Bolton MRT lights up the skies

This evening in what is becoming an annual event, we held a smoke and distress flare practical exercise upon our local moorlands, to give our newer members the experience of firing off smoke and distress flares and give our more experienced members the chance to let off some ’real’ fireworks.

Taking place on the windswept (and very wet and soggy) moorlands of Winter Hill Flats above the moorland village of Belmont, 25 team members were joined by 7 of our colleagues from Cheshire Lowland Search and Rescue Team (here for the night time experience of our typically boggy 1000’ high moorlands).


The hills are alive with the sound of music? No, the hills are alight with the smell of burnt flares!

Team member Fred Taylor, a keen diver and yachtsman, supplied a very large number of expired stock hand held smokes and distress flares, rocket flares and parachute flares for us to light up the night time moorland skies with (over 200 according to Fred! and no we didn’t get near to firing them all off).

Before the exercise commenced it was a case of our Team Leader phoning around the Police Control rooms (which had also received prior notice the day previous) to inform them of the exercise so as to avoid any calls from members of the public seeing distress flares going up over the local moors being mistaken for a real incident.

And so the evening’s flare exercise commenced with some fantastic ’red’ clouds created by the larger distress flares lighting up the low lying cloud and misty capped summit of Winter Hill.

The evening was rounded off by team member Joanne Stones treating all to her home made and very excellent Parkin cake (well nearly all, cos Garry our Team Leader just beat team member Neil Ramsbottom to the last piece!)