Guard of honour for Peak District mountain rescue stalwart

A guard of honour is formed at the funeral of former Kinder Mountain Rescue Team member Bob Whitall.
A guard of honour is formed at the funeral of former Kinder Mountain Rescue Team member Bob Whitall.

Mountain rescuers formed a guard of honour at the funeral of a former member.

The funeral of Bob Whittall on November 15 was a celebration of his life’s achievements with mountain rescue, Stockport Youth Hostel Association and The Ramblers’ Association.

He gave almost half a century to Kinder Mountain Rescue Team and his coffin arrived at Stockport Crematorium in the team’s Land Rover, where members from Kinder and other teams formed a red guard of honour.

Mike Potts, from Kinder Mountain Rescue, said: “Bob gave many, many years of valuable, selfless service to mountain rescue and he will be hugely missed. Thank you and stand down for the last time Bob, gone but not forgotten.”

Bob died on October 13 following a period of illness, and had only recently stepped down from operational status within the team.

Friend David Blyth, who had known Bob since the 1980s, said: “He was a funny man and ever the practical joker, putting stink bombs in the toilets and cracking jokes, but he took mountain rescue very seriously.

“He was caring and kind and very generous with his time and will be greatly missed by everyone.”
During his time with the team, Bob served as team leader and was also a Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation regional controller, responsible for receiving initial calls from the police and passing on to the relevant team.

An extremely keen, active and highly competent walker and mountaineer, he had led groups in the Alps for the Ramblers Holidays, and climbed both the Matterhorn and Mount Vinson in Antarctica. He was also invited on an expedition to Baffin Island.

David said: “His funeral was a very fitting send off for him.”