Annual rally will back vital charities

Capt. David McNamee.
Capt. David McNamee.

A Slaidburn man whose annual steam rally has raised almost £80,000 for local causes is determined this year to raise funds for two charities that have proved vital to himself and a fellow villager.

Capt. David McNamee (71), who has organised Slaidburn Steam Vintage Vehicle Display for the past 37 years, will donate profits from this year’s event to the British Heart Foundation and the North West Air Ambulance.

“Two weeks before this year’s event, at the end of May, I suffered a heart attack and spent eight days in hospital,” said David, who added that the event still went ahead thanks to his family, friends, sponsors and all those volunteers plus local residents who support the event every year.

“Five weeks later I was admitted back into hospital where I had a replacement metallic heart valve fitted and a double heart bypass. The heart surgeon was completely honest with me and said I should have the operation as soon as possible – was he trying to tell me something? The operation was a complete success and I came home two weeks later.”

He added: “Whilst in hospital, I learned that local farmer Tom Robinson had suffered a stroke and needed immediate treatment and was airlifted via the North West Air Ambulance from his farm at Catlow to Preston hospital in the incredible short time of nine minutes – a journey that undoubtedly helped save his life.

“My operation was performed by an extremely professional and dedicated team of heart specialists and gave me a new lease of life and I will be grateful to them for evermore. Without these two fantastic organisations, Tom and I might not have been here today.”

The 2018 Steam Rally will be held on June 9th and 10th at the Hark to Bounty by kind permission of the Slaidburn Estate and Nick and Vicky at the Bounty.

To boost funds David has produced A Year in the Hodder Valley calendar. It costs £5 and is available from Central Stores, the Hark to Bounty, The Cafe of the Green, all in Slaidburn, Roy Porter Butchers, Chatburn, The Hub at Gisburn Forest, the Old Vicarage Tea Rooms, Tosside, by calling David on 01200 446605 or via www.slaidburnsteam.co.uk