Jun Monday 16 2014
This morning our Team President Bob Hutchinson, Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE and team member Diane Blakeley, all journeyed to Oldham in our Land Rover radio call sign ‘Bolton Mobile 1,’ to represent the Bolton MRT at the funeral of Jim Duffy, a long serving member of Oldham MRT, and a very long standing friend of Bolton MRT and many others in the mountain rescue community.
Meeting at the Clarence Inn, Greenfield, our vehicle joined representatives and a huge cortège of MRT vehicles from Woodhead MRT, Edale MRT, Buxton MRT, Derby MRT, Kinder MRT, Oldham MRT, Holme Valley MRT, Glossop MRT, Bolton MRT, Rossendale and Pendle MRT, and Calder Valley SRT.
A vehicle from the Marine Coastguard Agency led the MRT cortège, whilst at the head of the cortège which set off at 12.00hrs (Jim would have liked the military precision which this involved) was Oldham MRTs Incident Control Vehicle carrying Jim’s coffin, with Oldham MRT Land Rovers behind.
A long journey through Greenfield to the outskirts of Oldham and on to Holinwood Crematorium, also included the vehicles of many others from the MRT community past and present and family and work colleagues.
MCA Officers were also present, as Jim in Oldham MRTs Incident Control Vehicle was slowly escorted to the Chapels entrance, by members of SARDA and their Search Dogs.
As the service commenced, led by Jim’s long standing friend and MRT colleague John Howe, most MRT members present found out that the person we all knew as Jim Duffy was actually called James Munro Duffy.
Close family, MRT and work colleagues all paid tribute to the gentleman and kindly man that Jim was to all.
Tributes were read out from those who knew Jim as a friend, their family member, their teacher and their MRT colleague, with many a moist eye unashamedly in the huge congregation.
Songs sung included the Oldham MRT song to the tune of “I’ve been a Wild Rover,” (Clean verses only according to John Howe.
At the conclusion of the memorable service nearly all present then journeyed to the Cross Keys Inn at Saddleworth, for a drink to Jims memory.
Our three members left at 17.30hrs with many staying on as Jims ashes were brought to the Cross Keys Inn for a final farewell to all who knew this fine man.
Rest in peace Jim from all who knew you in Bolton MRT and were touched by your friendship and humour.