“Mostly Happy Returns” – 50 Years of Service – Braemar Mountain Rescue Association.

I received a copy of the Braemar MRT Anniversary book in the mail the other day. It is a great wander through the History of Mountain Rescue in the early days in this wild part of the Cairngorms. The early descriptions by John Duff a legend in Mountain Rescue  who was the local Policeman and the basic equipment in the 60’s of coal shovels and Tilly lamps is a great insight into the beginnings of Mountain Rescue. So many incidents are covered including the Cairngorm Disaster in 1971 and some of the aftermath and the politics.

Mostly Happy Returns

Mostly Happy Returns

The team securing a Base in 1973  was very visionary and the workings with the local Police Team and its infusion with the locals is a great example of what can be acheived. This is a team with so many characters of all types. The various Call outs and incidents and the ferocity of a Cairngorm blizzard are so well written about. Few will know what it is like to carry 800 foot of rope and a stretcher in 100 mph winds, to be constantly blown over and battered by nature add in a white out and you have to read this book!   It explains the pain and when a call out fails to Rescue a casualty the tragedy is t not only for the casualty,  for the families but  the effect it can have on the team. I enjoyed the honesty of the book the huge decisions when to turn back on a Rescue a subject that there is little is spoken about by Rescue Teams.

This book tells a few of the tales by a great bunch of characters, of mountain dramas and life in the mountains in a Rescue Team in a hugely hostile area.  I enjoyed the book as I know many of the characters involved and also have seen the other side of Mountain Rescue when my great friends were killed on Lochnagar in 1995 winter climbing.  That was when I can never forget the great professionalism, care and assistance given to the family and myself by the Braemar Team. I will never forget  that assistance and  kindness by great friends.

This book is a great addition to Scottish Mountain Rescue History and is a great insight into the team up to the present day. Many of the team have contributed to it and these are some tales. The team has changed from the early days in equipment and gear  but the “hearts and souls of the present team remain the same”.  Mountaineers and lovers especially of the wild Cairngorms will enjoy the tales in this book  and the debt we owe to this incredible bunch of men of women and their families.

You have to support the team and buy this book its the least you can do ?


Perfect for a wee xmas gift

This book celebrates the team’s achievements and many characters with assorted misremembered tales of derring-do, wild haverings and the dottled recollections of by-gone days when storms were stormier, snow was snowier, and tweeds, tackity- beets and a muckle Thermos kept the elements at bay.

Read on and enjoy……


Each book costs £10.00 and we can post it to any UK address by Royal Mail 2nd Class delivery for the small additional charge of £2.00. Please allow 14 days between ordering and delivery.
• Cheque for £12.00 made payable to Braemar Mountain Rescue Association and sent to:

Braemar Mountain Rescue Association
23 Albert Road
AB35 5QL

• If you wish to pay by bank transfer, we will send our bank details if you e-mail us at:


Remember to include the name and address – including postcode – you want the book sent to!

Alternatively, our book can be obtained from the following outlets who have kindly offered to keep a small stock:


• Braemar Mountain Sports, Invercauld Road, Braemar.
• Braemar Caravan Park, Glenshee Road, Braemar.
• Braemar Pharmacy, Mar Road, Braemar.
• Wild Thistle, Invercauld Road, Braemar.


• Brown Sugar Café, 8 Bridge St. Ballater.
• Deeside Books, 18-20 Bridge St. Ballater.
• HM Sheridan, Butchers, 11 Bridge Street, Ballater.
• Outdoor Shop/The Bothy Café, 43 Bridge Street, Ballater.


• To be arranged


• To be arranged


• Craigdon Mountain Sports, 51 igh Street, Inverurie.

Thanks for your interest and we hope you enjoy the book!


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 and loves the wild places.
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