One of the busiest Mountain Rescue Teams in England. 2017 our 53rd year

Trailer handover from amazing friends and family

14 April 2014

A donation of more than £10,000 from the friends and family of Chris Bygate was marked with the official handover of a new Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team trailer on Saturday (12 April).

Chris Bygate died at James Cook Hospital in Middlesborough back in October 2012, shortly after a fall from Greenhow End in Deepdale. Since then, family and friends from across the country have raised an incredible amount of money for the two charities involved in his rescue, Patterdale MRT and the Great North Air Ambulance.

More than 25 family members and friends visited Patterdale MRT’s Rescue Centre on Saturday to meet Team members and to handover a new trailer to the Team, something that wouldn’t have been completed without their generosity.

Chris Gaskarth, a Team member, has kept in touch with the Bygate family since the incident and he said a few words at the handover: “This was a chance for us to say Thank you to some remarkable people for their generosity of spirit, especially at a very difficult time for them,” he said. “The incident itself was a remarkable coordinated effort by the rescue services – ourselves, GNAA and a RN helicopter  - and it was good to have representatives from the various organisations there at the handover to meet Chris’s family and friends.”

The overall donation has been raised in numerous ways and Chris’s fiancé, Gar-Ling Ng has been the force behind a lot of the fundraising, even encouraging friends to take part in a half Iron Man event last year to raise money in Chris’s memory.

Gar-Ling has motivated people to do things they’d never have dreamt of,” said Chris’s father, Michael Bygate, “and Chris would’ve been pleased with the causes supported in his memory.”

A Patterdale MRT trailer has been in the planning for several years but, as Chairman of Trustees, John Williams said, “We’ve never quite had the resources available to make it happen but the donation in memory of Chris Bygate has made it a reality. We’ll be able to use this fantastic resource at events and with groups so it has fundraising and educational benefits but it’s also been designed so that we can use it as an operational vehicle and a control centre if needed.”

The trailer has been supplied by Tow Master Limited and is a 4.5 metre model. The external livery of Patterdale Mountain Rescue Team is quite subtle but the doors and a canopy open out to create a colourful exhibition stand featuring members of the Team in a variety of typical search and rescue situations. Team members, Dave Freeborn and Glenn Bridge have done most of the design and livery work on the trailer and many of the photographs were taken by Shap-based photographer, Michael Lishman.

The new trailer and Patterdale MRT members will be out and about and fundraising in the valley over the Easter weekend, selling tickets for the annual Duck Race which will take place on Monday 21 in Glenridding.