Sep Friday 10 2004
Nine Bolton MRT members journeyed to the University of North Wales, Bangor, to attend this years UK MR Conference. Over 300 MRT members from across England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and The Republic of Ireland took part.
The Conference, with thanks to the support of the Community Fund, was opened by the Conference Chairmen, Peter Howells, with intoductory comments from the Deputy Chief Constable of North Wales, and Betty Williams, MP for North Wales, who outlined her commitment to the Early Day Motion to support English and Welsh MRTs, currently proceeding through Parliament, and very clearly spelt out her love for the Welsh Mountains and landscape of North Wales.
The packed programme included guest lecturers from Finland, the United States of America, Iceland and New Zealand, as well as home grown talent !
All aspects and interests in MR were catered for, from training Cadaver dogs to suspension trauma, Air Ambulances in the mountains to Public relations, IT applications in MR to personal fitness and equipment demonstrations, including the latest stretcher and integral Cas Bag designs coming out of Scotland, and the latest MR E&W Cas Bag.
As ever the company and food was equally as good as the presentations, and all credit must go to the organising committee, and the ” orange tops ” ( Conference staff ) for yet another successful Conference.
Goody bag wise, well Paul Haden never did blag that nice looking headtorch, but the Nikwax trade stand was doing a roaring trade in free handouts, whilst as a team, we were given a ” Blizzard Survival ” Reflexcell Vest for field trial use.
Being North Wales it poured down all weekend, so of course we all had to stay in the bar on Friday and Saturday nights, where the usual problems of too few bar staff and not enough ” supplies ” yet again happened.
Aside from the usual Irish faces, it was nice to see so many of our Scottish colleagues, who reminded us they have real mountains to play on ! amongst whom were some very long distance travellers from our Team Leaders favourite hillwalking and scrambling area of Sutherland, that is the Dundonnel MRT and Assynt MRT.
With this Conference, our Team Leader who attended this year as in all other years, surely now qualifies for his ” MR Conference On Tour ” T Shirt, having attended every MR Conference, since his first at Durham back in 1985, with the exception of the Dublin Conference.