SIR Gary Verity described the work of the Upper Wharfedale Fell Rescue Association (UWFRA) as 'inspirational' as he carried out the official opening of the team's re-vamped headquarters in Grassington.

Sir Gary, chief executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, unveiled a second plaque on the wall of 'The Hut' in Hebden Road, immediately under one put in place in June, 1978, when the base of the rescue team was visited and opened by HRH Prince Charles.

He told a large crowd of invited guests, friends, team members and supporters, that he was not as prestigious as the last person to open the building, adding that the work carried out by the emergency team was vital for both those who lived in the area and to visitors, describing it as 'simply inspirational'.

He also said, that as a farmer, he was well aware of the the important work the team did in helping not just people in trouble throughout the year, and in every kind of weather, but also animals.

Before unveiling the plaque, Sir Gary was given a tour of the building and was shown how some of the team's high tech equipment is used to save lives, and bring people back to safety from perilous situations.

There was also a spread of all the newspaper cuttings covering the many rescues carried out by the team over the years.

The fell rescue association was set up 70 years ago last year, and operates in Wharfedale, Nidderdale, Littondale and Mid-Airedale. It also works with the Clapham based, Cave Rescue Organisation (CRO), which has been going since 1935, and operates in the area of the Yorkshire Three Peaks, and also west into Lancashire and Cumbria and east to Malham and Gordale.

The Grassington base of UWFRA has been called 'The Hut' since its very beginnings when there was talk of buying a garden hut to store its equipment, which was temporarily in a police cell. A former railway parcel van was bought from British Rail and sited in a car park. The van was eventually replaced by an old signal box for a while, but it wasn't until 1976 that the team had its first purpose built centre. It was officially opened by the Prince of Wales in 1978, and since then, there have been three extensions, to house the vehicles, trailers and to provide space for training.

The team's largest fundraising event, The Wharfedale Three Peaks Challenge, centred in Kettlewell, is due to take place on June 29. To enter, visit: