Sunday, September 14, 2008

Life at Ullenwood 1

The seasons were usually about 6 weeks. There were often 100+ people in any given week with people often doing a 2-week stint and then going. Some diehards stayed for longer and some the whole season. There was usually a crew that would arrive a day or two early to give Ullenwood a clean and help set up on the top of the Hill. There were huts and shelters erect, tools to clean and maintain.

Think about the logistics of accommodating 100+ dirty diggers.  During my time at Crickley (which was for parts or all of the season between 1976 and 1982 with occasional weekend visits thereafter) dormitories. 1 & 2 were for men and 3 & 4 for women. When the numbers exceeded the capacity of the dorms there was another building opposite the dining room that was sometimes opened up and commissioned with camp beds to cope with the overflow of humanity.

The iron bedsteads probably dated from WWII and were still pretty robust. I fear the straw- filled mattresses were of similar vintage and had a musty smell. I can remember beating them at the beginning of at least one season to try and perk them up a bit if not clean them.  I also have a faint memory of flea powder being applied but cannot myself remember being bitten.

Some people could not stand the dormitories and so brought their own tents which gave some privacy and relieved the strain upon the dorms.  I was puzzling over what the grass marks were in the attached photos and then realised they were the groundsheet prints of tents. The bunker is in the background, before anyone was supposed to know what it was.

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