‘In the Winter term of 1945 seven new-boys joined Lupton House, Sedbergh School, Yorkshire.’ So begins the “We are Seven” album. This beautiful bound volume captures photographs and accounts of the expeditions of R. H. Dodds, I. W. Gardner, D. R. MacInnes, A. N. Spinney, J. G. D. Shaw, D. W. B. Byrd and A. D. Turnbull during their five years at Sedbergh School.
The seven boys formed a ‘league’ to go on expeditions and picnic lunches. The first outing was to Turshaw Spout, a high waterfall on Holme Fell. Over the next five years the boys visited caves, fells and waterfalls across the hills surrounding Sedbergh with the album recording each of the visits.
In 1946 the boys celebrated Victory Day on June 8th with an expedition which was ‘the biggest and most eventful one we had ever made.’ The account goes on to record the adventure:
‘Weeks before the actual day everybody was asked to get as much food as they could from home. Then two or three days before V-Day the problem of how to carry everything arose; however most of it was carried in a sheet supplied by Gardner, but the cooking utensils were carried in rucksacks with the rest of the food. It was a whole holiday so we set off as soon after Chapel as we could: ie: at about 11 o’clock. Shaw and Gardner carried the sheet, taking it in turns to hold it on the other’s shoulders.
There was plenty of time, so everyone was walking at his own pace and at times the distance between the first and last man was more than fifty yards.
However we arrived at last without mishap. We lit a fire and decided to have lunch. During the meal Arty and Spinney started arguing whether pheasants have ears or not so Spinney said he would go and see. He went up to a pheasant sitting on a nest about fifty yards away. When he got to the nest however, the bird flew off with a great flapping of wings.
About half an hour later, after we had eaten half the food, we decided to play some games. We played ‘Jockeys’, and then ‘Ball-Tig’, and in order to tantalise ‘It’ we developed a high pitched call.
We moved off to a place on the Rawthey which was overgrown with garlic, much to Arty’s displeasure as it gave him synus [sic].
We lit a fire and cooked some eggs supplied by Byrd on the methylated-spirit stove. Then we ate a cake supplied by Gardner and after that we threw stones at some sand-castles and went home tired and happy.”
The album ends with an image of Winder viewed through the rugby posts of Busk. A caption beneath reads,
“As boyhood’s days grow dimmer
The memory will not die
Of Winder’s clear cut outline
Against an evening sky.”