Apr Monday 22 2013
Today our Team President Bob Hutchinson, attended the funeral of Brian Morgan (1948 to 2013) a former member of South Ribble MRT (Now Bowland Pennine MRT) before moving to Ambleside and commencing a long membership of Langdale Ambleside MRT from 1974 to 2010.
Brian’s funeral was held at St Mary’s Church, Ambleside, with a reception afterwards at the Salutation in Ambleside.
Brian was a friend to many in mountain rescue, and was known to our longer serving current members (Including Bob) from his days in SRMRT and from times past when we have exercised in the Langdale Ambleside area.
A very large number of colleague mountain rescuers past and present attended Brian’s funeral, with the below tribute to Brian appearing in the Westmoreland Gazette;
Mountain rescuer ’knew fells so well he found lost walkers by their rock descriptions.’
A Lake District mountain rescuer who attended in excess of 1,000 rescues and knew the hills so well he could locate missing people by hearing their descriptions of the rocks around them, has died.
Brian Morgan, 64, originally from Preston, volunteered as a mountain rescuer at the age of 18 because he reportedly ‘wanted to do something useful with his spare time’.
Fellow team members at Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue (LAMRT) said if Brian was a ‘stick of rock’ he’d have ‘mountain rescue’ written right through him.
Born in the Lancashire city in 1948, he first encountered the Lake District as a young boy when his father took him fishing here.
Later he joined the South Ribble Mountain Rescue Team, which became Bowland Pennine MRT.
Having moved to Ambleside and marrying Miriam in 1974, Brian joined LAMRT, and had two children Graham and Gill.
Nick Owen, team leader for LAMRT, said: “Brian’s knowledge of the hills became legendary.
“On one occasion he was able to identify the location of a casualty by the description they provided of the rocks around them. Walking with friends in the hills, he often navigated without a map, from memory alone.”
He said Brian’s gregarious personality meant that he was always first to welcome visiting mountain rescue teams, whether they were visiting for social reasons or to assist on a rescue.
“This approach made him many friends from other teams, in particular from RAF teams. On many weekends, Brian would often catch up with friends and grab an early ascent of a peak before lunch – making himself available for the inevitable rescue in the afternoon,” said Mr Owen.
Brian was also keen to extend his enjoyment of the fells to others and would often take out groups for walks in the fells in his spare time.
He hosted countless slideshow presentations at the rescue base, and spent many weekends on the team stall raising donations for, and promoting, the Langdale Ambleside MRT.
Mr Owen added: “Brian was a great proponent of the idiom that if you could make someone laugh, the pain would lessen and became well known for joking with casualties and gently buoying them up. Rumours that the drugs they’d been given were to lessen the pain of these, often terrible jokes, remain unconfirmed.”
Brian would often attend nearly every call out, year in, year out.
In 2006, he was presented with a long-service award by the Mountain Rescue Association of England and Wales for 40 years outstanding service as a mountain rescue volunteer having attended well in excess of 1,000 rescues.
Wife Miriam passed away in 2007 and Brian married Margaret in 2012.
Said Mr Owen: “Although he retired from the team in 2010, he remained an avid supporter, often stopping to chat and catch up on the latest news. If Brian was a stick of rock, he’d have ‘Mountain Rescue’ written right through him! He will be missed by many, many people.”
Brian passed away in hospital in his home town of Preston on April 3.