On Saturday night I will be at the RAF Mountain Rescue Re union at Newtonmore in the Highland Hotel, Before the dinner I have been asked to talk for 45 minutes about the history of this team that means so much to me. It is a great honour and I hope the 150 plus that attend enjoy what I have to say. How do you put 70 years into 45 minutes and the efforts of such great people over the years. From the early days in 1944 to the present day where the team now renamed RAF Lossiemouth MRT still has its Base at Kinloss Barracks.
I am very lucky to have the complete history every incident that I and a few others saved and also the wonderful photos going back from day 1 to the present day all digitlised thanks to Ray Sefton and the old albums. This history is unique. I huge part is the people involved in the team also the rarely mentioned families that have supported their loved ones over the years. They are the unsung heroes and I thank them all.
This quote to me express the 70 years is from the Current Team Leader says it all to me
RAF MR 1943 -2014 –
“The kit on the outside and the equipment may have changed.
Underneath the heart and soul of the troops remains the same.”
Some of the headings for my chat not in any order?
The troops, People, leaders, gear changes, Estates and the keepers over the years, village halls,Base camps, Ferrys, roads, transport, Islands,
Rescue gear, training, winter course, summer course, new routes, old and bold,
Munroists, Big Walks, Expeditions, SARDA, other teams,
Avalanches, big Call -outs, Helicopters,
characters, happy days, sad days, Bothy’s, PTSD, and much more !
1944 you first were formed A bunch of men young and strong
The kit was simple, The job was hard many brought off hills alive!
Many tales in storm and snow Where others would fear to go
Climbers stuck on lofty crags
Plane crashes where many died,
You never knew for those you seeked
Unknown folks on mountain peaks
Yet every time you did your best
So many tears for those at rest!
Families waited home alone
At times there was no phone
To say that all was well
Yet at times we had been to hell!
Loved ones were with is all the way.
Their support was every day
As we chased the mountain dream
In one of Scotland’s greatest teams.
Bothy nights and sunsets bright
Munros and climbs were our delight.
We chased our dreams on hill and Glen
Swam the rivers and Lochs again and again.
We love the wild and mountains high.
Friendships made in times gone by
We tell our tales of these past days.
Yet the team in many ways
Will never change.
This soul that makes us all the same
No matter what the year or game!
The bothy fire will be the same.
No matter what year you played this game.
The tales get longer by the night
Their history is so bright.
RAF MR You are the best!
I am sure you all know the rest!
Heavy Whalley October 2014