Read our 14th story from Maurice Dybeck, resident archivist and expert on our history, who’s been involved with Brathay for 69 of its 75 long years!

I first came across Brathay back in 1952 when my college tutor sent me to survey a mountain tarn high above Ullswater. A year later, I found myself taking part in the charity’s first major Expedition to Iceland and by the mid ‘50s I was working on site Brathay full-time as Chief Instructor on month-long courses for young men of Industry. In those days it was all about character development around the great outdoors and helping employees with potential to prepare for future promotion and leadership roles. So not much different from today, apart from the fact that it was males only, and the focus was more on employed workers rather than the incredible work the charity now also does within the wider community.

I later got into teaching and was awarded a headship further south but my connection with Brathay remained through Field Studies, Expeditions to Shetland, Norway, Uganda, and even the Canadian Rockies. My roots were (and still are) centred in the place itself and I was delighted to later join the Board of Governors and then become a Trustee.  

As the charity’s willing volunteer historian it has been my privilege to document the Brathay story in my book ‘Broad River’ marking many successful achievements over its 75 years, for the young as well as old. In retirement, I have continued to visit regularly as resident archivist, ensuring that the history of this wonderful place is not lost and enjoying some entertaining overnight stays at Brathay Hall, in the company of a variety of visitors as they came and went on their various residential experiences.   So, from starting in a tent on the fells above Ullswater to ending in a cobwebby corner in a poky office behind the Hall, Brathay is still in my veins.

Congratulations to Brathay reaching 75 years. It’s been an honour to have been around for 69 of them!
Get Involved!
  • Follow the campaign on our social media pages, like, retweet and reply to us, using #75StoriestoTell
  • Tell your family and friends about the campaign!
  • Share your story - You can tell your story in words, or we can interview and film you, or better still, you can film yourself talking to camera and send us the film to use. Films should be no longer than 60 seconds and we can provide you with a quick easy guide to self-filming if this is something new to you.

Just tell us who you are, what your connection to Brathay is, and how Brathay has changed your life. It need only be a small change, like leading you to new job, finding more self-confidence, climbing a mountain for the first time – whatever your experience has been we want to hear about it!

Once you’ve finished, be sure to send your video via to Sophie's email here. Or better still, just post to social media using #75StoriestoTell.

With your permission, we will publish your story alongside others on our website and social media over the course of 2021.

We hope you are as excited as we are about the prospect of collating 75 unique stories to make 75 successful years!