Coniston Mountain Rescue Team recently held an evening of celebration for three of their members who between them had given 140 years of service. Anthony Robinson and Malcolm Grindrod joined the Team on the same day in February 1963 and Trevor Walker joined in June 1973 giving 50 years and 40 years’ service respectively.
Anthony Robinson, who recently stepped down as Team Leader had been a Deputy Leader for more than 25 years under Roy Cooksey MBE, and then Team Leader for 6 years. Anthony, 68, grew up in the Sun Hotel which was run by his family. The annexe served as the first Team Base for many years. His first 2 call outs were fatalities. Helicopter aid did not exist in those days, all rescues were carry outs. He says that he owes a lot to his wife Elizabeth for all the support she has given over the years to him, his family and the Team. Robs son Christopher also joined the Team when he was old enough.
Malcolm Grindrod, 73, was a team member for 7 years. He later moved to Langdale Ambleside for 28 years, during that time he was Deputy Team Leader for a number of years. He rejoined Coniston 15 years ago. During his time in Mountain Rescue he has trained and graded 5 search dogs for the Search and Rescue Dog Association, and took on the job of training coordinator for 6 years. In the late 1980's Malcolm and a team of dog handlers spent some harrowing days locating the victims of the Lockerbie air disaster. It had a huge impact on the dog handlers and is still etched in the memories of many who were involved. He played a key role in developing the Avalanche training for the search dogs after trips to Norway and Iceland. He and the late Dave Riley learned and brought back valuable knowledge and skills which developed into the UK training. Malcolm’s daughters are both involved in mountain rescue, Joy as a SARDA dog handler with Coniston Team and Kathy as a member of Langdale and Ambleside.
Trevor Walker, 58, was one of the main Team drivers for his 40 years. As he had worked as a local coalman, Trevor would always know the quickest and best ways to reach places to get to the casualties. His knowledge of the tracks and lanes is second to none and although retired from the Team, he still gives advice on the best way to reach the party by road or track. He was well known for his skills at off road driving, something vital to the Coniston Team who have many miles of rough tracks and lanes in their area. Mr Walker’s mother also worked at the Sun Hotel, which meant he was able to give assistance to the team before he was old enough to join. He pointed out that being a member of Coniston Team was often a family affair with several generations involved in rescue.
Coniston Team would like to pay tribute to their service. The Team owes a huge amount to them all.