A stay at Brathay nearly half a century ago was to plant the seed of change for the rest of Phil Sharples' life.

I first came to Brathay in 1974 when my then employer asked me to attend a 4 week Leadership Course in the Lake District.

Days out on the fells, sailing and rowing, art and drama productions, as a 19-year-old I loved it. What sticks in my mind? Struggling up High Street after a cold night's camp; launching Whalers down the slipway a-la RNLI style; evening rowing across to Low Wood; learning to sail a dinghy; acting on the stage and trying not to forget my lines, and early morning exercises too!

But what really got me to sit up and pay attention was a talk by Charles Holland about the Brathay Exploration Group. With BEG off I went:

Gomera/Hierro, Norway, Iceland, Canadian Rockies. From there two winters in the Antarctic followed by a few summers in Svalbard. In 1983 elected fellow of RGS. Then back to Brathay in 1985 for what must be the smallest oversea expedition, three guys in Greenland, followed by a few more summers helping out on Introduction to Mountain Environment expeditions.

When I first came to Brathay, I worked in the construction plant industry, by the time I drifted away I was in Countryside Management, where I remained for 30 years. Yes that 4 weeks in 1974 planted a seed for change, for which I am so grateful.
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  • 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 https://wetransfer.com 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!