In­spir­ing Bert’s Ben legacy

The Oban Times - - News 11 -

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”

Ian Austin

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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

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