May 20 2016
It was with great sadness that we learnt of the loss of Jim Fletcher BEM who died on 10th May 2016 from cancer. Jim was a very dear friend and supporter of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team and first approached us in 2005 to ask how he could support our work in the Darwen Moors area. He had developed a local community facility in his village of Belthorn affectionately known as “The Shed” and Jim agreed to host our charity collection box there. As a result of the generosity of Jim’s ‘customers’ from the village of Belthorn and the overwhelming support from Jim personally, nearly £7,000 has been donated to Bolton Mountain Rescue Team over the years. In 2012 Jim was awarded the British Empire Medal for services to the community of Belthorn and members of the team went along to the Dog Inn, Belthorn to join in the celebrations.
Also in 2012 and as a token of thanks and regard, the team decided to name one of our Mountain Rescue Land Rover Ambulances “JIM FLETCHER BEM” and invited Jim and his partner, June, to our HQ to see the unveiling. He was absolutely overwhelmed with gratitude to see his name on the vehicle and the team were so pleased to honour him in this way.
Today, that same vehicle “JIM FLETCHER BEM” joined the funeral cortege from Jim’s life-time home in Belthorn to Pleasington Crematorium for the funeral service. Attending on behalf of the team were members John Dickinson, Paul Brain, former Team Leader Garry Rhodes MBE, and Team Secretary Gillian Gregory. As expected, the chapel was filled to capacity – and overflowing – with family and friends of Jim, who wished to be there to bid a fond farewell to such a well loved and well respected friend of the community.
Following the service, the mourners returned to the Dog Inn, Belthorn, (a community pub owned and refurbished by the villagers) to celebrate Jim’s life and share fond memories of this special man who will be sadly missed by all who knew and loved him. “Well done, good and faithful servant” (Matthew 25:21).