Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Local campaigners set up Bert Bissell Memorial Society to promote peace and raise funds for local charities

Local campaigners and members of Bert Bissell’s family set up new society.

Local campaigners including Dudley North MP Ian Austin, Mayor of Dudley Mohammed Hanif, Councillors Steve Waltho & Keiran Casey and members of Bert Bissell’s family are setting up a Memorial Society in Bert’s name to promote peace and raise money for local charities.

Organisers will be launching the Bert Bissell Society on Friday 10th February at 11am in the Mayors Parlour, Dudley Council House, Priory Road, DY1 1HF.

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. Bert has been honoured internationally for his peace campaigning and been made a Freeman of two borough's both in Dudley and Fort William. He was buried in Glen Nevis at the foot of his beloved Ben

The Memorial Society will promote the memory of Bert Bissel and teach people about the work he did.

An annual charity walk of Ben Nevis led by Austin and others has grown in numbers over the last four years with the biggest group yet climbing the mountain in August, raising £8,000 for the Mayors charities. Organisers have already set the date for this year and are looking for even more people to take part.

Those setting up the Memorial Society are also proposing a permanent memorial and Blue Plaque in Buffery Park, near to where Bert lived.

Ian Austin said:

“Over the past four years it has been great seeing the numbers of people walking up Ben Nevis grow and grow, last year we took the biggest team yet and raised £8,000 pounds for charities.

“Alongside the Mayor of Dudley, Berts relatives, local Councillors and charity campaigners we wanted to set up the Memorial Society so more money can be raised for good causes.

“We will look to get local school involved in activities to teach them about Bert’s life.”

Councillor Steve Waltho said:

“We would love to see a permanent tribute to Bert in Buffery Park alongside a blue plaque to celebrate his life in the area he grew up in.

“It is important to keep the memory of Bert alive and I hope people will support the Society and the work we will do.”

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