Coniston Mountain Rescue Team’s 70th Anniversary!
Happy birthday to us, happy birthday to us, happy birthday to Coniston Mountain Rescue, happy birthday to us!
From hobnailed boots and tweed to mobile phones and Gore-Tex, the last 70 years have seen a multitude of changes in the outdoor scene. Not least the continued development of Mountain Rescue around the nation and, indeed, the world.
The number 70 was particularly special to us in 2017 as the year saw us celebrating 70 years since our formation as England’s first official Mountain Rescue Team.
Over the course of the year, a number of events took place to commemorate this momentous occasion:
In July, we played host to the lovely people of Herdy UK, and their Giant GB Herdy, transporting them up into the Coniston fells in the back of one our Land Rovers before demonstrating stretcher handling and rescue techniques using the enormous sheep as our willing casualty!
Also in July, Cumbria magazine featured us in a very thorough spread which included our history, interviews with team members, and descriptions of some notable rescues.
August saw us hosting a successful open day at the base, giving members of the public as well as many of our lifelong supporters, a chance to meet the team and to see how the base works and what equipment we use. It was great to see so many people, both familiar and new to us, and to have the chance to say thank you to Coniston, and indeed the wider outdoor community, for its continued support of the team. And, of course, it wouldn’t be a Coniston Mountain Rescue open day without a call out up Wetherlam at the end!
In October, our patron, Stuart Maconie paid us a visit to give an entertaining talk on his latest book in aid of the team – a good night was had by all who attended.
And in the same month, we hosted a formal dinner for team members, both past and present, as well as representatives from many of the additional services with whom we’ve worked over the years. An enjoyable night was had by all, with good food and drink in plentiful supply. There were speeches and thanks given and the awarding of a long service certificate for one of our current assistant team leaders.
In addition to the above events, team member Rob Jones worked his magic to construct a new stretcher box to replace the old one at the base of Dow Crag – when the weather improves, we might need some help getting it up there!
So, a busy year celebrating an important milestone – thank you to everyone who got involved and helped make it all happen! It is just worth noting that these were not the only events that we were involved in last year. We were the very grateful beneficiaries of a number of other fundraisers throughout the year and we continued to train hard and rescue those in need, whenever they needed us, 24/7, 365 days in the year.