from the May 1960 EHS Magazine
On Saturday, 16th May, a party of fifteen, complete with rucksacs, and two members of staff, left Ely by train for a Youth Hostelling holiday in the Lake District. When we changed at Rugby the train was so crowded that we were obliged to join the bicycles, scooters, camping equipment, rucksacs and about twenty other people in the guard's van. We arrived at Windermere station at 5.30 p.m. and after unfolding ourselves from our cramped positions we walked three miles to Troutbeck Youth Hostel.
Sunday was our first real day's hiking and we made our way to Windermere Lake, where some of us caught the ferry and others followed. Once on the other side we made our way in tremendous heat to Esthwaite Youth Hostel situated only a few yards from Esthwaite Water.
On Monday we walked to Hawkshead en route for High Close Youth Hostel. At Hawkshead we passed the Grammar School where Wordsworth was educated and stopped awhile to do some shopping, mainly at the Post Office. We walked on past Hawkshead Hill and through Saurey Ground, where Beatrix Potter's house is, to Tams Haws. This small but famous lake is north of Coniston Water which we were to visit the next day. This was our stopping-place for lunch and three girls separated from the party to make their way to Loughrigg as part of a special test.
Just after five o'clock that evening the whole party reunited and prepared to enjoy dinner and later country dancing organised for all hikers at the hostel by the Austrian warden and his nephew.
On Tuesday we hiked to Coniston. It was not very far from High Close, where we spent Monday night, so we took our time. It was a very warm day and while the more energetic members of the party climbed Coniston Old Man the others went to the town and the Youth Hostel. In the evening we went on Coniston Water with members of a West Ham School and saw Donald Campbell's "Bluebird ".
It was decided that we would rest on Wednesday as on Thursday we were to climb Helvellyn. Thus we caught a bus near Coniston Hostel heading for Keswick, 23 miles away, and breaking our journey at Ambleside and Grasmere. At the latter a few girls with Miss Bunn visited Wordsworth's cottage, while others bought Grasmere gingerbread or postcards illustrating the famed Grasmere Sports.
After about one and a half hours we set off for Keswick, passing Thirlmere and the Helvellyn Range on the way. As soon as we arrived at the bus depot in Keswick we headed for the Lake, where we ate our lunch. During the afternoon the more energetic girls in the party went rowing on Derwentwater, while the others watched and guarded our rucksacks. About 4pm, when it clouded over, we headed for the hostel overlooking the River Greta, where we intended to rest during the evening. That night we were lulled to sleep by the noises of either the gasworks or the water falling over the weir on the fast-flowing river.
On Thursday morning, after eating a hearty breakfast and wrapping up warmly, as it had turned chilly and misty, we left Keswick on a special coach to journey to the foot of Helvellyn.
When we left the coach we walked a mile or so to the track which we were to follow and started our climb to the top of the 3,118 ft. peak. We climbed for about two hours - repeating to ourselves the school motto " Bravely to the top " to give us the determination to go on. We rested about half way up and had lunch, admiring the mist-shrouded ridges in the distance as we ate. About two o'clock in the afternoon we reached the cairn near the summit, commemorating the safe landing of an aircraft on the mountain earlier this century.
While we were taking photographs of each other on the summit Miss Bunn and Miss Stanyer were deciding which route we were to descend along. It was decided that we would go along Swirral Edge which was more sheltered and safer than Striding Edge. Thus we descended on a narrow, rocky path not daring to look down on the precipitous slopes dropping on either side of us into a tarn. We next crossed the boggy Patterdale Common and slid down the heather-covered slopes to the gently undulating fields of a farm.
We watched the antics of some sheep in the fields before trudging wearily to Patterdale Hostel on the southern shore of Ullswater. That evening the warden showed us some coloured slides he had taken of Lakeland in winter and autumn and we all wished we could return and visit the countryside at those times.
On Friday we left the Patterdale Hostel to make our way to Penrith, the last hostel we were to stay at, as our holiday was now nearly over.
Feeling rather stiff after the previous day's achievement we began our journey by travelling by boat the full length of Ullswater. After eating our lunch in a nearby field we walked to the main road and waited for a bus to take us to Penrith.
After having our dinner at the hostel we returned to our dormitory and prepared and packed our haversacks for our return home. However, before ' lights out ' we were told several amusing stories by Miss Bunn and Miss Stanyer.
On Saturday we caught the train home from Penrith by way of Shap Fell. The Staff travelled with us as far as Preston, but after leaving the train to buy packed lunches for everyone, they were left behind by it and had to continue the journey on a later train. The main party arrived in Ely about five o'clock, somewhat suntanned or dirty and tired, but all agreeing that we had spent a very enjoyable holiday. We are grateful to Miss Bunn and Miss Stanyer, who made the holiday possible.
'The Whole Happy Family' L-R: Rachel Combe - Valerie Teale - Mary Pryor - Bronwen Hayward - Mary Hazel - Ann Fendick - Janet Thulborn - Diana Ward - Barbara Register - Janet Saberton - Janette Argent - Georgina Smith - Maureen Lawrence - Hazel Lawrence -
Christine Bell - Miss Helen Stanyer
There was a roaring in the wind, all right: Miss Stanyer - Miss Bunn
Diana Ward - Janet Saberton - Barbara Register
1Janet Saberton - Miss Bunn - Jeanette Argent
Janet Thulborn - Valerie Teale - Georgina Smith - Ann Fendick
Miss Bunn - Miss Stanyer
GEORGINA SMITH, ANN FENDICK, Upper VI.
CHRISTINE BELL, DIANA WARD, Lower VI.
Page created 9 Dec 10: last updated 10 Mar 13
Images: Barbara Register (now Attwood)
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