'The nicest man you could hope to meet'

Ken Blakeman. Picture submitted.

Ken Blakeman. Picture submitted.

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Tributes have been paid to a Derbyshire mountain rescue volunteer who collapsed while helping a walker and later died.

Police were called to reports that a 17-year-old girl had collapsed while walking on Kinder Scout at about 2pm on Saturday.

Officers contacted Kinder Mountain Rescue Team and volunteers set off to help the young woman.

Team member Ken Blakeman, 69, was among the group. He collapsed on the hill during the call-out and was helped by his team-mates and the air ambulance but was sadly pronounced dead on arrival at Sheffield Northern General Hospital.

Kinder Mountain Rescue Team say Mr Blakeman had been a member for more than 40 years and was their chairman. He was also chairman of the Peak District Mountain Rescue Organisation, helping to guide his own team and the other six teams which make up the group.

Mr Blakeman, from Great Moor, Stockport, leaves a wife and two sons.

Team leader Neale Pinkerton said: "Ken was a true gentleman, the nicest man you could hope to meet. He never had a bad word to say about anyone and was always ready to help others, whatever the time, weather or season – mountain rescue in general and the Kinder team particularly have lost a great friend.

"Ken was a full and active member of the team who was regularly out on the hill during call-outs. He will be sadly missed but fondly remembered for his humility, warmth and generous spirit, always ready to offer encouragement, support or advice to team members old and new."

High Peak Inspector Barry Doyle, of Derbyshire police, said: "We were very saddened to hear of Ken's death. The many volunteers who form mountain rescue teams across Derbyshire are dedicated in their efforts to help people in their hour of need – no matter the terrain or weather – and we are always extremely grateful for the support they give us in finding people in difficult circumstances."