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Fell Walking In The Lake District

A Memory of Braithwaite

Memories of Hope Memorial Camp--Easter 1958--thirty of us second year pupils (age 14) six fourth years and four teachers travelled from our school in Hertfordshire by coach to London Euston to go by train to Penrith.
Quite an adventure, I was bitten by a dog on the train, never told my mum.
At Penrith we changed trains and went on to Braithwaite, on arrival it was getting dark as we pushed our luggage on the station cart up through the village to the camp.
It was dark when we arrived and after such a tiring journey we snuggled into our sleeping bags and settled on the floor of the larger hut and went straight to sleep.
In the morning we looked out of the windows--snow, lots of it, at least two feet deep.
We had to clear our way to the toilet block before breakfast, only cold water in there--I am sure I did not have a proper wash.
After breakfast we explored the area and found an old wooden sledge which was put to good use on the how opposite the camp buildings.
In the afternoon we had our first trip, High Stile.
In the following days we had lots of trips--Great Gable, Skiddaw, Helvellyn, Scafell Pike, Buttermere.
We even managed to get thrashed at football by the village team on the pitch by the railway.
We found the village sweet shop--the front room of one of one the houses in the village next to Coledale Beck.
The two weeks that we were in Braithwaite flashed by.
In the folowing two years 1959-1960--I was fortunate to come to Hope at a similar time of year--one of the years we watched the cup final with our 'friends' at the sweet shop.
I brought my youngest son to Hope three years ago to show him where I had spent some of my childhood--nothing had changed except the buildings--where had all those years gone?

John Soley

A memory shared by j.soley , on Aug 29th, 2008.

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