Team displays at City Airport Manchester (Barton) Aviation and Family Fun Day

For the second year running, the team today accepted the invitation by City Airport Manchester (Barton) to display at their increasingly popular Aviation and Family Fun Day.

Meeting early in the morning at our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ, all the teams four Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances, our Minibus, and our Catering Trailer, Control Trailer and SAR Boat, journeyed to City Airport Manchester (Barton) where the airport authorities gave us an excellent prime spot right in the middle of the outdoor display area.

Clear blue skies, a baking sun, and not even a whisper of a breeze made for an excellent day with temperatures soaring to 28 degreec / 82f.

Huge crowds attended this excellently run family day, with many aircraft arriving having taken advantage of the ’no landing fees’ on offer throughout the day, and the invitation to visit this historic and interesting airport.

For the aviation buffs in the team, (Including our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and Vice President Alan James) there was much to see, from the based aircraft to visiting aircraft from Executive Helicopters, to a huge variety of Microlights, light helicopters, light aircraft, Sports aircraft, biplanes and autogyros.

The based NWAA Helimed 72 was on (very) public display as was the GMP Air Support Unit helicopter ’India 99,’ which made the short hop from its base on the edge of the airport to display by the Control Tower.

Gill Leigh on the book stall

A funfair, numerous aviation themed displays, Classic Police Vehicles, a GMFRS Eccles Fire Appliance, the British Red Cross, a GMP Tactical Aid Unit vehicle, Sports Cars and Classic Cars, refreshment stands, Motorbike displays, Birds of Prey, ourselves and close up opportunities to view all the based and visiting aircraft made for a great day out for all the family.

In total fifteen team Call Out list members were present, fielding questions from the very large number of interested persons who visited us throughout the day, with many taking advantage of the CPR and Basic Life Support sessions put on by Team members, principally Naomi and Kris.

Some even enjoyed a short ride on our Bell Mountain Rescue Stretcher, and having our Vacuum Splints applied to numerous ’pretend’ fractures.

Our vehicles and team search and rescue kit displays certainly created a lot of interest, and of course every passing child (and many a Parent as well!) wanted to sit in our Land Rovers, and try out the sirens and blue lights!

One visitor to our display was former team member from the 1970s and early 1980s, Bob Holden who after many years in Anglesey we learnt is now back in the Bolton area (Egerton)

Teresa Gilliland and Clare Whitney on the cake stall

Six members of our Support Group also kindly attended, with a 2nd Hand book stall and a cake stall, whilst in the background Support Group member Steve James kept all the Bolton MRT contingent fed and watered from our Catering Trailer.

For Team Call Out list member and recently retired Team Chairman Ken Oakes, it was a day of pure nostalgia, firstly the Classic Police Car display had a former GMP Ford Capri 2.8i Traffic Car, that had Ken wondering whether he had actually driven it when he was a serving GMP Traffic Officer, and then the arrival of a De Havilland Chipmunk had Ken remembering his days long ago now, as a young Air Cadet going for air experience flights in Chipmunks.

Kris Kilshaw instructing a visitor in resuscitation techniques

For Team Vice President Alan James and his wife Di (A former Team member) they decided to treat themselves to one of the pleasure helicopter rides on offer, getting a birds eye view of his old haunts in Worsley!

With thanks to the airport authorities who allow us to fundraise at this tremendous local event, we raised the fantastic sum of £347.05p during the day, from selling Bolton Mountain Rescue wristbands, 2nd Hand book sales (No fixed price / any donation accepted) cake sales and general donations.

By late afternoon and with the sun still beating down it was time to depart, with the team very grateful for the opportunity to have spread the word about its work to a very large number of people attracted to this event.

John Dickinson demonstrating the use of vacuum splints

We would particularly like to express thanks to Nick Duriez, Airport Operations Manager, City Airport Manchester, who so glady welcomed us back after we first attended this event last year.