Queen’s Birthday Honours 2009

Congratulations to David Allan, who has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. David is currently Chair of Mountain Rescue (England & Wales).

David Allan, 69, started out as team doctor for Furness Mountain Rescue Team, as it was then known, 34 years ago when he moved to work in the area. Mr Allan, the former head of surgery at Furness General Hospital, Barrow, was a natural in the role and later took up the same position on a national scale for the Mountain Rescue Council for England and Wales and 10 years ago he was asked to become chairman of the council.

It is widely accepted that Mr Allan has transformed the way mountain rescue doctors are trained in his three decades-plus with the voluntary emergency service. During that time he has helped mountain rescue casualty treatment develop from basic, to being almost on a par with paramedics. He said he was proud to receive the honour on behalf of mountain rescue in general.

Mr Allan, of Mayfield Road, Ulverston, said: “It’s great for mountain rescue as a whole. “In the past it has tended to be a little bit of a Cinderella of the emergency services and lived in the shadow of the RNLI, the coastguard and other services. But it’s now coming out of the shade and getting recognition. I have been involved since I moved up here in 1975 but I got involved progressively with more and more of it until I took up the chair, which I suppose has been one of the big factors.”

“I moved from Manchester and within a year, well almost months or weeks, of arriving, the local mountain rescue team had spotted the fact there was a doctor who was a climber and I got approached and it went from there.” Mr Allan, now retired, added: “I don’t get out on the hills anymore. “My joints don’t permit it now, sadly, but I still get involved with teaching and casualty care.”

Also to Mountaineer Ron James gaining an MBE in the list. Mr James, of Llandudno, Conwy, is a retired mountain guide and was president of the British Mountain Guides from 1996 to 1999.

He was instrumental in the founding of the Ogwen Valley Mountain Rescue Organisation, having set up a mountaineering centre at Ogwen Cottage with two other well-known instructors, Trevor James and Tony Mason-Hornby.

He still writes and lectures on mountaineering and published a guide to routes in the Dolomites. He received his honour for voluntary service to mountaineering.

From all of us at Bolton MRT congratulations to David & Ron, on your very deserved honours.