Valerie Grose

HRH Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh left a legacy: his Award Scheme of challenges for young people, instigated as an experiment and known to have benefited some 7,000,000 in over 100 countries. I was very privileged to have been in the first intake of girls and was the first in London to achieve the Gold award in January 1961 on passing my driving test. For the gruelling adventure section I travelled alone overnight from Euston to Glasgow and as light dawned found we had reached Oxenholme in the Lake District. Then another 88 miles by bus to the starting point, Kilmory Castle, Lochgilphead under the direction of the late Dick Allcock. We camped for four days in very Spartan conditions with no lavatories or water and had to get by with spring water running down the hill. We were issued with a shovel and had to find a quiet place in the woods for a make-do lavatory A day’s exploration on the island of Luing where a lady tending her garden, was so amazed to see us and invited us all back for tea. I developed negatives in a dark room, gave service in a Home for Motherless children and designed a garment to then knit, as well cooking sausage rolls, one of which was sampled by the late Lord Hunt (Mount Everest expedition leader). Also included was First Aid. To commemorate 50 years in 2008 a group of us met Prince Edward at the House of Lords where I delivered a speech of my experiences. One of the highlights of my life and I recommend any young person to take part. Here we are at Lochgilphead in Argyllshire. A wonderful fabulous memory and so privileged to have had the opportunity to take part for two years, progressing through Bronze and silver levels. I was also privileged to meet Mrs Phyllis Gordon Spencer, Director of the Scheme for Girls. There is a long way to the journey’s end and strength and courage often fail, but do not give up”. Words that helped me during difficult times in my life. Still in touch with girls from those days. Wond