Find below a rather rushed tribute to our club’s Centurions ahead of this weekend’s 100 miles race in the Isle of Man, where Adrian Edwards and Sailash Shah are our representatives. The post needs tidying up and where possible further information and photos added. Hence, if you’ve any tales and/or pictures these would be gratefully received. After this coming weekend, I’ll create a Centurions page so it can be accessed more easily. Grateful thanks to Dave Evans for providing the basis for this important part of the club’s history and Chris Bolton for some of the photos. Also, I’ve included performances by Albert Rigby, who at the time was a member of the Sutton Macclesfield AC and by several members of the then Leyland AC, including Bill Maxwell.

What is a Centurion?” A Centurion is an amateur athlete, who has walked 100 miles within 24 hours in a judged competition in Great Britain. The rules to qualify as a Centurion are quite simple: Walk 100 miles within the 24-hour time limit in accordance with the current Centurions race criteria and Race Walking Association racewalking rules.

Castletown – Start of the 100 miles

The 2019 Tower Insurance Isle of Man open 100 Mile Event incorporating the RWA National Long Distance Race Walking Championship is the next chance to become a centurion on 17/18 August 2019 – starting at 2.00 p.m. Both Adrian Edwards and Sailash Shah will be on the starting line. It would be remiss too not to mention that Martin Fisher of the Redcar RWC and a regular supporter of our club races will be looking to complete his 30th 100 miles challenge. Best Wishes from everyone at the club to Adrian, Sailash and Martin.

One thing to be sure is that I’m not giving Adrian any advice on how to handle 100 miles but I’m quietly confident that Adrian will smash it.
Wishing Sailash all the best in his latest attempt to join the prestigious ranks of the Centurions



Centurion Number /Name /Time/ Date & Venue

18 Tommy E Payne 24:00:00 on 11/09/1908 London [24 hours track race]
20 A Ormrod 24:00:00 on 11/ 09 /1908 London [24 hours track race]

47 E G Mitchell 23:32:50 on 17/ 09/ 1909 London

101 George P Birchall 19:40:35 on 18/ 09/ 1936 Bradford
102 Jim O’Neill 19:51:52 on 18/ 09/ 1936 Bradford
110 Billy Pennington 22:54:01 on 18/ 09 /1936 Bradford
136 Frank O’Neill 22:06:18 on 20 /06/ 1947 London-Brighton and back
148 Cliff Royle 21:41:23 on 23/ 09 /1949 Bradford
194 Dick Ditchfield 22:25:37 on 03 /10 /1952 Bath to London

George J Birchall Centurion 220. He became a Centurion dead-eating with his father. George P Birchall, Centurion 101 in the storm-ridden Manchester- Blackpool race of 1954
Joe Barraclough Centurion 260, who in the same year he clocked 18:26:12 for 100 miles, did 37:08 for five
John Todd Centurion 285 looking immaculate

220 George J Birchall 19:32:27 on 23 /07/1954 Blackpool-Manchester and back
221 T L M Dally 20:37:19 on 23 /07 /1954 Blackpool Manchester and back
222 Albert Rigby [Sutton] 21:35:15 on 23 /07 /1954 Blackpool-Manchester and back
223 Joe Lambert 21:44:00 on 23/ 07/ 1954 Blackpool-Manchester and back
228 E E Riddell 23:20:27 on 23/ 07/ 1954 Blackpool-Manchester and back
252 John Grocott 22:11:53 on 01/ 07/ 1955 London-Brighton and back
255 Fred Pearce Snr 22:29:50 on 01/ 07/ 1955 London-Brighton and back
256 Vic Murray 22:29:50 on 01/07/1955 London-Brighton and back
260 Joe Barraclough 18:26:12 on 06/ 07 /1956 Sheffield-Harrogate and back
261 Dick Smith 19:26:37 on 06 /07/ 1956 Sheffield-Harrogate and back
263 Ivor Percival [Leyland AC] on 06/07/1956 Leicester to Skegness
285 John Todd 23:07:37 on 18/ 07 /1958 Leicester to Skegness
294 J Derrick [Leyland AC] 21:29:12 on 03/07/1959 London-Brighton and back

Vic Murray Centurion 256 dead-heated with Fred Pearce Snr Centurion 255
It would be a cliche to say Bill Cowley Centurion 319 always had a smile on his face, but every picture tells a story

307 Harry Tetlow 21:54:24 on 02 /07 /1960 Leicester to Skegness
310 Joe Billington [Leyland AC] 21:59:00 on 2/7/1960 Leicester-Skegness
319 Bill Cowley 22:28:30 on 30/ 10/ 1961 Chigwell
330 Brian Howarth [Leyland AC] 22:09:27 on 6/7/1962 Leicester-Skegness
332 Chris Bolton 22:09:27 on 06 /07 /1962 Leicester to Skegness
355 Sid Smith 20:28:38 on 03/ 07/ 1964 Leicester to Skegness

Number 17 Chris Bolton Centurion 332

414 Alan Hudson 19:20:52 on 03/ 08/ 1968 Leicester to Skegness
433 Alan Day 19:54:18 on 26/ 09/ 1969 Bristol
457 J Williamson 22:50:35 on 31/ 07/ 1970 Leicester to Skegness

502 Eddie Jones 23:22:10 on 28/ 07 /1972 Leicester to Skegness
509 Bill Maxwell [Leyland AC] 20:52:29 on 21/9/1973 Bristol

612 E Murray 22:25:17 on 14/ 10 /1977 Bristol
617 B Breen 22:50:58 on 14/10/1977 Bristol
656 Frank Dolan 21:33:14 on 22 /06 /1979 Ewhurst

706 L P Hey 22:44:54 on 25/ 07/1980 Leicester
762 Robert Thacker 21:40:45 on 24 /06 /1983 Ewhurst
797 Alan Chandler 22;37:06 on 30/ 05/ 1986 Woodford

Ron Wallwork Centurion 893

893 Ron Wallwork 22:26:07 on 21 /07 /1992 Leicester
899 Ian Garmston 23:16:24 on 21/ 07/ 1992 Leicester

John Payn Centurion 973
Joe Hardy Centurion 981 leads Dave Crompton

Dave Evans Centurion 998 on the right with Tony Malone and Eric Horwill

973 John Payn 23:10:10 on 12 /08/ 2000 Newmarket
981 Joe Hardy 22:00:20 on 10 /08/ 2002 Blackpool
983 Hazel Fairhurst 23:31:27 on 10 /08 /2002 Blackpool
993 Alf Short 22:45:37 on 26/ 07/ 2003 Newmarket
998 Dave Evans 23:40:16 on 26 /07 /2003 Newmarket

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A Pictorial Record: Celebrating and Commemorating at the Fred Pearce Memorial Relay

Defying the inclement elements the latest edition of the Fred Pearce Relay proved to be a memorable occasion, mingling inevitably mixed feelings as we remembered the tragic loss of ‘our’ Fred. We were honoured with the touching presence of the Pearce family, Christine, Charlotte, James, Harriet and Bronte, who thankfully had brought enormous umbrellas under which many of us sheltered, a wonderful post-race spread, upon which we gorged and Charlotte’s camera, which gave us the photos that follow. Perhaps the most moving moment of the day came when Christine spoke emotionally of Fred’s love for our sport, to be asked by Dave Evans if she would take over Fred’s position as President of the club. To our delight, suppressing her tears, Christine accepted.

Anxiously awaiting the announcement of the teams for the day
James, hardly dressed for the weather and our new President, Christine, properly attired, sporting the much needed umbrellas.


Are our heroes reluctant to enter the fray?
Eric looks well-prepared, determined and ready.
And they’re off. Four teams show willing in the form of Steve Sargent, Sailash Shah, Andrea Lennon and Peter Crahan You might well ask where are the rest?

1st.  Sailash Shah 31:35, 
       Alan Brooks(Guest) 36:42,
       Tony Malone 29:09.
Total team time:   97 mins 26 secs

Alan Brooks hands over to Tony Malone for his clinching last leg.
Tony Malone powers away, straight as a die, on his race-winning final leg

2nd. Peter Crahan 34:34
         Roy Gunnett 34:07
         Greg Smith 34:46
Total team time:  103 mins 27 secs

Greg balances on one leg in a bid to unsettle Adrian and Russ, who are less than impressed.
Roy hands over to Greg now thankfully with both feet on the ground.

3rd. Pat Evans 33:57
         Ian Hilditch 38:17
        Adrian Edwards 28:32
Total team time:  103 mins 46 secs

Pat Evans hands over to one Ian Hilditch, obscured by the sturdy frame of our Yorkshire visitor, Phil Carroll
Adrian contemplates that there’s only another 96 plus miles to go!!!

4th. Phil McCullagh 33:59
        Phil Carroll 37:54
        Martin Fisher 29:09
Total team time:  104 mins 02 secs

As Pat finishes, over on the left Phil McCullagh and Phil Carroll bow to another at the handover

5th. Steve Sargent 36:28
        Joe Hardy 34:14
        Russ Jackson 33:43
Total team time:   104 mins 25 secs

Joe hands over to Russ, all the way from Australia!

6th. John Payn 43:06
        John Crahan 33:04
       Tony Taylor 26:43
Total team time:   104 mins 53 secs

Tony Taylor and John Crahan discuss tactics or more probably the price of real ale.
Ignoring the tactical debate John Payn gets on with it

7th. Andrea Lennon 40 mins 53
        Tony Bell 32:26
        Sailash Shah 35:43(second time out)
Total team time:    109 mins 02 secs

Andrea thinks, ‘I need to keep that there Sailash in my sights’. Some hope!
Tony Bell battles home in isolation and the worst of the weather.


1. Sailash Shah 31:35(07:25) 24:10
2. Pat Evans 33:57(08:10) 25:47
3. Russ Jackson 33:43(07:10) 26:33
4. Tony Taylor 26:43(scratch) 26:43
5. Joe Hardy 34:14(07:25) 26:49
5. Phil McCullagh 33:59(07:10) 26:49
7. Adrian Edwards 28:32(01:30) 27:02
8. Martin Fisher 29:09(01:35) 27:34
8. John Crahan 33:04(05:30) 27:34
10 Tony Malone 29:09(01:25) 27:44
10 Phil Carroll 37:54(10:10) 27:44
12 Andrea Lennon 40:53(12:55) 27:58
13 Alan Brooks 36:42(08:40) 28:02)
14 Roy Gunnett 34:07(05:55) 28:12
15 Peter Crahan 34:34(05:40) 28:54
16 John Payn 43:06(13:36) 29:30
17 Ian Hilditch 38:17(08:40) 29:37
18 Greg Smith 34:46(04:55) 29:51
19 Steve Sargent 36:28(06:10) 30:18
20 Tony Bell 32:26(02:00) 30:26

James presents the trophy to the winning team, Sailash and Alan minus Tony Malone, who’d done a runner!
I can never eat immediately after a race – not so the stalwarts of the Lancashire Walking Club.
Chris, somewhat surprised, accepts graciously our request that she steps into Fred’s shoes as our President.
Eric Horwill presents a bouquet of flowers to Christine.
In a touching image, Bronte seems to grasp the significance of the Trophy named now after both her great-grandfather and grandfather.

More of Charlotte’s photos and a race report will appear soon. Heartfelt thanks to everyone, who turned out to make this a very special moment in the club’s history.

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Adrian Edwards continues his 100 miles preparations in winning the Barnard Trophy

Barnard Trophy 10k race, Sutton Macclesfield – July 6, 2019

Roy Gunnett reports:

Ten walkers lined up for the start of the Barnard Trophy 10k race on July 6 at Macclesfield. Thankfully the very hot weather experienced earlier in the week had abated and it was pleasant and warm.

The race was held over the new tough and hilly 3 lap course.

Adrian Edwards took an early lead, which he maintained to the finish, his winning margin being over 7 minutes. Adrian is currently in heavy training for his first attempt at becoming a centurion in the 100 miles race in the Isle of Man this August. Sailash Shah, another of the day’s competitors will be joining Adrian in the 100 miles challenge.

For most of the race Stuart Edgar was a clear second. However, Dan Maskell put in a late burst on the last lap to nearly catch him, missing out by only one second.

Pat Evans leads the way

Pat Evans walked well in her first 10k for quite a while and was the first lady home.

In addition to winning the scratch race Adrian won the handicap and thus the Barnard Trophy.

Following the race all enjoyed the excellent refreshments that Marshall and Kath Barnard provide for all the Macclesfield races.


After the bracket the numbers relate to the handicap allowance, the handicap time,

handicap position, handicap points and the Age Graded %.

  1. Adrian Edwards LWC M55 58:38 [03:10; 54:38; 1; 25; 76.37%]
  2. Stuart Edgar LWC M45 66:09 [08:45; 57:24; 7; 19; 63.21%]
  3. Dan Maskell Surrey WC 66:10 [12:45; 53:25; Guest; 78.77%]
  4. Roy Gunnett LWC M70 67:10 [09:45;57:25;8 18;78.61%]
  5. Paul McCullagh LWC M60 69:17 [12:30; 56:47; 6; 20; 67.83%]
  6. Joe Hardy LWC M75 70:01 [15:15; 54:46; 2; 24; 78.58%]
  7. Sailash Shah LWC M55 70:29 [15:30; 54:59; 3; 23; 61.88%]
  8. Pat Evans LWC W65 71:11 [15:30; 55:41; 5; 21; 80.02%]
  9. Ian Hilditch LWC M75 72:52 [17:15; 55:37; 4; 22; 78.93%]


  1. Andrea Lennon W75 55:50 [17 h’cap points]

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Join us and celebrate the Fred Pearce Relay, July 27


Life must go on, so says the truism. Indeed over the months since the sad loss of our inspiration, Fred Pearce, club members have come forward to hold the fort. In a couple of weeks we will be staging the latest edition of the Fred Pearce Relay, originally set up in memory of Fred Pearce Senior. This year’s race will honour the immense contribution of both father and son to the life of Lancashire Walking Club.

Taken at Leigh 1963 – from the left Dick Smith, Mike Hatton, ‘young’ Fred, Graham Abley, Alf Taylor and Ivor Percival

With this in mind we would urge you to make very effort to be with us as competitor, official or spectator on the day. As ever friends from other clubs will be given a special welcome.

Fred at the Horwich Masters 5km

The relay itself is contested by teams of 3, each individual covering an out and back 5 kilometres. In recent years the make up of the teams has been decided on the day by our skilful handicapper, Dave Evans. However it would be all the more interesting if any clubs with a team of three turned up to test the mettle of Lancashire’s best!

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Lancashire prominent at the BMAF 5k in Horwich

Once again Fred Pearce was uppermost in our thoughts as we arrived for the annual BMAF 5k championships at a cool yet bright Horwich. It didn’t seem right that Fred wasn’t there, welcoming us as he busied himself making sure everything was in order. Thankfully Adrian Edwards, a tower of strength, and Trevor McDermot supported by the experienced hands of Eric and Pam Horwill, ensured that as ever things ran smoothly.

Before the race commenced Adrian led a moving tribute to and a minute’s silence in memory of Fred. Patrick Murphy and Ian Richards dominated the Men’s Race from the off as did Carolyn Derbyshire in the Women’s equivalent. Our club amassed a haul of medals as you can see below.

On your marks!
LWC also won the two club team trophies on offer.
Carolyn Derbyshire flanked by Wendy Kane and Julie Bellfield

Thanks to Helen Elleker for the photos and don’t forget her President’s Appeal



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Future Fixtures – including Northern 10k, Dunnington, July 13 and RWA 100 Miles, August 17/18


JULY 13, NARWA 10k at DUNNINGTON – details from Graham Jackson: Dunnington sports club YO19 5NG, Common Lane near York 1k, out and back fast and flat, changing in the sports club with showers, £7.00 entry £8.00 team of 3, Guests most welcome. Entries to Graham, cheques payable to NARWA, at 66 The Old Village, Huntington, York YO32 9RB no later than 6th July. 1.00 p.m. start

JULY 27, FRED PEARCE TROPHY RELAY at SIMISTER – 1.30 p.m. We are asking everyone to make a special effort to be there to celebrate Fred’s enormous contribution to our club and race walking. More details to follow.

AUGUST 17, GOODWIN CUP 10k at CHORLEY – 1.30 p.m.




NOVEMBER 2, LWC AGM 5k at SIMISTER – 1.30 p.m.


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Three under the Hour in tight battle at Bury


Roy Gunnett reports:

Eleven walkers took part in the Bury track 10k and 5k races – 8 in the former, 3 in the latter. Weatherwise it was a pleasant May day. From the gun the 10k field quickly sorted into two groups. Out front Martin Fisher, tony bell and Tony Malone – all walking at sub 60 minute 10k pace. Behind were the rest of the field closely bunched together at around 70 minute 10k pace.

Tony and Martin in an earlier encounter

Towards the end of the race Martin pulled ahead of Tony Bell, who in turn puled ahead of Tony Malone – all attained a time under the hour. In the 5k it was a close contest between John Payn and Andrea Lennon with Andrea finally getting the better.

The 10k handicap trophy was won by Tony Bell and the ladies 5k handicap trophy was won by Andrea Lennon.


After the bracket the numbers relate to the handicap allowance, the handicap time,

handicap position, handicap points and the Age Graded %.

  1. Martin Fisher M65 Redcar WC 59:28.1 [3.00; 56:28.1; Guest; 74.82%]
  2. Tony Bell M55 LWC 59:53.2 [6.30; 53:23’2; 1; 25; 74.11%]
  3. Tony Malone M65 LWC 59:58.1 [5.30; 54:28.1; 2; 24; 82.77%]
  4. Dan Maskell M70 Surrey WC 69:42.5 [8.15; 61.27.5; Guest; 74.78%]
  5. John Crahan M70 LWC 70:51.1 [11.45; 59:06.1; 3; 23; 72.84%]
  6. Joe Hardy M75 LWC 72:20.2 [11.45; 60:35.2; 4; 22; 76.01%]
  7. Sailash Shah M50 LWC 72:46.5 [11.00; 61:46.5; 6; 20; 59.93%]
  8. Ian Hilditch M75 LWC 74:28.9 [13.00; 61:28.9; 5; 21; 77.22%]


  1. Andrea Lennon W75 40:41.1 [H’cap points 19; Age Graded 77.22%]
  2. John Payn M85 LWC 40:56.9 [ H’cap points 18; Age Graded 77.70%]
  3. Judy Fisher W55 LWC 44:12.1 [H’cap points 17]



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