Team hosts a visit by the Rotary Club of Walkden and the Rotary Club of Worsley

This fine late Spring evening we hosted a visit to our Ladybridge Hall Base / HQ by the members of both Walkden and Worsley Rotary Clubs, including the partners of some members.

Our twenty four visitors were welcomed by Team Life Vice President Tony McNally, who introduced the group to our Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, Team Equipment Officer (Medical) Nigel Booth and Trainee Team member Martin Battersby. (Team Equipment Officer – Communications and IT Steve Fletcher arrived a little later)

The Rotarians were given a tour around our two Ladybridge Hall garaged / based Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance vehicles, and an overview of some of the search and rescue equipment carried on board each vehicle.

They were then shown two DVDs on the work of mountain rescue, and listened intently to a talk by our Team Leader on the history and current work of the team.

One item on our history which some of the Rotarians were aware of, was the link to their home town of Walkden and Worsely village, in that some of our founder members in 1968 came from Worsley and Walkden.

Garry then fielded an interesting question and answer time, at the conclusion of which on behalf of the Rotary Club of Worsley and the Rotary Club of Walkden, the Rotarians presented the team members present with a fantastic cash donation of £120.00.

The whole team membership wishes to express its sincere thanks to our guests of this evening, for such a kind and thoughtful donation.

For Garry our Team Leader, who originally hails from the Little Hulton area of Worsley, tonight’s visit saw him meeting up with some (familiar) faces from his young childhood past, many of whom he had not seen since the very early 1970s at least!

He firstly recognised Audrey and Peter, who ran a newsagents (But more importantly to Garry it was also a Toy Shop! and the place were he bought many a Matchbox and Dinky car from with his spends and birthday money) on Eastham Way shops (Eastham Way estate, Lilttle Hulton) in the 1960s and very early 1970s.

Garry mentioned to Audrey and Peter that their ‘old’ shop had now been long demolished along with the ‘old’ Doctors Surgery next door, at this point Audrey and Peter said the Doctor, who had a practice at this very same Surgery was also present tonight! (Garry thought he recognised a man in the audience but was not sure)

Sure enough it was the same man, and Garry was introduced to Doctor Kirby who had been Garry’s Doctor in the 1960s and had last seen Garry as a very young child.

The last reunion of the night for Garry was to meet up again with a former Scouting colleague and friend, Alan Hall, formerly of 1st Worsley Scouts (Old Clough Lane) who Garry ‘bumps’ into occasionally, and was involved in Scouting when Garry was in the Scouts in the mid 1960s to the early 1980s in Garry’s case.

Alan Hall maintains his links with the Scout Association being Treasurer of Bibbys Farm, where we host our Mountain Rescue Foundation Course weekend every October.

Alan Hall knows Team Founder member and current member Alan (General) James, one of our Life Vice Presidents from Alan James Scouting days.

Alan James for as long as he has been in the team has always been referred to by his nickname of ‘General.’

Alan Hall told Garry at tonight’s meeting that this nickname was first coined by Tom (Tommy) Hopton, sadly recently deceased, who was a District Commissioner in the Scouts, and that the nickname was originally ‘The General.’

All in all an interesting night with a little bit of history thrown into the melting pot!

Our readers may recall that on Tuesday 20th November 2012, our Team Life Vice President Tony McNally was a special guest of Worsley Rotary Club at their Novotel, Worsley, evening meeting, at the conclusion of which the Rotarians of Worsley handed over to Tony a very generous £200.00 donation for the Bolton MRT.