The Holme Valley Mountain Rescue (formerly Holme Valley Moorland Rescue Team) based at Marsden near Huddersfield was formed in 1965 following a tragic accident. Three Rover scouts had died in appalling weather conditions whilst participating in the Four Inns Walk of 1964 which started in Holmbridge. In the aftermath it was realised that there were no local rescue facilities for the hills and moors. The team was formed and has been on call twenty-four hours a day ever since. Legally the police are responsible for all land based search and rescue operations but generally lack the resources to undertake the function so teams are called to assist the police in search and rescue operations. Following the recognition of the teams search skills West Yorkshire Police increased the team’s area of operation to include the southern police divisions of West Yorkshire.
For 40 years the team operated from Meltham Hall with the support of David Brown Tractors (later Case) and then Meltham Town Council when the property came under their control. The building the team was using became fairly derelict and the decision was made to move to Marsden Fire Station when West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service offered facilities there. Currently there are plans to move back to Meltham Hall to a purpose build Mountain Rescue HQ.
The increased cost of running the team meant that registered charity status was needed to organise fund raising events such as flag days.In 1989 applied for and successfully gained registered charity status.
The Team was awarded a Chief Constable’s Commendation for 25 years of service to West Yorkshire Police in 1991.
Then in 1993 because of the risk of financial ruin for individual members of the team should the team ever be successfully sued for damages and the ever increasing complexity of legislation with regard to charities the team became a Company Limited by Guarantee (No. 2764292). Holme Valley was the first MRT to become a limited company in the UK.
The Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal, a commemorative medal created in 2002, was awarded to certain qualifying members of the emergency services. Twenty-three members of HVMRT were awarded the Medals which were presented by Colin Cramphorn the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire.
In 2006 HVMRT was honoured with The Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service.To celebrate her Golden Jubilee, The Queen announced this new, annual Award. The award recognizes and rewards excellence in voluntary activities carried out by groups in the community. The Award is given for outstanding achievement by groups of volunteers.The Queens Award for Voluntary Service was presented to the team by the Duke of Kent at the team HQ in Marsden.
(Click on any of the photos on this page to see an enlarged section as well as visiting our photo galleries. All photographs presented here are copyright of the Holme Valley Mountain Rescue Team)