A Golden Wedding Anniversary surprise for very long term team supporters Len and Joan Charles

Today, Len and Joan Charles, long time supporters of the Team (since the late 1980s) and parents of very long serving team member Gillian Leigh (nee Charles)), celebrated their Golden Wedding Anniversary.

Gillian their daughter had arranged a secret surprise for her parents in that they would be collected and driven to their celebratory meal in one of our Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulances.

Accordingly our  President Bob Hutchinson and equally long serving team member Diane Blakeley arrived at Len and Joan’s home in Breightmet, Bolton in our Land Rover Mountain Rescue Ambulance Bolton Mobile 1, to collect them.

It was fortunate that they arrived 10 minutes earlier than Gillian had told them because as they arrived the Charles’ were about to leave home in their car!


They had not even been advised that they were to be collected at all,  let alone in a team vehicle, such was the secrecy Gillian had shrouded our involvement in.

The team vehicle was quickly loaded up with a multitude of Golden Wedding ‘stuff’ that Len and Joan were taking to their dinner.

So, in addition to its normal full load of rescue and medical equipment the vehicle had seven bin bags of balloons, a bucket of individual yellow roses (for all the lady guests) a large iced cake, and from the Team was an ice bucket with a bottle of champagne, 4 balloons and party poppers.

After an uneventful journey to The Owls at Standish, the happy – still in love and very much young at heart – couple were met by daughter Gillian and her husband Ian (a former Bolton MRT member and an ex Deputy Team Leader himself) and her children, Megan and Robert.

Their guests were equally greeted to the surprise of Joan and Len as they arrived in our Land Rover and Bob and Diane departed job completed, leaving Joan and Len with huge big grins on their faces over the surprise their daughter Gillian had played on them.

The whole team membership wishes Len and Joan Charles all the very best on this very special occasion of their Golden Wedding Anniversary.