Dave the miller hits new heights for mountain rescue fund-raiser

Mountain rescue volunteer Dave Harris-Jones is using flour power to fight the coronavirus lockdown.

Saturday, 25th April 2020, 4:10 pm
Updated Saturday, 25th April 2020, 4:11 pm

Dave, a member of the Northumberland National Park Mountain Rescue Team, is the miller at Heatherslaw Corn Mill near Wooler.

He has seen a leap in demand since the lockdown started and is now delivering flour the length and breadth of Northumberland: “We’ve seen a huge increase in the number of people wanting our flour” he said.

“We’re producing in one week what we’d previously be producing in a month before the lockdown.

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Dave Harris-Jones

“We’re delivering to local shops and bakeries; people are baking a lot more and there’s extra need for flour. I’m just pleased that more people are taking to baking and that we can support our local community.”

Dave will also be raising funds for the mountain rescue team by carrying a 20 Kg bag of flour up and down the stairs in the mill 136 times on Monday – a total of 4,352 steps or 815 metres of ascent, the equivalent to climbing to the summit of Cheviot from sea level.

“I found out that a good friend of ours and stalwart of our local community, Tom Hammill, who is in his 70s, has been diagnosed with cancer,” he said.

“Tom, who is now in hospital, was a prolific mountaineer in his youth and we had hoped to climb his local peak, Humbleton Hill, before he took ill.

“Like many of us who can’t get out into the mountains, I still wanted to do something meaningful and I know Tom will appreciate any funds I can raise.

“As a volunteer team, we rely on donations from the public and we’re not able to access that support, so this is one way people can help. They can also help by staying off the hills and fells until the restrictions are lifted.”

Many of the team’s main sources of income have temporarily dried up during the coronavirus pandemic. Collecting tins are behind closed doors and outdoor challenge events for which it provides cover have been cancelled.

If anyone would like to support Dave’s charity climb, they can donate via his Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Dave-Harris-Jones.