Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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MP announces annual charity Ben Nevis challenge

Dudley MP Ian Austin, Deputy Mayor, Mayor’s consort & leading councillors sign up.

An annual climb of Ben Nevis is being launched to honour Dudley mountaineer, local hero, peace campaigner and charity fundraiser Bert Bissell– and raise funds for local charities.

Dudley North MP Ian Austin, the Mayor’s Consort Councillor Adam Aston, the Deputy Mayor Councillor Steve Waltho and Armed Forces Champion Councillor Dave Tyler will be amongst those tackling the gruelling trek on August 6th.

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.

All funds raised will go to good causes in Dudley. Half the funds will go to the Mayor’s charities, Action Heart and Guide Dogs. The remainder will be shared between charities nominated by each of the participants: the Children’s Unit at Russells Hall, the local Royal British Legion, and Black Country Fast Aid to support local ambulances.

Anyone who would like to support the good causes can do so at www.bertbissellmemorialwalk.co.uk.

Ian Austin said:

“Anyone who grew up in Dudley as I did will remember Bert with great affection and huge respect.

“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’ve often thought we ought to do something in his memory and climbing the mountain he conquered so many times to raise money for local charities seems a fitting tribute.

“It will be the longest walk I’ve ever tried, but Steve, Adam and Dave have all done it before and I’m relying on them to get me through it!”

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