The Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association and Cave Rescue Organisation carry out an unbelievably heroic task of ensuring that the thousands of visitors that visit the Yorkshire Dales every year go home safe again. The teams are made up of over 150 well trained and well equipped volunteer cavers, climbers and mountaineers and are on call 365 days a year, but how many of us that set off for a walk into the Dales countryside, realise and appreciate that at any time these volunteers could be called to our aid should we get into trouble?
Only this weekend on Friday 9 volunteers were called out to look for a man who was reported to be overcome by nightfall whilst not wearing appropriate clothing on Great Whernside. On Sunday, just on our doorstep at Linton Falls a 66 year old lady who had fallen on very slippery ground and broken an ankle had to be stretchered by fell rescue team members to the waiting road ambulance.
Last year they dedicated over 5100 hours to saving people who had found themselves in difficulty, amounting to 39 125 rescues across Wharfedale, Littondale, Airedale, Nidderdale and the Three Peaks area and including unfortunately, nine fatalities.
It costs over £68,000 a year to operate these life saving services, and the call outs they receive has doubled in ten years. This must be in some way a result in the rise of the popularity of the Yorkshire Dales as a tourist destination, and some of the credit for that has to fall at the feet of Gary Verity and Welcome to Yorkshire.
However without the dedication of these fine young men and women the safety of so many visitors could be seriously jeopardised. That is why when we heard that the two organisations were set to loose one third of their raised annual running costs due to the cancellation of the Broughton Game Show we decided to take up the mantle and try and plug some of the fundraising shortfall.
So we are holding an Charity BBQ on the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (Tuesday June 5th), and all of the proceeds of the tickets sold will go to these two charities. In addition we will be holding a raffle in the build up to the BBQ, and hope to start selling raffle tickets as early as the beginning of April. So far we have very kindly received donations of a ‘year’s supply of Yorkshire Tea’ from Bettys and Taylors of Harrogate, a day out at the Silverstone Classic Car weekend. Emmerdale have donated a tour for two people around the Emmerdale filming sets which we will be auctioning by sealed bid auction.
We may even be getting a surprise visit from an Emmerdale star on the day! Other attractions will include a tom bola (featuring many wine oddments from the deep Wine Cave cellars), live entertainment from local band ‘Undercover’ and of course the BBQ will feature our regular and famous spit roast.
We are still welcoming any assistance with prizes for the raffle and should you wish to donate please contact Pascal Watkins at the Angel Inn.