Step in the Right Direction for Volunteers

Bolton Mountain Rescue Team volunteers
Bolton Mountain Rescue Team volunteers

A family footwear firm which spans back nine generations has given a helping hand to a mountain rescue team.

Bolton based Grubs Footwear has donated much-needed boots to volunteers who help save lives in all sorts of terrains.

The firm can trace its history back to 1776 when it first started making shoes for the local community, specialising in the new sports springing up in Victorian and Edwardian Britain.

This created a springboard to a global brand, with Samuel Foster developing the world’s first spike cricket boot for bowling in 1863. His grandson Joseph worked on the style and developed a lighter version, a running pump which was immortalised in the film Chariots of Fire through athletes Harold Abrahams and Eric Liddell.

The firm then moved on to design the famous Reebok style, before selling out to its American counterpart.

By this time, David Foster was in charge, and he helped set up the successful Grubs and Muddies company which will celebrate its 25th anniversary next year. Today the chief executive’s daughters Abi and Beth work at the firm, making them the ninth generation.

Grubs boots
Grubs boots

Their donation to the Bolton Mountain Rescue Team is to help the 50 volunteers who are on call 24 hours a day, all year around and in a typical month, they provide up to 500 hours of help. The charity has operating costs of £50,000 per year and relies on donations and legacies.

David Foster said:

“Our family have been an integral part of Bolton life for over 200 years, my great grandfather was a founding member of Bolton Harriers. My grandfather was involved in starting Bolton lads club. It’s an amazing honour for my daughters and I to be able to support Bolton Mountain Rescue. Our footwear is ideally suited to their needs and it’s a large cost for the volunteers, so for us to be able to support them is a privilege. The work they undertake daily, saves lives, and allows us all to enjoy the wild places of Lancashire knowing that they are here should we get into difficulty.”

Team leader Chris Greenhalgh added:

“On behalf of Bolton Mountain Rescue Team, I would like to thank Grubs for their very generous donation of a pair of lightweight boots or walking trainers for every member of operational volunteers. Good quality footwear is one of the most important pieces of equipment used by mountain rescue personnel, contributing to team member safety and comfort whilst out on the hill, enduring different types of terrain in all weather conditions.

“This new footwear should see team members through many rescues, training exercises and a whole host of other team activities which are undertaken by our volunteers every week. Team members have over our 56 years always bought their own boots, so it is amazing to be supported in this way by a Bolton-based business, hopefully this will lead to a long-standing relationship with Grubs.”

Author Bio:

Rebecca Hay is an experienced travel writer and member of The British Guild of Travel Writers. Follow her adventures with her family on Twitter and Instagram @emojiadventurer and on Facebook via EmojiAdventurers2.

Photographs courtesy of Grubs

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