MPSRO Long Service Award in recognition of 10 years Service to Mountain Rescue awarded to four Bolton MRT members

Tonight, during our Annual Team Dinner and Presentation Awards Evening our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE had the honour of presenting to four of our Call Out list members, Long Service Award Certificates, issued by our regional mountain rescue organisation, the Mid Pennine Search and Rescue Organisation (MPSRO), recognising in each case ten years of service to Mountain Rescue.

The proud recipients were Diane Blakeley, Ged Clarke, Steven Fletcher and Neil Aspinall.

Diane first joined the team as a teenager in 1985, as part of her Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme work, and left the team as an active member in the late 1990s to pursue a career in teaching.

She returned to the team last year, firstly in a supporting role, but now attends once more most team activities including emergency call outs.

During her time in the team Diane was an active Team Council member first in the post of Secretary and then as the Team Treasurer for a number of years. She was also Chair Person for the teams ’first’ Support Group (Or more correctly our Fundraising Group as it was then known) Over the years she has organised a number of major fundraising activities including a Spring Fayre, Celidh’s and lectures. She also organised the Annual Team Dinner for 7 years including the 25th Anniversary Dinner which saw Bob and Diane spending the previous 18 months organising the event in order to find and reunite large numbers of old team members and invite them to this special evening.

In the early 1990’s she took on roles firstly involved in the organisation of the MPSRO hosted National Mountain Rescue Conference at Huddersfield University, which as Booking Secretary, she also helped to advertise the event and co-ordinated all the delegate bookings and event registration. Following this successful conference she was then asked to continue to help with other administration roles during a number of National Mountain Rescue Conferences, something she continued to do even during her break from the Bolton Team.

Diane Blakeley

Neil Aspinall, aged 41, from near Chorley, joined the team in January 2001, after many years of associating with the team as a local Voluntary Countryside Ranger.

Neil brought to the team a wealth of intimate local knowledge about the local moorlands and surrounding areas.

In recent years Neil has assisted our Elected Vehicles Officer Chris Greenhalgh, as his ’Unofficial Deputy,’ and has also contributed much personal time recently with regards to our new team vehicles project.

Neil Aspinall

Both Ged Clarke and Steven Fletcher joined the team together in February 2001, from a shared interest in the Scout Association, in which both remain, Steven as a Scout Leader and Ged as a Canoe Activities Instructor.

Both also came to the team with an interest in hill walking and mountaineering, Steve having ’dabbled’ in climbing now spends a lot of his time outside of the team mountain biking.

Ged has served the team in the capacity as Treasurer, whilst Steven was this year elected to the team Council post of Equipment Officer with responsibility for our extensive radios, communications and IT kit.

Both also serve within the team as members of our specialist Water Search and Rescue section.

Steven is also the ’main player’ behind the teams excellent website, having designed its format and content, and now alongside one other team member acts as our ’webmaster.’

Ged is one of two principal ’photographers’ in the team, who regularly contributes many photographs to the website from training, fundraising and operational call outs.

Ged Clarke and Steven Fletcher

All four were applauded for their continuing commitment, dedication and steadfast support of the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team and attending all the many activities which constitute all that team membership of the Bolton MRT entails.