Borders 50 th Anniversary dinner – a great night.

Great night in Yeltholm with Borders SAR

The old and very bold!

The old and very bold!

It was a specail night in Yeltholm with Borders SAR at their 50th Anniversary Dinner. I was very lucky to be sat next to one of the founders of the Borders SAR Team. Tony Robison was a Policeman in the area and saw the need for a Mountain Rescue Team in the area after the death of two Shepherd’s in the Cheviots. Tony and Jack Robb became joint Team Leaders and it was not an easy journey to form a team.  The Police made Tony take leave to attend a Course at Glenmore Lodge for a week to get training in rescue. His course was paid for by the Education authority.  Money and gear was hard to get and the team was given a huge sum of £300 from a local brewery to buy a stretcher from Hamish Mc Innes in Glencoe. They had even made their own prior to this from wood from old desks and fishing nets!  It is hard to believe this team now celebrates its 50 th Anniversary along with Teams Like Cairngorms MRT.   The early days involved working with RAF Leeming Mountain Rescue Team and  they even used the Police Station as a sub –unit for equipment. There were lots of characters at the party last night even some of the Venture Scouts who along with the Cheviot walking club had made the team up in the early days. Nowadays the team is better equipped and trained but the people are the same throughout the years. I could have spoken to Tony now in his 80’s all night about these early days, His eyes lit up as he told some great tales of rescues, training and the people involved. No matter what this team was going to happen and he took on a lot of hassle from certain Agencies. They used all their own gear and transport and are amazed at the gear and equipment we have now.


The meal was great and we were well entertained by Seymour and the team and even were given a brief history which will now soon be on the Borders Website. Two Team members talked of two recent callouts where the team saved 3 lives and it made the evening. It was getting late when I came on but the chat seemed to go well.

It was a great honour to speak to the Team and their families. Mountain Rescue is a huge family and we are all the same whatever Team we come from. As Tony left fairly late in the night he said it was a special night for him and the Borders Team that had made a huge impact on his life. Tony you and Jack and the others are the special people and what a legacy you have left. We are all now far more aware of the early days of the Borders SAR.

How many owe their lives to your initial idea to from a Team despite the difficulties.

“Great things happen when men and mountains meet!”

Heavy is available for lectures and After Dinner Speaking – see Website for details.

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer when body slows, loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Friends, Lectures, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Views Mountaineering, Views Political?. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Borders 50 th Anniversary dinner – a great night.

  1. Excellent night and a fascinating 100mph speech from Heavy. I got the feeling he hardly scratched the surface of his knowledge, experience and banter. Could have listened all night.
    Many thanks,
    Damon Rodwell (BSARU)


  2. Louise Healey says:

    very proud of my Uncle Brian, and all the teams who endure some painful memories as well as heroic ones for people they have never met.x


  3. Brian Canfer says:

    Have you changed your personal e-mail address? Not received a reply to my last 2 re RAF MRA. Pleased and not surprised to hear that your Borders chat went well.


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