Retirement of three long-serving team members

It is opportune here at the end of this month to pay tribute to three Team members who each for different reasons have recently retired from the active Call Out list membership.

Peter Ellwood
Peter, aged 39 a school teacher by profession, joined the team on 22nd September 1993, immediately bringing with him his expert local knowledge and comprehensive mountaineering background.

Upto his retirement from the team on 18th March, Peter was a very dedicated and committed team member, combining his time in the team with very regular trips into the mountains, particularly Scotland. Peter was also a (very fit and fast) fell runner, a skill utilised many times by the team when he was tasked with running to the casualty site to make a quick initial assessment.

Regular trips to the Scottish Highlands brought to Peter the growing realisation that he was ascending a fair few Munros, (Scottish Hills over 3000 feet) and this culminated in his becoming the teams first Munroist when he “completed” recently. This is a tremendous acomplishment in mountaineering circles and is still a very exclusive “club” to belong to. Peter also had an interest in mountain biking and white water kayaking, and with regards to the latter, he was also a member of the teams Kayak Search Unit.

Peter along with his partner Alice, also a teacher and a great team helper whenever we asked, have now moved to Wray near Lancaster hence his retirement from the team. We all wish them both well in their new house and every success in the future.

Ann Shaw
Ann, aged a graceful 51 (well very nearly 52) has been a team member for some 16 years and 3 months upto her retirement from the team at the March 22nd AGM.
She joined way back in December 1989 and has served the team very capably as Honorary Treasurer and for two seperate long terms of office as Team Training Officer.

Originally a Nurse, Ann was a very well liked and respected team member, ever willing to guide and encourage our newer members in the ways of the team and mountain rescue.

In her early forties she took to rock climbing and very quicly became an accomplished lead climber at a very respected grade, undertaking not only local quarry routes but crags and mountain routes all over the Lakes, Peak district, Skye and Wales. Ann became the organiser of the teams (and ex team members) Monday night climbing club group, indoor walls in winter and midge infested local quarries in summer!

She also took on board the organisation for many years of the team’s annual winter mountaineering trip to Scotland, where her interest in Scottish Winter Climbing developed, culminating in her impressive list of ascents on such faces as the Cairngorm Corries and the Ben Nevis face.

Within the team Ann helped and co organised the MPSRO and Joint Foundation courses, again offering encouragement and support to new team members, within this team and others. Ann also instructed on the MPSRO Party Leader courses, and went on to play a part instructing on the national MREW Party Leader courses.

She will be sorely missed in the team particularly her talent for organising cunning and interesting exercise scenerios. (our team leader has never forgave her for the RAF SAR Wessex mayday call, “another cunning exercise inject Ann?” said Garry, “no”, said Ann “this is for real!”)

Ann retired from the team to give herself a little more time to pursue her personal mountain activities and to give some time to her immediate family.
Good luck in your retirement Ann, and here’s to you getting through your wishlist of Scottish winter routes safely. (And yes the team will have you back as an exercise casualty and helper on various courses.)

Tony McNally
Tony also retired at our March AGM, after 14 years and 11 months in the team, since joining in April 1991.

Tony a school teacher, aged 64 (but much younger looking of course) came to the team late on in life and in his own words “got far more out of the team than he put into it.” Well that may be partly true but his comment hides the considerable work he put into the team as Chairman, a role he held from September 1992 right through until this year’s March AGM.

In this post Tony was an excellent Chairman, always ready to guide the affairs of the team and always ready to fully support his Team Council colleagues, and in particular our Team Leader Garry Rhodes in his oft difficult task of leading the team through good and bad times. Much of what Tony carried out as Chairman behind the scenes remains confidential to him and our Team Leader, suffice to say he steered the team around and resolved many an actual or potential crisis as occurs in any large organisation.

Tony was also an accomplished and very sucessful grant getter for the team, just some examples include £49,000.00 from the National Lottery for two brand new Landrovers in 1999, £5,000.00 again from the National Lottery for our Salopettes, sponsorship from Bellway Homes, grants to purchase PFDs (life jackets) for all tam members, etc, etc.

Tony was also instrumental alongside our team leader in talks with GMAS and GMFRS which led to our bases being established at Ladybridge Hall and Bolton Fire station respectively. Once the intial talks had resulted in the offers of such bases, Tony then co ordinated / investigated / actioned all that was needed to make both these offers the reality they are today. His considerable role in this particularly at our LBH base, was rewarded with a plaque of dedication recording Tony’s involvement which was unveiled to his total surprise at our LBH Base official openning ceremony. (Also one of our two Landrover County Ambulances is named Tony to forever record his success with the National Lottery funding)

Outside of the team, Tony, perhaps still unknown to most of the team is a skilled yaughtsman, whilst in his youth (a long time ago!) he was a regular caver and rock climber, (to a standard that would still impress the many young rock athletes we have in the team nowadays). Tony is also a long experienced downhill skier with considerable knowledge of alpine skiing.

Tony has decided to retire from the active Call Out team membership because, in his own words, “having served my time and enjoyed every bit of it, I have realised its a young mans’ – and young womans’ game, besides which it’s time to move on.”

The whole team wishes Tony all the very best in his retirement, he will be a hard act to follow, but has promised as a retired member to keep in regular touch, still come out when he can and still work for us behind the scenes.

All three member’s retirement and contribution to the team will be formally recognised at our May Annual Team Dinner, where appropriate presentations will be made to all three by the team membership.