Some words by Jim Groak on Ted Atkins.A few thoughts of Arran and the memories of a special weekend. Thank you all for making this a special day for Shona , Lewis and Famiky.


Some of the 2001 Everest Team with Lewis Atkins

2001 Tibet Everest Team. Missing Ian Kelly. Steve Price and Nick Sharpe and of course Ted.

Jim Groak poem A few words of his best pal, mentor !


The cheeky chappy with an inventive, brilliant, and fun loving mind.

Using home-engineered ice axes, wearing kit of the ‘self tailored’ kind.

Ted was never one to merely “go with the flow”,

He could climb rock or ice in most weathers, – “It will go”.

If one could really carry experience, Ted needed a hold- all.

Antarctica, Eiger North Face, Everest, and from Scotland to Nepal.

With terrier tenacity, expertise, agility, and shear gall,

In all four seasons wearing either stickies, or big boots and all.

Ted was a ‘one in a million character’ I’m sure you’ll agree.

The tough exterior concealed a soft centre, that most did’nt see.

As a self taught oxygen delivery engineer, Ted designed and ran “Top Out”

With expeds and business ventures around the world, Ted quickly gained     clout.                                                                               

When Shona and Ted became proud Mum and Dad,

Lewis had a better education than most kids ever had.

Living in an Italian paradise, the Dolomites as they’re back yard,

Skiing and climbing in the Alps, Lewis also learnt to play hard.

Ted was always busy with Top Out, and making new records,sky diving,

People sought his expertise, the military, and even Hollywood came calling.


Ted was taken from us, all too soon, but while enjoying the hill,

He has gone, leaving a gap that no one can fill.

I will always think of Ted as a friend, confident, and instructor,

Ted was our leader, but we will always remember him as “our mucker”.

Ted had a great send off they came from all over the world and I hope Shona Lewis and family got some solace from a special day.

We put out the prayer flags in the Church Hall they had come from the North Colon Everest that I brought down in 2001. The hall had slides and photos and a wonderful amount of food all prepared by the kind folk of Arran.

Getting the Hall ready in Brodick thank you all for the effort.

It was a moving service with Ted’s son Lewis speaking as well as myself and Jim

Groak. Shona’s Dad the minister officiated and the church was packed.

Lots of folk worked so hard to ensure the day went well To many to name.

Yet Terry Moore and a few others deserve special thanks. The RAF Leeming Mountain Rescue Team were there and that was grand with the vechile outside the Church .

It was a moving day huge amount of pals about so many to catch up with.

There was a party in the Ormidale with a ceildh band at the end of the day. I had an early night but walked back to the sounds of the music in the background.

Emotion had been kept in check all day it had to be for me but that was a long walk in the dark to my accommodation and lots of time to think.

The Celebration of life is a great thing and only to often we get together at events like this. I try to see as many folk as I can in our busy lives. It’s never easy making time.

As in life we come in with nothing and leave nothing. What we achieve is what is left in the memories we leave behind. Ted left so many and those who gathered to be with Shona,Lewis and the family have a legacy of stories that keep coming of Ted’s life.Things we will never forget.

These are great folk many who have achieved much in their lives yet they have a bond that few can understand. The ladies who made the food said they knew that we were a group so full of life even us oldies. We all have a bond in the mountains in the Skies and wild places. We all worked together there are few egos as a team in whatever our speciality but there is a bond there that never leaves us.

I am glad I am a small part of such folk and hope that my Grandchildren meet them and be inspired to be like Ted ( apart from the hats) To get out into the World and meet folk who will inspire you to great things.

To see great things you have open your eyes and watch nature and let the light come in.

You do need to be a superstar just be part of a team working together trying to “look after”each other despite how hard it gets.

After I spoke at the funeral there were so many looking out for me a few words a cuddle from the girls as it was hard. I am so lucky to have so many from all over who keep an eye on me and others.

I am sure pretty exhausted and have my big Cycle to Syracuse coming up leaving Tuesday for the USA.

It’s time to recharge and I just got on the ferry in Arran . I needed to get back early only the last car on. I am now in Ayr with my sisters getting sorted, the next adventure starts soon.

I will do my best as this means so much to so many of those who did so much in December 1988 at Lockerbie.

What a few days .

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.
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2 Responses to Some words by Jim Groak on Ted Atkins.A few thoughts of Arran and the memories of a special weekend. Thank you all for making this a special day for Shona , Lewis and Famiky.

  1. Susan Beattie says:

    An extraordinary weekend, Ted the focus bringing all the different teams to Arran for one last expedition. Generous, caring people who raised a good some for the Arran Mountain Rescue Team.

    Liked by 1 person

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