1962 Ski Trip to Valloire

Many thanks to Trevor Chapman for these photos and comments:

I originally thought I was 3rd from the right on the first photo, but was doubtful.  I have found another photo of me on my own (2nd photo) and am now convinced it is not me. It might be Keith Swetman and, now you have mentioned Robert Attoe, I think he is the middle one of the three with Jim Douglas on the end. I am at the far left with my hands up beside my head (I recognise the woolly hat and big socks both of which I still have, sad or what?).

I think Miss Baxter is the lady to the right with glasses. If I remember correctly she wasn't a natural athlete and only did the first day. Mr Ian Stockwell is of course the tall chap in the middle.

An account from the 1962 College Magazine:

At San Michel we boarded one of the famous mountain buses packed with many other potential skiers, and with them we had our first experience of zigzagging along the mountain roads until we had our first sight of the beauties of Valloire.  All the other people in our hotel seemed to be French - a golden opportunity for the French students. After rest, nourishment - generally the food was good, and the crisp French bread, the chips and the gruyere cheese were especially popular. The first afternoon was spent collecting blankets, ski-boots, stick - and the lethal skis.

We lost our interpreter the following morning, when Mr. Williams joined an advanced group and Miss Baxter took on the exasperating job, thus earning our gratitude. The instructor assigned to our group captivated us, and had soon been given the nom-de-guerre of "our little gnome."  First experiences with skis are always frustrating to you and amusing to others, and we played to rule. The boys soon made good progress, and when we moved from the valley floor to the higher slopes their proficiency had enabled them to assume a practised air. The crunch and song of ski blades was already familiar. Most evenings were filled by lectures or films given by the instructors, and we afterwards slept soundly until the new day. On the Sunday morning the so-called rest period was spent in Valloire.

The holiday closed with a competition, won by Mr. Stockwell, who completed the course in 40 seconds. Another member of the party was less speedy, taking 209 seconds, thus earning the title of "Mr. 209."  Mr. Stockwell was presented with a cup from which we duly celebrated.  The return journey was made interesting for all of us, and too interesting for some, by a very choppy crossing to Folkestone, and we were greeted by English weather after our holiday of sun, snow and comradeship.

A sincere thank you to Mr. Williams and all the other staff for their organisation and the way in which they imbued the trip with a really happy spirit, which never flagged. Now most of us have only one motto - here's to the next time.


Contents The Gallery Skiing Valloire 1962