Former BMC president Bob Pettigrew awarded MBE

Posted by Tina Gardner on 05/01/2015
Bob Pettigrew at a BMC event in 2006

Congratulations to Bob Pettigrew, who has been made a Member of the British Empire in the New Year Honours list. The award was made for services to mountaineering.

Bob is an honorary member of the BMC. He was BMC president from 1976 to 1979, helping to establish it in Manchester following its move from London in 1975. He is also past President of the UIAA Access & Conservation Commission and former chair of the CCPR (1995-98) – now called the Sport and Recreation Alliance.

Bob founded and chaired the Sport and Recreation Alliance's Access Focus Group which had an important role in defining and protecting the customary rights and freedoms of outdoor recreation during the passage of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2002. 

BMC CEO Dave Turnbull said: "Bob has been a BMC stalwart and staunch advocate for the freedoms of mountaineers for well over 50 years.  He is one of a rare breed of mountaineers with a virtually unprecedented passion and encyclopedic knowledge of British mountaineering history, its administration and its literature.  Bob has dedicated his life to the mountains and mountaineering and his MBE is extremely well deserved."

In his student days, as chairman of the Loughborough University Mountaineering Club, he led a number of British, Irish and European explorations. Although these expeditions were common to a number of universities at the time, Bob’s were remarkable in so far as he recorded a number of first ascents of European Alps, from Lyngen in Arctic Norway to the Central Italian Alps – a notable feat for a student with such limited experience and support.

Further afield, Bob is well known for his significant mountain exploration over many seasons in the Kulu region of the Punjab Himalaya of India, including several first ascents of peaks and passes between 16,000ft - 22,000 ft. He marked his 80th birthday with a return to the Kulu region. 

Bob's service to the mountaineering community is relentless. As chair of the Mountain Training Board from 1987-93 he had an important role in setting up the very successful and forward-looking UK Mountain Training Board.  Over a sixteen year period, he has also been a member, and chairman, of the Mount Everest Foundation Screening Committee. He has also given long-term service to the North York Moors National Park Authority.

The Sport and Recreation Alliance's recommendation for Bob to be honoured for his services to mountaineering was whole-heartedly supported by the BMC.

Emma Boggis, chief executive of the Sport & Recreation Alliance, said, “It is a very well deserved honour to reflect the contribution Bob has made to mountaineering both nationally and internationally. We are also grateful to the service Bob has provided to the CCPR and then the Alliance over the years.”

Others recognised in the New Year Honours include two long-serving mountain rescue volunteers - Langdale Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team member John Graham and Anthony ‘Rob’ Robinson of the Coniston Mountain Rescue Team.

Full list of honours here.



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