Cadet Duke of Edinburgh expedition 1965

1965: Bob Murray: Cadet Duke of Edinburgh expedition: The ex-cadets amongst readers will recall with mixed emotions their Duke of Edinburgh's Award expedition to Snowdonia. The heavy canvas rucksack topped off with a very weighty old fashioned and normally soaking tent complete with damp sleeping bag. Food (or what passed for food) for four days together with stoves and pots and pans all weighing more than a modern trip to Sainsbury.

Cadets Murray, Frost, Pettyfer, Morley and Kimber in Snowdonia in 1965


One such expedition took place in August 1965 when nine cadets with PCs Crowhurst and Kennison as carers drove by mini bus to a hostel not overly far in Welsh terms from Capel Curig. The photograph alongside is of "A" Section, Cadets Murray, Frost, Pettyfer, Morley and Kimber. After two days of acclimatisation with an early start on the Tuesday morning through the village of Nebo, alongside Llyn Cwm Dulyn reservoir and off up into the mountains for four hard days.

Before the end of the first day the supply of plasters had run out to be replenished by the "carers" at one of the many check points. It was not until 7.45 pm that camp was made at [Plas Cwmllan] bedding down at 10.15 pm very tired, the three men in a two man tent not sleeping too well.

Off early on the Wednesday meeting up with carers followed a couple of hours later with lunch and yet another visit from Sid and Frank (I think) Kennison. Over the saddle of Ffridd-y-Bwlch, through the marshland which was heavy going followed by a long slow climb across a high knoll arriving at the camp site at 9.45 pm with the help of the indomitable constables. The late finish accompanied by man-eating midges and dehydrated food boiled over the stove it was time for bed. Not many pubs or clubs as a distraction!

With many bites as evidence of the midges, looking as though they had chicken pox, and after a bathing in the ice-cold stream it was off again at 7.50 am stopping later away from the insects for porridge, tea, followed by tomato soup. Believe it or not a mail delivery was made by PC Crowhurst, must have been from love sick girls and not Mum, and a long hike to Clogwyn Bwlch-y-maen.

The next stop was the Pen-y-Gwryd Hotel where strangely enough the two carers were waiting before the expedition finalised their day with a steep climb to the campsite at Llyn Glaslyn. Arriving early at a good site for the first time they were able to erect their tents in daylight followed by a large meal of chicken soup, potato, curry with rice and tea.

Breakfast was more tomato soup (must have been a cheap job lot) with porridge before leaving at 8 am for a long hard climb with the very heavy equipment no doubt heavier due to damp and mud. In an hour the team were at the top of Snowdon followed by a trek down to be met by Sid Crowhurst with more mail!

Onwards on this the last day with a lunch of Ryvita, chocolate and raisins and a dash for the hostel arriving at 3.45 pm two minutes in front of Section B. Covering a distance of forty seven miles in rough terrain carrying your world on your back, poor sleep, and it has to be said not good food supplemented by Marvel Milk and the inevitable mint cake, the expedition was hard and those that completed the course can be proud of their achievement.

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