hands to the wheel with breakfast to be cooked, tents to

be made ready for inspection and camp to be put into ship shape order after a very wet

night. Aden Pimlott, a member of staff, was helping to prepare breakfast and was asked by

Geoff to get the corn flakes ready. Five minutes later Geoff looked in on the cookhouse to

see how things were progressing and was speechless when he saw that Aden had mixed

two packets of corn flakes with the milk and sugar and was stirring the whole lot into a

thick porridge.

  • *

[*3) Breakfast (b): *]

One of the lads on fatigues that first morning was Wayne Mitchell. He was given the job

of frying the eggs. His mum, Mary Mitchell, must have done all the cooking in the

Mitchell household for Wayne managed to break at least 80% of the eggs. A quick

decision was required and so „fried” quickly became „scrambled” on the menu sheet.

  • *

[*4) A Just Punishment: *]

On the Monday preparations began for the camp-fire that evening. Lads were sent off into

the woods to collect any ‘dead wood’ lying on the ground. On no account, they were told,

should they cut green branches from the trees.

This instruction fell on the deaf ears of Jeremy (Jez) Simpson, for when next seen, he was

trying to fell quite a large fir tree with his axe He was reported, reprimanded and given the

dreaded „bogs” (toilets) as punishment. Next day when the „bogs” were nicely full and

ripe, Jeremy was detailed to empty them. He trudged over the field in his shorts and

oversized ‘wellies’ and was next seen struggling with a very heavy bucket towards the ‘pit’.

At about mid point in his journey he caught his toe on the ground and the liquid mush

slopped from side to side, with the result that a goodly quantity found its way over the

edge of the bucket and into Jeremy’s Wellington boot. A quick paddle in the lake soon

27

cleaned him up but he was not best pleased when his pals pulled his leg, the none smelly

one that was!

  • *

[*5) Maggots: *]

Before setting off for camp the lads were advised that there was some good fishing to be

had in the lake and that, if they could, they should bring along their fishing gear.

On the Tuesday morning quite a number of the boys could be found (in the rain) fishing

on the lake shore. At noon the shout went up that lunch was about to be served. Now, the

mention of food to boys of 12 or so is something they are incapable of ignoring. They

came galloping up the slope at a great rate of knots, threw down their fishing gear and

lined up in front of their tents. Traditionally the first tent to be ready with eating irons and

plates etc is the one selected to be served first.

After the meal the lads washed their plates etc and went back to their tents to stow away

their „irons”. Within a minute a howl of distress went up and one of the lads came running

over to the Staff to ask them to take a look at his tent. What they saw was a sight to give

the keenest fisherman nightmares. Michael Mitchell, on reaching his tent after hearing the

lunch call, had thrown his gear into the tent. Unbeknown to him the lid of his maggot jar

had detached with the result that the whole contents of the jar were freed and crawling all

over the tent from floor to roof. To make matters worse the tent was sky blue in colour

which made a lovely contrast to the shiny white of the maggots! Michael had quite a job

collecting his little charges and replacing them in his jar.

  • *

[*6) Full Of Good Intentions: *]

By Wednesday, because of the incessant rain and despite our best efforts to keep dry,

everybody had a selection of wet clothing. Aside from the stove in the cookhouse there

wasn“t a source of heat on camp capable of drying the wet gear. However, Alan (Bert)

Bennett came up with a brilliant idea. “Why don“t I load the wet kit into my car, take it to

the local launderette in Bowness, and dry it out?” – he said. “What a great idea” we all

said, “Off you go Bert”. Regrettably, on the way to Bowness, Bert was inspired for a

second time that day. „While I“m at it I might as well wash the clothes as well” he said to

himself. Now, not knowing anything about the effect of very hot water on woollen

sweaters or indeed the colour fastness of the garments in the bags, he carried on with his

master plan.

The result: bags of clean “GREY” washing, including men“s sweaters that would not fit

even one of the younger boys. As an example, Geoff“s bob hat came back the size of an

orange. Bert was not best popular for a while and was advised to steer clear of parents on

his return home. And to cap it all, Bert managed to hit a wall on his return journey to the

site!

  • *

  • *

  • *

28

[*7) The Fishermen Of England: *]

Jeremy (Jez) Simpson was a young fisherman well schooled in the art of fishing in the

local Mid-Cheshire waters. He was also a very adaptable boy, and when one of the lads,

Carl Lewis, who had every conceivable bit of fishing gear, failed day after day to catch

anything in the lake, Jeremy decided to give him a lesson in the fine art of angling. Next

morning, when Carl, kitted up in his fisherman’s leggings, was standing up to his thighs

just off shore, Jeremy decided that it was time for a little tutorial.

He approached the Duty Officer in the cookhouse and asked if he could have a large jam

jar. As it happened, a large marmalade jar had been discarded that very morning and this

was rooted out from the rubbish bin.

Jeremy washed it out, tied a long length of string around the neck and placed some bread

in the bottom. He then approached Carl, still standing up to his armpits in water, and

nonchalantly threw his jam jar into the lake. He waited a few minutes and then snatched it

out to find three or four small fish feeding on his bait. Carl was not a happy bunny but

recognised that in Jeremy, he had met a fisherman of some skill.

  • *

[*8) A Sting In The Tail: *]

Sometime during the start of the week a game of baseball was organized. A ball was

pitched at the batsman who smashed it high and long into a clump of rhododendron

bushes. Ray Egerton, who was on the fielding side, went to retrieve the ball. Seconds later

he emerged from the bushes, shouting in agony and surrounded by a stinging swarm of

wasps. The wasps were quickly dispersed and Ray was taken in great distress to the First

Aid tent where the wasp stings, covering his face, arms and legs, were removed. Ray

quickly recovered his composure and was back to his normal self in a very short time.

Note: This was the only time I ever saw Raymond cry. GAC.

  • *

[*9) A Very Tasty Drink?: *]

On the Tuesday morning when each tent was scurrying round getting ready for the daily

inspection an event occurred that only came to light recently. During the previous

evening, Michael Mitchell, who had retired to his sleeping bag in a somewhat nervous

state after having heard the ghost story about the Hanging Vicar of Newby Bridge, needed

to answer the call of nature during the early hours. Being too scared to go to the „bogs” in

the dark by himself, he unzipped the tent door, poked out his „widget” and relieved

himself on the grass in front of the tent, or so he thought.

Next morning, when all was hustle and bustle in the tent, someone noticed a puddle on the

groundsheet by the door. On its side, close by, was a bottle of Cream Soda pop. Someone

remarked that the bottle must have leaked during the night. As the pop belonged to Chris

(Blodwin) Williams, he dipped his fingers into the puddle and tasted the liquid „No, it“s

definitely not Cream Soda” he said!

29

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

*Boat Houses And Marina At Fell Foot *

Fell Foot Site

30

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31

*1971 *

*CRICCIETH *

  • *

[*Site Details: *]

Ynysgain Faur Farm – middle or „rock” field. Farmer: Mr. Hughes. Site cost £12.00 per

week.

Good, flat, well drained site – circa. 100 yards from the shore; sandy spots from which to

swim fish and boat; interesting rock pools abound.

Note: As the camp files for 1970 and 1971 have been mislaid statistics such as dates,

costs, members attending, precise tentage details etc are missing or at best, questionable

Dates: August 1971

Numbers: Staff: 4 Members: 17

Tentage: Three Bell Tents; one 22” × 15” Marquee; one 12” × 12” Cookhouse, plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Quoted hire charges from J. C. Bradfield £22.00;

transport donated by a local Haulage Company.

  • *

Tent Commanders:

(1) J Bancroft (2) A Kenyon (3) R Egerton

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Goronwy the Red kept the juniors out of bed x 3.

And he walks Criccieth Castle even now – KPOW.

Ghost Story: Goronwy the Red.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

1) A False Accusation:

After swimming parade one day, a little boy approached a Member of Staff and said that

his watch had been stolen. He was upset and said that the watch had vanished from his

tent, where he had left it before going on swimming parade. The Staff, concerned that

there might be a thief amongst the boys, conducted an investigation.

On questioning a number of the lads it became clear that the accuser had not left the watch

in his tent, but had been seen taking it off and placing it on a rock on the beach before his

swim.

  • *

32

  • *

[*2) An Expert In Our Midst: *]

One evening later on in the week, everybody at Camp was on the beach enjoying

numerous activities. Suddenly, the sea in the shallows came alive due to some violent

agitation beneath the surface. Immediately, Jeremy (Jez) Simpson asked if he could return

to Camp and scampered off as quickly as his young legs would carry him. Within minutes

he returned with his fishing rod and quickly bated his hook with silver paper. He then cast

his line into the shivering waters and proceeded to pull mackerel after mackerel from the

maelstrom. These were cooked and enjoyed later by Jeremy and his pals.

Note: The phenomenon of the mackerel run is well known to fishermen. When it“s

feeding time for a shoal of predatory mackerel they often chase minnows or bate fish

towards the shore. Having trapped the small fish in the shallows, they gorge themselves in

a frenzy of catching and eating, thus creating great turbulence on the surface of the sea.

Jeremy knew this and acted swiftly to provide fish for his supper. As mentioned in a

previous anecdote Jeremy was some fisherman, even as a very young lad.

[*3) A Watery Grave: *]

Sometime in the summer of 1970 the Staff decided to buy a „Wensum” dinghy in kit form.

Harold Mitchell, father of Wayne, Michael and Daryl, who was a very accomplished

Joiner, said that he would put the boat together in time for camp in 1971. Well, due to

work commitments, the boat was nowhere near completion by April 1971.

Enter Andy Royle, Malc Fleet and Phil Ashton – stage right. They said that they would

take the job in hand and this they did. By August the boat was finished but untested. It

was duly loaded onto the camp lorry and transported to Criccieth.

On launching the boat, they found to their horror that the dinghy leaked like a sieve. After

extensive corking the boat was refloated, but when Andy, Malc & Phil rowed the boat a

bit too close to the rocks, they were caught by a largish wave and smashed onto a jagged

rock which caved in the bottom.

Sadly, the dinghy never saw Moulton again, for it was given a „sailors farewell” and sunk

in Criccieth bay.

*Criccieth Castle *

33

*Tent 1 *

*Tent 2 *

*Tent 3 *

34

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35

*1972 *

*CRICCIETH *

  • *

[*Site Details: *]

Ynysgain Faur Farm – middle or „rock” field. Farmer: Mr. Hughes. Site cost £12.00 per

week.

Good, flat, well drained site – circa. 100 yards from the shore; sandy spots from which to

swim fish and boat; interesting rock pools abound.

  • *

Dates: 22nd to 29th July.

Numbers: Staff: 3 Members: 19 + 1 Child

Tentage: Four Bell Tents; one 22” × 15” Marquee; one 18” × 12” Cookhouse, plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Total hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £46.50;

transport donated by a local Haulage Company.

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We covered our small Marquee with lovely creamy rice x 3.

But it still tasted very, very nice – SURPRISE.

Ghost Story: The Hunchback of Ynysgain.

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Rice Pudding For All: *]

One day Alan (Bert) Bennett was on cookhouse duty. On the menu was Rice Pudding, and

in readiness for this, two large catering tins had been bought in Northwich prior to Camp.

About an hour before the meal was due to be served Bert placed the tins on the stove in a

„Dixie” filled with boiling water. However, Bert had never been told that he should

puncture the tins first! Result, after about half an hour – a large bang and creamy rice all

over the cookhouse.

[*2) „Scrumpy Jack”: *]

Towards the end of the week some of the older boys took themselves off into Criccieth for

the afternoon. On their return it was noticed that Raymond Egerton was not with them. On

asking where Raymond was, Geoff was told that he was on the beach and slightly tipsy on

the contents of a flagon of cider. He had last been seen, in King Canute style, ordering the

36

sea to retreat – it must have been „Scumpy” cider. Ray was quickly escorted back to Camp

and had the “Bogs” to contend with the next day for his pains.

Criccieth Castle

*The Rolled Up Brailings Of The Bell Tents *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

37

  • *

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38

*1972 *

SENIOR CAMP IN

*THE LAKE DISTRICT *

  • *

Description of Camp: Youth Hostelling in the Lakes.

Dates: Whitsun holidays.

Accommodation: Ambleside YHA (6 days). Elterwater YHA (1 day)

Numbers: Staff: 3 Members: 6

  • *

Staff: Les Burgess; Dave Riley (part time) Dr. Tony Banaghan (part time)

[*Members: *]Phil Ashton; John Bancroft; Ray Egerton, Tony Kenyon;

Andrew & Simon Preen.

  • *

Activities: Hill walking, climbing, canoeing and swimming.

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) What A Lot Of Bull: *]

Whilst traversing the Fairfield Horseshoe at Rydal one day, the Group were confronted

and chased by a herd of bulls. „Gore Blimy” said one of the lads.

  • *

[*2) Young Love: *]

On one of the free days one young man, Ray Egerton, lost his heart to a girl from

Fleetwood. After camp he visited her once or twice but their young love did not stand the

test of time.

  • *

[*3) Rave Up: *]

On the Tuesday night at the Elterwater Youth Hostel the gang held an impromptu disco.

When it became rather noisy, the Warden threatened to evict them if they didn“t keep

quiet.

.

39

  • *

[*Ray Egerton „Do you wanna be in my gang?” *]

[*Morning Dip – Senior Camp – 1972 *]

40

*1973 *

*LAKE WINDERMERE *

Site Details: Stock Park Mansion, Newby Bridge, Nr. Ulverston. Site cost £25.00 per

week.

Narrow, flat field surrounded by trees on three sides and 10 yards from the Lake.

Excellent site.

Dates: 18th to 25th August

Numbers: Staff: 4 Members: 15 + I child.

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 22 × 15 Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff and Store

Tents. Total hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £16.20; transport donated by a local Haulage

Company.

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Michael Mitchell nearly drowned in Windermere x 3.

But we managed to pull him clear – CHEER.

. Anecdotes:

  • *

[*1) Underwater: *]

One of the original nine lads, who joined the Group on that first night in October 1969,

was John Bancroft. By 1973 John was well into his teens and a keen Scuba Diver. John

asked permission to take his scuba gear to camp and this was agreed. Being a keen

swimmer himself, Geoff was intrigued by the kit John had brought and asked if he could

„have a go”. John showed him the basics and Geoff went down to a depth of about 15 feet

for about 30 minutes. To be on the safe side and to show John where he was at any one

time, Geoff inflated a balloon, tied one end of a length of string to the balloon and the

other end to his foot. The balloon, floating on the surface, showed John just where Geoff

was in the event of a problem – there wasn“t one however. Geoff very much enjoyed

viewing the eels on the lake bottom.

  • *

[*2) Girl Power: *]

One evening, some of the lads asked if they could be taken out in „Poly” (our small

polystyrene rowing boat) to fish in the lake. Gill, Geoff“s daughter, who was eight at the

time, asked her dad if she could go fishing too. The problem was finding a fishing rod. As

there were no spares available Geoff rooted out a sea line and bated the hook. Having

reached a suitable spot, the lads cast their lines and waited for a bite.

41

They were a little „miffed” when after a couple of hours they had caught nothing and

decided to call it a day. Gill, on pulling up her line, found to her joy that she had

something big on the end. It turned out to be a large eel which was landed and placed in

the fire bucket for all to see.

  • *

[*3) Summary Justice: *]

One day whilst in the marquee an argument started between Simon Preen and Bert

Bennett, a Junior Member of Staff. It got quite heated and Simon started to use some

rather choice language in front of the younger boys. Bert told Simon to be quiet, but

Simon wouldn“t, with the result that Bert leapt over a table and knocked Simon to the

ground. Not an action the Senior Staff would have recommended, but as none were

present at the time, nothing could be done or said to stop it. Simon, his dignity badly

bruised, to say nothing of his chin retired to his tent, where he packed his bags and said

that he was going home. After about an hour he sheepishly returned, unpacked his gear

and soon forgot about the incident.

4) Finders Keepers:

Whilst walking along the lake shore one day, one of the boys spotted some unattended

fishing gear. The lad looked around to make sure that nobody was about and pocketed an

expensive reel. Later that night a Scout Master, who“s Troop was camping nearby, visited

the Camp and said that a reel had been stolen and that he suspected one of our boys. Geoff

told him that the Staff would question the Group. This was done it then came to light that

the culprit was indeed one of our lads. The reel recovered, Geoff had the embarrassing

task of returning it to the Scouts, with his apologies.

[*5) Averted Tragedy: *]

One sunny afternoon, a Field and Water sports tent competition was organised. One of the

races involved a 25 yard sprint to the lake shore, a 25 yard swim around a buoy and back

and finally a sprint to the finishing line. A representative from each tent was selected and

all was going well until the four lads approached the buoy. Geoff then spotted that

Michael Mitchell had disappeared from view. He immediately ran into the water, fully

clothed, swam to the buoy and was just in time to see Michael“s head about three feet

below the surface. He grabbed Michael“s hair and somehow got him to the bank. Michael

was shaken but otherwise OK – thank God.

Many years later, whilst visiting his family with his new Australian bride, the Group“s

Staff was introduced to her in the Lion Pub one night. On introducing Geoff to his wife he

said „I wouldn“t be here now but for this guy”.

  • *

42

[*6) Generosity: *]

On striking Camp on the Saturday, a large Harris Road Services vehicle arrived to collect

the gear. As the vehicle drove off the site it badly damaged a cattle grid and a dry stone

wall. After their return home the Group received a hefty bill from the site manager at

Stock Park Mansion. However, when he learned that the vehicle had been donated free of

charge by the haulage company, he kindly agreed to waive the charge.

  • *

[*7) Lake Cruises: *]

A Camp on the shores of Lake Windermere would not be complete without a trip on one

of the Lake Ferries; „Tern”, „Teal” etc. This usually happened on the Thursday of Camp

and was combined with buying presents etc for the family back home. All at camp were

ferried across the lake by dinghy or canoe to the Lake Side Steamer Terminal to catch the

ferry. Bowness was the favoured venue in 1973 and the trip, as usual, was enjoyed by all.

*Stock Park Mansion Site *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

43

  • *

  • *

  • *

I

M

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. Ken

taf

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.

44

*1974 *

*CRICCIETH *

Site Details: Ynysgain Faur Farm – middle or „rock” field. Farmer: Mr. Hughes. Site

cost £15.00 per week.

Good, flat, well drained site – c.100 yards from shore; sandy spots to swim, fish and boat;

interesting rock pools abound.

  • *

Dates: 17th to 24th August.

Numbers: Staff: 4 Members: 21 + 1 child.

Tentage: Three Bell Tents; one 30 × 15 Marquee; one 18 × 12 Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Total hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £43.00;

transport donated by a local Haulage Company.

Tent Commanders:

(1) M Mitchell (2) J Simpson

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Dead Ants was the game in 1974.

Philip went a streaking – but he wont streak no more.

Jeremy broke his leg upon the rugby floor.

Hurray for 74 – MORE.

Ghost Story: The Criccieth Ghost Train.

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Dead Ants: *]

In 1974 Malcolm Fleet introduced the ever popular game of „Dead Ants” to camp for the

first time. See „Daytime Games” on page 16.

[*2) Avert Your Eyes Girls: *]

It was during the early 70“s that a new pastime hit the headlines – ‘Streaking’. Young men

or women would divest themselves of their clothing, usually in a very public place or

arena and cavort in front of the public until apprehended by the long arm of the law. Who

will ever forget the picture of the apprehended male, with his „nether region” covered by a

policeman’s helmet, being led from the pitch at (I think) Lords.

45

On about the Tuesday of Camp a Member of Staff learned, on the grapevine, that one of

the lads, Philip Royle, had somehow managed to lose his pocket money. Contrary to

advice given before camp, Philip had considered himself too mature to place his cash into

the safe keeping of the Camp Bank.

The Staff pondered what to do. Should they leave him to stew, and hope he would learn a

very valuable lesson (but maybe spoil his camp), or should they organise a collection from

both staff and members. The Staff had no need to concern themselves, for the problem

was resolved by one of the boys who offered Philip a small bribe to ‘Streak’ naked around

the field. Very quickly this was taken up by the rest of the Group, who also chipped into

the kitty. Now this activity would not have been a problem had it been at an all male

camp. However, this was not the case, for Geoff“s eight year old daughter Gillian was

camping with us and wanted to witness the event at first hand. She was at once banished

to her tent by her Dad and threatened with some form of retribution if he saw her peeking

from under the brailings or through the door. Spoilsport!

At the appointed time Philip stripped off and ran like a young hare around the field to the

cheers of the whole Camp. It turned out to be a very lucrative run, for afterwards, when

Philip counted his spoils, he found he had more money than he had lost in the first place.

Note: There must be a message in this story somewhere, but for the life of me, I can’t see

what it is” GAC

[*3) Man Overboard: *]

One sunny evening, the Group was on the beach swimming, crabbing in the rock pools,

playing games and generally enjoying themselves. Les agreed to take two lads fishing in

„Poly” (the Group“s small polystyrene dinghy). Geoff asked if he could join them and the

dinghy was launched. Now Geoff never had the stature of a „stick insect” to be sure, and

when he climbed into the boat alongside Les, it very nearly capsized. To balance Geoff“s

bulk in the stern, Les and the two lads had to sit forward in the boat! The small outboard

engine was started and the boat headed for a point about 100/200 yards off shore. Later,

when it started to grow dusk they decided to head for the beach and started the outboard

engine. After about 50 yards the engine failed and no amount of pulling on the toggle

would start it again. The oars were then brought into play but by this time the sea had

developed a „swell” and rowing became very difficult.

After a tremendous effort the dinghy reached a point about 20 yards from the shore and

Les, looking over the side, decided to jump in and tow the boat for the rest of the way.

Now the sea can play funny tricks on the human eye, for when Les jumped in he found

himself in about 10 feet of water and disappeared from view for a second or two. He

quickly surfaced and somehow the intrepid foursome managed to reach the shore. To top

46

off this whole saga, the expedition was in vain, for the lads caught nothing after all their

efforts.

4) Broken But Unbowed:

On the Thursday we awoke to cloudy skies and light rain. Our rain philosophy at camp

was always ‘Carry on Regardless’ and this we did. Murder ball was planned for that

morning, an ideal game for inclement weather.

The game has few rules and requires two teams to compete for a rugby ball and touch it

down on a large marquee bag at either end of the pitch to score. All was going well and

everyone was enjoying the rough and tumble in the mud when disaster struck. Jeremy

Simpson received the ball in his own half and set off up field like a gazelle (by this time

Jeremy was a very fit cross-country runner). As a host of opponents descended on him, he

slipped on the wet grass and went down with two or three lads piled on top.

There was a ‘crack’ and Jeremy was left writhing in agony with a broken leg. We rushed

him to the nearest hospital where his leg was set in plaster up to his knee. On his return

from hospital Jeremy was told that his bag had been packed and that one of the staff

would run him home. At this Jeremy tearfully protested, saying that there was no way that

he was going to miss the rest of Camp and in particular the Camp Fire and ghost story on

the Friday night. Such was the spirit of the lad – who could refuse him! Older Staff still

have a memory of Jeremy, his plastered leg propped up on a chair, singing away for all he

was worth as the flames flickered on the faces of all those present.

5) Parental Responsibility:

One night towards the end of the week Geoff was tucking his young Daughter Gill into

bed and asked if she had had a good day. „Yes”, Gill replied „I“ve had a lovely time and

some of the boys asked me in their tent to play „Strip Jack Naked”!. I said no, because

you had told me that I must never go into the lads tents”. „Good girl” said Geoff, who

decided at that point that Gill was now getting a little too old to share a week under canvas

with a gang of lads.

[***Note:*] As soon as Jeremy was able, he enlisted in the Royal Marines. In 1982 he sailed

with his unit for the Falklands. He ‘yomped’ across the island and took part in a number of

battles including the one for Two Sisters overlooking Port Stanley. He lost his best pal in

the fighting and later helped to bury him. The Group still treasures an Argentine shell case

presented by Jeremy and brought back from the Falklands. The shell case is inscribed with

details of his involvement in that war. Jeremy became a Warrant Officer 1st Class in the

Special Boat Squadron attached to 4/5 Commando.

On retiring from the Marines after 23 years service, 21 in the SBS, Jeremy secured the

post of Senior Maritime Consultant at Lloyds Register in London. Some years later he

47

received a telephone call from his old C.O. offering him the post of „Underwater

Instructor” to men on „covert” operations!

Jeremy is a very fine man and one I am very proud to have known throughout his

formative years. GAC

_ _

* *

  • *

P

utt

ing

  • *

T

O

*he *

n P

M

a

a

ra

rq

de

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  • *

Up

  • *

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lag

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in M

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[*Q & *]

48

  • *

+

M.

M

I

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an

Gill C

taf

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*1974 *

Mitch

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f:

b

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*1974 *

R

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;

;

  • *

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  • *

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*1974 *

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[*- *]

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  • *

s

  • *

  • *

49

*1975 *

*LAKE WINDERMERE *

Site Details: Stock Park Mansion, Newby Bridge, Nr. Ulverston. Site cost £46.00 per

week.

Narrow, flat field alongside a dry stone wall and small wood; small lake frontage. Good

site but difficult for games.

Dates: 16th to 23rd August.

Numbers: Staff: 7 Members: 17

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 30 × 15” Marquee; one 18” × 12” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Total hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £51.00;

transport donated by a local Haulage Company.

Tent Commanders:

(1) A Royle (2) M Mitchell

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We called upon the Girl Guides late one night in “75 × 3

And we“re lucky to be alive

  • *

Ghost Story: P. C. Hugglethwaite

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Midges And Marmalade: *]

Early on in the week it was hot and humid and most people in camp were plagued by

„midges”. Tubes of „midge” cream were purchased and sold to anyone who wanted to buy

them. Tim Keen decided to expend some of his pocket money and applied the cream

liberally to his exposed skin.

When his tube of cream was half empty some evil minded person, who shall remain

nameless, emptied the remainder of the cream and replaced it with marmalade.

[*2) Retaliation: *]

One night, whilst everyone was asleep, the Camp was „raided” by a group of Girl Guides

camping near by. They hauled a sock up the flag staff and left us to guess who the late

night visitors might be. The lads quickly discovered the identity of their nocturnal visitors

50

and decided to retaliate. In the dead of night a small group entered the Guides Camp and

purloined their camp flag. The Guides then had the ignominy of having to ask for it back.

A good relationship was then formed with the Guides and their leaders to the extent that

they invited the Group to their next camp fire. Everyone had a great night and we even

learned some new words to the old camp fire song „WE PUSHED THE DAMPER IN”.

These are still sung at our camp fires to this day.

  • *

[*3) The Body Line Bowlers: *]

As is the custom, a Staff v Boys cricket match was arranged. To say that the lads were „up

for it” would be an understatement. They were determined, by whatever means, fair or

foul, to win. The Staff batted first and were subjected to some harsh „bodyline” bowling

from Charlie Vernon and Tim Keen. In fact it could be said that they were out to maim

some Staff Members! Wickets fell rapidly and it was only when dear Ray Egerton got to

the crease that things changed for the better. Ray carted the bowling all over the field and

made a very poor Staff score look respectable. Not to be outdone, the lads started to pile

on the runs and when the last man was at the crease they needed only two more runs to

win. Geoff, who was the Bowler, cynically bowled down a ball that was only inches short

of being wide. The batsman missed it and the game was over. The lads learned a valuable

lesson that day, play to win, but not at any cost.

[*4) A Rude Awakening: *]

On the last morning of camp, and after a late night around the camp fire, the boys in one

of the tents were reluctant to get out of their sleeping bags at Reveille. The bell tent door

was quickly opened and the lads dragged, in their sleeping bags, to the flag staff (the

traditional punishment for late risers!). It had been a particularly cold night and Geoff

noticed that Tim Keen was shivering on the tent floor, covered only by some very flimsy

bedding. Later Geoff had words with the tent commander and told him that he should

have let the Staff know about Tim“s bedding earlier in the week for there were spare

blankets in the First Aid tent!

[* Note: *] Many years later, a drug pusher, who regularly sold drugs of an evening at a spot

behind the Cenotaph, was confronted by a now, very adult and tough Tim Keen. Tim told

him, in no uncertain manner, that if he showed his face in Moulton again he would not

walk for a very long time. Some weeks later, the Staff of the Group were having a drink in

the Lion Pub when Tim was spotted on the other side of the bar. Geoff asked the landlord

to pull Tim a pint and the Staff toasted Tim with a „Well done” across the bar.

51

*Tent 1 *

  • *

*Tent 2 *

  • *

  • *

*The Camp Site *

52

J

M

S

.

L

Simp

.

taf

e

L

m

ath

f:

b

s

am

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e

Ph

n

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;

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[*:*]

D.

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Ver

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Mitch

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to

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;

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n

L

ell; M

G

tie

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A

. W

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.

.

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il

Mitch

C

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liam

lews

ess

;

s

ell; C.

A

Geo

.

.

f

Fletch

f

*1975 *

Mo

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  • *

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  • *

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;

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llan

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  • *

A

  • *

ndr

  • *

ew

  • *

Pre

  • *

en.

  • *

53

*1976 *

*CRICCIETH *

Site Details: Ynysgain Faur Farm – Top field. Farmer: Mr. Hughes. Site cost £15.00

per week.

Good, flat, well drained compact site close to a rail line and circa. 100 yards from shore;

sandy spots to swim fish and boat; interesting rock pools abound.

Dates: 21st to 28th August.

Numbers: Staff: 8 Members: 14

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 30 × 15” Marquee; one 12” × 12” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Total hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £58.00; transport

donated by a local Haulage Company.

  • *

Tent Commanders:

(1) D Jackson (2) D Mitchell

  • *

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Pollit was the super „berk” of 1976 × 3

So he „aint gunna come no more – ENCORE.

[Ghost Story: *]„Crewwlyn” – Son of Goronwy[ *]

Best Section: David Jackson No.2 Tent.

[*Awards: *]

Camp Joker[* -*] Peter Clews

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Hot, Hot, Hot: *]

The summer of 1976 turned out to be very hot and sunny and in consequence the

undergrowth became tinder dry. As a result the Group was prohibited from holding camp

fires on the field or in the woods. Permission was granted by Mr. Hughes for these to take

place on the shore, but as close to the water as possible.

54

[*2) Camp Bonnets: *]

A „Silly Hat” competition took place during the week and the award for the best creation

was presented at the camp fire on the last night.

  • *

[*3) A Tribute To Camp: *]

It says something about the attractions of Camp that Andrew Preen, serving as a Ships

Steward on a large oil tanker, travelled many hundreds of miles from abroad to attend[*. *]

  • *

[*4) Church Parade: *]

On Sunday morning the Group, smartly attired in their uniforms, marched into Criccieth

to a local Chapel. The preacher, who was not the most inspiring in the world, proceeded to

bore everyone to death with his lengthy oration about Jonah and the whale. Some

members of Staff had difficulty in staying awake after the exertions of the previous day. * *

  • *

[*5) Gullible Doug: *]

In the middle of the week it was agreed to hold a Sports Day as part of the tent

competition. In order that every boy take part whatever his ability, it was decreed that

each tent member should represent his tent in at least two events. Douglas Pollit asked his

Tent Commander which events he would be taking part in. Tongue in cheek, his Tent

Commander told him that he was down to „head the shot” and „catch the javelin”. Satisfied

with the answer, Douglas walked away muttering „Just my flipping luck” He is now

immortalised in the Camp song of 1976.

[*6) Experienced Beyond His Years: *]

In the Marquee one night, an indoor games session was arranged. Geoff was approached

by a young Daryl Mitchell and asked if he would like a game of chess. Geoff agreed but

after a few moves Geoff realised that the little lad was a much better player. Geoff

decided, if he was going to stand any chance of winning against this young boy, that he

would need to go into wrecking mode and to take pieces off the board at every

opportunity. After a while, Daryl looked Geoff in the eye and said „We are playing

CHESS, Mr. Crompton, not DRAUGHTS”.

*Criccieth Castle *

55

  • *

D.

M

Ho

S

taf

Mitch

e

llan

m

f

b

:

d

e

A

Ph

ell; S.

r

il Ash

s

n

  • *

[*:*]

*1976 *

d

D.

r

ew

Nix

to

C

Pre

h

n

o

r

Jo

  • *

n

is

CR

N

en

tie

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.

.

A

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ICC

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B

.

an

C

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ley

f

T

t;

P.

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Les B

  • *

C

Sm

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s

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t; K.

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.

;

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T

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u

an

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;

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.

m

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to

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r

D.

. Ho

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P.

ton

M

Ikin

alc.

;

D

Fl

.

ee

Jac

t; B

ks

r

o

ian

n;

56

*1977 *

*CONISTON LAKE *

[*Site Details: *]Coniston Hall Farm, Coniston, Cumbria. Site cost £42.00 per week.

Large, well drained, flat field sloping gently towards the lake shore.

Dates: 20th to 27th August.

Numbers: Staff: 7 Members: 15

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 30 × 15” Marquee; one 12” × 12” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Total hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £68.00; transport

donated by a local Haulage Company.

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) D Mitchell (2) P Davies

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We had a ride upon a duck in 1977 × 3

But we had to pump it out all the way – HURRAY.

Ghost Story: The Ghost of Donald Campbell.

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Glorious Weather: *]

Again, as in 1977, the Group was blessed with warm sunny days and cool nights. Water

sports abounded with swimming a regular feature of the day“s activities.

  • *

[*2) Not Too Old At 40: *]

Instead of travelling with the rest of the Group, one of the Junior Staff, Ray Egerton,

decided to ride to Coniston on his new motor cycle. Having ridden a motor bike during his

National Service in the early 1950“s and later owned a scooter; Geoff asked Ray if he

„could have a go” He then proceeded to ride around the field for a while, much to his great

delight.

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

57

  • *

  • *

  • *

3) „Bluebird”:

The first ghost story at Coniston was about the tragic death of Donald Campbell in his

speedboat „Bluebird” which had occurred some years earlier. Geoff painted the picture of

Campbell“s ghost walking the fields and shores of the lake in the dead of night. On the

following morning Alan Farnham (East), swore to anyone who would listen, that during

the night he had seen the figure of Donald Campbell walk through the wall of his tent and

out the other side.

[*4) A Flightless Duck: *]

Early in the week a World War Two amphibious landing craft, similar to the ones used on

the „D” Day landings in Normandy, drove on to the camp site. These vehicles/boats were

officially known as DUKW“s or „Ducks”. Everyone was curious about this strange beast

and walked across to have a better look. Two elderly couples appeared on deck and

explained that they had driven the „Duck” to the Lake District from the South Coast.

During the next two days everybody on camp was intrigued to see the vehicle trundle

down the field and into the water.

On about the Wednesday evening, when the boys had been bedded down for the night, the

Staff retired to the marquee to play cards, chess etc. After an hour or so, a distressed

figure appeared at the door of the marquee and asked for our immediate help. It was one

of the old gentlemen from the „Duck”. He told us that they had been celebrating the

birthday of his friend“s wife and that his friend had tried to fire a WW2 rocket flare into

the night sky. The old flare gun had exploded in his hand and he was in a bad way.

Staff, led by Malc Fleet and Brian Holland, raced across to the vehicle with the First Aid

kit, treated wounds on the casualties hand and face and drove him immediately to the local

hospital.

On the following day the old gentleman, now recovered, came across to thank the Staff

for their prompt and kindly help. He then suggested that if anyone would like a trip on the

lake in the „Duck” we would be most welcome. The invitation was gladly accepted and on

the following day as many of the lads and staff that could clamber aboard set off down the

lake to visit „Wild Cat Island”. The remainder followed in canoes. This island was the one

featured in the TV production of „Swallows and Amazons”, the story of young boys and

girls on holiday in the Lake District.

58

*Coniston Site *

The DUKW Of Coniston Lake

  • *

  • *

*The DUKW With MAG On Board *

59

  • *

N.

M

S

  • *

taf

Ken

e

  • *

m

f:

b

n

  • *

er

e

Ph

r

ley

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  • *

[*:*]

;

A.

  • *

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D.

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B

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  • *

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n;

k

L

ett;

es B

  • *

ell; S. D. u

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  • *

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Nix

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ess

ris

;

  • *

o

tie; P.

Geo

n; G

  • *

f

.

f

C

Pear

C

lews;

  • *

rom

so

p

  • *

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J

to

D

. Dav

n; Ray

  • *

. Po ies;

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  • *

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t; A.

P.

ger

  • *

Dav

to

Sto

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  • *

neley alc.

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  • *

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  • *

.

n

T

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  • *

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ner

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(

ian

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;

  • *

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  • *

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  • *

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A

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  • *

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  • *

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Pre

er.

  • *

en.

60

*1978 *

*CRICCIETH *

Site Details: Ynysgain Faur Farm – railway field. Farmer: Mr. Hughes. Site cost

£15.00 per week.

Good, flat, well drained compact site, close to a railway line and circa. 100 yards from

shore; sandy spots to swim, fish and boat; interesting rock pools abound.

Dates: 19th to 26th August

Numbers: Staff: 8 Members: 22

Tentage: Three Bell Tents; one 30 × 15” Marquee; one 12” × 12” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Total hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £120.00;

transport donated by a local Haulage Company.

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) S Nixon (2) G Pearson (3) D Mangham

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

In 1978 we met a singing railway guard x 3

And for him we made it very, very hard – „MINNFORDD”

[*Ghost Story: *]

The hand of Miss Catherine Bradfield!!

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Tragedy: *]

The Camp of 1978 did not start well. Whilst journeying across the moors from Bala to

Trawsfyndd the Group, travelling in convoy, were first on the scene of a dreadful car

accident.

A Mini car, with two ladies and two children on board, had been hit head-on by a larger

car trying to pass another vehicle on an incline. The Staff of the Group quickly broke out

the first aid gear and attended to those involved. Brian Holland, our very experienced First

Aid specialist, took charge until the ambulance arrived. Regrettably, one of the occupants

of the Mini died at the scene.

61

Afterwards Geoff, admitting to being rather squeamish, said he was very thankful to take

on the roll of Point Duty Policeman whilst Brian, Malc. and other Staff tended the injured.

  • *

2) Stuck In The Mud:

On arrival at the site, Mr Hughes, the farmer, advised that there had been quite a

substantial amount of rain over the past few days and that the ground was soft underfoot.

Concerned about the weight of the vehicle carrying the gear, the driver was advised to

stay on the gravel path leading to the field. This advice fell on deaf ears, for no sooner had

the lorry been unloaded, than the driver drove off the path in a wide arc and was quickly

up to his axles in mud. We then had the job of employing Mr Hughes and his tractor to

extricate the vehicle and to send it on its way.

[*3) Extra Cash On Hand: *]

Next to the site on which the Group camped was a site we had used on previous

occasions. This was the „middle” or „rock” field. We called it the „rock” field because it

had a large boulder located close to the entrance. Early in the week Phil decided to play a

little trick on the boys. He super glued a 50p coin to the face of the rock and was rewarded

when a succession of lads tried unsuccessfully to increase their pocket money.

[*4) An Averted Disaster: *]

Friday was, and still is, „Steam pudding day”. After watching Geoff make the pudding on

one or two occasions, it became a tradition for Junior staff to ask to be given this culinary

honour and to bathe in the glow of the congratulations afterwards. In 1978 Phil Ashton,

then a young Member of Staff, asked to be allowed to make the pudding.

His wish was granted, but he stressed, that he didn“t want any help and could manage the

whole operation on his own. Phil duly made the pudding, lit the gas rings on the stove,

and tended the tins all day. After the main course had been eaten, Phil said he would break

out the puddings, smother them in hot golden syrup, and serve them with custard. Again

he said he didn“t need any help. Two or three minutes later a white faced Philip appeared

at the marquee door. “Geoff” he said, in a very low voice, “Can you come?” Geoff left the

table and went with Phil into the Cookhouse. Philip then told Geoff that the steamed

puddings were not cooked and were still liquid. “They“ll lynch me” he exclaimed. Some

quick thinking was needed to save Phil“s bacon and Geoff suggested that they fry the

pudding batter in the two roasting tins used for the breakfast bacon. This they did, then

smothered the whole lot with the 2 × 2lb. tins of syrup and served the waiting throng. The

taste was memorable, if a little different, but the whole Group applauded Phil for his

efforts. It has to be said that since this incident Phil has, on many occasions, achieved

steamed pudding perfection.

[*5) The Hand Of Miss Catherine Bradfield: *]

The final camp fire of the week was held in the depths of a small wood alongside the site.

Geoff continued the ghost story about Miss Bradfield started at the camp fire on Monday

62

evening. Unbeknown to anyone, Phil, knowing the end of the story, had rigged up a cotton

line between the trees and across the camp fire.

When Geoff reached the climax of the tale – telling how the hand of Miss Bradfield still

sometimes crawled through the grass during the night and into the tents. Phil released a

stuffed glove on a small pulley which glided into view and across the face of the camp

fire. This moment of fright was dramatically increased when, at the very instant when the

hand came into view, an owl in a tree close by gave an almighty screech! At this,

everyone around the camp fire jumped up in alarm. Afterwards, the boys, and indeed

some staff, were reluctant to return to their tents or go to the latrines on their own.

*Criccieth Castle *

63

A.

A.

M

An

Staf

Sto

Far

e

d

m

rew

f:

n

n

b

eley

h

e

Ph

am

Pre

rs

il A

L

(

[*:*]

en

E

A.

.

.

s

ast);

T

h

B

to

u

r

ec

n

n

A.

L

er

k

S.

ett;

Ho

es B

u

J

T

g

.

u

u

h

B

r

r

g

;

n

ee

ess

D.

er

c

I

h

;

Ma

T

Geo

. W

n

.

g

B

ee

f

h

u

f

d

am

r

C

all;

gess

r

S.

om

D

P.

p

Nix

to

W

.

n

C

ilk

o

Pete

h

n

r

in

G

is

s

tie; G

o

.

r

PHOTOGRAPH

n

P

D

P.

ea

av

r

.

s

C

ies;

W

o

h

n

illi

r

B.

is

Ma

tie; P.

am

lc.

Pimlo

s

o

Fleet; Bria

n

C

. tt; D, lews;

Pimlo

J

.

n

Dav

Ho

tt;

ll

i

es; A.

an

A.

d

  • *

D

Rath Gr

ar

b

y

eg

o

l M

n

o

e;

ry

itch

;

ell;

64

*1979 *

*CONISTON LAKE *

  • *

Site Details: Idyllic woodland glade circa. 70 yards from the lake shore. Drainage,

however, was poor and the site was prone to become a quagmire during long spells of

rainy weather. Site cost £66.00 per week.

Dates: 18th to 25th August

Numbers: Staff: 10 Members: 22

Tentage: Four Bell Tents; one 30 × 15” Marquee; one 12” × 12” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Total hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £153.00;

transport donated by a local Haulage Company.

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) G Pearson (2) L Turner (3) A Stoneley

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We had mud, mud and yet more mud in 1979 × 3

But we managed to hold the line – FINE.

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Quagmire: *]

The weather was so bad at times at this camp that even the floor of the marquee was one

or two inches deep in mud. Trenches were dug around all of tents to avoid water ingress.

Branches and bracken were collected to cover the entrance to tents and to try to soak up

mud and water.

[*2) Slaves: *]

For a small fee, which was donated to the camp funds, Staff hired themselves out to the

lads. They brought them breakfast in bed, washed their dishes, prepared their kit for

inspection and generally became their „slave” for the day.

3) AWOL:

Although there had been a Mitchell in the Group since it“s formation in October 1969, this

camp at Coniston was the only one not to have had a Mitchell present. Daryl, who fully

intended to come to Camp, secured a new job starting on the Monday of Camp week.

65

  • *

S.

I

M

B

S

.

  • *

L

r

taf

Simp

e

ian

ee

m

s

f:

Ho

J.

b

  • *

s

e

Ph

on

r

llan

Ma

A

s

il A

[*:*] d

d

T

.

D

s

d

.

Sto

h

o

B

to

ck

av

u

n

n

;

r

id

L

eley

g

J

ess

.

Ma

es B

*1979 *

Ma

C.

D

n

lo

g

u

.

Swar

h

r

n

C

a

g

e;

h

m

ess

  • *

r

CONIS

P.

is

Calv

b

;

tie; G

r

Geo

ick

Me

L

tcalf

in

f

.

f

C

Mu

.

C

T

T

G

h

r

ON L

r

o

u

r

is

r

m

rn .

ay

tie; L

p

e

Pear

to

r

An

S.

n

A

s

.

A

d

o

C

KE

T

r

n

ew

o

lan

u

A

lli

rn

  • *

s

Pre

er

.

Fa

te

R

P.

r

en

r

ath

;

nh

J

;

W

b

am

.

An

o

Dav

ilk

n

(

e;

d

E

in

r

ies;

D.

ew

ast);

son R A. R

G

ath

Ma

o

Gr

y

.

b

le

lc.

W

o

eg

n

o

e;

o

Fleet;

o

r

d

R

y

r

D

o

.

w.

R

.

o

Ho

yle; ug

h;

66

*1980 *

*CRICCIETH *

  • *

Site Details: Ynysgain Faur Farm – railway field. Farmer: Mr. Hughes. Site cost

£48.00 per week.

Good, flat, well drained compact site close to a railway line and circa. 100 yards from

shore; sandy spots to swim, fish and boat; interesting rock pools abound.

[*Dates: *]16th to 23rd August.

Numbers: Staff: 7 Members: 17 + 1 Child.

  • *

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 30 × 15” Marquee; one 12” × 12” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Total hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £144.00;

transport donated by a local Haulage Company.

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) T Burgess (2) J Beech (3) D Christie (Service Section).

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We had to make a boxing ring one day at Ynysgain,

„Didger” was in a fighting mood and wanted Philip lame, * *

Philip toyed about with him, inflicting little pain,

But it all ended up quite tame – SHAME.

  • *

[*Awards: *]

Best Member at their first Camp: R Royle.

Best overall Member: C Murray

[*Anecdotes: *]

[*1) New Headquarters: *]

[* *]1980 was a truly momentous year for the Moulton Adventure Group. During the course

of the year their new Headquarters, in School Lane, Moulton, was finally completed. The

whole project had taken seven years to finish, often testing the resolve of the workforce,

and expending liberal quantities of blood, toil, sweat and tears in large measures – the

latter in particular. It took 12 months to take the building down at Shell“s Carrington site,

transport it to Moulton and place it in store on land at the Beehive Corner.

67

Sometime later, thieves got amongst the steel work with oxy-acetylene torches, cut up the

huge supporting beams, pillars and fire escape, and left the project dead in the water.

It was only the intervention of a local steel company, Joseph Parkes Ltd., that saved the

day. They replaced the stolen steel, valued at some thousands of pounds, free of charge

and also supplied a crane with a team of steel erectors to lift the structure into place.

For the whole of the seven years a team of voluntary helpers, led by Harold Mitchell (see

„Dedication” at the front of this book), laboured on the project at every opportunity.

Helpers came and went over time but a dedicated few saw the project through to the end.

The Group will be for ever in their debt.

[*2) „Sat Nav” Needed: *]

Much to his embarrassment, Daryl Mitchell, on arrival at the site, led the convoy of cars

and more particularly the articulated vehicle carrying the gear, down the wrong lane. Cars

and vehicle then had to reverse, with great difficulty, back down the track to the start

point.

[*3) Not A „Thrilla in Manila”: *]

Jon Davies, „Didger” to everyone who knew him, was a great lad who lived with his Aunt

and Uncle, Mo and Alan Hewitt, towards the end of Main Road. Prior to living in

Moulton he had lived with his parents in Australia, hence his nickname „Didger”, derived

from that unique Australian bamboo woodwind instrument the „didgeridoo”. Jon was

given his nickname at the village school as soon as he arrived.

„Didger” and Phil Ashton developed a great friendly rivalry and were continually ribbing

and playing tricks on each other. Early in the week „Didger” challenged Phil to a boxing

match. Having, at that time, two sets of boxing gloves in the sports kit, the bout was duly

arranged for one evening in the marquee. A make shift ring was prepared and some of the

Junior Staff volunteered to act as both Referee and Seconds. At the appointed time

everyone in Camp attended the marquee to await the big event. Phil was so agile that, try

as he might, „Didger” could not lay a hand on him. The bout finally finished with honours

even, much to the delight of all who were present.

[*4) Cow Pats Are Lethal: *]

Running across the field one day, Phil, not looking where he was placing his feet, stood in

a cow pat, skidded, fell and broke two bones in his right hand. Good to recall that his

broken hand did not stop his enjoyment of the remainder of camp. However, it was

rumoured by some, that he had done it deliberately to avoid his fatigue duty or to avoid

seeing his fiancée (Helen) who was staying in Pwllheli!

68

[*5) Bog Rolls Are A Problem: *]

Ever since the very first camp for boys organised by William Smith of the Boys” Brigade

in the 1880“s „bog” paper has been a problem. Keeping a bog roll dry in a sentry, tent like

box, in the corner of a wind swept and rainy field is not easy. Many solutions have been

tried including plastic bags, buckets with lids etc. All have failed dismally, with the result

that on entering the „throne” tent one was usually confronted by a soggy mass of tissue.

Members, and particularly young boys, who answer the call of nature, either forget to put

the roll back in the receptacle or are just too lazy to be bothered. Maybe, the solution is to

offer all campers a „bog” roll on day one of Camp and for each to guard his own over the

next seven days.

.

*Criccieth Castle *

69

G.

M

Dar

J

S

o

n

taf

W

[*em *]y Dav

o

l M

[*f & *]

o

b

d

e

itch

ies:

ro

r

  • S*

w

s:

ell; Calv

Alan

e

r

J

+

.

vic

Ma

Bee

Far

e

tt B

ch

  • S*

in

n

T

h

e

u

Mu

am

c

rg

.

[*tion: *]

ess

B

r

u

r

(

a

E

r

.

y

g

ast);

A

ess

Ph

G

n

il Ash

Ma

dr

.

ew

C

lc.

h

to

r

R

Fleet; A

is

n

o

tie

P.

y

*1980 *

le;

J.

B

L

lan

ailey

Ma

ee

[*- *]

CR

d

T

Gr

d

u

L

o

r

eg

n

ck

es B

ICC

e

o

r

;

.

r

J

  • *

y

.

.

u

IE

Ma

r

B

g

r

ess

T

lo

ian

H

n

;

e;

Ho

Geo

  • *

R

llan

.

f

f

R

C

o

d

y

D

ro

le;

m

a

v

p

S.

id

to

T

n

Ho

D

urn

u

ar

e

g

r

h

y

S.

;

l Ch

W

ris

ar

tie;

d;

70

*1981 *

*CONISTON LAKE *

[*Site Details: *]Coniston Hall Farm, Coniston, Cumbria.

Large, well drained, flat field sloping gently towards the lake shore. Cost £33.00.

[Dates: *]22nd to 29th August[ *]

Numbers: Staff 7 Members: 14 + 3 Children

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 22 × 15” Marquee; one 12” × 12” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £147.00.

However, additional charges were incurred due to 1) our local Transport Company“s

inability to collect the tentage from Liverpool provoking a delivery charge to Moulton of

£59.00. 2) Peg and stake breakages – £ 10.00. Giving an actual overall total of £216.00.

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) C Swarbrick (2) G Christie

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

The midges did bite and the sun shone bright at Coniston “81 × 3

And water sports gave much fun – SUN.

Ghost Story: The tomb of „Natas”.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Midges: *]

The main recollection of this camp was the weather. All week it was hot and humid and in

consequence much time was spent in the lake canoeing, boating, fishing and swimming.

[*2) Bugs Bunny: *]

One evening Alan Farnham (East) was telling whoever wanted to listen about his rabbits

and how he was a keen breeder. Later the Staff (in jest) asked Alan to tell them about his

Rabbit breeding programme and how he organised it. Alan explained about his stud rabbit

and how good it was. One of the Staff then asked him the name of his stud. Innocently,

Alan replied „Bonker” at which the Staff fell about and couldn“t speak for some time!

  • *

71

  • * C M

B

S

.

r

taf

Swar

e

ian

m

f:

Ho

b

  • *

b

e

Ph

rick r

llan

s

il A

[*:*]

;

d

T

D

s

S.

.

h

B

to

W

ar

u

n

r

y

ar

L

g

l M

ess

d

es B

G

itc

A

.

h

u

W

.

ell

r

C

g

o

h

[*; *]

ess

o

r

Pau

d

is

r

;

o

tie; G

Geo

w

l M

+

u

f

Ma

.

r

f

C

r

C

*1981 *

ay

h

r

tt B

r

;

o

is

  • *

m

A

tie; D

u

n

p

r

d

to

g

  • *

r

CONIS

ess

n

ew

D

.

;

Fin

Pre

ar

Ad

d

y

lay

en

l Ch

rian

.

T

  • *

;

r

ON L

Fleet; Jan

J

is

.

tie; A

Ma

lo

A

n

lan

KE

e;

e

Fleet.

M.

Far

  • *

n

Mc

h

am

Co

(

n

E

n

ast);

ell;

R

Ma

. R

lc.

oy

Fleet;

le;

S.

Simp

s

o

n;

72

*1982 *

*ULLSWATER LAKE *

Site Details: Side Farm, Patterdale, Ullswater, Cumbria. Site cost £85 per week.

Well drained, narrow field on a gradual incline towards the lake shore; trees-a-plenty.

[*Dates: *]14th to 21st August.

Numbers: Staff: 8 Members: 12 + 1 Child

Tentage: One 22 × 15” Marquee; one 12” × 12” Cookhouse; plus a miscellany of Boys,

Staff and Store Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £87.17; transport donated by

a local Haulage Company. * *

Tent Commanders:

(1) C Swarbrick (2) R Royle (3) G Christie

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Richard (Royle) got his just deserts in 1982 × 3

When we covered him with slimey cow pooh – PHEW.

[*Awards: *]

Cross Country Winners: 1)[* *]A Rathbone (2) D Rathbone (3) C Swarbrick. * *

Best Tent:[* ]Number one – C Swarbrick[ *]

Best Member at their first camp: C Bickerton

Best Member overall: C Swarbrick

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) A Long, Long Slog: *]

It was always a tradition in the Group to spend a day walking in the hills. Bearing in mind

the fact that some Members would be attending their first camp, and not used to long

hikes, the walk was usually gentle and not too taxing. Not so in 1982, for Brian Holland

was in charge. Most of the camp set off and were in good spirits but returned some 6/7

hours later, shattered. Brian, who was sometimes referred to as „The mountain goat” had

led the party up hill and down dale until most were exhausted. Some threatened never to

walk with Mr Holland again.

  • *

  • *

  • *

73

  • *

  • *

  • *

[*2) A Very Unpleasant Experience: *]

Richard Royle was always full of fun and forever ribbing and playing tricks on the Staff.

In the middle of the week he went a little too far with some of the younger Staff who

decided to have their revenge on this cheeky youngster. Unseen by Richard, the staff

found some very juicy cow pats and shovelled them into a bucket. They then tried to catch

Richard who, smelling a rat (and a lot more besides!), fled to the shore, climbed into a

canoe and paddled out to a small island. The Staff, not to be thwarted, climbed into more

canoes and ran Richard to ground on the island.

There, they anointed him from head to toe with the contents of their bucket!! Richard,

being the sport that he was, took it all in good part, dived into the lake afterwards and

cleaned himself off. After this bit of fun Staff were always a bit wary at morning dip in

case they encountered unmentionable flotsam on the water.

[*3) Most Definitely Not Politically Correct: *]

After inspection on the Thursday, the whole camp was looking forward to their day out in

Ullswater and to buying presents for home etc. Everyone dressed up in their uniforms in

readiness for the Camp Photograph to be taken prior to departure. Everyone, that is, aside

from young Richard Burgess who was enjoying paddling on the shore. When Richard was

called in to get himself ready for the trip, he refused, much to the annoyance of his Dad,

Les. When finally Richard did leave the shore, having delayed the whole camp, he strolled

to his tent and spent ages getting into his uniform. After another five minutes Les

exploded and the sound of his voice reverberated around the hillsides. Richard then

received a swift whack from Les for his disobedience.

Ullswater Village And Lake

74

  • *

*Inspection *

*Starting The Slog *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

*The Canadian On The Lake *

*Cross Country *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

*Outdoor Table Tennis *

*Erecting Staff Tents *

[*Staff: *]Phil Ashton; Les Burgess; Geoff Crompton; Chris Eatock; Alan Farnham

(East); Brian Holland; Daryl Mitchell[*; *]Andrew Preen. * *

Members: C. Bickerton; M. Burgess; G. Christie; D. Findlay; A. Rathbone; D.

Rathbone; R. Royle: D. Sharman; A. Swarbrick; D. Swarbrick; S. Ward; G. Woodrow

+ Richard Burgess.

75

*1983 *

*LLYN CWELLYN *

  • *

[*Site Details: *]Planwydd, Rhyd-ddu, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, North Wales.

Farmer: Mr. J L Ellis. Site cost £56.00 per week.

River and lake site just below Mount Snowdon and surrounded by trees.

  • *

[*Dates: *]20th to 27th August

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 13 Members: 26 + 1 Child.

Tentage: Four Bell Tents; one 30 × 15” Marquee; one 22” × 15” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £209.00; * *

transport donated by a local Haulage Company. * *

  • *

Tent Commanders:

(1) G Woodrow (2) J Maddock (3) D Rathbone (4) K Simpson.

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We had a separate Bell Tent in 1983 × 3

Occupied by five girlies. * *

  • *

Ghost Story: Llewellyn“s Revenge.

[*Awards: *]

Cross country winners: (1) D Rathbone (2) D Findlay (3) J Maddock.

Best Tent: Number 3 – D Rathbone.

Best Member at their first camp: A Rattray.

Best overall Member: D Rathbone.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Early To bed – Early To rise: *]

Having loaded tents, equipment and personal kit onto the lorry on the Friday evening, it

was agreed that everyone should assemble at the HQ at 07.30. Everyone complied except,

that is, for Daryl Mitchell. Now Daz could always sleep and the morning of Camp was no

exception. It was left to Phil to sprint around to the house in Regent Street and to throw

gravel at Daz“s bedroom window.

76

Phil“s plea to Daryl to get up echoed up and down Regent Street, so quiet was it at that

early hour. Daryl eventually appeared at the window and seemed to mouth „Oh yeah,

Camp”, as though he had forgotten. He was then left to play catch up with the convoy en

route to Llyn Cwellyn. Fancy, oversleeping on the day of camp. Never been known before

or since.

  • *

[*2) Girls, Girls Girls: *]

During the previous year, having vainly attempted to set up a separate MAG for girls, the

Staff of the Group decided to take the plunge and to open up the Group to both sexes. This

news was received by a number of young ladies in the Village with glee, for they had long

wanted to join in with the activities of the Group. The mother of one of the girls, Monica

Simpson, was persuaded to attend camp to look after the needs of the young ladies and all

was set for our baptism of fire. By necessity the camp format had to be changed i.e.

private wash facilities with showers, rough games such as „Murder Ball” were off the

programme, better toilets were supplied, strict rules governing tent lines were issued etc.

Still it worked, and worked very well. Girls have now been an integral part of the Group

for over 25 years.

[*3) The Phantom „Crapper”: *]

Just before tent inspection one morning a flustered Tent Commander, who had been

chasing around trying to get his tent ready for inspection, dashed over to one or two Staff

standing near the marquee. „Please come and look at my tent” he said desperately. On

arrival at the tent the Staff were shown a huge „turd” on the grass between two tents. It

was a beast, and of elephantine proportions. Not knowing who the culprit was, Geoff read

the riot act about cleanliness and personal hygiene to both tents and ordered that the

offending „sausage” be removed and deposited in the pit. Geoff“s threats had no effect, for

the very next morning the same Tent Commander reported that that there was another

dollop in the same place. This time Geoff told all of the boy“s in camp (girls would not do

such a thing!) that if he found out who the offender was he would be taken home at once.

Next morning, all was clear. Problem solved, or so everyone thought! However, during

the inspection, when the Inspecting Officer turned back the large circular ground sheet to

check for litter he was confronted by another huge „turd” winking at him. At least it was

then known which tent was responsible. On close questioning of the tent members a little

lad finally owned up to being the culprit. It didn“t seem possible that he could produce

such specimens, but he had and on three occasions. The little boy said that he was afraid

to go across the field in the middle of the night to the toilet tent and that was the reason he

had squatted between the tents. He was told that in future, if he needed to answer the call

of nature in the night, he should wake his Tent Commander, who would escort him to the

bogs. His Tent Commander was not too happy with the arrangement it must be said.

77

[*4) Safety First: *]

At the early morning swimming parade one day Phil Ashton was the Duty/Safety officer.

He was standing on the shore of the lake whilst everyone „enjoyed?” the morning dip.

Suddenly, he saw Andrew Rattray, who had swum beyond the marker buoy and out of his

depth, in difficulties and disappear beneath the water. Without hesitation Phil ran fully

clothed into the lake, swam to the spot and pulled Andrew to the surface and then onto the

shore. The lad had apparently got cramp in the cold waters of Llyn Cwellyn.

  • *

[*5) Retribution: *]

As mentioned in the 1982 anecdotes, Richard Royle was forever plaguing the Staff with

his tricks and good humour. So, it was decided to bring him to book for the second time in

two years. An elaborate plan was hatched by Phil Ashton, Chris Eatock and Brian

Holland. They convinced Richard that they were going to play a trick on one of the other

Junior Staff members. They all agreed, including Richard, that they would capture the

culprit and stake him out „Redskin” fashion on the field. Richard was asked to get four

pegs and to hammer these into the ground in an oblong formation. Four pieces of rope

were then found and the trap sprung. Someone said that he didn“t think that the pegs were

in the right place so Richard volunteered to lie down and have his wrists and ankles lashed

to the pegs to test the distances. As soon as he was staked out it dawned on him that he

had been well and truly stitched up and that he was in fact the victim. As he was wearing

only shorts and was naked above the waist, a jar of marmalade, brought from the

cookhouse, was liberally smeared all over his chest, neck and face. It didn“t cure Richard

of his pranks, but it did give the rest of the Staff a very hearty laugh. Richard was a great

guy and contributed greatly to the Group during his service as a member of Staff.

*Derelict Building On Site At Llyn Cwellyn *

78

D.

L.

M

B

S

S.

r

taf

Sli

R

Gib

e

ian

m

ath

f:

n

s

Ho

b

g

b

o

  • *

er

o

n

e

Hele

A

n

S.

r

llan

s

e;

[*:*]

.

d

n

A.

Gib

M.

D

Swar

A

R

s

Ath

s

ar

h

attr

o

to

y

b

n

r

;

er

l M

n

ick

ay

Ph

J

to

P.

itch

C.

Ma

n

il As

C.

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d

ell

Swar

d

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s

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M

b

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ch

n

er

L

rick .

ar

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b

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er

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.

h

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Swar

r

ts

all; D

B

le;

g

D

r

ess

ain

[* *]Mo

*1983 *

b

.

;

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.

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ick

Mitch

nica

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.

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  • L*

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(

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n; Sim

  • CWEL*

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m

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. W an

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f

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;

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+

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  • *

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;

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b

D

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;

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g

lay

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g

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er

;

;

;

.

79

*1984 *

*CRICCIETH *

  • *

Site Details: Ynysgain Faur Farm – middle or „rock” field. Farmer: Mr. Hughes. Site

cost £56.00 per week.

Good, flat, well drained site circa. 100 yards from shore; sandy spots to swim, fish and

boat; interesting rock pools abound.

  • *

[*Dates: *]18th to 25th August

Numbers: Staff: 10 Members: 18

Tentage: Three Bell Tents; one 22 × 15” Marquee; one 22” × 15” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £223.00; * *

transport donated by a local Haulage Company. * *

  • *

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) D Findlay (2) D Sharman (3) K Simpson

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We took an early morning dip one night in “84 × 3

But we didn“t swim far from the shore – COR!

  • *

[*Awards: *]

Best Tent: D Sharman

Best Member at their first camp: A Winstanley

Best overall Member: D Sharman

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Midnight Dip: *]

The weather during the week was glorious, with the sun shining from early morning „til

late at night. It was so hot that one day the Staff agreed that a mid-night dip would be a

great experience for both young and old alike. Safety arrangements were agreed and a

small area of shore line marked out on the beach. Staff would stand in a semi-circle

within their depth to allow the rest of camp to swim in safety. Everyone had a great time

in the cool, cool waters of Criccieth Bay. Everyone that is, except Monica Simpson, who

lost sight of Geoff in the darkness and thought that he had come to grief.

  • *

80

  • *

  • *

  • *

[*2) A „Wellie” Nasty Trick: *]

One afternoon, Phil Ashton, obeying the call of nature walked across to the bog tent in the

corner of the field. When he arrived he saw that the little sentry like box tent containing

an “Elasan” toilet was occupied as a pair of toe caps was just showing under the bottom of

the door flap.

Eventually, the little lad finished his task, unzipped the door flap and allowed Phil to

occupy the throne room. On walking away from the latrine area shortly afterwards, Phil“s

mischievous mind started to work overtime. He went back to his tent, collected a pair of

green Wellington boots and returned to the bog tent. He then placed the Wellingtons

inside, with their toe caps just showing under the door flap. He then zipped up the tent

door and retreated to the marquee to await developments. Very soon a little boy, also

answering the call of nature, approached the latrine area. Seeing the toe caps sticking out

from under the tent door, he waited and he waited and he waited, pacing around in

ever decreasing circles with a gnawing frustration plain to see on his face by Phil from the

marquee door. After about ten minutes he rushed across to the Marquee and told the Phil

that he was bursting to use the loo, but that someone had been in „occupation” for ages.

Phil then led the lad back to the bog, removed the Wellingtons and let the lad answer the

call of nature. The little lad was not amused – but every one else saw the joke.

  • Criccieth Castle *

81

K.

H.

M

S

Dan

taf

Simp

Go

em *]n [*f:

d

y

b

f

  • *

s

r

e

R

Ph

o

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ath

n; A ; S. s

il A

[*:*]

b

M.

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s

Ma

n

h

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e;

to

Ath

in

r

Dar

n

s

L

s

h

tan

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all; D

to

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es B

l M

ley

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.

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rg

.

h

.

ess

B

ell; Ri

W

u

in

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;

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g

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s

ess

tan

(

ch

*1984 *

Dian

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ar

f

ley

f

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N

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B

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m

  • *

r

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CR

Yar

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to

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  • *

d

ee

ICC

;

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n

ley

Ch

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s; M .

n

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ica

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.

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ato

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p

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  • *

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ts

.

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;

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n.

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n

ies;

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to

an

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B

to

rian

Sh

n; D

ar

H

m

.

o

Fin

llan

an

;

d

lay

d;

;

82

*1985 *

*WHITBY *

  • *

Site Details: Carr Mount, Sleights, Nr. Whitby.

Flat, well drained field with the A1410 road on one side and the River Esk on the other.

[Dates: *]17th to 24th August[ *]

[*Numbers: *]Staff 12 Members: 15 + 1 Child. * *

  • *

Tentage: Three Bell Tents; one 22 × 15” Marquee; one 22” × 15” Cookhouse; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £218.00; * *

transport donated by a local Haulage Company. * *

  • *

Tent Commanders:

(1) R Sharman (2) N Yardley (3) P Rees

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

The Red Arrows came and entertained us x 3

At Whitby “85 – WE“RE ALIVE

  • *

Ghost Story: The red eyed atomic rat.

[*Awards: *]

Cross Country: (1) N Yardley (2) M Burgess (3) G Winstanley.

Best Tent: Number 1 – R Sharman.

Best Member at their first camp: K Maddock

Best overall Member: P Rees.

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) A Centrally Heated River: *]

The River Esk can become pretty cold, even during the summer months and this was

certainly the case in August 1985. Some „nesh” youngsters were forever complaining

about the water temperature, particularly during their early morning dip. Phil put it about

that a water heating device was to be purchased to heat up a small section of the river.

This device did not come cheap and those who wanted to take advantage of it would have

to pay towards the rental! On the following morning a peculiar contraption (knocked up in

83

the marquee the night before) was lowered into the river, near to the bank, and a „dummy”

electric cable led towards the generator tent.

When morning dip was called at 8 a.m., Members were told that anyone wanting a warm

dip would have to pay for the privilege. One of the boys even agreed to collect the cash

and to vary the charge according to the distance bathers stood from the heater. With the

water running fast past the „heater” it was amazing how many youngsters delved into their

pocket money to pay the levy. To top it all, some actually said that the cost was worth it

and that the water was warmer than on any previous day.

2) Entertained By The Red Arrows:

After a full and very enjoyable day on the beach, swimming, canoeing, cliff climbing and

playing beach games the Group were in the process of packing up the gear to return to

Camp. At about 5 p.m. some Staff noticed that large crowds of people were beginning to

gather on the promenade and cliffs. On asking what was happening they were told that the

RAF Red Arrow Aerobatic Flight was shortly to give a demonstration off Whitby Head.

The Group decided to delay the evening meal and to await the arrival of the flyers.

Eventually they came and gave a most magnificent display over the sea and one which all

who were present will remember for many a long day.

*River Esk, Whitby *

84

R

M

Dar

S

.

taf

Mo

em *]yl M [*f:

r

b

elan

  • *

e

Hele

itch

r

d

s

P.

[*:*]

ell; D

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M.

Ash

R

Ath

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to

s

n

M

er

e

[*; *]

to

Mitch

Ph

.

n

R

M

il A

ob

ell; A

er

.

s

B

h

ts

u

to

R.

rg

n

n

ess

d

L

r

Sh

ew

es B

R.

ar

Pre

m

u

*1985 *

B

an

r

u

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g

;

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ess

g

K

ess

S.

;

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Geo

  • *

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WHI

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.

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in

TBY

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n

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;

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to

  • *

to

Mo

m

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  • *

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.

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n

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;

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.

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in

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;

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N

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Bria

.

Ma

Yar

s

n

s

d

o

Ho

ley

n;

llan

d;

85

*1986 *

*LLYN CWELLYN *

  • *

[*Site Details: *]Planwydd, Rhyd-ddu, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, North Wales.

Farmer: Mr J L Ellis. Site cost £37.00 per week.

River and lake site just below Mount Snowdon and surrounded by trees.

  • *

[*Dates: *]16th to 23rd August

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 9 + 2 part time Members: 13 + 1 Child

  • *

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 22 × 15” Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff and Store

Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £137.00; [* *]transport donated by a local

Haulage Company. * *

  • *

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) A Winstanley. (2) A Egerton

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

In 1986 the Circus came to Madoc Town x 3

But Monica didn“t rate the „Piggin” clowns – SHE FROWNED.

  • *

[*Awards: *]

Cross country: (1) A Edwards (2) M Burgess (3) R Burgess.

Best Tent: Number 2 – A Egerton.

Keenest Member: R Burgess

Best Member at their first camp: A Edwards

Best overall Member: M Atherton.

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Attendance: *]

In July of this year a special Senior Duke of Edinburgh“s Award Camp had been held on

the shores of Lake Windermere. In consequence numbers at this camp were below

normal.

  • *

  • *

  • *

86

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

[*2) A Circus Came To Town: *]

When Staff learned that a circus tent had been spotted in Porthmadog enquiries were made

and tickets booked for an evening performance. The circus clowns took a great liking to

Monica Simpson. However, Monica did not appreciate their attention and let it be known

in no uncertain manner that „She did not like the „Piggin” clowns!” Nevertheless, it was a

memorable night for the rest of the Camp Members.

  • *

3) Rope Bridge:

Running alongside the site and into the lake was a river approximately 10 metres in width.

Brian Holland, an expert with ropes and pulleys and things, decided to rig up a rope

bridge across the stream at its widest point. „Bridge” may be a slight exaggeration, for the

finished construction consisted of two taut ropes, 4 feet apart and one above the other.

Members were then invited to try their luck at crossing the stream with their feet on the

lower rope whilst holding on to the one above. This was not a steady structure for the

ropes swayed from side to side as each person tried to cross. With difficulty, quite a

number successfully made it to the opposite bank, but a few dropped off into the deep

stream below, much to the derision of the watching throng.

[*4) The Flood: *]

Although the river was placid most of the time, to the extent that it was safe and suitable

for swimming, this all changed one morning when a raging storm in the hills the previous

night turned the stream into a raging torrent. No swimming or playing in the river that

day.

*Sail Boarding on Llyn Cwellyn *

87

R

M

S Hitch

S

.

taf

Sh

em

ar

f:

b

m

in

Hele

e

an

r

so

s

K

[*:*]

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. Simp Ath n to

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A

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.

;

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.

Dar

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B

in

to

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s

r

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n

tan

g

l M

L

ess

ley

es B

itch

R.

G

*1986 *

ell; M

u

B

r

.

g

W

u

ess

r

in

g

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o

;

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n

  • *

tan

Geo

L

ica

J

L

ley

.

Simp

f

YN

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f

C

+

r

  • CWEL*

o

Dan

;

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A.

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;

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to

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Su

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(

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  • *

.

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war

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t

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.

n

S.

ck;J

M

un

ar

e

s

E

h

g

all; R.M

erton (Par

orelan

t);

d;

88

1986

*DUKE OF EDINBURGH“S AWARD CAMP *

LAKE WINDERMERE

[*Site Details: *]Low Wray Farm, Windermere – A National Trust Site. * *

More or less opposite to Waterhead, Ambleside. Flat field surrounded by trees and close

to the lake. Site cost: £46.00.

Dates: 19th to 26th July

Numbers: Staff: 2 + 2 part time Members: 6.

[*Tentage: *]

Small 2 man Tents for Staff and Members; two large Frame Tents.

[*Staff: *]

Geoff Crompton; Monica Simpson; Phil Ashton (part time); Andrew Preen (part time).

[*Members: *]

A.Egerton; C.Maddock; K.Maddock; R.Moreland; K. Simpson; S. Waddington.

[*Activities: *]

Duke of Edinburgh“s Bronze Award Expeditions.

During the course of the week five young ladies passed their D of E Award Expedition

Tests. They walked for 15 miles around Lake Windermere, carried their own gear and

camped for one night in the woods close to Low Wray Castle.

Other activities during the week included: games; hill walking; canoeing; swimming and

visits to Ambleside and Bowness.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) TA On Parade: *]

On the last day of camp a Territorial Army Unit set up tents in the woods next to our site.

Now, it should be understood, that the six young ladies of the Group, five of whom were

engaged in taking their Duke of Edinburgh“s Award, were very attractive 14/16 year olds.

The young TA lads started to „chat them up” but in an astute move, Geoff and Monica,

thinking that the TA lads would be better in their line of vision than out of it, invited them

89

to the camp fire that evening. They all sang heartily, listened intently to the ghost story

and enjoyed a mug of cocoa and biscuits before retiring for the night.

*Preparing To Set Out Around Windermere *

  • *

  • *

  • *

*Staff And Members At The 1986 D.o.E. Camp *

  • *

  • *

  • *

Staff And Members Back At The HQ – 1986

90

*1987 *

*CRICCIETH *

  • *

Site Details: Ynysgain Faur Farm – railway field. Farmer: Mr Hughes. Site cost

£68.00 per week.

Good, flat, well drained compact site close to a rail line and circa. 100 yards from shore;

sandy spots to swim, fish and boat; interesting rock pools abound.

  • *

[Dates: *]22nd to 29th August[ *]

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 12 Members: 12 + I Child.

  • *

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 40× 20” Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff and Store

Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £152.00; [* *]transport donated by a local

Haulage Company. * *

Tent Commanders:

(1) P Rees. (2) R Moreland

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

There came a Yank to Criccieth camp in 1987 × 3

From Michigan USAHURRAY.

  • *

Ghost Story: Alwyn Thomas – the Hunchback of Criccieth Castle.

[*Awards: *]

Best tent: Number 1 – P Rees.

Best Member at their first camp – A Washington.

Best overall Member: P Rees.

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Breakfast Ritual: *]

These were the years of our second minibus „Maggie Too”. Because our friendly local

haulier was unable to collect our tentage from J C Bradfield in Liverpool on the Friday

afternoon“s Daryl and Phil volunteered to pick up and transport the gear to Moulton in

„Maggie”. This they then did for a number of years and now recall that they developed the

ritual of having an all day breakfast at a Little Chef on their return journey.

91

[*2) The Yanks Are Coming: *]

Susan Woodward was not strictly a member of staff of the MAG. She was a participant in

the Duke of Edinburgh“s Award Scheme, having started on the D of E trail whilst at the

Grange School, Hartford. Having left the Grange she made the decision to finish her

Award and asked Brian Holland, who served on the local D of E Award Committee, if he

could arrange for her to do part of her service training with a local group? Being a

member of staff in the MAG, Brian suggested that she come along to camp in North

Wales for a week.

Susan had a pen friend in Michigan, USA who was visiting her in Northwich during the

summer of 1987. Not wanting to leave her friend at home whist she was away enjoying a

week“s camp, she asked if she could bring her along too. The Staff of the Group readily

agreed and were introduced to the young lady – Kelly Olson. Kelly was a delightful girl

who quickly struck up a rapport with everyone and enjoyed her camp thoroughly.

[*3) Yankee Doodle Dandy: *]

The Staff item at the camp fire on Friday night was a compliment to Kelly Olson. They

devised and acted a parody of that famous American scene showing a small group of

early Americans, some wounded in battle, playing „Yankee Doodle” on a piccolo and

drum and carrying the Stars and Stripes, proudly, to their front.

[*4) All Under One Roof; *]

In an attempt to keep camp charges to a minimum the Staff decided to reduce the tentage

bill. This they did by hiring one 40” × 20” marquee instead of the usual two smaller ones.

The cookhouse facility was then relocated in a partitioned corner of the large tent. This

system worked well and was used for many years until the Group managed to purchase its

own marquee and cookhouse tent.

*Camp Fun Photo Criccieth *

92

C

M

B

S

.

r

taf

Po

e

ian

m

well;

f:

Ho

b

Hele

[*er *]llan

R

s:

.

n

d

Sh

S.

K

Ash

ar

B

elly

ell

m

to

an

M

n

Ols

Ph

S.

. B o il As

n

T

u

h

r

(

g

USA)

o

ess

h

m

to

as; A.

R.

n

D

A

B

ar

n

W

u

d

y

*1987 *

r

r

ash

g

l M

ea

ess

B

in

itch

A

eb

gto

b

  • *

.

ell; K

CR

in

n

Fleet;

g

t

+

o

ICC

er

n

Dan

C

r

L

y

.

Simp

es

IE

i

I

el

llid

B

T

Ash

u

g

H

s

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e;

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  • *

to

n

ess

S.

M

n. Ma

;

o

Geo

n

rs

ica

h

f

all;

f

Simp

Cro

R

m

.

s

Mo

o

p

n

to

S

n

relan

Ch

usan

d

ris

P.

W

E

o

ato

R

o

ee

d

ck

war

s;

;

d.

93

*1988 *

WHITBY

  • *

Site Details: Carr Mount, Sleights, Nr. Whitby. Site cost £101.50 per week.

Flat, well drained field with the A1410 road on one side and the River Esk on the other. * *

  • *

[*Dates: *]13th to 20th August

Numbers: Staff: 10 Members: 17 + 3 Children.

  • *

Tentage: Three Bell Tents; one 40× 20” Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff and Store

Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £201.00; [* *]transport donated by a local

Haulage Company. * *

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) G Winstanley (2) M Burgess (3) R Sharman

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Reeso went fishing at Whitby “88 × 3

But he didn“t catch a SPRAT he caught a BATHOWZAT!

[*Awards: *]

Cross country winners: (1) J Powell (2) D Edwards (3) A Buckley

Best Tent: Number 1 – G Winstanley

Most adventurous Member: S Foster

Best Member at their first camp: S Foster

Best overall Member: J Powell

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Hook, Line And Sinker: *]

After dinner one night some Members decided to break out their fishing rods and head for

the river to try to catch some fish. One of the lads was Paul Rees and as it grew dark Paul

bated his hook and cast into the river. As his float and hook were airborne a bat swooped

down from the trees and took his hook and bait, literally „hook line and sinker”. Staff had

great difficulty in extricating the hook from the throat of the bat to set it free.

  • *

  • *

94

  • *

  • *

  • *

  • *

[*2) An Unexpected Guest: *]

In 1988 both Phil Ashton and Monica Simpson had the job of Quartermasters i.e. they

ensured that all food and anything else required was purchased and available as needed.

One day Phil and Monica said that they needed to take a trip to the local shops to buy

groceries. Whilst they were away Daryl Mitchell thought he would have a bit of fun with

Monica.

Along with other Members of Staff he emptied Monica“s tent of all the gear and took it

down. He then re-erected the tent on the same spot over Monica“s Mini Metro Car and

zipped up the door.

On her return from shopping Daryl told Monica that one of the children was unwell and

that he had put her to bed in her tent. He said the child was asleep and should not be

disturbed. Some time later, Monica looked in on the child only to receive a welcome from

her car number plate inside the door.

[*3) Kippers For Breakfast: *]

Shane Marshall was a keen fisherman and one day asked if he could fish in the river after

dark. His wish was granted on the understanding that whatever he caught would be

cooked and that he would eat it.

Shane set up his gear on the bank and settled down to fish. Whilst Shane was answering

the call of nature Phil Ashton hauled in his line and attached a kipper to the hook. When

Shane returned from the bog he shouted with joy when he realised that he had caught

something. He pulled in his line and showed everyone in camp his catch. Next morning

the kipper was duly cooked and presented to Shane for breakfast.

*The Landing Pier At Whitby *

95

G.

J

M

Dar

S

.

Hea

taf

W

[*em *]y

in

l M

f:

d

b

s

L

Hele

tan

e

itch

r

.

ley

s

Ho

[*: *]

ell; P

n

R

+

u

Ash

g

.

Dan

h

B

S.

ar

R

to

ee

to

n

iel

Ma

n

s

Ph

M

S.

Ash

r

il As

s

o

h

B

n

to

al

ell; M

ica

n

l; C

h

K

to

Simp

n

.

ate

L

Po

. B

Ash

well;

u

s

es B

o

rg

n

ess

A

*1988 *

to

u

r

n

J

R.

g

Car

.

W

ess

Po

in

well;

B

;

s

  • *

l M

u

tan

Geo

WHI

rg

itch

ess

ley

f

K.

f

T

A

.

C

ell.

R

r

o

B

e

.

es;

m

Y

B

p

u

  • *

to

ck

R

n

,

ley

Ch

Sh

D

ar

r

m

is

.

an

E

E

d

ato

A

war

ck

. W d

Bria

s

ash

A.

in

n

g

Fl

H

to

ee

o

n

llan

;

t;

S.

d;

Fo

ster

;

96

*1989 *

*LLYN CWELLYN *

  • *

[*Site Details: *]Planwydd, Rhyd-ddu, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, North Wales.

Farmer: Mr J L Ellis. Site cost £ 60.00 per week.

River and lake site just below Mount Snowdon and surrounded by trees.

  • *

[Dates: *]18th to 25th August[ *]

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 12 Members: 12 + Four mini campers (2 days) from the Kestrel

Section and 3 Children[* *]

Tentage: Four Ridge Tents; one 40× 20” Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff and Store

Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £122.00:[* *]transport donated by a local

Haulage Company. * *

  • *

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) A Fleet (2) C Powell (3) R Burgess

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Four mini campers came to Cwellyn “89 × 3

And we hope they will return another time – FINE.

[*Awards: *]

Best tent: Number 3 – C Powell

Most adventurous Member: A Edwards

Best Member at their first camp – S Maddock

Best overall Member – C Powell

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Mini Campers: *]

1989 saw the arrival of four mini-campers from the Kestrel Group (7 – 10 year olds). The

idea was that these youngsters would be allowed to come to Camp for two nights to get a

taste of what camping was about.

[*2) And The Rains Came: *]

On the whole, not a very good week so far as the weather was concerned. However, this

did not create any problems until the final day when Camp was being struck. The vehicle

97

sent to collect the gear etc managed to get stuck in the mud and we had to enlist the help

of Mr. Ellis and his tractor to haul the vehicle off the site and on to the hard standing of

the lane leading to the Camp.

  • *

[*3) „I See No Sheep”: *]

At about 3 a.m. one night Geoff was awakened by the sound of the rain and wind lashing

down. He then felt that his sleeping bag was wet and that rain was pouring in at one end of

the tent. He put on his clothes and went outside to see what the trouble was. The rain had

softened the ground allowing the wind to drag out the pegs at one end. The outer tent was

lying on the inner with the result that water was leaking in. Geoff found a mallet and in

the pouring rain started to hammer in the pegs. He said later that he had said to himself

“What on earth am I doing here at 56 years of age, hammering pegs into the ground in

torrential rain in the middle of the night, in the middle of Snowdonia?”

Next morning the storm had abated and the day“s activities began. Over lunch Geoff, who

had not had a lot of sleep, asked the rest of the Staff what their plans were for the

afternoon. He was told that they had arranged canoeing on the lake and that some

Members were to set off to climb a mountain near to the site. At this Geoff said „Well if

you don“t mind I“m off to bed to catch up on my sleep!” About an hour later Geoff, who

by this time had nicely snuggled down in his, now dry sleeping bag, was wakened by a

call of distress outside. „Geoffff… Geofff” he heard. Quickly getting out of his bed, he put

on his clothes, unzipped the tent and looked around. There was nobody to be seen. He

could see some Staff and Members at a distance canoeing and swimming in the lake but

not a soul on site. Geoff then looked over the hedge into the next field and a sheep looked

him straight in the eye and said, what sounded like „Geofff „.

*Snowdonia *

98

+

C

M

S M

S

Dan

.

taf

Po

[*em *]ar

we

f:

iel

s

b

h

Hele

ll; V.

e

all; D

Ash

[*rs: *]

n

to

Po

S.

ar

Ash

n

y

K

well;

B

l M

ir

to

ate

tles;

itch

n

K.

(

Ash

p

R

ell; Ri

ar

R

.

t)

to

ee

B

Ph

n

s

u

Car

J.

r

ch

g

il Ash

ess

ar

Yar

l M

d

;

R

wo

A.

to

itch

o

y

n

o

E

le

L

d

d

ell.

.

war

*1989 *

(

es B

p

Min

ar

d

t)

s

u

i Cam

D

;

r

g

ess

  • *

.

L

Mic

E

L

p

d

;

e

war

M

YN

h

rs

ell

B

(

d

2

e

u

  • CWEL*

s

A

R

r

Day

g

o

ess

.

y

s

Fleet; S.

le

;

): A

(

Geo

par

L

.

YN

Gee

t)

ff

;

L

C

M

A

ee

r

  • *

o

o

s

m

.

n

;

Gr

ica

p

to

S.

an

n

Simp

Ma

Ch

t; J.

dd s r

Hu

o

i

o

s

n

ck

E

n

.

ter

S.

ato

ck

L

No

Bria

.

W

d

e

h

n

itlo

;

n Ho

w

llan

d;

99

*1990 *

*CRICCIETH *

[*Site Details: *]

Ynysgain Faur Farm – middle or „rock” field. Farmer: Mr. Hughes. Site cost £221.00.

Good, flat well drained site c.100 yards from shore; sandy spots to swim fish and boat;

interesting rock pools abound.

[Dates: *]20th to 27th August[ *]

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 13 Members: 20 + 13 Mini campers.

  • *

Tentage: Three Bell Tents; one 40× 20” Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff and Store

Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £214.00; transport donated by a local

Haulage Company. * *

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1)A Edwards (2) R Burgess (3) A Fleet

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

At 1990 Criccieth camp the men were really cads x 3

For they filled the girls toilets from the lads – THEY“RE BAD.

[*Awards: *]

Cross country winners: (1) Alan Edwards (2) A Buckley (3) A Fleet.

Best Tent: Number 1 – A Fleet.

Best Member at their first camp – S Hughes

Best overall Member – A Fleet.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Duke Of Edinburgh“s Gold Award: *]

A young lady, from the Grange School, Hartford, asked permission to attend camp as a

working Junior Member of Staff to help achieve her D of E Service level. Her name was

Jenny Cope. She put in a tidy bit of work over the week to obtain a glowing report in her

record book.

  • *

  • *

  • *

100

[*2) Bog Problems: *]

As mentioned earlier the ladies of Camp were supplied with a large frame tent for

personal washing, hygiene etc. Also within the tent was a partitioned latrine. It was the

custom for the males to empty their „bog” into the latrine pit whilst the girls attended to

theirs.

This system worked well until a devious Member of the male Staff (Daryl Mitchell) had

an idea. Each morning they quietly bided their time until all the ladies on site were

engaged in other activities. They then proceeded to empty the boy“s latrine bucket into the

bucket in the girl“s tent. As there were far more males than females in Camp Monica

approached Geoff after a couple of days with a very worried look on her face.

She said she was very concerned at the amount of „pooh” the girls were producing and

suspected that they had some form of infection. She was not best pleased when told that

she had been emptying the total excretions of the Camp into the pit for the past two or

three days.

  • *

[*3) Stirling Moss They Were Not: *]

As a treat for some of the older Members, a few Staff, who had brought their cars to

Camp, allowed the boy“s and girl“s to drive the cars around the playing field for a while

under supervision. They were thrilled and the vehicles survived the experience.

  • *

*A Typical Staff Meal Gathering *

101

R

Min

M.

I

M

B

S

.

o

Gr

r

taf

b

e

ian

W

s

i Cam

m

o

ee

alk

f:

n

Ho

n

b

A

  • *

S.

e

Ph

er

r

llan

p

.

.

er

s

il A

T

Hu

[*:*]

h

s

d

A.

o

Sh

s

(

g

h

m

2

h

B

to

p

Day

es; S.

u

an

n

s

ck

o

L

e

n

s

ley

L

Ma

)

es B

R.

Ho

.

N

r

W

u

s

u

h

An

g

.

r

h

h

al

g

B

itlo

d

S.

l; Da

ess

u

r

g

ew;

w;

g

;

L

S.

r

M

ee

y

V.

L

l M

s

B

.

W

P.

B

u

B

u

itch

r

ailey

h

g

g

itlo

L

g

ess

ath

R.

ell; Sim

;

w;

;

*1990 *

am

J

L

B

en

.

u

R

C.

n

C

rg

y

.

h

o

ess

W

ilto

n

C

L

  • *

Pre

o

CR

is

ev

A

p

n

e

e

m

;

er

en

A.

.

(

ICC

an

S.

E

D

;

d

Gr

war

R

o

+

f

No

ich

an

E

IE

Dan

t; G.

d

d

)

ar

;

en

s

T

D

iel

d

Geo

H

D

R

Ash

Gr

.

o

  • *

E

f

.

y

f

ee

Par

d

le;

C

war

to

n

ro

n

;

k

Mic

m

Car

er

d

N.

s

p

;

;

h

to

L

Ho

elle

.

l M

J

n

Par

.

Ch

u

Fit

g

R

itch

h

k

to

o

r

V

er

y

is

n

ell; L

A

le;

A

E

. L

ato

.

Mo

ev

.

T

y

Fleet; J.

ck

h

n

er

n

o

d

ica

;

S.

m

s

ey

p

s

Simp

Mill; E

o

Mitch

n

Fleet;

;

s

o

ell.

n

.

.

102

*1991 *

*WHITBY *

  • *

Site Details: Carr Mount, Sleights, Nr. Whitby.

Flat well drained field with the A1410 road on one side and the River Esk on the other[* *]

  • *

[*Dates: *]17th to 24th August

Nu[*mbers: *]Staff: 14 Members: 22 + 6 Mini Campers and 3 Children.

Tentage: Three Bell Tents; one 40× 20” Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff and Store

Tents. Vehicle donated by Bristol Haulage Company but drivers wages and fuel cost

£150.00.

  • *

Tent Commanders:

(1) S Hughes (2) D Edwards (3) N Bugg

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

The river needed warming up in 1991 × 3

But our generator wasn“t good enough – TOUGH.

[*Awards: *]

Cross country winners: (1) D Edwards (2) P Latham (3) L Massey.

Best Tent: Number 1 – S Hughes.

Best Member at their first camp: S Lear.

Best overall Member: D Edwards.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Aquaplaning On The Esk: *]

Early on in the week a good natured feud began between four Members of Staff. Over two

or three days a good deal of banter took place between the Royle brothers on the one hand

(Andrew and Richard) and Phil Ashton and Daryl Mitchell on the other. The banter

centred on which of the two pairs was stronger at paddling a Canadian canoe. To settle the

argument it was decided to arrange a tug of war contest on the waters of the River Esk.

The contest would take place with both pairs sitting in a Canadian, facing in opposite

directions. When the start whistle blew each set of paddlers would pit their strength

against the other and try to move the canoe forward. On the evening of the contest all was

103

made ready and, with much cheering from the bank, the signal to start was given. Both

couples began to paddle like crazy but sad to say it was no contest.

Andrew and Richard won easily, for being much heavier than Phil and Daryl, they were

able to obtain more purchase on their paddles by digging them deep into the water. The

excuse given by Phil and Daryl for their defeat was that the canoe was lower in the water

at the Royle end leaving them high in the air at the other. Phil said later that he was so

high in the air at one point that he suffered a nose bleed. A lame excuse it has to be said.

2[*) Bolshy Boy: *]

It was Ewan Robson’s first Camp and to say he was of an independent nature would be

stretching it a bit. He was „bolshy”. He just would not do as he was told and at one point

was in danger of being sent home. Just before the heavens were about to descend on him

Daryl Mitchell and he had a final confrontation. There had been heavy dew the night

before and after the morning inspection Daryl ordered everyone to put their gear back into

their tents. Ewan refused and so Daryl decided that the time had come to make a firm

stand. He placed a chair at the entrance to Iwan“s tent and refused to let him enter until his

gear was properly stowed away. It took a while, but in the end Iwan capitulated. After that

there were no further problems with Iwan who became a very long serving member of the

Group.

  • *

[*3) Scarred For Life: *]

For one reason or another, some people who attend Camp seem to think that they must

have the facility of a shower on site. Bathing in the sea, lake or river is just not sufficient

for their needs. Ladies, in particular are prone to complain, but in fairness it must be said

that the „odd” bloke does have a moan too. Well, at Whitby in 1991, some kind hearted

Members of Staff decided to rig up a make-shift shower. They put up a screen, with a

watering can rose above and designed to supply a limited amount of water to the recipient

below. Some Staff Members started to use the facility and one day, Haley Green, a very

attractive young Junior Member of Staff, decided it was her turn. She entered the shower,

stripped, and proceeded to enjoy the luxury of the cascading water. Unfortunately for her,

Richard Royle, with the same idea in mind, approached the shower and without noticing

(or that“s what he said, anyway) pulled back the screen. There, standing in front of him

was this naked figure of loveliness. Richard fled in terror but later apologised to Haley for

viewing her in her birthday suit.

  • *

104

L

Min

R

S Hu

M

Ad

S

y

.

taf

n

W

e

r

d

i Cam

m

ian

s

i

g

f:

ey

s

h

em

b

es; S.

Fleet; S

  • *

e

Ph

Mitch

p

an

r

er

s

il A

M

[*:*]

s

L

R

s

ell.

(

ea

2

.

h

.

Gan

An

to

W

Day

r

S.

n

r

d

ig

d

L

r

s

i; Ha

h

L

ew;

)

es B

A

t

ee

s

N.

ley

.

P.

u

A

r

B

g

s

Gr

tles

L

u

ess

ath

g

ee

g

;

T

S.

n

am

R

D

ich

.

As

C.

B

ar

*1991 *

u

ar

tles

g

y

d

L

g

l M

S.

ev

;

Bu

D.

itch

er

rg

  • *

WHI

E

L

C

ess

d

ell; A

h

war

.

u

;

Ma

r

G

c

T

d

h

n

eo

s

s

D

B

D

s

d

ie;

r

f

e

f

Y

.

.

w

C

  • *

S M

E

Fin

r

d

R

o

war

o

m

n

ill;

y

p

ey

le;

d

to

K

J

s

n

.

J.

Mic

A

Pay

. W

Fleet; J.

h

Har

n

elle

o

e;

rth

v

E

R

e

.

.

y

o

+

R

Gan

;

y

o

Dan

le;

b

Hea

s

d

o

R

i; A.

iel

n

ic

th

J.

h

er

Ash

ar

W

Gr

Do

d

to

ar

an

R

n

n

d

o

t; M

ald

Car

E

y

le.

Ch

.

.

W

l M

Hu

h

ris

itlo

g

itch

h

E

es;

w;

ato

ell;

ck

;

105

*1992 *

*LLYN CWELLYN *

[*Site Details: *]Planwydd, Rhyd-ddu, Caernarfon, Gwynedd, North Wales.

Farmer: Mr J. L. Ellis. Site cost £62.00 per week.

River and lake site just below Mount Snowdon and surrounded by trees.

  • *

Dates: 22nd to 29th August

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 9 Members: 10 + 3 Children

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 40× 20” Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff and Store

Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £207.00; transport donated by a local

Haulage Company. * *

  • *

Tent Commanders:

(1) D Edwards (2) J Fleet

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We had to move the big Marquee in 1992 × 3

„cause the ground was in a stew – LIKE GLUE

[*Awards: *]

Best Tent: Number 2 – J Fleet

Best Member at their first camp: M Hubbard

Best overall Member: D Edwards

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

1) [*Quagmire: *]

In 1992 the weather was very unkind to the Moulton Adventure Group. It rained all week

and by Tuesday the site was a quagmire, particularly the land around and inside the large

marquee. A decision was taken to strike the saturated canvas (not an easy task) and move

the marquee to higher ground. When this was done life became a little more comfortable

in the new location.

106

2) [*Singing In The Rain: *]

The Staff camp fire item on the Friday was a hoot for they decided to do that memorable

Gene Kelly scene from the film „Singing in the Rain”, with umbrellas, wet gear and

copious amounts of water.

3) Hypothermia:

On Saturday morning the heavens opened again, just in time for the striking of Camp. By

the time the marquee had been dropped, nearly everyone was wet, cold and miserable. A

meal of sorts was put together and eaten in the only tent left standing, an ex War

Department store tent. Concern was then expressed about the very young Members who

were in danger of succumbing to hypothermia. It was decided to send them home early

and Les was asked to do the honours. He had no objections and was glad to vacate the site

with his young charges. When the Group finally left the site it looked very much like of a

scene from the WW1 Somme or Passchendaele battlefields.

[*Lake And Mountain – Llyn Cwellyn *]

107

C Me

An

S

.

taf

Mitch

d

m

rew

f:

b

  • *

e

Ph

ell; R.

R

r

o

s

il A

y

[*:*]

le;

R

s

Po

.

h

R

An

to

ich

well

n

d

L

r

ar

ew;

E

d

es B

R

.

D.

o

R

y

u

o

Ash

le

rg

bs

.

ess

o

n

to

G

.

n

+

S.

eo

Lin

f

Du

f

*1992 *

d

C

s

tto

ey

ro

n

m

Mitch

D

p

to

  • *

.

L

n

E

H

L

ell; L

dwar

YN

eath

a

d

  • CWEL*

u

s

e

r

J.

r

a

Do

R

Fleet; A

o

n

y

ald

le;

L

A

Sar

YN

.

d

Gr

ah

ria

  • *

an

n

R

o

t;

Fleet; Bria

yle

M.

.

Hu

bb

n

ar

Ho

d;

llan

d; D

aryl M

itch

ell;

  • *

108

*1993 *

*CRICCIETH *

  • *

[*Site Details: *]

Ynysgain Faur Farm – Railway field. Farmer: Mr. Hughes.

Good, flat well drained site circa. 100 yards from shore; sandy spots to swim fish and

boat; interesting rock pools abound.

[*Dates: *]7th to 14th August

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 10 Members: 14 + 1 mini camper

  • *

Tentage: Two Bell Tents; one 10” × 8” Ridge Tent; one 30× 20” Marquee; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Vehicle donated by a local Haulage Company.

Tent Commanders:

(1) D Edwards (2) M Hubbard (3) E Worth

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Our Mini-Bus broke down in 1993 × 3

And it broke down in a traffic jam – KABOOM

[*Awards: *]

Best Sports Team: D Edwards and Team.

Best Tent: Number 1 – D Edwards

Best Member at their first Camp: Emma Worth

Best overall Member: D Edwards

Anecdotes:

[*1) Right Site, Wrong Field: *]

On occasions when the driver of the vehicle, wanted an early start on Saturday morning

two Group members would travel with him to offload the gear prior to the arrival of the

main convoy. This particular year was such an occasion and Phil Ashton with young

David Edwards volunteered to rise early and travel on the lorry. On arrival at the site they

quickly unloaded the vehicle and sent the driver on his way. Shortly afterwards the

farmer, Mr Hughes, arrived on site to tell them that they were in the wrong field and that

they should be in the Railway field. Phil and David then had the job of telling the rest of

109

the Group, on their arrival on site, that the gear needed to be moved to the correct

location.

  • *

[*2) Putting On A Show: *]

As the sea wall at Criccieth is high and pretty steep the „mountain goats” among the Staff

decided to use the facility as a climbing wall. Members, properly roped up, with a

Member of Staff lashed on at the top, enjoyed a unique climbing practise in the sunshine.

Crowds soon gathered to watch the Group and were delighted at what they saw.

  • *

[*3) „Dipso” Roylee: *]

For a bit of light relief Staff, led by Daryl Mitchell, concocted a ruse to make Monica

think that Andrew Royle was well on the way to becoming an alcoholic. Each day, when

the Quartermaster was about to leave to collect the groceries from town, he asked the

Staff, including Monica Simpson, if there was anything they wanted from the shops. Each

day, Andrew asked for a bottle of whisky. He then, on a number of occasions over the

day, let it be known that he was retiring to his tent for a few minutes. Pretending secrecy,

he would then produce a brown paper bag with a bottle in it and take a sly slug, making

sure of course that Monica was observing him. Monica became so concerned that she

confided in some Senior Members of Staff and pleaded with them to do something to stop

Andrew“s addiction. She was not a „happy camper” when she discovered that she had been

duped again and that the bottles contained cold tea.

  • *

[*4) Revenge Is Sweet: *]

Not to be outdone, Monica decided to take her revenge. When Daryl was off Camp one

day, she crept into his tent and sewed up his sleeping bag at about half way, making an

„apple pie bed”. After a night in the marquee playing cards etc Daryl retired to his pit but

try as he might he could not stretch his legs to the bottom of his bag. In desperation he

raided the first aid kit, borrowed a pair of scissors and cut the stitching inside his bag.

Monica had had her revenge.

  • *

[*5) Amateurs And Experts: *]

One day when the weather was poor, a decision was taken to transport most of the Camp

to Criccieth baths for a swim and hot shower. On the return journey the mini-bus gave up

the ghost and Phil and Andy tried to fix it. They failed and the bus was then towed back to

Camp. On arrival, and much to Phil and Andy“s embarrassment, Daryl took a look at the

problem and within minutes, sorted the fault and had the bus running again.

110

C

M

Dar

S

.

taf

Mitch

em *]yl M [*f:

b

  • *

e

Ph

ell; L

itch

rs

il A

[*:*]

ell; Rach

.

R

s

Mitch

.

h

An

ton

d

L

ell; O

r

el

ew;

es B

Mo

D.

.

r

u

M

elan

r

Ash

g

ask

ess

d

to

A

ell; E

;

*1993 *

n

R

D

n

ich

d

.

.

r

R

ew

ar

E

d

o

d

  • *

b

war

R

B

CR

s

o

u

o

y

r

n

d

le;

g

ICC

S.

s

ess

J.

M

;

R

Fleet; V

o

G

IE

o

n

y

ica

eo

le;

T

ff

H

R

S

C

im

.

  • *

.

r

W

Go

o

p

m

is

s

o

o

p

em

d

n

to

ier

.

an

n; H

M

E

ea

.

.

W

Hu

ther

o

b

r

b

D

th

ar

o

;

d

n

;

ald

K.

W

Ad

o

r

r

i

th

an

.

Fleet;

  • *

111

1994

*BALA LAKE *

  • *

[*Site Details: *]Flat, well drained site with the River Tryweryn flowing alongside into

Bala Lake. Further upstream, „white water” canoeists trained and competed. To make this

sport more interesting a dam had been constructed beyond the „white water area”. The

waters, when released every day around 10 a.m, cascaded down stream for about six

hours. This made the river unsafe for water sports and these were banned during the time

of the torrent. Site cost £200.00 per week.

[*Dates: *]6th to 13th August

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 11 Members: 18

[Tentage: *]Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £229.00[ *]

  • *

[*Tent Commanders: *]

(1) J Fleet (2) A Grant (3) L Hubbard (4) E Worth

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Andy went a swimming in the deep, freezing stream x 3

Just to save the ladies latrine – KEEN

[*Awards: *]

Best Tent: Number 1 – Jim Fleet.

Best Member at their first camp: L Hubbard.

Best overall Member: A Grant.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) A Costly Set Of Gear: *]

On the way to Camp on the Saturday morning Geoff“s car, loaded with kit and youngsters,

decided to give up the ghost. It broke down with severe gearbox problems. The car was

towed onto the site by one of the other cars and later to a local garage in Bala. A new

gearbox was prescribed and this made camp a very expensive holiday for Geoff.

  • *

  • *

  • *

112

[*2) A Tent Full Of Eastern Promise: *]

Adrian Fleet, a young Member of Staff, asked if it would be OK to invite his young lady

to Camp. He said that she had her own tent and that it was perfectly adequate. On the

Saturday morning the Staff were astounded to see the design of the tent. It looked rather

like something from the Arabian Nights, with tassels, trinkets and minarets in abundance.

A magic carpet was half expected to appear but didn“t, thank goodness.

  • *

[*3) Abandon Ship: *]

One morning Andy Royle offered to take the two Worth sisters for a boat ride on the lake.

Now these three ladies were bonnie lasses to say the least and Andrew was no lean

chicken either! When they all climbed aboard the Guard Boat aft, they, along with the

weight of the outboard motor, very nearly swamped the boat with water lapping over the

gunwales.

[*4) The Great „Bog” Escape: *]

Having emptied a bog bucket into the chemical toilet provided by the site management the

Staff member concerned noticed, on tramping back to the latrine area, that the bucket was

still a little soiled. Not wishing to retrace his journey to the chemical toilets he decided to

clean the bucket in the river. On wading in to the stream he lost his grip on the bucket

handle which quickly sailed away. Camp activities were then interrupted with a shout

from the river bank of „Bog overboard”. Staff and members raced down the river in an

attempt to cut of the escaping bog. Some 200 yards down stream the escaping toilet was

recaptured, given a good thrashing and returned to the lonely seclusion of its own little

sentry box. Later a member of staff to suggest that a new sport had been invented. White

water „toBOGganing”.

*Kayak Instruction On Bala Lake *

113

L. Mi [M *]Dar *Staf

[*em *]yl M

tch

f:

b

  • *

ell; O

e

P

itch

r

h

s

il A

[*:*]

ell; Rach

R

.

s

Ma

.

h

An

to

s

n

k

d

L

ell; E

r

el

ew;

es B

Mo

D.

.

r

u

R

elan

r

o

Ash

g

b

ess

s

d

o

to

A

G

n; S. n

*1994 *

A

n

eo

d

R

.

r

ew

f

o

Gr

f

y

C

le;

an

R

r

  • *

o

B

o

t; L

m

ALA LAKE

E

yle; p

.

to

Su

. Hu M n

m

D

o

b

n

n

b

e

ica

av

r

ar

H

id

d; S. S

.

im

E

Su

d

  • *

Mill; S.

p

war

m

so

n

n

d

er

.

s

;

A

Pam

E

No

d

.

r

W

ian

r

wo

W

o

r

y

Fleet;

th

o

n

d

K

n

;

e.

C

.

W

.

Mik

Mitch

or

e

th

Hu

.

ell;

bb

ard;

114

*1995 *

*CONISTON LAKE *

[*Site Details: *]Hoathwaite Farm, Coniston Water, Cumbria. Farmer: Mr. A. C. Wilson.

Large lake side site with trees in abundance.

[Dates: *]19th to 26th August[. *]

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 13 Members: 28

  • *

Tentage: Three 13” × 8” Ridge Tents; one 40 × 20” Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff

and Store Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £259; vehicle donated by a local

Haulage Company.

Tent Commanders:

(1) J Fleet (2) E Robson (3) L Hubbard (4) W Griffiths (5) E Worth.

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Three tried to swim across the Lake in 1995 × 3

But Sarah got stuck half way – DISMAY.

  • *

[*Awards: *]

Cross country winners: 1) S Brooks 2) I Robson 3) G Baker

Best Tent: Number 1 – J Fleet

Best Sports team: Team „A” – Laura McGahern

Best Member at their first camp (Senior): L McGahern

Best Member at first camp (Junior): S Brooks

Best overall Member: W Griffiths

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Another Challenge: *]

You could lay odds that if the Group camped close to a lake then at some time during the

week someone would want to swim across it. Coniston Water was no different and early

in the week three Members asked permission. This was granted, providing each was

accompanied by a canoe or Guard Boat. The three, Laura McGahern, Sarah Royle and

Gill Stanning duly set off but, as in previous years, one succumbed to the cold and

developed cramp. The Guard Boat quickly hauled Sarah aboard leaving the other two to

complete the challenge.

115

[*2) Warnings Often Fall On Deaf Ears: *]

One very hot afternoon the whole of Camp was enjoying a swim in the cool waters of the

lake. Marker buoys were positioned, showing the limit beyond which Members must not

swim. An Observer was on watch on the bank. In her excitement, Emily Sumner swam

out of her depth and panicked when she could not touch bottom. A Member of Staff, Neil

Brooks, quickly swam to her aid and pulled her back into shallow water. However, in her

panic, she managed to claw some great scratches onto Neil“s chest.

  • *

[*3) Its Not The Cough That Carries You Off – It“s The Coffin They Carry You Off *]

[*In: *]

It has long been a tradition at Camp that after supper, when Wide games etc have been

completed and youngsters bedded down for the night, Staff retire to the marquee for a

well earned hour or two of relaxation, cards and chat. This time is very often so enjoyable

that some younger Staff Members, who may have been out „yomping” the hills all day,

often refuse to succumb to their tiredness for fear of missing something.

One night at, Coniston Adrian Fleet, could be seen „dropping off” at the table. It was

suggested that he turn in, but he refused. Later on, he lay on the floor of the marquee and

dropped off to sleep. Enter stage left, a devious bunch of older Staff, who proceeded to

construct a coffin like structure around the prone figure of Adrian. When he did finally

awake in his box, he thought for a brief moment that he was dead. It was only when he

heard the laughter of the Staff that he realised he wasn“t.

*Rock Climbing Practise *

116

L

J

M

Dar

S

.

.

Fleet; S.

taf

Mc

em *]yl M [*f:

Gah

b

Ph

e

itch

r

er

il Ash

Fletch

s

n

[*:*]

ell; Rach

E

H.

.

Ash

to

R

er

n

o

C.

H

b

ley

el

so

elen

n

F

J.

Mo

S.

lyn As r

n

elan

B

R

W.

a

h

o

m

ley

y

d

p

le;

A

to

Gr

D

n

E

n

if

N

.

.

d

f

Su

ith

Ash

rew

eil

m

s; D to

n

R

B

*1995 *

er

n

o

ro

.

G

H

y

o

Ho

le

k

.

s

.

u

G

B

;

Su

g

ak

G

  • *

h

ill Stan

CONIS

m

;

eo

er

n

L

C.

f

er

f

.

;

H

C

E

u

n

r

B

o

.

b

i

r

n

m

T

W

b

o

g

ar

o

p

ON L

G

o

k

to

d

r

s

th

C.

n

J.

ran

D

K

Mitch

B

t Stan

a

A

.

r

v

W

o

KE

id

o

o

k

n

E

r

ell; L

s

th

i

  • *

S.

d

n

war

K

g; A

B

.

d

W

Mitch

r

n

s

o

d

;

o

o

r

r

k

ew

Ad

th

s;

.

ell; D

r

T

W

ian

.

Dav

ils

Fleet; M

.

o

Ma

n

ies;

.

sk G.

ell;

ich

Day

O.

ae

l H

Ma

G

u

.

s

b

k

Day

b

ell;

ar

;

d

;

117

*1996 *

*ANGLESEY *

[*Site Details: *]Tan-y-Bank, Dulas, Anglesey, Gwynedd, North Wales.

Large, well drained, flat field some 100 yards from the sea shore.

  • *

[*Dates: *]17th to 24th August

  • *

[Numbers: *]Staff: 12 Members: 19[ *]

  • *

[*Tentage: *]Two Bell Tents; two 13”× 8” Ridge Tents; one 40 × 20” Marquee; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £320; vehicle

donated by a local Haulage Company. Cloughwood Special School donated the use of

their mini-bus for the week.

[* Tent Commanders*]:

(1) D Edwards (2) C Mitchell (3) W Griffiths (4) H Sumner

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

Tony came to camp once more in 1996

Adrian talked to his sacred urn, full of cindered sticks

Eddie burnt the bacon, so we were in an awful fix

So we breakfasted on „Weetabix”.

  • *

[*Ghost Story: *]

The Ghost of Tony Darlington.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Due Respects: *]

When the Group first formed in October 1969, Tony Darlington, a local Photographer,

lived in a bungalow in Eaton View, Moulton. He was approached by Geoff and Les and

asked if he would like to run a photography class for half an hour, one night a week. Tony

agreed and so became one of the first Instructors in the new Group. Later, Tony and his

wife moved away and the Group lost touch with them.

Cleaning out his loft one weekend, Philip Ashton came across and old „Urn” like trophy

awarded to his Grandfather“s brother for athletics in his youth. Looking at the trophy,

which was unmarked, it reminded Phil of the kind of vase used for the ashes of a deceased

118

person. Phil“s mischievous sense of humour then began to work overtime and he

discussed with Daryl, Geoff and Les the idea of taking the urn to camp.

It was agreed that at Camp that they would casually mention that Tony Darlington, an

original Member of Staff, had died some two or three years ago and that he had made a

special request in his will to the effect that his ashes should be taken to Camp with the

Group. Quite untrue, for Tony was still very much alive and kicking. Only the four

Members of Staff knew of the ruse and Geoff duly placed the „Urn” onto the small gas

cylinder canopy at the front of his caravan. Some Members then started to collect little

bunches of flowers and pretty little stones to decorate the canopy on which the „Urn”

stood. It was then mentioned that Mr Darlington had so loved our Camp Fires (he never

actually camped with the Group) that he had also asked for his ashes to be taken to the

Camp Fires during the week. On the Tuesday night the „Urn” was ceremoniously placed

on a chair near to the fire for all to see! It was also put about that Mr Darlington had so

enjoyed morning swimming parades that he had asked if his ashes could be taken down to

the lake or shore each day. A Junior Member of Staff, who shall remain nameless, was

seen to carry the „urn” to the beach and to place it on a rock in full view of the water. An

old couple, walking their dog, asked what the „urn” represented and were told the story of

our dear old Instructor who had passed on to that great „camping site” in the sky. On

another occasion the „urn” was taken for a trip in a canoe. On the last night of Camp and

after the Awards had been presented around the fire, Geoff asked everyone to stand whilst

he scattered the ashes from the „Urn” onto the fire – a final wish from Tony. This

everyone solemnly did and it was only when they were about to retire to their tents that

Geoff told them the truth about Mr Darlington. That he wasn“t dead and that it had all

been a huge joke. There were quite a number of red faces about and they had nothing to

do with the heat of the fire! Apologies to Tony and his family for using his name in this

elaborate hoax.

*The Sacred Urn Containing The Ashes *

119

D.

K.

M

Dar

Staf

W

Ken

[*em *]y

alk

l M

f:

b

y

Ph

er

o

e

itch

n

r

.

il Ash

S.

[*s: *]ell; Rach

R

Ken

.

to

An

n

y

H

o

d

n

r

el

;

ew;

elen

Mo

T. Kin D. r

elan

B

a

Ash

g

m

O

d

p

to

A

to

.

n

n

Ma

n

S.

L

dr

sk

ew

es B

C

ell;

an

R

u

n

o

r

C

o

y

g

*1996 *

n

.

le;

ess

D

Mitch

;

.

C

G

E

ar

eo

d

ell; L

  • *

war

o

AN

f

l Ro

f C

d

.

r

GL

s

y

o

Mitch

J.

le;

mp

E

Fleet; W.

An

to

S

ell; L

n

d

E

H

r

Y

ew

ea

  • *

. Mc

W

th

Gr

ils

er

Gah

if

o

Do

fith

n.

er

n

s

ald

n

D

S.

A

.

H

R

d

o

o

r

u

ian

y

g

le;

h

M

Fleet; M

E. R . Ho

obs u

ich

o

g

n

h

R.

L

ael

.

Sween

Hu

Hu

b

b

b

b

  • *

ar

ar

  • *

ey

d

d

;

;

;

120

*1997 *

*LLYN GWYNANT *

[*Site Details: *]Hafod Lwyfog, Nantgwynant, Gwynedd, North Wales. Site cost:

£210.00.

A large 15 acre field, sloping gradually towards the shore of Llyn Gwynant.

  • *

[Dates: *]2nd to 9th August[ *]

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 13 Members: 20

[*Tentage: *]Three Bell Tents; two 10”× 8” Ridge Tents; one 40 × 20” Marquee; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Quoted hire charges by J. C. Bradfield £426; vehicle

donated by a local Haulage Company.

  • *

Tent Commanders:

(1) J Fleet (2) C Mitchell (3) L McGahern (4) L Mitchell

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

In 1997 we gave ourselves quite a shock x 3

When we jumped off the Elephant Rock.

[*Awards: *]

Best Sports Team: J Fleet and Team

Best Tent: Number 1 – J Fleet

Best Member at their first camp: M Hough

Best overall Member: W Griffiths

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) Sledging In Summer: *]

One of the pieces of gear acquired over the years was a large blue plastic vehicle sheet

somewhat smaller than a tennis court. Just close to the site at Nant Gwynant was a rather

steep slope and staff decided that the combination of the two would make an ideal

sledging venue. The blue sheet was duly stretched taut and pegged onto the slope. Buckets

of soapy water were then poured onto the plastic and Members invited to slide down on

their bottoms on bin liners. A great time was had by all those who took part.

  • *

  • *

121

[*2) Shovel Misuse: *]

Being no more that big kids at heart some younger Members of Staff spent an hour or two

one evening being towed on the grass on a shovel by David Edwards – quite mad!

  • *

[*3) Married Bliss: *]

One night after cards etc in the marquee the Staff turned in for a good nights sleep. The

Camp Site was quiet and very still, when across the field from the direction of Andy and

Carol“s tent floated the comment for all to hear „You“re not sleeping with me with that hat

on”.

  • *

[*4) Elephant Rock: *]

Just around the lake from the Camp Site was a rocky outcrop reaching approx. 30 feet

high. This was known locally as “Elephant Rock”. Having checked the depth of water

directly under the rock, Members who felt plucky enough, were invited to jump into the

lake from one of three levels. A Guard Boat was positioned close to the Rock and most of

the Camp had a go with some Junior Members of Staff making spectacular jumps from

the highest point into the waters below. A great afternoon of fun, but one that could not

be repeated in this day and age – elf” n” safety would not allow it you know?

*Jumping Off Elephant Rock *

122

R

K.

M

Ad

S

.

taf

Sween

Ken

e

r

m

ian

f:

b

y

Fleet; M

Ph

o

e

ey

n

r

il Ash

S.

s

D

[*:*]

R

.

Ken

W

.

ich

to

An

alk

n

y

ae

H

o

d

er

n

r

l H

;

ew;

elen

an

T

u

.

b

d

Kin

D.

b

B

A

ar

a

Ash

lain

d

g

m

D

O

p

a?

to

to

ar

.

n

n

Ma

y

S.

L

l M

s

es B

k

C

itch

ell; C.

an

*1997 *

u

n

ell; Rach

r

o

g

n

ess

Mitch

J.

;

  • L*

Fleet; W.

G

L

el

eo

ell;

YN

Mo

ff

C

L

r

  • GWYNA*

.

elan

ro

Mitch

Gr

mp

if

d

to

f

A

ith

n

ell; L

H

n

s; D

dr ea

ew

*NT *

.

.

Mc

th

Ho

R

er

  • *

Gah

u

o

g

y

Do

h

le;

er

;

nald

C

n

M.

ar

S.

D

H

ol R

R

o

a

u

v

o

o

g

id

y

y

h

le;

le;

L

Ed

I

.

An

war

.

Hu

R

d

o

d

b

r

b

ew

s

b

s

;

o

ar

n

d

W

;

;

ils

on.

123

*1998 *

*CONISTON *

[*Site Details: *]Hoathwaite Farm, Coniston Water, Cumbria. Farmer: Mr. A. C. Wilson.

Site cost £300.00 per week. Large lake side site with trees in abundance.

  • *

[Dates: *]22nd to 29th August[ *]

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 15 Members: 20

[*Tentage: *]Three Bell Tents; three 13”× 8” Ridge Tents; one 40 × 20” Marquee; plus a

miscellany of Staff and Store Tents. Vehicle donated by a local Haulage Company.

  • *

Tent Commanders:

(1) E Robson (2) D Ashton (3) L Mitchell (4) S Royle

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We were in tents and the heat was intense at Coniston 98 × 3

So we swam in the lake all day – HURRAY.

  • *

Anecdotes:

[*1) To The North Of Kathmandu: *]

One of the favourite camp fire items, performed by the Staff, was the much loved „Green

eye of the little yellow God”. At Coniston in 1998, the item was performed by Phil Ashton

and Andy Royle. Andy sat on a chair with Phil concealed behind him, covered by a sheet

but with his arms extended around Andy“s waist. Andy was much slimmer in 1998 or was

it Phil“s baboon like reach that circumnavigated Andy“s girth? As Geoff read the famous

verses, Phil performed the actions, much to Andy“s discomfort at times. For instance at

the lines:

“He returned before the dawn with his shirt and tunic torn

And a gash across his temple dripping red”

Phil produced a lipstick and slashed it across Andy“s forehead. All who witnessed this

performance will for ever recall the fun and laughter at the antics of both Phil and Andy.

Thank you Guys.

  • *

  • *

  • *

124

[*2) A Cross Dresser Amongst The Staff: *]

With the best will in the world it is difficult to keep 20/30 Members occupied inside the

marquee, particularly on very wet and sometimes windy evenings. Generally, games

competitions etc are organised to entertain both Members and Staff alike. On one such

night it was decided to play „Prize Bingo” to while away an hour or so before bedtime.

One or two packs of playing cards were dealt out to those taking part and a further pack

used by the „Bingo” caller. Andrew Wilson (Wilf) volunteered to be the „Caller” and then

disappeared into his tent. He then reappeared some 10 minutes later dressed in ladies gear

as „The Dolly Dealer”. It all helped to amuse and entertain us all. Now each year Wilf

brings his kit to camp…in the expectation that we will play cards!

*Striking Camp For Another Year *

*The Bingo Caller“s Assistant *

125

E

L

M

Mitch

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taf

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ell; A

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il Ash

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.

[*:*]

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126

*1999 *

*ANGLESEY *

  • *

[*Site Details: *]Dafarn Rhos Farm, Llugwy Beach, Molfre, Anglesey. Site cost £274.00

per week. Good flat field close to the shore.

  • *

[Dates: *]7th to 14th August[ *]

  • *

Numbers: Staff: 12 Members: 17

[*Tentage: *]Five Bell Tents; one 40 × 20” Marquee; plus a miscellany of Staff and Store

Tents. Vehicle donated by a local Haulage Company. Quoted hire charges by

J. C. Bradfield £512.00.

  • *

Tent Commanders:[* *]

(1) C Mitchell (2) M Staniforth (3) L Royle (4) L Mitchell

[*Camp Song Verse: *]

We saw an eclipse at Anglesey in 1999 × 3

When the sun and moon combined.

  • *

[*Anecdotes: *]

  • *

[*1) “Arkright“s Boiler”: *]

In 1970 the newly formed Moulton Adventure Group was given an old Calor gas water

boiler by the leader of Lostock Boy“s Club (Harold Nicholas). For countless Camps, the

boiler served the Group well until the late 90“s, when it became rather temperamental in

its old age. To light the boiler the gas was first switched on and a lit taper gingerly

proffered through a small aperture at the base to the gas ring within. Combustion was not

always immediate and was often preceded by a large bang. Lady Members of Staff, in

particular, became loathe to light the boiler and to see them attempt this operation was

rather like watching Ronnie Barker or David Jason in the TV comedy „Open All Hours”

trying to open that manic till in their grocers shop. Staff knew they had served their

apprenticeship if they still had eyebrows and hairs on their hands at the end of camp.

  • *

[*2) Eclipse: *]

Prior to Camp, the media was full of the news that a full eclipse of the sun would take

place during our Camp week. Letters were sent to all parents asking if their son/daughter

could view the event and if so to provide adequate eye protection.

127

On the day of the eclipse the weather was fine and clear and none were disappointed. An

unforgettable event in the memory bank of the Moulton Adventure Group.

*Beaumaris Castle *

*Checking That The Buoyancy Aids Work *

128

D.

M

L

S

au

taf

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m

ra

f:

Kay

b

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[*er *]Gah ich

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n; J. Mitch

.

Ph

Mitch

B

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an

ell; E

cr

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to

ft; L

wan

n;

*1999 *

.

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kell;

  • *

129

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

[* Geoff Crompton lives in Hartford, Cheshire. His daughter Gillian, son- in- *]

*law Grant and grandson, Thomas, live close by in Middlewich. *

*Geoff originates from Widnes where, at 15 he joined the chemical giant *

ICI. Tak

*T ing early retirement in 1988, he formed a consultancy business in *

*the field of Industrial Packaging. In 1969, with his friend Les Burgess, he *

founded the Moulton Adventure Group, a uniformed, voluntary You

*Y th *

*Organisation in the village of Moulton, Northwich. The Group’s activities *

*are based on the Christian ethic, community service and adventurous *

pursuits. A

  • fter over 35 years the Group is thriving and owns it’s own *

*extensively equipped, two storey, *

*y Headquarters in School Lane, Moulton. *

*Profits from the sale of this book will be divided equally *

between: The NSPCC & The Moulton A

*on dventure Group. *

[* £6:00 *]

ISBN NO: 978-0-955-0136-1-4

1


Thirty Years Of Camping With The Moulton Adventure Group

Geoff Crompton lives in Hartford, Cheshire. His daughter Gillian, son- in- law Grant and grandson, Thomas, live close by in Middlewich. Geoff originates from Widnes where, at 15 he joined the chemical giant ICI. Taking early retirement in 1988, he formed a consultancy business in the field of Industrial Packaging. In 1969, with his friend Les Burgess, he founded the Moulton Adventure Group, a uniformed, voluntary Youth Organisation in the village of Moulton, Northwich. The Group's activities are based on the Christian ethic, community service and adventurous pursuits. After over 35 years the Group is thriving and owns it's own extensively equipped, two storey, Headquarters in School Lane, Moulton .

  • ISBN: 9781311636768
  • Author: Neil Plummer
  • Published: 2015-09-10 19:35:25
  • Words: 35688
Thirty Years Of Camping With The Moulton Adventure Group Thirty Years Of Camping With The Moulton Adventure Group