Family's poignant trip to meet rescue team who battled to save teacher

Mark Bowling, who died in a mountain climbing accident, with his wife Elaine and two of their children, Tom and Georgia, who are planning a poignant journey to visit the place he loved.
Mark Bowling, who died in a mountain climbing accident, with his wife Elaine and two of their children, Tom and Georgia, who are planning a poignant journey to visit the place he loved.

The family of  a teacher, who died in a mountain climbing accident, are preparing to visit the place he loved so much and meet the rescue team who battled to save him.

Mark Bowling, who taught graphic design at Sir John Thursby Community College, died instantly when he slipped while he was descending the 4.048ft summit of Aonach Beag near the town of Fort William in the Scottish Highlands in January.

He had made plans to take his wife, Elaine there in April to show her why he loved it so much.

And to honour that wish Elaine will be joined by couple's children Georgia, Thomas, Matthew and Leah, on the trip to see what is one of Britain's biggest mountains.

During the visit to Scotland the family will also meet the volunteers with the Lochaber Mountain Rescue who were called out to help Mark. Since his death the family have been fund raising for the team and are aiming to bring in £1,000.

Donations from Mark's funeral totalled £540 and his colleagues at Sir John Thursby College in Burnley held a "Bowling for Bowling" night which raised £92.

A published author and talented photographer who had written several books on the landscapes he had conquered, Mark, who was an experienced and passionate mountain climber, was part way through writing a new book which Georgia, who has inherited her dad's skill behind the lens, plans to finish.

Tom, Leah and a friend of Mark's are also planning a sponsored climb of Ben Nevis. Leah is also in training to take part in three 10k races and Tom is organising a charity football match and sponsored bike ride from Land's End to John O'Groats in the summer.

A keen music lover, plans are also on the cards for a charity gig in September featuring live bands and the money raised at that event will be donated to the Rossendale and Pendle Mountain Rescue team.

Mark was a former pupil of Burnley Grammar School and he also taught at Colne's Fisher More RC High School.

A big Clarets fan, Mark's family will be attending the Burnley v Tottenham, game at Turf Moor on Saturday, April 1st when images of him will be shown on a big screen.

It is also hoped there will be a round of applause at the 52nd minute to honour Mark who turned 52 on Christmas Eve.

If you would like to make a donation to the appeal the ink for the just giving page is: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Leah-steel1?utm_id=13