Broomlea School Camp
Near West Linton
Broomlea School Camp
Thank you to Brian Gourlay,
Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland, who wrote:
"John Gray’s and Alex Jackson’s recollections
school camp, about six months ago, reminded me of a similar experience
I had at Broomlea camp near West Linton."
For several months leading up to going to the
camp, we fervently hoped we would go to Broomlea and not Middleton.
I guess the grapevine from other children at our school, Preston Street,
reckoned that Broomlea was the better of the two for some reason or
"We were about 11 when we went for two weeks
to Broomlea, around September time. We were seen off from the school by
our anxious mothers and travelled to Broomlea in the luxury of a
double-decker Edinburgh Corporation bus
We lived in army-type wooden huts and had our
first experience of bunk beds, which caused lots of jostling as to who
would get the top bunk. There must have been 20 to 30 of us in a hut,
supervised by a couple of teachers who had small rooms at one end.
"Like Alex and John, I can vaguely remember
playing some type of war game, and also being captivated by the war
experiences of a teacher from another school.
We played football incessantly, climbed trees,
scoured the nearby countryside and generally charged about in a fashion
that would give the today’s politically correct ‘health and safety’
spoilsports (I’m being polite) an absolute nightmare."
"One of the highlights was a bus trip to
Peebles for a tour of Neidpath Castle – where we were also allowed to swim
in the nearby river Tweed – another ‘health and safety’ nightmare. I can
remember the water was freezing cold and there was also a strong
Looking at that stretch of the river today,
it’s still hard to believe we were allowed to strip off to our woollen
swimming trunks, leave our clothes on the bank, and just jump in."
"Broomlea camp, and all the huts, seem to be
still there – a short distance south of West Linton, although I’m not sure
what it is used for nowadays."
Brian Gourlay, Biggar, Lanarkshire, Scotland: February 15, 2008