Long Service Awards evening

Over a year ago, at a meeting of our regional body the Mid Pennine Search & Rescue Organisation, it was decided to initiate a Long Service Awards scheme for Mountain Rescue operational service as our national body, Mountain Rescue England & Wales only has in place recognition of 25 years service and 40 years service within its Long Service Awards system.

All the MPSRO teams felt it would be appropriate to honour service from 10 years, and at five-yearly increments excluding the 25 and 40 years service award that is covered at a national level.

Team members Ann Shaw, Dave Marsh & Geoff Seddon

A suitable common certificate was drawn up for use by MPSRO teams, recognising service by team members in MPSRO constituent teams.

This evening we held our first Long Service award evening under the MPSRO scheme, presided over by our special guest of honour, the Mayor and Mayoress of Bolton, Councillor Walter Hall and his wife Sheila Hall.

The ceremony was also attended by our friend Seargant Simon Wilkinson from Greater Manchester Police Search Unit.

15 team members were receiving awards this evening with most having greater service than the 5 year increments of the award certificates allowed!

Some of the persons receiving awards have left the team for various reasons before we could arrange the awards evening, and it was a pleasure to see them return to receive their much valued certificates.

Of the 15, three were unable to attend this evening. Mike Thomason is on active duty as a forces chaplain with the British Army in Iraq where we wish him well. Peter Ellwood, who now lives in North Yorkshire, had evening school duties, and Paul Jorgensen is currently working in Oman.

10 year Long Service Award certificates, neatly framed, were presented on the evening to team members Craig Lamb, Chris Moody, Ken Oakes, ex-team member Gerry Ryan, and Alison Yates (Peter Ellwood and Mike Thomason could not attend – see above).

15 year Long Service Award certificates were presented to Louise Jorgensen, Tony McNally, and ex-team member Ann Shaw (Paul Jorgensen could not attend).

20 year Long Service Award certificates were presented to David Marsh and Mike Marsh.

35 year Long Service Award certificates were presented to our Deputy Team Leader Geoff Seddon and Alan James. Geoff Seddon actually joined the team in early 1969 and has served over 37 years in the team, whilst Alan (The General) James first joined Mountain Rescue in 1967 as a member of Rossendale Fell Rescue Team (as it was named at the time) and then went on to become one of our founder members when the team formed in 1968. He has spent 39 in Mountain Rescue – 38 of which have been in Bolton MRT.

Team members receiving their Long Service Award certificates

A great many partners of those receiving awards attended this evening including ex-team members Di Curphy and Geoff (“Things were very different in my day!, we had nowt but woolly sweaters and we certainly never got certificates!”) Yates.

16 team members attended the evening to give support to their colleagues receiving their Long Service Awards.

An excellent post-presentation buffet was organised by our Catering Officer Chris Tennant, and his wife and Support Group member Tina Tennant, along with a glass of sparkling wine to all present.

The team is very grateful for the Mayor of Bolton, Councillor Walter Hall, and his wife the Mayoress Sheila Hall, for officiating at this wonderful evening ceremony to honour long service within Mountain Rescue.