Lowbank Ground July 2019
Monday 8th July
We arrived at Low Bank Ground without any incidents or more importantly without anyone being sick! The coach was quickly unpacked and suitcases and bags taken to bedrooms. Lunch was eaten outside in the sunshine overlooking the lake.
Beds were “made” quickly – Harrison’s skills were very much in demand with the other boys – and waterproof kits and wetsuits were handed out.
Mrs Davies and her group climbed Crag Head behind the centre. As well as scrambling up to the Cairn at the top they played “Camo camouflage” – a sort of hide and seek. The descent down was much faster than the climb up!
Mrs Mills and her merry band struck the jackpot and went ghyl scrambling at Tilberthwaite quarry. This eagle-eyed bunch managed to spot a donkey and a goat – AKA sheep! Mason in particular enjoyed jumping backwards into the deep pools. CWD (critical welly depth) was definitely exceeded even though the ghyl was the lowest Mrs Mills had ever seen.
The third group including Mrs Anderson took to the Lake in kayaks – well that was the plan. However according to Calum Mc, Harrison spent 70% of his time actually in the lake and when he wasn’t in the water he was busy tipping other people out of their kayaks. Mrs Anderson’s view on the activity was that it was more swimming that kayaking!
Tea was Cumberland sausage with chips, peas and delicious onion gravy followed by meringue nests filled with cream and fruits of the forest. The remaining bags were unpacked and a room check undertaken before the “Alien Head Hunt” began.
Two of the Aliens proved impossible to find but the children spent a good 30 minutes looking for them. Luckily, for Mrs Mills the children have yet to realise that Mustapha and Sweetie pie were still in the box!
Everyone is in their bedrooms and lights have been switched off – sleep hopefully beckons.
Tuesday 9th July.
Never have the staff had to wake up so many sleepy children on the first morning – long may it continue!
The amazing choice of cereals caused a queue at breakfast while the children deliberated which one to have. Cereal was followed by hash browns, beans, toast and jam. A quick change of clothes and we were ready for the morning’s activities.
Mrs Anderson and her group were wet all day! In the morning, they climbed Stickle Ghyl and then in the afternoon took to the lake in double kayaks. Zach looked very much in charge sat at the front of Paul, the instructor’s kayak directing operations.
Mrs Mills and her marvels were down at the lake first thing but for them the choice of craft was canoes. In the afternoon, they climbed Holme Fell, which afforded them fantastic views down the length of Coniston Water.
Sadly, when Davies’ Delights climbed Holme Fell in the morning the cloud was so low they could hardly see 10 feet in front of them. As one joker said, we really were walking along “with our heads in the clouds”. The afternoon saw the group doing their first water activity – kayaking on the lake. The wind had got up whilst everyone was having lunch so controlling a single kayak was not without difficulty! In fact, Mrs Davies lost count of the number of times she was blindsided by a rouge kayak.
It was three very proud staff members who watched the whole group take part in an activity with the children from Hope School. The compassion and care they showed to the children was fantastic and the staff from Hope were full of praise for the Lowton J & I children.
Everyone has gone to bed tired but very happy. Lots of giggles can be heard but hopefully after lights out silence will fall on Low Bank Ground.
Wednesday 10th July
Another peaceful night – the staff managed a good five and a half hours sleep, thank goodness.
The day dawned a bit wet and miserable but after a hearty breakfast of cereal, bacon buns, toast, and jam, everyone was ready for the day’s adventures. Jobs done and kit sorted and we were off!
Mrs Anderson’s group had been promised a day of dry activities – much to some children’s disappointment! However, that was after they had travelled across the lake in the motorboat to begin their self-lost walk from Torver back to Coniston Village. Mrs Anderson was so good at following the group under cover, some cyclists stopped and asked where they ok. To which the children replied that they “had been abandoned by their teachers”! Without an adult in sight, the cyclists, obviously good citizens, took it upon themselves to contact the police and report some abandoned children. Mrs Anderson managed to get to them just in time to cancel the patrol car from being dispatched to take the children to the local police station!
Mrs Davies and group 1 made the short journey to Stickle Ghyl to undertake that J and I favourite ghyl scrambling. Amazing fun was had crawling under rocks and fallen trees, jumping into deep plunge pools and doing the “trust fall” – falling backwards with straight legs into other deep pools. CWD became CBD (critical belly depth) as the group made their way up the crystal clear, bone chilling water. Plenty of laughs and cheers could be heard echoing above the ghyl.
Mrs Mills’ Marvels were back down to the boat house to set sail on kayaks. Well that was the idea but as the saying goes “The best laid plans of mice and men….” At no point in the whole activity did all eight members of the group get on the water together. Mutinies abounded, one due to the kayak not “being the right colour”, another because that particular member of the group thought they would get wet! Getting wet whilst kayaking on a lake?? What’s the chances of that happening?
The afternoon saw the whole group orienteering out at “The Hawk” on Broughton Moor. It was a very interesting afternoon is the best way to describe it.
Tonight we’ve done more orienteering in the fields running down to the jetty and then finished the evening with a supper of hot buttered crumpets and milk whilst playing bingo.
Good night all – everyone send their love.
Thursday 11th July
What started off as a drizzly morning, turned out to be a beautiful sunny day when Mrs Price arrived to join in the fun.
Mrs Anderson’s crew spent the morning on a bear hunt in the forest. Sadly, no bears were found so the children enjoyed a packed lunch in a shelter they had made themselves, although they were soon accompanied by the Lake Distict’s famous midges. After lunch, the group enjoyed a bit of bush craft. The boys were quite perturbed as the girls seemed very adept at this skill much to the amusement of Maddie and Olivia.
In canoes with sails fashioned from pieces of tarpaulin, the group cruised back to the centre in true Swallows and Amazon style.
Mrs Mills group spent the morning ghyll scrambling. All but one of them, exceeded ‘critical belly depth’! A waterfall shower, a relax in the plunge pool and swim in the fresh, cool water ensured that the children and staff were certainly relaxed. After lunch this group did the, what can only be described as the ‘longest ever self led/lost walk’. Never have the staff known it to take the children so much time to complete. Clearly their spa morning had relaxed them a little too much.
All bags are packed, although there are a few odd socks and stray pieces of clothing and all tuck shop money is spent. Lights went out just after 10pm- all is quiet...for now!