Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 17 Printer Friendly Page More Sharing
Life Arts   

Risk Assessment in the 70s.

By       (Page 1 of 1 pages)   1 comment
Message Paul Titterton
The uncle had died by the time I went back to Ballochry, as he was in his thirties ...and Jim had a family himself and had completely forgotten the brick incident. When I met him again with his son, having just dropped Mum off at school, he reminded me of the wonderful time we all had at Taybank.

The trip to Schiehallion, which nearly made the national press, he saw as a laugh. The joke about Scottish climbing gear being a pair of trainers and 10 Regal King Size was never so appropriate as outings in the 70s.

We set off with 12 kids with some sandwiches! Maps? No but Rab had been twice. We climbed it in a snow storm. One boy refused to climb so we just left him at the bottom. He followed us.

We lost all the kids at one stage but reckoned it was OK because they were so far away from civilisation they wouldn't harm anyone! This was before politically correct risk assessment. They crept in after 2 days, frozen and starving. They were so exhausted they slept brilliantly.

Babs was a tiny but fierce staff member who controlled the children through foul temper. Babs would deliberately not have a cigarette, just to add an edge to her anger. Although never violent, she was feared and the reason the kids stayed out so long was not that they were having fun.

They were waiting for the staff changeover. Babs did not change over. She stayed an extra shift. She was the first to hear the children outside the bothy in the snow but refused to let them in until they grovellingly apologised to each member of staff.

I should have said something when she did not let them eat until morning, which contravened policy and procedures even in those days, but I was too scared to speak. I didn't eat till breakfast either.

Whilst I exaggerate, of course, I swear this next bit is verbatim. We were up at the top of Schiehallion. I was with a couple of lads that got separated from the group. The snow came so hard we could not see at all. We stumbled straight down. We got to the bottom where the weather was clear and started on the sandwiches.

We waited for the others. A bunch of people emerged and I heard Babs say "This lighter's no workin'." However it wasn't them. I was confused. I thought I would have known Babs' pre-ciggy voice anywhere so where were they? Then I heard..."You brought yen? Gimme it! Now!"

It definitely was Babs, precig but still gentle. I kept looking..Ah there they are. But no, this group wasn't them either. They loaned me a pair of binoculars. The snow on the hill had cleared. There were tiny dots at the top. I counted the dots. It was them! Schiehallion is 3500 feet high but a mere bump in some ways.
Rate It | View Ratings

Paul Titterton Social Media Pages: Facebook page url on login Profile not filled in       Twitter page url on login Profile not filled in       Linkedin page url on login Profile not filled in       Instagram page url on login Profile not filled in

'Hamish ' is an antiwar writer socialist- scientist and musician living in Scotland.
Related Topic(s): , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)
Go To Commenting
The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.
Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles
Support OpEdNews

OpEdNews depends upon can't survive without your help.

If you value this article and the work of OpEdNews, please either Donate or Purchase a premium membership.

If you've enjoyed this, sign up for our daily or weekly newsletter to get lots of great progressive content.
Daily Weekly     OpEd News Newsletter
   (Opens new browser window)

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Glorifying Violence

Moshad could sniff out Gibson.

This is not Vietnam all over again.


Be proud to be a Republican

I did not realise I was Anti Semitic

To View Comments or Join the Conversation:

Tell A Friend