A LAKE District mountain rescue team celebrated its 50th birthday this weekend.

Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team (MRT) marked the anniversary on Saturday (July 20) with a gathering at Patterdale Hall of those who have been involved over the past 50 years.

Chairman of the Trustees, John Williams, said: “Since the Team was established by Dr James Ogilvie in 1964, many people have been active hill members of the Team and, of course, there are also many people who’ve supported us in the background and made things work smoothly.”

Guests had an opportunity to see the latest team equipment and vehicles, meet current members and also reminisce about the events and milestones of the first 50 years of Patterdale MRT.

As well as key searches and mountain rescues in all weathers and conditions, these milestones have included such major events as the Lockerbie bombing, the Carlisle floods and the Grayrigg train crash.

Leaders past and present were at the celebration including one of the several founding members.

One of the founders Stephen Gorton, 87, said: “Today’s team may be a different generation but it is still the same team and Patterdale parish is proud of it.”

To mark the occasion, Steve Pymm, an ex-Deputy Team Leader shot two rounds from a shot gun – as Dr Ogilvie used to do to signal a call out to members in the valley before the advent of pagers and mobile phones. 

Mr Williams continued: “The team took 31 years to complete its first 1000 rescues and yet we are already well past 2000 call outs today with a total of 2064.

“It was good to celebrate our first 50 years but reassuring to see that we are looking good for the next 50 too!”