South Yorkshire times, February 23, 1963
Conisbrough Boys hope for Icelandic Trip.
When Melvin Exton and Mike Clifford decided to enter for the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme two years ago, they looked forward to many unusual and exciting experiences – but a trip to Iceland was something they did not foresee.
Now Melvyn (17) of March Vale Terrace, Conisbrough, and Mike (16) of Sheffield Road, Conisbrough, who are well Silver Medallists under the scheme, stand an excellent chance of accompanying a party of 22 other award winners on and Icelandic expedition organised by the South Yorkshire Local Awards Committee.
Said Melvin this week, “the committee sent out 120 application formsand received60 replies. Now the number has been whittled down to only 27. We should be hearing any time now whether we have been chosen.”
The candidates have been put through various selection test, including an interview, and earlier this month an initiative test during which the 27 possible members of the expedition were introduced to each other and told what to expect when they arrive in Iceland.
Melvin explained that as part of the initiative test the boys were given a map reference in Derbyshire and talk to find a particular building by a certain time.
“It wasn’t too difficult,” said Melvin, “and we were able to keep to the roads most of the time.”
The party will fly from Glasgow to Reyjavik, the Icelandic capital, on July 26, returning on August 16. On arrival, they will travel by/their base camp on the fringe of the Holsjokull icecap.
Among their task, Melvyn revealed, will be the recording of glacial movements, general exploration, including a study of the plant and animal life and perhaps some ice climbing.
“Although we have to supply our own equipment,” Melvyn observed, “the committee will supply the food – most of it dehydrated and packed in polythene, but there are some ordinary foods to vary the diet a little.”
The party will arrive during the Icelandic summer when it is light for five months without a break.
By the time they return from Iceland – providing that they are chosen – the Conisbrough boys will be well on their way to qualifying for the coveted gold medals. They are both pupils at Mexborough grammar school, but have been, completing their eward training at Conisbrough Northcliffe secondary school.
“It has been difficult to fit the training in wth Melvyn’s schoolwork.”, said his father, Mr Sidney Exton, though the family agree that in the end it will be worth all the effort.