*Pictured above members of the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, Iona Legge-Bourke and Ann Dierikx
Before Christmas local photographer Ann Dierikx heard about the disastrous fire at the HQ of the Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team on 25 November. As a photographer and often alone in the Beacons doing photography, Ann knows only too well the fantastic job the volunteers do turning out to help lost, injured walkers, bikers, riders and visitors as well as photographers! As part of the wider team including Brecon Mountian Rescue and Longtown Mountain Rescue, the CBMRT suffered a critical loss to equipment and massive damage to the rescue centre in Dowlais, Merthyr Tydfil.
Among the damage the incident control vehicle was destroyed, 2 mountain rescue 4x4 vehicles were severely damaged. Valuable, life-saving equipment is now beyond safe use. The centre itself suffered significant fire damage.
It is estimated at least £250,000 of damage occurred to vehicles and emergency rescue and medical equipment, as well as the loss of a functioning base. Last year Central Beacons team members have responded to over 130 call-outs to injured walkers and climbers, missing persons and animals and swift water incidents. The winter period is one of the busiest and critical times for all the Mountain Rescue Teams.
Ann decided to organise a coffee and cake morning in Talgarth to help give a donation to the fundraising effort. Despite the eventual insurance payouts although not confirmed yet, it is unlikely to be enough. The team are a voluntary Search and Rescue service covering the Central Brecon Beacons and the South and Mid Wales area. A 999 24/7 service operating in all weather conditions they rely on donations for the £30,000/yearly running costs.
With the aid of friends in Town and from the Glanusk Estate in Crickhowell, they set about organising the event. Despite being a morning event many residents turned out to support the event and local musician Bob Evans came and serenaded attendees, even penning a song for the occasion. Many Talgarth and surrounding area businesses donated generously by giving raffle donations and also bringing cakes on the day! Friends from the Glanusk Estate gave two generous cash donations as well as invaluable help on the day.
The Brecon Motor Club, hearing of the event also came up with a whopping £500 donation to round off the eventual tally of £1295.00 presented to Deputy Team Leader Huw Jones MBE on behalf of the team. Ann would also like to extend thanks to the CBMRT members that joined us for the day. Talgarth Town Mayor Jacqui Wilding was also present with other Town Councillors who supported the event.
The donations which are ongoing (also through a just giving page - link below) will help the team repair or replace our three mountain rescue vehicles and the vital emergency equipment needed to continue helping our community. Donations will also be used to repair the fire, smoke and water-damage to the premises.
Handing over the cheques, Huw told Ann, "It's fantastic, I can’t say thank you enough it really is humbling what you’re doing for us. Please extend our thanks to everyone in the community for their contribution".
Another local Bingo event organised by Doris and Tony James also raised further funds.
Ann would like to thank everyone who helped, with special thanks to Beryl Pritchard, Pearl Dray, the Talgarth Town Council, Iona and Harry Legge-Bourke and team member Linda, who donned aprons and manned the coffee and tea department all day. A massive thank you to all the businesses in around Talgarth who contributed gifts for the raffle and cakes to sell and eat:
To mention but a few...
Felin Fach Griffin - Eat & Sleep
Alyn Wallace Photography
Kath Evans Photography
Sammi D Nails
SMB Beauty and Fitness (Brecon)
W J George Butchers/Delipot Talgarth
The Bakers' Table Cafe / Talgarth Mill
Aubreys of Llangorse
Mynydd Marketing Ltd
The Glanusk Estate
Sue Lewis / Talgarth Festival
Chris Davies MP
Brynteg Natural Therapies
William Powell Cllr
Brecon Motor Club
New Image Hair Salon
Black Mountains Interiors
La Diva Hair Studio
Old Radnor Barn B&B
Talgarth Luncheon Club
... and finally, everyone who came and donated cash, cakes and support! THANKYOU
to give to the appeal via the Just Giving Page..
To organise a fundraising event for the appeal, please contact the team through twitter on : @CBMRT or their Facebook Page:
Additional photos : Central Beacons Mountain Rescue.
Local residents Beryl Pritchard and Pearl Dray manning the 'guess the teddies name' won by Willam Powell!
PCSO Helen Scott of Dyfed Powys Police and Harry Legge-Bourke give a helping hand with the tea
Bobs song can be heard here... https://youtu.be/7umSekp1haw
Member of the CBMRT with Talgarth Mayor Jackie Wilding and William Powell, Town and County Councillor.
Pictures of the damage courtesy of CBMRT