This from roving reporter Joseph Peacock
The North Norfolk Mountain Rescue Team (NNMRT) recently celebrated the organisation’s sixth anniversary at its headquarters, the Rat and Ferret public house at Holt. The five founding members of the North Norfolk Mountain Rescue team were in attendance: “Snowy’ White, chairman, Sid “Digger” Moleswoth, mechanic, Lofty Smallpiece, Frank Mouldicrust and Dougie “Speedy” Dodman.
Ale flowed, and tales of heroic deeds, carried out under horrendous conditions, often in darkness, with blizzards and blinding snow, were recalled – situations which are frequently encountered in the notorious Upper Sheringham North Face District area. The team are particularly proud that during the crisis last winter, when the cable cars at Bodham became jammed, resulting in scores of skiers becoming stranded in blizzard conditions en piste, they were standing by all day at the Rat and Ferret in case they were needed. It was recalled that since its formation, despite being responsible for one of the wildest and windswept parts of the highlands of the east coast, no member of the public has been lost or injured. A real credit to these brave volunteers. It is rumoured, locally, that a possible Honours Listing might be on the cards in the near future.
Since its formation in 2016, attempts to contact the NNMRT have been made numerous times to rescue walkers stranded on Norfolk’s icy, craggy uplands, where even experienced walkers have been caught out by the unusually treacherous conditions encountered in that part of the county. Unfortunately, the team’s emergency telephone number had to be made ex-directory and kept secret, owing to several spurious calls.
The calls were believed to have been made by local youths in the early days following the NNMRT’s formation and resulted in a great deal of disruption and hardship to members’ private lives. Frank Mouldicrust complained that he had missed an episode of his favourite TV programme. Dougie Dodman was also furious that he had been called out when it was raining heavily, and he got his motorbike dirty. So, it was decided that this was the only course of action open to them because of these unacceptable occurrences.
Unfortunately, at the moment, the NNMRT’s high-speed emergency response vehicle is out of commission. Sid Molesworth, bringing the vehicle away from a particularly long training session at the Rat and Ferret, had an accident, which resulted in damage to one of the 1951 Land Rover’s axles. Due to the vehicle’s age, spares are very difficult to obtain.
At the last general meeting, Lofty Smallpiece proposed that a High-Altitude Division of the team should be formed to deal with emergencies that might occur in the notorious High Peak area just south of Cromer. But a vote was taken, and it was not passed after much discussion. The quantities of oxygen required to carry out rescues at such extreme heights was considered to put too much strain on the availability of supplies required by the NHS at this time.