Joe-Warren Plant and Matthew Wolfenden cut a tape to open the Woodhead MRT HQ

Joe-Warren Plant and Matthew Wolfenden cut a tape to open the Woodhead MRT HQ

A television soap star who was ‘rescued’ by a mountain rescue team returned to its base to open officially a refurbished headquarters.

Child actor Joe-Warren Plant, who plays Jacob Gallagher in the ITV drama Emmerdale, was joined by fellow Emmerdaler Matthew Wolfenden at the ceremony to celebrate the completion of improvements to the Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team’s base in Yorkshire.

Links with the team were forged in December last year when one of the team’s search and rescue dogs was seen finding the young actor in an episode of the long-running series.

The two actors cut a ribbon at the Crow Edge base, south of Holmfirth, which has been renovated over the last 16 years.

The base now has showers and toilets, a kitchen and a large room which can be used for meetings, lectures and training.

Nearby pipe manufacturing firm Wavin leases the premises, consisting of two former cottages and neighbouring barns, to the team for a peppercorn rent.

Team media liaison officer Wayne Thackray said: “The team took on the lease of Hepshaw farm from pipe manufacturer Wavin in 1995 and over a period of 10 years refurbished two of the cottages to form its headquarters.

“There was an attached barn also that was in a bad state of disrepair and in danger of falling down at one point.

“Luckily thanks to Kirklees Council and the Youth Capital Fund, and of course the hard work of some key team members, funding was secured to refurbish the attached barn.”

Chairman John Howe said “Thanks to a lot of hard work we have secured the future for Woodhead MRT.

“Not only will the barn benefit team members, but it is a valuable resource for the young people who will use it, and the local community too.

The refurbished barn at Hepshaw Farm

The refurbished barn at Hepshaw Farm

“It is hoped that the barn can be used to raise funds to keep the team operational for the next 50 years. Woodhead Mountain Rescue Team will celebrate its 50th birthday in 2014.”

Penistone and Stocksbridge Labour MP Angela Smith also joined the team’s celebrations, and praised the team’s work and that of other mountain rescue teams.

Representatives of neighbouring mountain rescue teams were at the event, and Woodhead team members, their families and guests enjoyed an informal party at the end of the day.

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