Work started on a memorial to the late Stuart Ruffell, former leader of the Selkirk-based Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team (TVMRT), earlier this month.
Six volunteers from the team along with members of the Search and Rescue Dog Association (SARDA), of which Stuart was also a member, laid the foundation slab for the semi-circular memorial at Glencoe recently, pictured right.
TVMRT’s Dave Wright said: “Glencoe was a special place for Stuart and both organisations agreed to raise funds to build a small memorial here. This would take the form of a small meeting place for others to appreciate the splendour of being out of doors with the majesty of the Buachaille Etive Mòr as a backdrop.”
And he explained volunteers made the circular base of sandstone slabs, which they plan will form the base for a round table and benches: “This will be contained within a wall made from local stone, banked up with earth, and turfed.
“We all thought Stuart would like the idea. “
And commenting on the weekend’s work, Dave said: “This was both a tribute to Stuart Ruffell and a reflection of the camaraderie that exists in the mountain rescue community.
The team also made a start on the wall which volunteers will gradually complete over the summer.
Dave said: “Hopefully, come September, it will be finished and will be a really nice place for folk to sit and enjoy the view. It will be a wind break.” Stuart’s wife Irene and sons Mark and Steven, both members of the team, helped too – and manned the barbecue in the evening.
TVMRT had raised more than £600 towards the memorial at an information evening in Peebles last November.
TVMRT are all volunteers who help police search for and rescue people, and the charity is funded mostly by fundraising and donations.
SARDA Scotland train dogs and their handlers to search for missing persons and their handlers are experienced mountaineers who are members of mountain rescue teams and trained in casualty care. For more information visit www.tweedvalleymrt.org.uk and www.sarda-scotland.org