A cricket team rescued a man who had slipped and injured his hip while walking into Howgills. The Thespian Thunderers Cricket Club were unwilling after a match against Kirkby Stephen CC , walker the previous day had gone to the Uldale Falls on Baugh Fell for a recovery dip in the icy water when they chanced upon the stricken walker called Gavin.
The man, in his 50s from Bradford, had fallen on slippery rocks the previous night and due to his injury and concussion was immobile and had to spend the night out on the fell.
The Thespian Thunders, whose players largely work in the world of film, television, and stage, play an annual fixture against the Kirby Stephen XI.
One of their members, Peter Sandys-Clarke, said, “Luckily one of the group, James Wrighton, had military training and so swung into action, organising the group before he and two others ran to the nearest farm to telephone the mountain rescue whilst the rest of the team tried to keep him warm with the extra cover of their jackets while Ben Mansfield entertained him with tales of life on the stage.”
“Actor Jonny Muir was thankful that he had stocked up on Kendal Mint Cake at Silver Sweets in Kirkby Stephen the previous day and was able to keep everyone’s energy up with a bit of Sir Edmund Hillary’s favourite.”
The walker was then attended to by members of the Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team and the air ambulance was called.
“He was quite relieved that he had been found,” Peter said. “I do not know how many people walk there but I guess not many. It might have been quite a long time before the next person came up.”
Having ensured he was safe the cricketing thespians and their guide carried on walking and Gavin was flown to Royal Preston Hospital.
David Stewart, a deputy team leader within the Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team, who attended the incident along with the North West Air Ambulance, said that the walker had been ‘very lucky’
“He had been out all night,” he said. “Fortunately, it was a warm night. If he hadn’t been found by the cricket club then I think he might have had to wait until someone came by – which might have been a long time because it’s not an often frequented area.”
David further added that even if you are an experienced walker, it is always wise to let somebody know where you are going, especially if you are taking a less well-known path.