This wonderful letter was sent to one of our Youth Managers in 2002.
The writer shares some memories of attending a Brathay programme all the way back in 1949:
"Dear Mr Lenartowicz (Brathay Youth Manager),
It was interesting to listen to your interview on Radio Cumbria. It reminded me of my course at Brathay Hall in 1949 which I very much enjoyed at that time and it provided me with the inter-personal training which proved so valuable in the future.
I attended school at Cockermouth during the War and because of the food rationing children were not as robust as they are today! Following school I joined Distington Engineering Co as an apprentice, who sent a number of youngsters to Brathay each year. Our General Manager Mr Wingate (Brother of wartime General Wingate) made it a policy that all young employees spent time at either Brathay or Outward Bound.
My memory of Brathay is the freedom of outdoor life after a wartime of restrictions and shortages. The warden was Australian Faithfull-Davies and his dedicated staff. The ground floor of the hall was a nursing care ward for very ill young boys following the aftermath of German Bombing in the cities such as Liverpool, Manchester etc. Many had T.B.
At a much later date, during my time as a Training Officer with Glaxo, I suggested that girls should have the opportunity to participate in outdoor training courses. It was probably in the 1970s that Brathay went ahead with its first girls course…"
Many thanks for this gem from Mr J.D.Grave of Ulverston.
In fact, girls first came on the main courses in 1969.