Inspiring Bert’s Ben legacy
A MAN who climbed Ben Nevis more than 100 times has been celebrated in the town 70 years after his first expedition.
In 1945, Bert Bissell MBE, from Dudley in the West Midlands, constructed the peace cairn that remains at the summit of the Ben and walked up the mountain every year until the age of 91.
Mr Bissell also founded Dudley’s Vicar Street young men’s bible class.
Years later, his friend, Astley Blake, took over the class and, when the Vicar Street Methodist Church closed, he donated the stained glass windows to the Duncansburgh (now Duncansburgh Mackintosh) church in Fort William.
Last week, a group of councillors, MP Ian Austin and mayor of Dudley, Steve Waltho, joined Mr Blake in walking Ben Nevis on the 70th anniversary before visiting the town church to admire the stained glass, accompanied by Highland council’s Lochaber area leader, Thomas MacLennan.
Mr Austin, MP for Dudley North, said: ‘The climb was just
as tough this year and the weather was just as bad, but it was all worth it when we saw Bert’s memorial at the summit and planted the Black Country flag.
‘It’s inspiring to think that Bert made the climb 107 times up until the age of 91, and the support we’ve received goes to show his enduring legacy.’
The climb was just as tough this year and the weather was just as bad, but it was all worth it”
Visitors to the Duncansburgh Mackintosh church admire stained glass windows donated in memory
of peace campaigner and mountain climber, Bert Bissell. Back: Ian Austin MP, left, and Highland councillor, Thomas MacLennan. Front from left: Dudley councillor, Mohammed Hanif, Astley Blake and
mayor of Dudley, Steve Waltho