My love of the outdoors started when, in 1964, my Mum bought a brand new Vauxhall Viva BTO 622B!
The consequence of this purchase was that on a Sunday my Mum and Dad donned their “Sunday Best” and headed out to the country, usually the Peak District. They would park up at random promontories around the National Park and sit and watch the view!
This was my opportunity to explore the great outdoors! Off I’d go into the unknown to discover the world at my feet. I’d go for hours taking in the adventures that lay before me with not a care in the world. My parents didn’t seem to mind either and fortunately were always there to greet me on my return! In the years that followed I experienced all that the White Peak had to offer, from the dales in the South to the edges of Baslow, Curbar and Froggatt in the North East of the park.
The next chapter in my outdoor life came about as a result of landing a job with the local newsagent. I was thirteen at the time. The job wasn’t to deliver the papers, a role that had to be done seven days a week, but that of collecting the money for delivering the papers, a role that could be done in one evening a week and because of the importance of the role to the newsagent this job also paid more!
With cash in hand I was now free to arrange my own travel and looked further afield than the Peak District for my outdoor pleasure. I would save and save allocating money for both new walking kit and transport to pastures new.
Ever ambitious my first trip, and as it turned out many subsequent trips, was on a Friday evening after school to catch the X2 “express” coach to Manchester from Nottingham. The bus arrived in Manchester half an hour before the East Kilbride Streamline Taxi Company coach departed for Glasgow.
It never occurred to me what I’d do if I missed the connection! Good job it never happened!
East Kilbride dropped me in Kendal at around 1am whence I walked out of town towards my bed for the night, on the straw in a dutch barn on the way to Bowness.
A stroll into Bowness in the morning saw me stepping on board the first lake steamer up to Ambleside and then catching the bus into Langdale to camp at Bays Brown, the start of my Lake District adventures…