Dear Surfer - It is proving hard to tie these BUMS chaps down but what follows is extracted from an interview by Quentin Word strangler of the Cambridge Evening Rumour with an unnamed BUM. This serves as a FAQ or frequently asked questions.
So who are these BUMS anyway?
Well they are just these guys
Yes usually, although it has been known for the odd lady to join of an evening
What do you do?
Essentially we are a mountain rescue organisation although there is a potholing division
Wow, What sort of an area do you serve?
In broad terms the area immediately around Steeple Bumpstead although we cover as far as Helions
This sounds like a very generous activity when did it all start?
About 10 years ago Jon Borges, Bob James and a few others decided it would be a good idea, as we would not want anyone stranded on any mountains.
Yes-good point, I could not help noticing during my minimal research into this area that Steeple Bumpstead is not overly endowed mountainwise or indeed riddled with underground cave systems?
Really, we had always thought it was quite mountainy
Well, Hilly then
Hilly, more like almost flat with nary a peak in sight.
Listen is your name Paxman?
Well donít start - we BUMS have a mean streak
Calm down, just for the record how often have you been called out?
In round terms?
Yes, given that you have been operating for 10 years
It would be hard to put a finger on it. Donít forget we are only on call on a Thursday Night
Well OK how often on a Thursday night have you been called out?
Again in round terms ?
Yes. We have advertised the services as much as possible but so far we have not received a call.
Is there a number listed?
Yes there is one listed, but it is ex directory. We didnít want to be bothered by crank calls. If anyone is in really serious danger mountainwise they will make the effort to find it.
Not much of a MOUNTAIN RESCUE ORGANISATION IS IT!!!!!
It is as good as a lot of them out there
Mmm. What sort of qualifications do you have and what sort of training do you undertake?
Ah glad you asked that. We hold training sessions concurrent with the on call on a Thursday night. Each member brings along what they think they will need for the eveningís rigorous activity.
Well most of the guys bring money, which they exchange, for weights with which they train. Sometimes they lift those weights several times.
Mmm. Those weights anything like pints of beer?
Funny you should say that . They donít like barbells and stuff in the pub so they were the only ones we could use. As you get your reps up you can always lighten the load by drinking a bit. Once you are refreshed you can always get another one in.
Maurice and Carolyn(Landlord and Landlady) are always willing to replenish our training equipment and at times seem to encourage it.
Well, it seems to me that you are really only a bunch of guys (and occasionally gals) getting together to drink beer, and if this interview is anything to go by, talk absolute rubbish!
Thatís is a bit harsh
Well you have to admit it is all a bit fishy. Now the cat is out of the bag what is the real reason behind the BUMS and are they going to anything worthwhile in the future?
OK time to fess up. Many years ago in the Lake District an old lady passed away and she left all of her money to the local mountain rescue organisation.The BUMS founders thought it would be a shame if a similarly inclined person passed away in this locality and did not have a mountain rescue organisation to donate to. Also due to family commitments, they could only get away on a Thursday night. Any partners involved usually enjoy Thursday night too as they have their houses to themselves.
Sounds reasonable I suppose. What about the future?
Well the BUMS are stirring. They have found a number of new members recently. I have to admit I am a bit of a new BUM myself but I have been through the initiation.
Well I could tell you but then more hamsters than necessary would have to suffer. Your journalistic wassaname would be compromised too 8^)).
OK. But please indulge my journalistic fervour if I try to slip it in again later
All right, just this once. We are trying to widen our activities
But still including Mountain Rescue?
Yes obviously but as you pointed out a little acidly earlier we have not exactly been stretched recently
Yes OK where will you be expanding?
Bit unfair that-most of the BUMS are not athletically gifted, but it is a bit mean to point that out.
No, I meant what new activities?
Oh sorry, yes. Well we will be doing stuff for charity. Specifically the restoration of the Congregational Church and WHIZZ KIDZ
WHIZZ KIDZ arenít they the charity who help with mobility aids for children?
Yes they are. The NHS does a sterling job but they just donít have the resources. A child with very specific needs sometimes needs a specialist mobility aid costing several thousand pounds. We intend to raise loads of dosh for them and at the same time raise money for the Community.
Yes. We appreciate our community. We recently had a BURNS night supper in the lecture hall of the Congregational Church and raised quite a bit of DOSH. This will be split equally between the community and Whizz Kidz. It was great night Ė but more importantly it brought people together. 60 plus people enjoyed a mad Scotsman doing unmentionable things with a Haggis. Events like this are now a regular part of our fundraising.
I think I understand a litte better now. What else have you got planned?
Well we have a page on the website with the upcoming events, which anyone can see. Also we will be publishing details in the village magazine to enable those not connected to the net to benefit.
Well this has been very interesting. You have given me far more than the filler article I assumed this would make. Thank you for your time
Thank you. Fancy a pint? The Rescue Centre is open
The BUMS generally meet on a Thursday Night in the lounge of the Rescue Centre (Fox and Hounds) Steeple Bumpstead. All are welcome. The initiation isnít as frightening as it might seem
The Bumpstead Urban Mountaineering Society © 2002