Belthorn celebrates with Jim Fletcher, B.E.M

This evening our Team Chairman, Craig Lamb, past Chairman, Ken Oakes, and six other team members journeyed to the Dog Inn, Belthorn, at the invitation of the Belthorn Village Committee, to join in the celebrations to mark the awarding of the Medal of the Order of the British Empire to our great friend and supporter, Jim Fletcher, “for services to the Community in Belthorn, Lancashire”. (A banner outside the pub jokingly offered an alternative award title of “Belthorn Endurance Medal”.)

The pub was packed with well-wishers who had all gathered to congratulate Jim on this well-earned honour awarded for his selfless work for the community of Belthorn Village and numerous charities, including marvellous and very generous long-term support for Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, both from fundraising in “The Shed” and by his own personal contributions.

A delicious hot supper was provided, followed by MC for the evening, the licencee Stewart Hopkinson, conducting a “This is Your Life” presentation, keeping everyone amused with tales of Jim’s past trials, endeavours, successes and global explorations (mainly Tenerife!). Stewart explained that Jim’s “shed” started out as a meeting place for a few husbands, whose wives thought they were just chatting and putting the world to rights! Gradually the interior was improved and became a focal point for the community of Belthorn with older people’s social gatherings, children’s Christmas parties and other charitable functions which over the years raised thousands of pounds for charitable causes.

Our Chairman, Craig Lamb, then took to the microphone to offer public and very warm and heart-felt thanks to Jim, on behalf of all members of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, for his personal generosity and support over many years. He wished Jim and his partner, June, a well-earned rest, best wishes and good health for the future.

In yet another gesture, typical of Jim, a donation of £181.33 was then made to Bolton Mountain Rescue Team – the proceeds of a bucket collection amongst the guests during the evening.

Craig and fellow team members would like to thank all those who made the evening such a pleasure – the caterers who prepared the hotpot supper, the compilers of the “This is Your Life” book, Licencees of The Dog Inn, Stewart and Sue Hopkinson, for their hospitality and entertainment – but most of all, the guest of honour, officially “James Fletcher, B.E.M,” but to Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, our dear friend and supporter, JIM.