Where it all started
One Monday morning in November 1965, Mr. Robert Akrigg, a 55year old reservoir keeper set out in treacherous conditions to check the water gauges from Gorple Cottages near Hebden Bridge, but never returned.
Water Board employees accompanied by the police, local farmers, estate keepers were joined by Mountain and Fell Rescue Teams members from across the north of England to begin the search in earnest. Tragically he wasn’t found during the search and it was only when the heavy snows of that winter receded (some 3 months later), that his body was discovered.
As a result of this tragedy, an inaugural meeting was held in early 1966 at Hebden Bridge Council Offices with over 30 people attending. At the meeting, Mr. Wally Keay (a former leader with Wharfedale Fell Rescue Team) said,
“There’s nothing heroic or romantic about being in a rescue team - just 5% inspiration and 95% hard slogging. The first priority of a new team is; training in navigation and first aid”
During this meeting Calder Valley Moorland Rescue Association was formed and they sought the help of Hebden Bridge St. Johns Ambulance Brigade to assist with the First Aid training.
By 1978, the team was well established and had moved into larger premises which included garaging for the team ambulance. The council offered a long term lease on the Old Coach House, behind the Tourist Information Centre in Hebden Bridge.
In 1994, the team moved again into The Rescue Post (RP90), a purpose built property located on land made available by the Mytholmroyd Community Centre.
During 2006, the team reached its 40th Anniversary and received the Queens Award for Voluntary Service. Chief Constable Colin Cramphorn QPM presented the Award to team President Bob Utley at the anniversary celebrations.
In 2016, Calder Valley Search and Rescue Team (CVSRT) celebrate 50 years of serving the community. Whilst most things have changed considerably over the years such as; team members, equipment, vehicles, buildings, search and rescue techniques… our core principles remain the same:
To help save lives in wild and remote places.