A long thread ensued, www.ukclimbing.com/forums with people asking questions and even offering to pledge money to buy Wilton -- there were 121 replies and over 3,000 views of this thread. These questions soon changed into messages of thanks to the BMC.
The BMC were on the case and the news is good. If you ever wonder where your BMC subs go, here's a partial answer.
From the BMC website, thebmc.co.uk/News, Guy Keating, Regional Access & Conservation Officer reports,
"Yesterday, the BMC access and conservation team met with a representative of United Utilities (UU) property division to discuss the sale of the Wilton quarries. If you missed this worrying development, the BMC recently learned that land containing the quarries was scheduled for auction to the highest bidder on the 18th October.
Naturally, we were concerned that ownership of one of Lancashire's best quarried-grit crags could pass to someone who might not view climbing as favourably as UU currently do. After some fact-finding and a number of phone calls, the BMC arranged to meet with UU to discuss the various options. We are please to report a very constructive and helpful session for both parties, and UU were receptive to our concerns, appreciated the quality of the crag, and also its historical place on the Lancs. climbing scene.
The meeting concluded with an agreement to work in partnership with UU on one or two local issues, and a committment to withdraw the quarries from the current auction."
As adec73 said, echoing many similar comments on the forums,
"Brilliant work by the BMC, thanks to everyone for their efforts. Only just started climbing this year and enjoy Wilton very much and it's on my doorstep.
I'm glad I joined the BMC and if ya haven't yet, please do, this is as good a reason why you should amongst others."
If you haven't joined the BMC yet, please do. You can do it online here or phone the BMC on 0161 445 6111.
It costs £28.50 a year.