A local group have raised a grand total of £4,600 for local charities after climbing Ben Nevis.
Dudley MP Ian Austin joined the Mayor’s Consort Councillor Adam Aston, Deputy Mayor Councillor Steve Waltho and Armed Forces Champion Councillor Dave Tyler to plant the Black Country flag on the mountain in honour of Dudley hero Bert Bissell.
Bert Bissell (1902-1998) founded the Young Men's Bible Class at Vicar Street in Dudley. He lived at Selborne Road. He was a probation officer and climbed Ben Nevis on VJ Day in 1945 and many times afterwards, constructing a Peace Cairn at its summit. There is a monument to Bert at Coronation Gardens opposite the Council House.
Bert was a friend of the Austin family and someone the MP knew well as a child.
Half of the money will now go to the Mayor’s charities Action Heart and Guide dogs with the rest being split between the Children’s Unit at Russells Hall, the local Royal British Legion and Black Country Fast Aid to support local ambulances.
Ian Austin said:
“We’ve been overwhelmed by local people’s generosity, it goes to show the enduring legacy of Bert’s work in the community.
“He was a great friend of my family and I remember him well. He was a legendary figure and an inspiration to so many of us.
“I’m really grateful to everyone who made a donation, I know this will make a big difference to local charities.”