Official Handover, Blessing and Dedication Evening Ceremony for our three new Team Land Rovers, Team Minibus and our Search and Rescue Boat. (Inclusive of three new MR Stretchers)

This evening both through the medium of our website, where we issued an open invitation to all our many valued friends, supporters, former team members, and colleagues to join us, alongside personal invitations, we held an Evening Ceremony, to officially handover our three new Team Land Rover Ambulances, bless and dedicate these vehicles, alongside our Minibus Ambulance acquired last year, and our Search and Rescue Boat.

This same evening also saw our three SAR Alpine Lite MR Stretchers officially handed over to the team.
The Ceremony took place at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ, in the grounds of the NWAS NHS Trust Headquarters complex, with many arriving at 18.00hrs for the commencement of proceedings at 19:00, May 3rd 2011.

Upon arrival all were greeted by the highly appropriate musical talents of team supporters and friends Neil and Helen Grundy (The Holcombe Duo) who serenaded all with their Alphorn playing (Fantastic)

A free Buffet and Drinks (Thanks to the kind person who anonymously donated a large quantity of wine and soft drinks) was provided for all, (even the ravenous hordes that constitute the Team Call Out list membership!)

Ample car parking was available on site, thanks to the kindness of the NWAS Facilities Manager who allowed the use of the extensive car parking areas at Ladybridge for our event. (Car Park attendant duties duly performed by our excellent team of Trainee Team members (webmaster:under the direction of an experienced member!)”you can’t park here” staff!)

Our principal guests of honour on this evening were the East Lancashire Mark Masons (Donation of £40,000.00 against vehicle purchases), Edgworth Real Ale Festival Committee (£12,000.00 donation funding our SAR Boat and one SAR Stretcher) the Keep Fit Association of Chorley and Leyland (donation of two SAR Stretchers) Bolton CVS (£3,000.00 donation against new vehicles) Chris Baldwin Community Colleague, ASDA Bolton (£10,000.00 recent donation for new team clothing), and Greater Manchester Police (donation of our Minibus Ambulance)

Our Base/HQ was fully open to all our guests on the evening, with displays of the team past and present, and a display of our comprehensive Search and Rescue equipment alongside of course all of our six current Team Vehicles, Catering Trailer, Control Trailer, Aershelta Equipment Trailer, and SAR Boat Trailer.

Thankfully throuhout the entire evening it remained dry and very sunny, allowing us to take full advantage of the cobbled courtyard outside our excellent Base / HQ facilities to display all the teams kit.

Rossendale and Pendle MRT brought along their brand new Land Rover Discovery Ambulance which was also kindly purchased by the East Lancashire Mark Masons (Donation of £40,000.00 against the vehicle purchase)

At 19.00hrs proceedings opened with a welcoming address by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE., who went on to describe a little bit of the teams history with regards to vehicles. (“From ’Squalor Waggon’ to the very latest state of the art Land Rover specialist Mountain Rescue Ambulances in the space of 40 years, and I’ve seen most of them!”)

All present were then invited to watch a short presentation DVD on the work of Mountain Rescue Teams.

Team President Bob Hutchinson and Team Life Vice President Tony McNally then introduced our principal guests and their valued contribution to the team, (As per the above list) with all such Honoured Guests then giving a reply.

All then rejoined the team membership in the courtyard, where the Reverend Janet French, Vicar of Christ Church Heaton (Excactly opposite our Base / HQ) led all in prayers for the safe being of the team members when we go about our work in the community.

The Reverend Janet French then individually blessed each of our three new Land Rovers, (Named The Mark Mason, Tony McNally II, and Miss Ellen Sykes ’Nellie.’) our Minibus, our Search and Rescue Boat and Rossendale and Pendles MRTs new Land Rover Discovery.

Tony McNally, our Life Vice President then thanked the Reverend Janet French for her wonderful and kind blessing and dedication.

Garry Rhodes MBE our Team Leader, then presented the representatives from the Edgworth Real Ale Festival Committee with a Dedication Plaque, which will actually ’sit’ in our team Base / HQ and a smaller plaque which will be fitted to our SAR Boat.

It remained for Immediate Past Chairman of the team, Ken Oakes, to thank all for their attendance, and invite all present to continue enjoying our company, “eat up the buffet and drink up the drinks,” and to stay and chat to the team members present.

Special thanks are extended to the eight members of our Support Group who provided such excellent waiter and waitress support, serving up the fantastic buffet.

This below is the full guest list of all who attended our special evening, apologies of course if we have missed anyone out or miss-spelt any names……….

Former Team Call Out list members ; Ann Thompson, Ivor Makinson, Ian Leigh, Ted Morgan (And his wife Pat Morgan), Di James (nee Curphey), Geoff Sharp (And his wife Sue Sharp), Martin Duckworth, Andy Ryding, Dave Carter, and Peter Heeley.

East Lancashire Mark Benevolent Fund; Chairman Philip Conn, Treasurer John Crawford, and Secretary George Davis.

Mark Masons of East Lancashire; Provincial Grand Master Keith Schofield, Press Contact Trevor Parvin and Publicity David Rainford.

Holcombe Duo; Helen and Neil Grundy.

Maggie Lunn.

Paul and Carol Deplitch.

Frank Hulton of Frank Hulton Motor Engineers. (and a Team Life Vice President)

Sharon Bolus of Bolton CVS.

Ms Chris Baldwin, Community Colleague, ASDA Bolton.

Susan Rigby (Wheels and Motion 2 Event), Christine Rigby and Jamie Rigby.

Amy Hare, Committee Member, Bolton Sports Federation-Ladies Rounders League.

Miss Norma Ramm and her niece Mrs Constance Smethurst.

Carl Silver, Freelance Photographer.

Reverend Janet French. vicar of Christ Church Heaton.

Karon Forster, her husband Kenny and children Suzannah and Rebecca.

Keep Fit Association of Chorley and Leyland ; Pat Baron, Ruth Lynch, June Howieson, Eunice Walsh and Marjorie Matthews.

Edgworth Real Ale Festival Committee ; Alex Docherty, john Barlow, Nat Royle, Geoff Capper, and Jim Fletcher.

Stephen Parkinson, GMFRS Station Commander, Bolton Central Fire Station.

Stephen Hagerich, Senior Service Manager, British Red Cross.

Rossendale and Pendle MRT; Team Leader Andy Simpson, and Deputy Team Leaders Paul Heywood and Graham Dalley.

Andy Trinder, Vehicles Officer, North East Wales Search and Rescue Team (NEWSART)

Derek Cartwright, Director Of Emergency Operations, NWAS NHS Trust.

David McNally, NWAS (Manchester) Defibrillation Training Manager.

Angela McNally, NWAS (Manchester) Paramedic.

Keith Howarth, Fire Response Team, Salvation Army.

Greater Manchester Police Specialist Search Unit; Inspector Graham Peffers and Sergeant Tony Darbyshire.

Greater Manchester Police; Photographer Bill Morris.
Lancashire Constabulary Civil
Contingencies Unit; Inspector Neil Sherry.

Janet Hutchinson and Stella Banks (Wifes of team members Bob Hutchinson and Martin Banks)

Bolton MRT Support Group members, 8x.

Bolton MRT Call Out list members, 34x (Including 7x Trainee Team Members)

The following are just a small sample of the very kind comments put into our Base / HQ Visitors Book on the evening (Thanks to Team member Diane Blakeley for collecting all these comments);

“Glad to be involved on this day.”

“Vehicles look so professional.”

“Great job folks, keep it up.”

“An honour to attend, real appreciation for 365 days of the year.”

“What a change! Over twenty years since I was last on a ’Call Out’ – only fit to be a casualty now!”

“What a wonderful job you are all doing.”

“A pleasure to be here.”

“A pleasure always to work with the team and on behalf of GMP thanks for the excellent support over the years.

“Thank you very much for the invite to an enjoyable evening and more importantly all your help over the last few years.”

“Congratulations on your new vehicles.”

“A privilege to be invited.”

“A fantastic event.”

“Our privilege to be here and support your excellent efforts for the community.”

“Really informative evening with some wonderful people and a wonderful team.”

“We were honoured and delighted to raise funds for you.”

“Thanks for the memories, keep up the good work.”


“superb work, Lovely visit, educational. Makes me proud.”

“Absolutely fabulous.”