Woman, 83, relives ‘magical’ memories at Bewerley Park Outdoor Centre ahead of £4.2m revamp
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Margaret Mosley's 24-day stay enabled her to engage in new activities, completely pushing her out of her comfort zone, making new friends and sparking a life-long passion for nature.
Mrs Mosley, who lives in Redcar, has made a special 120-mile round trip to Bewerley Park, accompanied by her husband Douglas, 88, and their daughter, Louise Dale.
Bewerley Park offers residential and day courses with a range of adventure and outdoor activities including caving, canoeing, hill walking and rock climbing.
Mrs Mosley was last at the centre in 1954 aged just 14.
At the time, she was a pupil at Woodlands Secondary Modern School based in what was then the mining village of Woodlands, near Doncaster.
Flicking through carefully-crafted diary entries made during her stay, Mrs Mosley beamed as she recalled gazing upwards and discovering “colourful” and charismatic birds igniting and forever nurturing her love for bird watching.
Mrs Mosley Said: “It was a magical discovery as coming from a mining village, I had only ever seen black sparrows or crows so to see multi-coloured birds was beautiful.
“It was the first time I had been away from home for so long and in those days, we had no telephones to call our parents.
"We were all homesick and had to write letters to our parents to keep in touch with them.”
She added: “Every nook and corner of Bewerley Park holds poignant memories for me.
“Our stay flew by as we embarked on adventure after adventure, be it exploring Brimham Rocks, Stump Cross Caverns, Fountains Abbey or surrounding woodland.
“We had no cameras in those days so I had to sketch everything from spiders to rocks and sculptures in my notebook.
“One of my fondest memories is visiting the oldest sweet shop in Pateley Bridge and buying aniseed balls and dolly mixtures.”
A proposed £4.2m investment to redevelop and modernise North Yorkshire Council’s Bewerley Park and East Barnby outdoor education centre in Whitby was given the go-ahead in November last year by members of the authority’s executive.
North Yorkshire Council’s executive member for education, learning and skills, Cllr Annabel Wilkinson, said: “We were delighted to welcome Margaret. “It’s heart-warming to hear that one of her most significant and happiest childhood memories is her trip to Bewerley Park.
“It’s also lovely to hear that the trip ignited her passion for the outdoors, especially bird watching, as she remains a keen bird enthusiast.”
Mrs Mosley said: “It was so lovely to be back again after almost 70 years.
“I didn’t think I would ever have the opportunity to return.
“The site was bigger than I remembered, I could still feel the excitement seeing all the open space and fresh air.
“I’m so pleased to hear of the commitment to invest so that it can provide future generations with the opportunities and experiences that I valued so much.”