The History of Longsleddale OPC

Historical Drawing of Main Barn

The roots of the centre go back over 40 years to when a group of Venture Scouts linked up with a Mountain Rescue Team for some joint training exercises in the Longsleddale valley. This was so successful it became a regular weekend fixture.

Over the next few years other groups including scout groups, schools and even Police cadets, expressed an interest in joining in with the weekends activities. It was at this time that Jim McVeigh came along with some other Mountain Rescue Team members and decided to set up an independent outdoor pursuits centre offering weekend courses that schools could afford.

The original practice of camping soon became impractical due to the amount of equipment required for a weekend so they started hiring the local school hall but a demand grew and the number of mixed groups rose they soon outgrew this new arrangement.

The decision was taken to look for a more permanent home and after a few false starts the group was offered the use of two derelict barns by a local farmer. After obtaining planning permission the group set about the task of renovating and converting the barns for their own needs.

In October 1974 the Longsleddale Outdoor Pursuits Centre was opened by Jim McVeigh.

Over the years the centre has been updated and expanded and there are now three barns holding equipment, sleeping accommodation ,cooking and communal areas and a separate toilet block.

The most recent refurbishment work was carried out during 2007 when work on all three barns was undertaken.

One of the milestones in the history of the centre was the granting of an AALA Operators License which was quite an achievement for a centre staffed soley by volunteers. It is due to the hard work and commitment of the members and instructors that this has been made possible.

In order ot keep the centre running, whilst only charging a small fee to the many youngsters and schools who come, we still need the generous donations of time, effort and money from our staff, friends and anyone else keen enough to help support the aims of our founder Jim McVeigh and all of the organisations members.

For more information on the History of Longsleddale Valley and its residence visit the link below.