Team bids a fond farewell to the last of its 1999 purchased Land Rovers, as ‘Nellie’ goes off to a new home.

This evening three members of the team waved a fond farewell to an old team favorite, our Incident Support Vehicle, Bolton Mobile 6 (BM6), which until April 20th this year was always known as Bolton Mobile 3 (BM3)

BM6 was based upon a Land Rover Defender 110 Van Td5, and proudly carried the name ‘Nellie,’ in direct honour and as a tribute to the late Miss Ellen Sykes, who left a substantial bequest to the team in 1999, enabling the purchase of this vehicle outright. (Nellie was how the late Miss Ellen Sykes preferred to be referred as, and her full name also appeared on this vehicle. A memorial plaque to her exists in our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ)

The vehicle was originally purchased at the same time as two Land Rover Defender 110 County Td5 vehicles (Both very kindly purchased by the National Lottery) in September 1999, with a grand total of 25 miles on the clock from LEX Bury, for £16,517.00 exclusive of extensive works subsequently carried out by Frank Hulton Motor Engineers.

BM6 or to use the more familiar name of BM3 actually entered team service on April 5th 2000, after extensive internal refit works and external works by Frank Hulton of Frank Hulton Motor Engineers, Farnworth.

It has served the team very well over all its time in our service, principally as a carrier of equipment, and as a Control and Command vehicle, when our the use of our Control Trailer was not required by the nature of some incidents.

Its sale closely follows that of its stable mates, which were recently sold onto NEWSAR team in North Wales, following its and their replacement by three brand new Land Rover team vehicles in April this year.

Team members present tonight, consisted of our Equipment Officer Vehicles Chris Greenhalgh, Elaine Gilliland our Training Officer and Steven Fletcher our Equipment Officer Communications, who jointly handed over the vehicle keys (and of course the vehicle) to its new owner, the Chairman and Deputy Team Leader of Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue Team, Graham Dalley.

The vehicle was sold for £7,000.00, which will now join other team funds set against our new Control Vehicle Project which will replace our existing Control Trailer.

Its last operational call out was Incident 39, yesterday evening on 26th May 2011. It also saw particular ’heavy’ use during the recent operations to support Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service with the large scale fire centred upon Anglezarke Moor.

It was handed over with 40,567 miles on the clock, after just over 11 years in our service.

Although we are sad to see the vehicle leave the team’s service, we are delighted that although it has been sold privately, it is to a member of another mountain rescue team, who will now use it in connection with his business, but will also respond to incidents in his own team in it, so in a very real sense, it remains in mountain rescue, and the late Miss Ellen Sykes kindness to us in 1999 lives on.

(We continue to honour the late Miss Ellen Sykes, with our brand new Land Rover BM3 vehicle, which proudly continues to carry her full name, and her more familiar name of ’Nellie.’)