Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, Annual Team Dinner and Presentation Awards Evening

This evening saw the team holding its 42nd Anniversary Year Annual Team Dinner, with a return for the fourth time to the excellent venue of Dunscar Golf Club, Bolton. Organised very capably again this year by team member Gillian Leigh, (with help from her husband, ex team member and former Deputy Team Leader Ian), the evening’s meal and after dinner entertainment attracted 62 guests. Those attending included many of our Call Out list and Support Group members along with their partners, ex team members, parents of team members and team supporters.

Following the excellent meal, our new Chairman Craig Lamb welcomed all to the evening and introduced all to our ’host’ (and entertainment) for the evening, our very own Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE.

Garry then commenced proceedings with our annual formal awards. The Stanley Award for the Most Promising New Team Member was presented to Paul Richard Copley, aged 51, of Montserrat Road, Bolton, who joined the team last year in November, for his enthusiasm, dedication and commitment to the team and his ready willingness to help out at whatever task is asked of him, alongside his personal fund raising efforts for the team.

Paul Copley accepts his Stanley Award for the Most Promising New Team Member of 2010 – 2011

The Howard Hill Memorial Tankard Award for the Person or Persons Making the Greatest Contribution to the Team over the past year, was awarded to Call Out list member Martin Banks of Horwich, for his very important and central role in acting as the Project Manager for our New Team Vehicles 2010 / 2011 Project, which culminated in April this year with us taking delivery of three brand new Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance Vehicles.

Garry Rhodes MBE presents Martin Banks with the Howard Hill Memorial Tankard

Very experienced Team Call Out list member Mike Marsh, aged 45 of Horwich, was presented by our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, with a very special framed Long Service Award Certificate from our national body, Mountain Rescue England and Wales, recognising 25 years unbroken service with Mountain Rescue. Garry then presented similar long service award certificates as issued by our regional body, the Mid Pennine Search and Rescue Organisation (MPSRO) in recognition of 20 years service by our team Life Vice President Tony McNally, aged 69 of Bolton, and ten years service certificates to Diane Blakeley aged 43, Ged Clarke, Steven Fletcher aged 30 and Neil Aspinall aged 42, for continuous service operationally with Bolton MRT.

The tables were then turned somewhat on Garry, aged 53 of Tyldesley, when our Life Vice President Tony McNally presented him with an MPSRO Long Service Certificate honouring thirty years total service to mountain rescue. (A date he reached in March this year)

The always much anticipated informal awards part of the night commenced with our Team Leader Garry making a humorous report on the team’s activities over the year, entitled “This was the year that…”

Garry then presented his usual informal awards, his version of ’Gotcha’s’, with 19 individual awards to team members in thirteen categories, all hand made by Garry, recognising all of those things the lucky, well unlucky, recipients would rather fellow team members had forgotten.

Tony Dawson collecting his Chrome Dome award

Some would say there is one award missing from the Mini Chrome Dome awards…

John Dickinson for a recent misdemeanor in one of our Land Rover Ambulances

I thought you’d got rid of all of those Mike…

Chairman Craig Lamb gaining his water-wings

Chris Greenhalgh getting another shiny new motor…

You really can win too many awards John…

Elaine Gilliland is definately over 21, so why is Garry giving her a key to the door, answers on a postcard to…

Steve Fletcher testing the rolling angle on our new vehicles maybe?

Mark Scott getting our BM4 Land Rover stuck off road. No wonder Garry has to insist on cleaning the motors after every use!

Chris Greenhalgh and his ’Milkman from his young childhood past,’ Paul Copley

Diane Blakeley and Elaine Gilliland get presented with a small Squirrel each. Something to do with a tapping noise heard coming from the roof of our minibus one journey!

Matt “some people will do anything to get a ride in a helicopter” Hailwood

John, John, John, John….

Neil “Here’s one I shot earlier” Aspinall

During this part of the evening the tables were again turned on Garry, when at the end of his presentation, Team Call Out list member Ana Toole presented Garry with an ’Informal Award,’ followed by Mike Marsh doing the same and then Support Group Member Teresa Gilliland, joining in the mickey taking of Garry, presenting him with a third ’Informal’ award.

What happens when you use the wrong key in the wrong lock…

Teresa Gilliland presenting Garry with an award to recognise (Or resolve) his bad time keeping!

You’ll need a new joke for the Foundation Course now Garry…

As is usual, a competition was held to guess the length of time our Team Leader would keep us enthralled with his amusing tales and awards of the team member’s endeavors over the previous year. Guests contribute £1 each to guess the time, with 50% of the money raised going to the team, and 50% to the winner. The winning time that was closest to Garry’s speech time of 1 hour 28 minutes, was made by team member Neil Warburton who won £31.50. In total Garry’s speeches raised the great sum of £31.50 directly for the team.

With determined raffle ticket sales headed up by our sales team of new Team Trainee members, helped by the raffle ticket folders and with an amazing 38 superb raffle prizes on offer, the raffle raised £250.36 on the evening. So all in all the raffle amount of £250.36 combined with Garrys’ speech total of £31.50, meant tonight’s dinner resulted in a fantastic £281.86 being raised for the team.

The Dinner and Awards evening ended up very late on, with many hangovers in the making and more than one two many beers, wines and spirits drunk.

Thanks are expressed to Rossendale and Pendle MRT for providing cover for our team area over Friday night and into Saturday morning, allowing us all to have ’one night off’ and indulge a ’little bit.’

Next year’s Team Dinner, is provisionally planned for Friday 18th May 2012.

All the recipients of the ’official’ awards of the evening