Team attends the Bury Lions Club Carnival Parade and Gala

Today at the very kind invitation of Bury Lions Club, the team along with our colleagues at Rossendale and Pendle MRT attended the Bury Lions Club Carnival Parade. The weather was vey mixed with sunny spells followed by heavy rain.

The Carnival Parade included colourful floats, bands, youth groups and a number of people in funny animal costumes. As Rossendale and Pendle MRT had to attend an event on Pendle Hill after the parade, we offered to again be at the back of the Parade procession, whilst they were at the front. Team President Bob Hutchinson, Team Call-Out members Mark Parry and Diane Blakeley took part in the parade in one of our brand new Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, BM2, ’The Mark Mason.’ Our new team ’mascot,’ a cuddly dog, the name of which led to great debate and has still to be decided also sat in BM2. Much to the excitement of all the children our “Rescue Dog” waved to all the crowds throughout the parade. Being the last vehicle was not always an easy task, as one of the charity collectors dressed as a Lion (who we nicknamed Clarence) was collecting so much money in his buckets for Lion’s Club that we kept leaving him behind. It turned out that ’Clarence’ could not actually see out of his costume, so could not see how far behind he was. Mark Parry found the solution; a quick toot on the siren and ’Clarence’ would give us a wave and then complete a little jog.

Whilst we were in the parade, some of our Support Group members, Teresa Gilliland, Iain Clarkson, Doctor Clare Whitney and Andy Keyworth did a sterling job organising our charity stand, here we sold books and our mountain rescue supporters wristbands. They raised the fantastic sum of £84.80. A big thank you to all the members of the public who made donations/purchases from us.

Bolton Mobile 2 Land Rover ’The Mark Mason’ and our charity stand

Once the parade was over BM2 went on display, next to our book stall, along with a display of some of our rescue equipment. Throughout the day we had steady interest with lots of children sitting in the back of the Land Rover and learning a little about the work we do. We even had two visitors from Alabama, USA, with the young girl asking question after question about our work which she was fascinated in.

Diane & one of many young visitors

Before our day ended we invited ’Clarence the Lion’ over to see Bolton Mobile 2 and some of our rescue equipment. ’Clarence’ had a seat in BM2, before we pretended that he had a broken leg which Dr Clare Whitney and Mark Parry put an inflatable split on, swiftly followed by an oxygen mask. With such an injury it was clear that Clarence needed to go on the stretcher which we duly did. With help from some members of Bury Lions Club we carried Clarence on the stretcher round the gala. The funniest moment of the whole day must have been when a member of the public saw ’Clarence’ sat on the stretcher wearing on oxygen mask over his massive head and came dashing over to advise us that if he was unwell we should take it head off to help him breathe, before realising that we would not treat a real patient through a massive costume lion head.

’Clarence’ in Bolton Mobile 2

’Clarence’ with Diane and Doctor Clare

’Clarence’ receives medical help from Mark and Doctor Clare

’Clarence’ gets a ride

The team’s thanks are expressed to Bury Lions Club for so kindly inviting us and involving us in the Bury Carnival Parade and Gala, with particular thanks to Scott Richardson Carnival Chairman, whose hard work helped to make the event a success and raise money which will be distributed to lots of charities.