Statement from newly appointed Chair Gillian Leigh on Garry Rhodes MBE standing down as Team Leader this evening

Stand down of a Legend.

Tonight at the AGM of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, very long-serving Team Leader, Vernon Garry Rhodes MBE, aged 58, decided to hand the reins over to a new Bolton Team Leader – Alistair Greenough, an experienced serving team member and senior A & E Nurse.

Garry has held the post of Team Leader for an incredible 27 years and five days exactly, before which he was also Deputy Leader 1987 to 1989 and prior to that Training Officer 1984 to 1987, after re-joining the team in March 1983, following two previous periods in the team in 1980 and 1974 to 1975.

His commitment to the work of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team is nothing short of phenomenal and he now ranks amongst the longest-serving Team Leaders in the history of Mountain Rescue Teams in the country.

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He has maintained a library of meticulous records, both detailing the work of the Team for a great number of years, and also his personal involvement and attendances, including the fact that as Team Leader over twenty seven years he has had personal involvement in over 2,000 incidents attended by the Bolton MRT, and also during his 27 years tenure as Team Leader, he has attended over 1, 135 Wednesday evening Training exercises and circa 325 Standby rescue cover events, including the teams major involvement in the 2002 Commonwealth Games Rivington based multiple events.

It is largely due to him that Bolton MRT has become recognised for the professional work we carry out with the other emergency services and various agencies, resulting in us attending over 100 call outs each year.

Garry has become a very well-known figure locally, regularly appearing in newspapers, on radio and even television.

His work was recognised in May 2008 when he was awarded the MBE by the HM Queen Elizabeth at Buckingham Palace for “Services to Bolton Mountain Rescue Team.”

Bolton MBC had previously honoured his work and role as Bolton MRT Team Leader with the award in December 2002 of the very rarely presented Bolton Civic Medal.

He is intending to stay within the operational Team membership, offering his wealth of expertise and experience.

Stepping down from the Team Leader role will enable him to spend more time with his partner of twenty four years, Ann, and their two grandchildren Megan and Oliver, and to afford him more time to continue his passion of mountaineering around the UK, travelling to the remoter regions in his motor home, and to indulge more in his travels abroad, particularly with Asia and South East Asia.

The entire Team membership would like to thank Garry for his enormous input into the world of Mountain Rescue, but particularly the Bolton Team and have recognised his contribution by awarding him Honorary Life Membership and the position of Honorary Archivist.