Melrose mountain rescue team base now up and running

Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team volunteers at Saturday's official opening of their new base in Melrose.
Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team volunteers at Saturday's official opening of their new base in Melrose.

Tweed Valley Mountain Rescue Team has marked its forthcoming golden anniversary by holding an official opening of its new base in Melrose.

The team took over the former Melrose fire station, closed in 2007, in April 2016 and has spent the last two years kitting it out.

Team leader Pete Matthews.

Team leader Pete Matthews.

The new base for its 44 volunteers was declared to be up and running by Mark Strudwick, prior of St John Scotland, on Saturday.

The charity bought the High Street building for the team – founded in Galashiels in 1968 and based in Selkirk, behind the Argus Centre, since 1990 – and also picked up part of the bill for its conversion.

Team leader Pete Matthews said: “We are delighted that our new base is now fully operational.

“This is the culmination of nearly a decade of searching for a suitable site and over four years of intensive effort to secure the former fire station in Melrose and to complete the extension and refurbishment project to convert the building into a state-of-the-art rescue facility.

“The project would not have been possible without the support and financial commitment of St John Scotland, and we are honoured by the faith they have placed in us.

“The new base offers us facilities we could only have dreamt of previously and will greatly increase our ability to train our volunteers, store and maintain kit and ultimately, and most importantly, allow us to better respond to the aid of those in need within our community.

“We are also very excited about the exposure the building gives us and the opportunity to increase the public profile of both the team and St John Scotland.

Angus Loudon, executive director of St John Scotland, added: “We are delighted to have been able to fund the acquisition and a large part of the refurbishment of the new mountain rescue base in Melrose for the Tweed Valley team.

“The opening of the new base does not mark the end of our relationship, and we look forward to maintaining and strengthening our existing links with the team.”