Stafford Diary, Jun 61 – Nov 61


Transferred from original Valley PDF to the website by Jim Morrison


ROYAL AIR FORCE
STAFFORD
MOUNTAIN RESCUE TEAM
LOG


EDALE 9th – 11th June 61


On arrival on Friday night at base camp it looked as if the Festival of Rambling was going to end in a fine weekend.
SAT.
The W/T sets were taken out to the checkpoints for a final try out for tomorrows race. The
display team worked out a suitable routine & soon had it working very well. The W/T parties returned to base after a perfect check in a steady downpour.
Two parties went out on a navigational exercise of 8 miles while another group went rock climbing.

SUN.
It looked as if it was going to carry on raining all day. The W/T parties left for the race check points while the remainder cleaned up the base camp. At 12:00 hrs the race was started with Jenkinson well up with the leaders. Jenkinson came in third with a time of 4:15, walking onto the field 15 mins behind the winners.
The display at 2:15 went off with all concerned working their hardest. The wounds on the injured
parachutist looking so very real indeed. The whole display was carried out in just over 15 mins leaving another 15 mins for team members kit to be inspected by a very interested crowd

Base camp was taken down & the team returned to Stafford at 18:30 Hrs


LLANGYNOG 16th – 18th June 61


A new base camp for the team & one of the few they have in Wales.
SAT.
The Landrover left the base for the Moelwyns with the rain easing off. Going through Bala the cloud had come right down to the streets. On arrival at the Moelwyns there was a steady drizzle which slowly but surely seeped through the clothing. After doing MARS ↑ MILKY WAY ↑ & an unknown one ↑ all were soaked to the skin so we returned to base camp.

SUN.
A party was sent on a walk looping around base camp while another group a crag at the head of the valley. The crag looks as if it has good prospects but an attempt at one point took two hours to climb 20 ft.
Higher up was another buttress which looked as if it may offer a good route. Again it proved harder than it looked & progress was also slow & much gardening was done. Cpl Gilligan coming up second to Jenkinson gave a demonstration of a falling second (accidental) which looked very impressive. Unhurt and undaunted he climbed up again

The Team left base for Stafford at 18:30 hrs.

It is a pity that the lane is very narrow to the camp site. Drivers have to drive with extreme care to arrive at the site


GREENFIELD 23rd – 25th JUNE 61


The weather being very kind to the team this weekend with sun shining both days.

SAT.
Three parties taken round the Ladybower Reservoir for a fell walking exercise of 18 miles to
the base camp. Two parties made very good time while the third party with a non team member who had pain around the groin, Transport took him back to base camp after making very slow time, 3 hrs for 4½ miles.

SUN

Two parties left base for a circular rout around base camp of 12 mls. This course was completed in good time and the non-member got round without complaint. JENKINS, JENKINSON & BURNETT went out on a practical navigational exercise for a badge test, both did well.
Base camp was taken down at 19:30 then the team left for Stafford It seems as though an indirect route is taken to this base camp.


TATHAM BRIDGE 30th June – 2nd July 61


The team departed from Stafford at 14:30 Hrs 30th June and arrived at Tatham Bridge at
approximately 19:30 Hrs – Base camp established.
On Saturday two parties departed from base, to walk over the “Three Peaks”. However due to very bad weather the walk was shortened slightly. One party arrived back at base at 19:50 hrs and the other party at 20:30 hrs
On Sunday the bad weather continued, leaving several members on base, the remainder proceeded to the Pen-y-ghent area. Several pot holes were explored but to no great extent, as we had no competent potholers with us. Returned to base at 15:00 hrs.

The team departed Statham Bridge at 17:00 hrs and proceeded back to base.
The Austin One Ton Wireless Vehicle gave trouble several times on the way back causing it to fall behind the rest of transport en route to base, the Bedford 3 Tonner carrying five members of the team encountered a very serious accident involving two civilian vehicles, resulting in the death of one civilian and serious injury of at least three more.
The team members, under the direction of Sgt. ____y rendered first aid. A full report of this incident will be rendered by Sgt. ____y


FOX HOUSE 14 – 16 July 61


A not so very early start was made leaving leaving at approx. 3:30 PM. The rain ceased enough for us to put up the tents then just as a meal was being cooked the rains came down again.
Saturday was spent in preparing a stretcher for lowering then we had an actual lower in a downpour.
Sunday again we practiced stretcher lowering on two parts of Stanage. First was a lower on a face of about 40 ft high. With all taking part in the various positions in lowering we went to a higher part of the crag. Here we had one good lower then we tried a different method of lowering. The stretcher in going over lifted up thus pulling off the belay & pulled the three lowerers onto the rock. After the initial jerk the lower went on normally. A German girl was shown the way down Stanage in the now thick cloud.


MURGRISDALE 28 – 30 July

The team departed from Stafford at 1:45 PM & arrived at Base Camp at approx 9:00 PM.
On Saturday, a party of nine team members left base camp in the Bedford & proceeded to Seathwaite, for a walking and climbing exercise on Great Gable via Styhead Pass. One of the members was out for the first time, & was instructed in R/T procedure, knots etc.
During the afternoon Sgt. Burnett was married in Keswick, & Flg. Off. Edwards attended the
service as a team representative.
On Sunday Flg. Off Edwards left base with eight airmen for Shepherds Crag in Borrowdale for a
days climbing. On returning to base camp, the Keswick police informed the climbers that a civilian had, had an accident on Arrowhead Scree. The team members proceeded to the incident over some pretty rough country in quite a fast time. On arriving at the accident, the casualty was found to have been rescued by other civilian climbers in the neighbouring area.
The team members arrived back at base camp and had a quick meal, after which the team left
Murgrisdale at 10:20 PM & arrived back at Stafford at 3:40 AM.


CAER LIUGWY 7th – 9th August 61

An advance party left STAFFORD to erect base camp tents & find the exact location of the base
camp. The main part of the team followed on at 1800.
SAT. A cold and wet day saw 5 climbing parties departing for Idwal & Tryfan. It was not an encouraging day to climb & the following routes were done : – TRYFAN

WALKINGTON + F/O MITCHELL ↑ ROWAN ROUTE → LITTLE TRYFAN TRAVERSE.
BURNETT + POYNTON ↑ROWAN ROUTE→ LITTLE TRYFAN TRAVERSE.

IDWAL : –


JENKINSON + GAUNT ↑
BUTLER + JENKINS ↑
GILLIGAN + TATE ↑ CHARITY

SUN. The rock had completely dried out now & made climbing more pleasurable. SHARWOOD went with a party around the Snowdon Horseshoe while some 5 parties went climbing.

TRYFAN (EAST FACE)


GILLIGAN + TATE ↑
BUTLER + JENKINS ↑

CWM *****


JENKINS + GAUNT ↑
GRIBIN FACET

POYNTON, F/O MITCHELL & BURNETT ↑ SLAB INTEMEDIATE ↑ SENIORS CLIMB ↓LITTL
WOODED GULLEY (M)
WALKINGTON climbed with SGT BENNET & did SENIORS CLIMB ↑ WOODED GULLEY ↓
Left Base Camp for Stafford at 18:30


PLAS MAEGWYNEDD 25th -27th August 1961


The team left after lunch for base camp with Bedford & a Morris J2 owing to the Landrover being U/S. The R.V.T. coming later, in the evening. Base camp was erected very quickly on this new base camp. It is a very narrow lane which leads up to the base.
Saturday was looking as if it was going to be a very wet day but as the parties left the weather
improved. Walkington took a party of three over Moel Sych to Llangynog while Burnett took a party of two on the reciprocal. Kent Gilligan & Jenkinson walked from near Lake Vyrnwy over Moel Sych, Cader Berwyn then down to base for 2000 Hrs.
Sunday being an excellent day we all went to the Mowlwyns to do a few routes & meet up with
the Valley team, leaving them at 16:00 we returned to base camp had a meal packed up & left for Stafford.
W.T.s were used on the Saturday one worked very well while the other went U/S before the first call up.


PLAS MAEN GWYNETH 1st – 3rd Sept


A first time to this camp site which is up a very narrow & twisting lane.
Saturday. A walk of 15 miles was done by two parties, who met mid way around the course.
The third party did a route of over 20 miles to return to base at 8 pm (2000hrs) much to one chaps distaste.
Sunday. We visited the Moelwyns to do some rock climbing in the strange Welsh weather when
the sun shone.


SKIRFARE BRIDGE 8th – 10th September


The team went to this great walking area to cover Leeming’s lower area while they did W/T for a fell race.
Saturday saw parties setting out for their longest walks with me yet. Some went over G. Wernside and another group on a circular route over Pen-y-Ghent, P-y-G was missed but the party did in all 23 miles.
Sunday. Some W/T’s were taken to Wasdale in case the Leeming team should have any U/S sets.
We left about 1 pm with Leeming keeping one of our sets after theirs had gone U/S.


HEBDEN BRIDGE & CAER LIUGWY 15th -17th Sept


The team went to visit Hebden Bridge to do a night walk + stretcher lowers but ended up doing a driving marathon.
On arrival at the base camp work went ahead to get it fixed up when we were told to return to Stafford for a R. Flight on the following day. A meal was had then the Bedford reloaded and we set off for Stafford at Midnight.
Sat. The Royal Flight went well with the train being delayed by fallen trees.
Sunday. The team went to visit Valley and did some climbing in the most fabulous weather.


BONT CYFYNG 29th Sep – 1st October


A visit into Valley’s area for a long weekends exercise plus a night navigation walk.
A party left Llyn Ogwen to walk over the Carneddaus to Aber while another party left Aber to do the reciprocal route. A third party planned to go over the Snowdon horseshoe but owing to Landrover Ambulance light trouble ended up at RAF Valley to have this fault fixed. The two parties met with driving rain and gale force winds on the Carnedds. The Ogwen party was forced to drop into Bethesda owing to the bad conditions the other party completed
the course by 6:30 AM taking approx 7 hrs to do the ten miles. (good going in those conditions).
Saturday a day of rest and fun with one of the boys doing a Kon Tiki down the river on a gate.
Sunday was spent doing stretcher lowers followed by scrambling on Little Tryfan slabs.
A team member refused to go on the hill because his boots were damp !!


HOLM FIRTH 6th – 8th October 1961


The team consisting of 10 members left on a late start. A strange convoy it would have seemed to be if it had not been for a royal flight. Three vehicles u/s Landrover, ambulance & we having to borrow two very unsuitable vehicles.
Saturday with Kent as the body we had a sweep search. It looked as if our body was to have a
wet start for his day but the rain soon eased off & stopped in half an hour. The search went well & proved a great deal even though the body was missed, when the body was found he had grazed some bracken when he slipped and resulted in three gashed fingers, one of which had to be stitched at the local hospital.
Sunday. The morning was wasted with having an I.R. For a Royal Flight. In the afternoon we
had stretcher lowering in a disused quarry a few miles from base camp. The lowering went very well & this was followed by abseiling before we returned to base camp for tea then to head home for Stafford.

A Morris G.P. Had to be left behind owing to an injured driver. (This was collected on the Monday)


LLANGYNOG 13th – 15th October 1961


A weekend exercise which involved a practice sweep search on the Saturday using J/T STIRLING as the patient.
The patient was found in a very short time so with the search party we set off on a short walk.
Sunday was spent climbing in good conditions but travelling time cuts short the climbing time.


EDALE 20-23 October1961


A demonstration was put on for SQDN/LDR BRADLEY in the form of a sweep search for CPL GILLIGAN. A sweep was done over KINDER & the patient was found half way down a crag on FAIRBROOK NAZE. By bridging we got the patient up & took him to MERMAIDS BUTTRESS.
There a stretcher lower was delayed while we removed a crag fast sheep. A quick lower then down to Farlands reservoir for transport back to base camp.
Sunday was spent climbing amid rain cold winds & hordes of other climbers.


LANGDALE 27th 29th October


LLANDOVERY 3rd–5th November 1961


LLANGYNOG 10th-12th November 1961

A visit was planned for this weekend with RAF Locking who were due to arrive at the base camp on the Friday (10th) evening but in fact due to some misdirecting we did not see them until the Saturday morning. Two parties set out on reciprocal courses but owing to cramp F/O SEYMOUR had to turn back & was taken by Rover to base camp, the rest made good time in doing the course.
Sunday was a climbing day at the Moelwyns but here again travelling left very little time for climbing more so as F/O SEYMOUR had to return with his “APPS” at 1300 1330 the MRT followed at 1440


TATHAM BRIDGE 24th 26th November 1961

A long journey up to base camp which although is an excellent one it takes time to get into the hills.
Saturday was spent in doing the 3 peaks (Ingleborough, Whernside & Pen-y-Ghent) which was
finished in darkness.
On the evening of the 25th at Ingleton dance a brawl developed between some soldiers (approx 60) & some civilians (under 10) which resulted in that a soldier was christened with a full bottle of beer. The injured soldier was removed from the dance bleeding very freely from the head & his wound dressed in the Bedford 3ton. He was taken to Settle for expert treatment by a doctor. Later he was taken back to Ingleton transferred from the Bedford to the M.R.T. ambulance and taken to Catterick military hospital and detained there.
He had rather bad head injuries




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