Operation: Find Santas Sleigh

This evening in typical(!) nil visibility mist and rainy conditions team members 33 call out team members, one ex-team member and 4 Support Group members met for our annual fun Christmas exercise, this year titled “Operation: Find Santas Sleigh.”

In two large groups most of those assembled were dispatched from Lower House car park RVP in Rivington, into the Terraced Gardens to follow a series of clues leading to Santas sleigh.

Each group had six “stations” to visit each of which was identified by a chemical light stick and a card with a letter of the alphabet on it. Of course to our team members all they were interested in was the mince pies, Christmas cakes, sweets, toffees and other goodies at each station.

A fun radio exercise also took place with very little chance of finding within the team three wise men, the Christmas fairy not to mention the vestal virgin!

With all stations completed the two groups then met up with our Deputy Team Leader Geoff Seddon and Training Officer Andrew Ryding who offered all a tipple of finest whisky, followed by their devious and cunning plan.

Each group was asked to take part in a mountain rescue stretcher carrying race with support group members Gillian Gregory and Johanne Lamb as the ’casualties’ in a run back to the Lower House car park. And the devious and cunning part of this…. Each casualty had balanced on their belly a bucket full of very cold water, the winning team being the one that had the most water left in the bucket at the end of the race. (well water does mix with whisky!)

Back at the car park it was difficult to work out who won as both buckets of water were (inevitably) promptly thrown over our treasurer Joanne Stones by team member Craig Lamb who wishes to remain anonymous.

Big thanks to Team Leader Garry Rhodes for purchasing and supplying all the food goodies and whisky for this excellent exercise. (thanks also to Garry Rhodes and Steve Fletcher for braving the torrential rain before the exercise to put all the items in place).

And why was it called operation: Santas Sleigh? Remember the card hanging with the goodies? If these hadn’t disintegrated in the rain they would have spelt out ’Santas Sleigh’