British watches to reach summit

Robert Loomes presents watches to the Royal Gurkha Regiment to take on a trip up Mount Everest. Mayor of Stamford Clem Walden and Robina Hill with Nepalese dignitaries. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-10-03-15-aw003 EMN-151103-101330001

Robert Loomes presents watches to the Royal Gurkha Regiment to take on a trip up Mount Everest. Mayor of Stamford Clem Walden and Robina Hill with Nepalese dignitaries. Photo: Alan Walters MSMP-10-03-15-aw003 EMN-151103-101330001

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Both the British and Nepali flag were flying proudly alongside each other outside Stamford Town Hall this week to welcome The Royal Gurkha Regiment to Stamford.

The special visit which took place on Tuesday, was organised as part of the handover of wristwatches to The Royal Gurkha Regiment by Robert Loomes & Co, as part of The Gurkha 200 Everest Expedition 2015.

The regiment has joined forces with one of the last fully-English watchmakers Robert Loomes & Co, from Stamford and the Mountain Trust, to send an English wrist watch to the summit of Mount Everest.

The expedition will mark 200 years of Gurkhas serving in the British Army, and Robert Loomes has produced three unique handmade wristwatches for the team to take on the climb of a lifetime

The challenge will take place in May and last several weeks, where the team will endure sub zero temperatures on the climb to the top. To date, no serving Gurkha has reached the summit of Mount Everest.

Captain Dick Gale of the Royal Gurkha Regiment, along with the Gurkhas attended the official handover of the wristwatches, presented in front of a room full of special dignitaries from both Stamford and afar, including the acting Nepali ambassador who had turned out for the special occasion.

On the day of the handover Robert Loomes also received a letter from the Prime Minister, David Cameron who congratulated him on his hard work and success.

The watches handed over for the expedition are unique and embossed with an Everest and Mountain Trust logo. One watch will be donated to the Mountain Trust after it has reached the summit, to be auctioned to raise funds for The Mountain Trust.

The charity, based in Cambridge, pioneer health, education and human rights projects in Nepal. Both Robert Loomes and Charles Malcolm-Brown, Chairman of Mountain Trust UK have worked alongside each other to help make the project a reality.

Robert Loomes said: “It’s been an outstanding day for so many reasons. It’s superb to send British, Stamford made watches up Everest. This is the first time British made watches have been to the summit of Everest since Sir Edmund Hillary conquered it in 1953.

“Having the watches taken by the Royal Gurkha Regiment emphasises both the very Britishness of the initiative and that the funds raised will help on the ground in the very part of the world the Gurkhas come from.”