Mountain Rescue Magazine Winter 2021

Dartmoor Tavistock reported the sad loss of Search Dog Scoot with a heavy heart in late November. Scoot was fourteen years old and graded at just two in 2008. With handler Matt, NOVEMBER: FAREWELL SCOOT

JANUARY: DARTMOOR TEAM MEMBER CELEBRATES FIFTY YEARS’ SERVICE. Richard Thorne MBE joined the Plymouth section of Dartmoor Rescue Group on 16 January 1971. The earliest picture (above), shows him on the right when a vehicle was presented to the group. He was always keen to help with fundraising and with the team equipment, even producing livery for the team’s vehicles. Bryony Behan , team secretary, writes. ‘Richard has been on a host of call-outs, some more demanding than others. In 1974, he was on his way to Holming Beam in pouring rain to look for some overdue walkers when he found the two lads walking along the road and gave them a lift to the ‘controllers’, so cutting short the search. Another call-out was to move a group from near Childes Tomb across Foxtor Mire to the road at Whiteworks. They managed to get a vehicle to shine its headlights from the road to allow an easy passage across the bog. In 1981 there was a huge night search for air cadets missing in the snow; the search team Richard was with then went out again the next day and located the cadets who were walking from Great Links Tor to Arms Tor — the cadets were picked up by a Whirlwind helicopter and taken to safety. He also remembers what became known as ‘Super Sunday’ in 2013, when he was search manager for four call-outs on the one day. ‘Richard has always been one of the best attendees at training events. The photo below left, from 1991 shows the section at rest during a navigation exercise at Crazywell Pool, with Richard middle front. On another training evening, members were near Sharp Tor heading for Piles Gate when Richard said ‘Do you fancy a detour to Hillson’s House and back?’ He and two others then proceeded to do that very physically demanding route! Back at home, admitted to wife Jan, he’d made a mistake!’ ‘Richard served in the Plymouth section of the group to the end of 2004. He has since then been a member of Dartmoor Search and Rescue Team (Plymouth) and held many management posts including team treasurer. He has been a trustee as well as team chairman from 2005 to 2008. Of course, the wider Dartmoor Rescue Group has also continued and Richard has also been a trustee and treasurer of this for four years, starting in 1973 when Bill Ames was chairman. He was then treasurer again in the 1980s for eight years, and from 2005 to the present day! ‘Richard was awarded the MBE in 2012 for services to Dartmoor mountain rescue and is pictured, below, with his wife Jan after receiving his medal.’

he attended many call-outs over the years, from the Lake District to the south west, loyal to the end and sadly missed, never forgotten.

SEPTEMBER: A WHEELY GOOD FUNDRAISING IDEA Since last July, Calder Valley team member, Paul Taylor, has been pedalling his unicycle over multiple days along the canal towpath system across the country between Runcorn and Goole, via Summit, to raise funds towards new swiftwater rescue kit for the team. He passed through Mytholmroyd in September and, while he is well on his way to completing the challenge, the ongoing travel restrictions have delayed things a little. He hopes to complete the journey by Easter 2021. Over recent years, Calder Valley has been struck by several severe flood events and Paul is determined to complete the challenge, even though it might now take longer than anticipated. As he says: ‘...WHEEL eventually get there...!’



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