Adam Arnold-Brown: Outward Bound Mountain School Papers

Archive Collection

Scope and Content

1/1-36. Establishment of the OBMS, July 1949 - March 1950: correspondence relating to Arnold-Brown's appointment, memoranda concerning alterations at Gatehouse, lists of furniture and equipment required, dates of first year's courses, etc.

2/1-14. Geoffrey Winthrop Young (President, OBMS): correspondence with Arnold-Brown, Jan. 1950 - Feb. 1952.

3/1-12. Philip Russell Rea, 2nd Baron Rea (Chairman, OBMS): correspondence with Arnold-Brown, Dec. 1949 - Mar. 1951.

4/1-97. John Nevile Wake Gwynne and Priscilla Whiting (respectively Executive Director, OBT, and Secretary, OBT): correspondence with Arnold-Brown, Jan.- Apr. 1950.

5/1-31. O.A. Guggenheim (Director, OBMS): correspondence with Arnold-Brown, Aug. 1949 - July 1950. There is also some correspondence between Guggenheim and John Gwynne and Peter Rowntree.

6/1-11. James Martin Hogan (Director, OBMS): correspondence with Arnold-Brown, July 1950 - Apr. 1951.

7/1-58. H. John Watson (Bursar, OBMS): correspondence with Arnold-Brown, Nov. 1949 - June 1950.

8/1-20. Official opening of the OBMS: typescript programme, printed copies of speeches, and letters of appreciation from guests.

9/1-41. 'Confidential Letters', July 1951 - Dec. 1952: correspondence and memoranda mainly relating to the purchase of a tied cottage by the OBMS, and to Arnold-Brown's decision to resign and the choice of his successor.

10/1-105. Staff appointments, Oct. 1949 - Nov. 1953: correspondence, curricula vitae, references and Arnold-Brown's interview notes for instructor posts at the OBMS; copies of references by Arnold-Brown for staff seeking employment elsewhere; material relating to problems with staff, and to promotions within the OBMS.

11/1-32. Miscellaneous administrative correspondence and papers, Jan. 1951 - Mar. 1953, including correspondence of Arnold-Brown with doctors concerning exercise tolerance tests, notes by Arnold-Brown for talks to courses, and memoranda by Colonel C.P.S. Denholm-Young (Bursar in succession to H.J. Watson).

12/1-91. Miscellaneous confidential administrative correspondence and papers, Nov. 1949 - May 1953, including correspondence of Arnold-Brown with Spencer Summers (Vice-president, OBMS), Jack Longland (Director, OBMS), John Gwynne and Colonel Denholm-Young; papers relating to a complaint by Lord Rea about trespass, reports on the OBMS by Gwynne, and the script of a radio broadcast on the OBMS.

13/1-27. Costings for furniture, household and training equipment, provisions, staff salaries, etc., prior to the opening of the OBMS, and duplicated typescript budget statements and costings reports for later years, 1949-1953.

14/1-43. Staff notices and Arnold-Brown's notes on instructors's conferences, 1950-1953.

15/1-16. Miscellaneous letters to Arnold-Brown from sponsor firms and parents thanking him for his reports on boys attending courses, and extracts from post-course reports and letters written by boys and girls, 1950-1953.

16/1. 'Record of courses and individual results', courses 1-31 (lacking 2), Mar. 1950 - Apr. 1953: volume kept by Arnold-Brown, arranged by course, tabulating each boy's results in each aspect of the programme.

17/1-33. Warden's course reports to directors, 1-31 (lacking 2), 1950-1953: duplicated typescript reports, summarising the course, the numbers of badges given, problems encountered, suggestions for improvements, etc.

18/1-17. Directors's meeting papers, Jan. 1950 - Apr. 1953: miscellaneous duplicated typescript agenda, minutes, and memoranda and notes by Arnold-Brown.

19/1-32. Programme for courses 1-31 (lacking 2), 1950-1953.

20/1-31. Patrol lists, courses 1-31 (lacking 2), 1950-1953.

21/1-41. Correspondence and papers of Arnold-Brown relating to the OBMS after his departure, June 1953 - July 1961, including a report by Arnold-Brown on a proposed site for an Outward Bound School in Dorset, letters concerning the dismissal of Eric Shipton as the Warden of the OBMS, and papers about the death of a boy during a course.

22/1-13. OBT annual reports, 1948-1959 and 1964.

23/1-11. OBT bulletins, 1-11, 1952-1959, published at irregular intervals, providing news of the Trust, individual schools and local associations, and Outward Bound activities overseas.

24/1-23. OBT conferences, 1949-1953: duplicated typescript programmes, attendance lists, briefing papers and summaries of proceedings, for conferences in Eastbourne, 1949; London, 1950; and Ashborne Hill, 1952 and 1953.

25/1-28. Articles about the OBT and OBMS from house magazines of sponsor firms and other publications, 1948-1955.

26/1-54. Pamphlet file, 1949-1960: illustrated brochures, pamphlets and leaflets issued by the OBT, describing the Trust, its schools and their courses.

27/1. Outward Bound, edited by David James (London, 1957).

28/1. Students of Outward Bound schools in Great Britain, a follow-up study, by Prof. B.A. Fletcher (Bristol, 1970).

29/1-16. Miscellaneous OBMS Warden's course reports, newsletters and press cuttings, 1970-1975.

30/1-5. Two letters to Arnold-Brown and copies of three letters from him concerning Gordonstoun School, 1990-1991.

31/15. Material relating to Kurt Hahn, comprising:

1-2. The memoirs of Prince Max of Baden (2 volumes, London, 1928), presented by Hahn to Arnold-Brown, 1937.

3. Anonymous 22-page typescript memorandum discussing the rise and composition of the Nazi party, written by a German before the outbreak of war in 1939.

4. Typescript memorandum by Hahn setting out what he believed should be Britain's war aims, July 1940 (photocopy of Public Record Office PREM 4/100/8).

5. Printed memorandum by Hahn setting out his vision for a network of schools as 'islands of healing' for the youth of Europe (New York, 1948).

Administrative / Biographical History

In 1941 the first Outward Bound school, a sea school, was founded at Aberdovey, Merioneth, by Kurt Hahn, headmaster of Gordonstoun, and Lawrence Holt, chairman of the Blue Funnel Line, providing month-long courses for teenage boys. The Outward Bound Trust (OBT) was formed in 1946 to take over the school and establish others, one of which was the Outward Bound Mountain School (OBMS) in Eskdale, Cumberland. This was opened in 1950, with A.S. Arnold-Brown as its first Warden.

The OBMS offered boys from mainly urban backgrounds the opportunity to gain experience in mountaineering, fell walking, canoeing, and other strenuous activities, with the aim of encouraging physical fitness, personal initiative and the development of skills in leadership and teamwork. The boys were sponsored by their parents, employers or local education authorities. The first course for girls was held in October 1951.

Adam Sebastian Arnold-Brown was educated at Gordonstoun School, 1934-1937, and Trinity Hall, Cambridge, 1946-1949, and served as an officer of the Royal Scots Fusiliers from 1940 to 1946. At Kurt Hahn's suggestion he applied for the wardenship of the OBMS and was appointed in July 1949. Arnold-Brown played a major role in the school's establishment at Gatehouse, a property in Eskdale purchased by the OBT from Lord Rea, and ran its courses from March 1950 until his departure in May 1953.

Conditions Governing Access

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by A.S. Arnold-Brown, 1980 and 1992.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Geographical Names