KEEPING THE RED ROSE FLAG FLYING: RIP FRED PEARCE [1939 – 2019]

Message from the family:

Fred Pearce’s funeral will take place on Thursday 2nd May, 1.45pm at the
Stockport Crematorium – Rowan Chapel.

Everyone is welcome back to our home for food/drinks post the service to celebrate his life, address as follows:
4 Anglesey Drive
Poynton
Cheshire
SK12 1BT

Dave Evans writes: What a memorable and moving occasion. All seats were taken and most of our club were standing in the corridor and beyond. The support was tremendous. James started the eulogies with tales of Fred’s life as a family man, Ron Wallwork spoke about Fred’s massive contribution to the world of race walking, drawing attention to the club web site, where so many had shared their anecdotes and their grief. Finally a business partner gave a revealing insight into how Fred operated in that sphere of his life – never a bad word, always supportive, prepared to go the extra mile and never any need to sign any agreement! We retired to Fred’s home afterwards for a function in a marquee in the back garden, feasting on wine, non alcoholic drinks and a lovely range of sandwiches, quiche, salads, nibbles , vegan food and a very large gateaux of many flavours.

Those attending the funeral included Bill Cowley, Eric Crompton, Louise Whaite, Sailash Shah, Greg Smith, Chris Bolton, Maurice Ireland, Roy Gunnett, Martin and Judy Fisher, Dan Maskell (travelled all the way from from Brighton), John and Peter Crahan, Eric and Pam Horwill, Bob Dobson (foot heavily bandaged after an operation on a hammer toe), Pam Ficken, Helen Elleker(current RWA president), John Constandinou, Julian Hopkins, Ian Hilditch and Irene Pike, Joe Hardy, Greg Smith, Ron and Joan Wallwork, Alan Brooks, Phil Carroll, Peter and Marion Fawkes, Tony Malone, Adrian Edwards, Guy Goodair, Joyce Harasimuick, Pat Evans and myself- apologies if anyone is missing. Deeply felt apologies were received from Tony Taylor, Tony Bell, Andrea Lennon and John Payn. In conversations on the day Chris Pearce indicated that she wished to continue her association with the club. All of us very much hope so. The names Pearce and Lancashire Walking Club are inseparable.

Clubs like ours could not exist without the selfless devotion and commitment of its leading members and officials. In my time people such as Dick and Zena Smith, Joe Lambert and Frank O’Neill, to name but a few, spring to mind. And now, tragically, we have lost our very own and much loved Fred Pearce, without whom the proud name of Lancashire Walking Club might well have been consigned to history. In one of his last messages to members, Fred urged us to keep the red rose flag flying. There is no doubt that to do so will be the very best way to honour Fred’s memory. For the present here are just some of the heartfelt responses we are receiving. In offering our sincerest condolences to Chris, James and Charlotte we hope these recollections from far and wide will convey some sense of our deep respect and affection for one of Lancashire Walking Club’s greatest.

Colin Vesty: The officers of the RWA are incredibly saddened to receive the news of the passing of Past President Fred Pearce. He passed away in the early hours of Monday morning after a brave fight with cancer. Fred is probably best known as being the leading light and stalwart of race walking in Lancashire for a great many years. There will no doubt be many stories and recollections shared about his long and distinguished association with race walking, both locally and nationally. He will be sadly missed by a great many people. Our thoughts and prayers are with his loving family and friends.

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

Ron Wallwork: Fred Pearce’s demise triggered as I’m sure it did for many others, a host of memories of great deeds and of happy times which would take volumes to record. Here are some thoughts that have crossed my mind.
I joined Lancashire Walking Club in early 1958 at which time the club had a handful of junior walkers among them “young” Fred. Young Fred, to distinguish him from his father Centurion 255 one of a dozen club members who qualified for the brotherhood in the four years 1954 to 1958.

I don’t recall when I met Fred for the first time; it was probably at one of the Mile races put on by Leigh Harriers. However, I do have vivid recollections of staying overnight at Fred’s home, which I think was in Higher Openshaw on 17th October that year, because of an early start to a race the following day. His mother and dad ensured that we had a good breakfast before we set off from their house to meet up with fellow teenagers Charlie Norton, Chris Bolton, Bob Towell and chaperone Sam Morgan at Manchester Central station to catch the 07.20 to London. Thanks to Lancashire Walking Club because for the first time ever, they were sending a team to an RWA national junior five miles championship being staged that year at Luton from the Vauxhall Motors Sports Club.
In those days London was a long way off; steam trains hadn’t been totally replaced by diesel and no one had heard of a motorway, let alone been on one, so it was quite an adventure. I can’t remember much about the journey, but do recall that as we reconnoitred the three-lap course, we all clued up about one of the turns because it was by a newsagent’s which had a huge spread of ‘girlie’ magazines in the window, which took us boys from the dark satanic mills a bit by surprise.
A field of 52 comprising 9 teams made for furious racing and with lungs bursting and shins screaming for relief, there was no time for ogling at shop windows. The journey was not in vain; we returned home with bronze team medals behind Belgrave H and Steyning AC. The scorers were myself 4th 39.42, Charlie Norton 42.41 and Fred 43.19. A year later up and down Olympic Way at Wembley the club went one better Fred being second scorer home on that occasion.
It was the beginning of a period of resurgence for the club; it presented itself as a serious challenger to Sheffield UH’s northern supremacy as well as a force at national level and within a dozen years had won more national championship medals including; silvers at the 1967 20km and 20 miles and gold in the 1970 National 20kms.
It isn’t recorded anywhere but Fred’s contribution to this period was enormous. Although not a scorer in many of the triumphs he was nevertheless an ever-present, a team manager ferrying people around the country to important events and being on hand to support them during the races. He virtually acted as my agent during my hectic decade as an international and I owe him so much.
Time passed and as the club lost the likes of the Smith’s, O’Neill’s and the Lambert’s, Fred took more responsibility and was at the helm to steer the club through the drastic changes that race walking has experienced since the 1980s. The retention of the Manchester-Blackpool to its centenary landmark and the club’s continued existence is due jointly to many people, but the over-arching factor was Fred Pearce (Jnr).
So much for his contribution to Lancashire Walking Club, but he still had the capacity to contribute massively to race walking in general as an official at a local, regional and national level.
Not all that tall physically, but of giant stature in the race walking world. Thanks, Fred, RIP.
Joan and I have Chris, Charlotte and James very much in our minds at this time.

Surrounding Fred a group of those he supported so superbly – from the left Julian Hopkins, Eric Crompton, Mick Entwistle. Ron Wallwork and Tony Taylor

Peter and Marion Fawkes: Like so many others, Marion and I were saddened to hear the news of Fred’s passing. Fred was the quiet engine that made Northern Race walking tick and he will be greatly missed. His unassuming nature and beaming smile greeted us when we returned to these shores from Australia and he immediately made us feel welcomed back into the Race Walking fold – but that was Fred all over. A truly great Ambassador for the Sport and Chris, James and Charlotte can be proud of everything he achieved in life.
R.I.P. Fred,

Stephen Sargent: I first met Fred in April 2002 at a 20K event on one of the Eaves Lane courses after a search for a race walking club had led me to the Lancashire Walking Club. I had never met Fred before but I nevertheless found myself in his car and being driven around the course as if I were an old friend. Could a novice and newcomer have been made to feel more at home?
Emboldened by the welcome I had received, I raced for the first time the following month in a 10K in the Affetside area. Further races followed, culminating in that year’s AGM and membership of the club.
Alas, that proved to be it for some five years as a back problem curtailed any training and racing and it was not until the Sam Shoebottom of January 2008 that I became once more part of the club’s activities. I mention this setback because I sometimes think that people like myself – on the fringes, as it were- are often, paradoxically, able to get a better picture of things than those more heavily involved. I say this because, five year’s absence notwithstanding, Fred greeted me as if I had never been away! What a wonderful man. Ours is a splendid sport and we all help and encourage each other but when, as was so often the case, it was Fred who had quiet words of encouragement for me as I plodded past him the boost they gave me came from the fact that they came from Fred – for in my eyes he was soul and spirit of race walking – and I marvelled that also-rans like myself mattered to him as much as the speed-merchants who I looked up to. On reflection I shouldn’t have been surprised for Fred’s beloved Lancashire Walking Club was everything to him and all its members were in Fred’s eyes equally valuable parts of it.
Poor health this winter has kept me away from the club and its activities and I have found this very hard for I knew how ill Fred was and how little time remained for him to be with us and I was particularly upset by being unable to get to the AGM.
I am not ashamed to admit that I have been close to tears as I have typed this little tribute. Fred belonged to a now vanished age – a more gentle and generous one – and I have been privileged to have known him.

Julia Bellfield : Sorry to hear this news such a lovely lovely man. My thoughts are with his wonderful wife and their family.

Greg Smith: When I first met Fred in the mid-1970s I was living in Manchester but still walking for Basildon AC. He quietly convinced me that it made more sense to join Lancashire Walking Club, a suggestion I never regretted. Fred was always an enthusiastic competitor and supportive clubmate. Later, I came to appreciate his very considerable organizational skills in arranging the full range of Lancashire Walking Club activities. He went about those tasks in an exemplary way – patiently,
efficiently, and in an unfussy manner. At the back of all this diligent work done on our collective behalf was Fred’s enormous knowledge of the events, the characters and the stories that made up the history of the Club. Listening to Fred talk after our races made me realise that I was part of a long tradition that was about much more than just the walking. Fred’s constant good humour and relentless cheerfulness were always guaranteed to raise the spirits. Thanks, Fred, you enriched my life and will be missed.

Graham Jackson: Really sad news about Fred. Knew him from the early late 70s when walking had taken off in York. Fred was well respected in not only the north of England as president but as a grade 1 judge. Also in latter years as RWA president and organiser of the Manchester to Blackpool and Manchester 50. He will be sorely missed by us lads in York past and present – York Postal and City RIP Fred

Catherine McGrath: So sorry to read of Fred’s passing. He was a lovely man, a true gentleman. I hope he is walking in the clouds now.

Francisco Reis: I just have no words to express the loss of a great man. RIP.

Fred and Francisco Reis

Glyn Jones: I am really lost for words at this very sad news of Fred’s passing. He was a true gentleman and a well-respected friend. I shall miss him dearly. My sincere condolences go out to his dear wife Chris and all his family. Thank you, Fred for all your endeavours in the sport which you were very passionate about. R.I.P.

Fred in boisterous form with Adrian Edwards and Glyn Jones

Trevor McDermot: It is with enormous regret that we mark the passing of Fred.
A unique and irreplaceable figure who gave a lifetime of dedication to race walking and his beloved club. Only in the last couple of years had he been understandably forced to relinquish a wide range of duties; over the last week we had feared the worst. His love of the sport, experience and cheery smile will be enormously missed.
Our thoughts are with Chris, family, and all friends at Lancashire Walking Club at such a sad time.

Guy Goodair: Very saddened to hear of Fred’s death but feared the worst when he gave up all his duties and positions in race-walking. Fred lived and breathed race-walking and worked tirelessly to promote the sport. We first raced against each other some 58 years ago (11 Feb 1961 to be precise) and I’ve attached a photo from that race – I’m just behind his right shoulder – he’s No 5) Most weeks I’d get an email from Fred, usually a joke or a pithy comment on the state of the world – it brightened my day. It was a privilege to know him, my condolences to Chris, James & Charlotte.

Fred, number 5 – Northern Junior 10 1961 Bradford

Daniel King: I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of Fred. He was always a very supportive and approachable individual who had an infectious smile and always made you feel welcome. A true gentleman and stalwart of race walking who I admired. He will be dearly missed. RIP Fred.

Jo Atkinson: I’m very saddened to hear of the loss of Fred. He was a lovely gentleman who I had the pleasure of knowing from very early on in my walking career. My condolences to all his family. RIP Fred x x

Joan and Ron Wallwork: Ron started his walking career with Fred and he has stayed a good friend ever since. We have met up on numerous occasions and Fred and Christine came to Moulton for the Moulton 5. Our thoughts are with his family

Fred brought us together to celebrate Ron’s 1971 Two Hour record

David Jones: So sorry to hear this sad news. Fred was a lovely person, a real gentleman, and I will miss him greatly. I will always remember his help at the Redcar 100 mile and will fondly remember the Blackpool races which Fred was always in attendance and always encouraging all the athletes. On Behalf of Redcar race walking club.

Ian Richards: A real gentleman and unsung hero

Fred lap scoring with Eric Horwill as Sailash Shah passes through

Chris Maddocks: A fine man. Lovely deserving words. RIP Fred.

Tony Malone: Like Tony Taylor and others I’m lost for words at this news. Fred along with Chris Bolton and Maurice Ireland got me started in race walking back in May 1968 and have been friends ever since. He was godfather to my eldest son Richard. Apart from a short spell at Blackburn Harriers he has been at LWC all his life and has kept the club going for many years. I think without him it may have folded at one point. I have many memories of Fred over the last 50 plus years of travelling around the country to races, Fred ensuring we got there on time, sorting feeding stations out. He would look after all of us and not compete himself. He always had a smile on his face when I turned up at LWC events. My thoughts are with Chris and the family at this sad time. Rest well old friend.

Ann Perry: A lovely gentleman who was always cheerful and willing to do whatever job was needed. He will be missed. My condolences to his family at this difficult time.

Racing at Simister under Fred’s watchful eye

Maureen Jackson: So sorry to learn of Fred’s passing. Such a lovely man & a real gentleman. Always so supportive of Jo & myself her coach.

Graham Young: Fred was a chip off the Old Block. Always a “Smiler”, and like Fred Snr., an unassuming stalwart of our discipline. RIP

Mark Williams: As many others have expressed I’m saddened and lost for words on Fred’s passing. I’ve known Fred my entire time in Race Walking and it’s been both a pleasure and an honour to have known him throughout this time. A true gentleman with a huge smile and an even bigger heart. Fred, you will be sadly missed by all, Rest in Peace. Sincere condolences to Chris, James, Charlotte, and all the family

Olive and Bob Dobson: So sad to hear the news that we all feared. A real gentleman, a great friend & generous supporter of our sport. Words alone are not enough to express our true feelings at this great loss. Condolences to Christine & the family RIP Fred.

Tony Taylor: I’m not usually lost for words and I feared the worst, but it is still difficult to convey how much Fred meant to me. Our friendship goes back to the early 1960s and we raced against one another for the first time in September 1963. One thing we shared is that both of us were the family juniors at the club, reflected in the results of the time, which would read Fred Pearce Snr and Fred Pearce Jnr, alongside A J Taylor Snr and A J Taylor Jnr. During my most successful period as a race walker in the late 60s and early 70s Fred was a central character, making sure that all arrangements were impeccably in place, allowing me and others such as Ron Wallwork to focus on our training and racing. One of the delights of the last 20 years, even though I had fled to Crete, was renewing the strong bond between us on my sporadic appearances at club races. Fred made me feel special.
As for the Lancashire Walking Club itself, Fred has been a tower of strength and inspiration. I’ll try to pull together a tribute that does justice to his endeavours in the coming weeks for the Lancashire Walking Club web site
Outside of walking, we made perhaps a strange couple – Fred, the successful businessman and I, the failed revolutionary socialist. The apparent difference was always good for a laugh and Fred did have a captivating smile. Politics aside, I think we always trusted and believed in our shared compassion for others.
Enough for now. I will miss him dearly.

Fred thinking, ‘ I hope Tony’s not going to make a speech!’

Mark Easton: Sad to hear the news. A real gentleman. RIP Fred

Alistair Shand: Fred was always so welcoming (as were the other LWC members) when I used to regularly venture across the Pennines for races. Although I was a bit of a lost cause in terms of my ‘technique/style’, Fred freely shared tips from his wealth of experience in a forlorn bid to help me improve! He was so friendly and encouraging. A massive loss.

Fred wonders if Alistair has been listening to his advice

Geraldine Legon: Sad news RIP Fred

Joyce Harasimuick: Oh no. I’m heartbroken. Dear Fred, he was a true gentleman and a very inspirational soul. Although I am no longer an active member, Fred and l have always kept in touch. Our aim was to take part in a club race just for old times sake. I’m on holiday at the moment, I’ll dig out my old race books and hopefully post a memory. Truly sorry, sending my heartfelt condolences to Fred’s family and friends.

Sailash Shah: I found quite shocking to hear the news on Tuesday. It was Fred who got me into race walking at the Bury track and if it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be doing race walking. I will definitely miss him.

Fred at the Horwich Masters 5km

Stephen Walker: When I had to have both knees repaired in 2004, my surgeon told me that it would be doubtful if I could run again but should try Race-Walking. I remember driving over to Simister and being introduced to Fred and Christine. From that first meeting, I will never forget Fred’s support and encouragement, and even though I have never fully mastered the technique (as Glyn can testify) every race I went to for Lancs, Fred was always there offering words of encouragement and support. Even after moving to South Wales, Fred always kept me up to date with everything that was going on and he took great pleasure in ribbing me when Sale Sharks beat Llanelli (it was only once though!) A true gentleman and my great privilege to have known him, he always had time for everyone and will be sadly missed my condolences to Chris, James & Charlotte

Martin Fisher: Have known Fred for over 40 years first walking in the Winter 10km races at Stretford. Our friendship has continued over that time, always being made welcome at the Lancashire races. Fred would always have a word on how you had walked, to stride out or head up, but always positive and encouraging to everyone, I will miss him.

Dave Evans: A man for all seasons. Being RWA president in 2016, Olympic Year, was a great tribute to Fred’s contribution to the sport and he and the Lancashire Walking club were justly proud of the honour. When Fred’s health began to deteriorate his less able club mates took over the duties he had performed and only then did we realise how much time and effort had gone into running the club, all without complaint. He kept the club alive and it was no surprise that his drive, determination and personality brought visitors from around the UK and even the Ukraine. Until his final illness made it impractical to venture far he still came to races, still cast his judge’s eye over the field and offered advice and encouragement to old hands and newcomers alike. Things will never be the same but his name will live on and the debt we all owe him. Behind all great men there is nearly always a supportive and encouraging family. Fred’s wife Chris and children James and Charlotte can be justly proud of our president and we thank them for making his final months comfortable, doing what he had done for so many years, looking after his walking colleagues. RIP Fred

Dave Evans asks Fred for a tip or two

Edward H. Shillabeer: Total respect, one of the old school. RIP Fred

John Paddick: Top man – We will miss him!

Tony Bell: A sad day for Lancashire Walking Club and our sport. If it hadn’t been for Fred there might not have been a Lancashire Walking Club for me to join when I moved back to NW England in 2005.

Richard Cole: A very unselfish man who gave many years to promoting race-walking. A real gentleman. Another stalwart lost and cannot be replaced.

Dan Maskell: Like everyone who knew dear Fred, I was terribly saddened by the news of his passing. He was always so welcoming and encouraging on my many visits up North. I will miss him dreadfully. I can only imagine the pain of Chris and his family, and of all the members of Lancashire Walking Club who had known him for so long.

Lest we forget. Dave Evans reminds us that we have lost both Dave Crompton and Fred in the last 12 months. Here they are ‘both in their element’.

Peter Marlow: I was truly shocked to hear of the passing of Fred. He was always a gentleman and he will be sadly missed.

Phil McCullagh: Goodbye Fred I’ll miss you. My thoughts are with your family.

Bill and Janice Wright: Fred – always positive, always supportive, always enthusiastic; we will miss his smile, his company and his friendship.

Maurice Ireland: I have many happy memories of Fred from first meeting him and his father at my first race with LWC in 1960. Without any doubt he was the driving force within the Club and an inspiration for the sport of race walking; his election to National President of the RWA was most justly deserved. God bless you Fred and RIP.

I’ll continue to add more comments and photos in the coming days so that this post will stand as a collective tribute to Fred’s memory. You can add your thoughts in the Comment Box below or send an e-mail to tonymtaylor@gmail.com

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ALISON TROPHY AND KEN MUNRO TROPHY RESULTS PLUS HOMAGE TO KEITH FRENCH

ALISON TROPHY 15 KILOMETRES, 9th MARCH AT CHORLEY

Roy Gunnett reports:

The Alison Trophy race was held over the usual hilly course comprising a mile out followed by 3 laps and then a mile home. Following a morning of very strong winds and heavy rain, all were pleased that the weather had abated by race time to be dry, cold and breezy. Straight from the gun, Adrian Edwards took the lead with Martin Fisher chasing in second place. They held these positions to the end of the race with the rest of the field well behind. John Crahan put in a strong performance in his first race in the 70-74 age group to come third. Phil McCullagh, who has recently returned to racing following a long layoff due to illness, also walked well and came forth in the scratch race and won the handicap. He was thus awarded the Alison Trophy.

Phil regaining fitness, finishing at Dalton – see below

15 KILOMETRES

  1. Adrian Edwards M55 LWC 89:08 [H’cap 00:30 H’cap time 88:38 Pos 3 Pts 23] 75.83%
  2. Martin Fisher M55 Redcar WC 92:39 [00:00; 92:39; Guest] 72.95%
  3. John Crahan M70 LWC 104:06 [17:00; 87:06; 2; 24] 75.27%
  4. Phil McCullagh M60 LWC 104:41 [86:41; 1; 25] 67.64%
  5. Roy Gunnett M70 LWC 107:52 [14:00; 93:52; 5; 21] 73.59%
  6. Sailash Shah M50 LWC 114:08 [21:00; 93:08; 4; 22] 58.22%
  7. Joe Hardy M75 LWC 115:04 [20:30; 94:34; 6; 20] 72.90%
Sailash on the picturesque, but challenging Dalton course

10.9 KILOMETRES [6.8 MILES]

  1. Pat Evans W65 LWC 83:05 [Pts 19]
  2. Ian Hilditch M75 LWC 83:40 [Pts 18]

7.08 KILOMETRES[ 4.4 MILES]

  1. John Payn M85 LWC 62:28 [Pts 17]

Ken Munro Trophy 10 Miles Road, 24th March 2019 Dalton (North Yorks)

Trevor McDermot reports:

Scotland scored their first Race Walking team win today, and I think Ken would have been pleased. Pictured are Bill McFadden (Individual Trophy race winner) with Colin Scott, Neil Armitage and Gerard McConnell.

From a Lancashire point of view, it was a real pity we were unable to contest the team competition but good on Phil and Sailash for making it to Dalton. I was really disappointed not to be there as promised. Trevor and Linda always put on a splendid event, complete with amazing post-race Nepalese cuisine!

Francisco Reis, immaculate as ever
  1. Francisco Reis (Surrey WC) – guest – 87:41
  2. Bill McFadden (Scotia RWC) – 94:48 – Scot
  3. Malcolm Martin (Surrey WC) – guest – 100:42
  4. Graham Jackson (Yorkshire RWC) – 101:50 – Yorks
  5. Colin Scott (Yorkshire RWC) – 103:01 – Scot
  6. Dennis Jackson (Yorkshire RWC) – 107:38 – Yorks
  7. Neil Armitage (Yorkshire RWC) – 111:57 – Scot
  8. Sharon Gayter (North York Moors AC) – 112:42 – Yorks
  9. Phil McCullagh (Lancashire WC) – 116:38 – Lancs
  10. Gerard McConnell (Scotia RWC) – 119:50 – Scot
  11. Sailash Shah (Lancashire WC) – 122:33 – Lancs
  12. Sarah Circo (unattached) – 122:37 – Yorks
  13. Bill Gayter (North York Moors AC) – 127:46 – Yorks
  14. Angela Martin (Surrey WC) – guest – 128:32
  15. Ron Stewart (North Shield Poly AC) – 129:17 – Yorks
  16. Mark Byrne (Redcar RWC) – 103:29 – (11km)
And they’re off!

TEAM 1. SCOTLAND 17 2. YORKSHIRE 22

3km Developmental Race
eq 1 – Izzy Wilkinson 22:44
eq 1 – Paul Simpson 22:44
3 – YB Tamu 23:17
4 – Madhu Ghimire 23:20
5 – Tom Circo U15 23:38
6 – Kath Stewart (NSP) 24:06

AND THE STRUGGLE TO #SAVERACEWALKING CONTINUES

#SAVERACEWALKING

THANKS, KEITH FOR ALL YOU’VE DONE

And it would be remiss not to mention that the Northern Area made a presentation to Keith French, the Sheffield stalwart in recognition of his long and meritorious service to our sport.

Keith with Russ Jackson
Keith French winning the Sheffield Star Walk in 1965

Last but not least many thanks to Marcus Antonius Argento for the excellent photos, apart obviously from the 1965 shot of Keith!

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#SAVETHERACEWALKING: Four under the Hour in the Sam Shoebottom 10 kilometres

The SIGN2

Ta to Fred Pearce for the photo

Before the start of the Sam Shoebottom races, we made the sign in support of the #SAVETHE WALKING protest against the proposed disappearance of both the 20km and 50km from the Olympics and the problematic introduction of electronic shoe technology.

logone

Thanks to Stefano La Sorda for the logo and his campaigning energy

The chaotic ensemble at the starting line is due partly to a shout from the back to say.’Watch out, there’s a bloody big lorry approaching!’ There is no truth in the rumour that the said vehicle had been hired by someone called Coe to disrupt our protest.

LWC SAM SHOEBOTTOM 10km, February 9, 2019, Simister

Roy Gunnett reports:

There was a good turnout of 16 walkers for the first Lancashire Walking Club race of the year. The weather was kind with a temperature of 10 degrees centigrade and no rain. However, there was a strong wind. The race was held on the normal course at Simister, comprising two out and back 5k laps.

Adrian Edwards

 

Following the start, the race quickly split into three groups, the first being Adrian Edwards and Tony Taylor battling for the lead, followed by Tony Bell and Tony Malone, who both had their sights set on breaking the hour and then the rest of the field spread out some way behind.

Tony Taylor

Tony Bell and Tony Malone battling it out

As the race progressed Tony gradually drew away from Adrian and put in a very strong performance to finish over 2 minutes clear. Both Tony Bell and Tony Malone achieved their target of a sub one-hour performance with Tony Bell taking the handicap and thus the Sam Shoebottom Trophy.

1. Tony Taylor LWC M70 0:56:21 [H’cap 0:00 H’cap time 56:21 Pos 3 Pts 23] 92.5%
2. Adrian Edwards LWC M55 0:58:48 [0:00; 58:48; 6; 20] 76.86%
3. Tony Bell LWC M55 0:59:41 [5:30; 54:11; 1; 25] 74.81%
4. Tony Malone LWC M65 0:59:43 [3:30; 56:13; 2;24] 83.12%
5. Roy Gunnett LWC M70 1:06:42 [7:45; 58:57; 8; 18] 79.16%
6. Peter Crahan LWC M65 1:07:04 [6:45; 60:19; 11; 15] 73.17%
7. Glyn Jones Cov Godiva M75 1:07:35 [8:30; 59:07; Guest] 83.78%
8. John Crahan LWC M65 1:10:00 [11:15; 58:45; 5; 21] 73.52%
9. Phil McCullagh LWC M60 1:10:38 [11:45; 58:53; 7; 19] 65.86%
10. Ian Hilditch LWC M75 1:12:09 [ 15:00; 57:09; 4; 22] 78.51%
11. Joe Hardy LWC M75 1:13:04 [12:00; 61:04; 12; 14] 76.39%
12. Sailash Shah LWC M50 1:14:11 [14:00; 60:11; 10; 16] 58.79%
13. Ian Vaughan LWC M65 1:18:20 [18:45; 59:35; 9; 17] 62.65%

5km

Pat Evans tucks in behind Joe Hardy and Phil McCullagh

1. Pat Evans LWC W65 0:35:58 [Pts 13] 86.35%
2. John Payn LWC M85 0:42:06 [Pts 12] 74.24%
3. Andrea Lennon LWC W75 0:44:35 [Pts 13] 69.66%

A big thank you to the injured Greg Smith for the race photos. Much appreciated.

————————————————————————————————–

FORTHCOMING RACES

Sunday, March 3 MOLLY BARNETT OPEN AND EAA 10KM CHAMPIONSHIP at COVENTRY

Saturday, March 9 ALISON TROPHY 15KM at CHORLEY

Sunday, March 24 KEN MUNRO TRIANGULAR COMPETITION [LANCASHIRE v. YORKSHIRE v. SCOTLAND] at DALTON, NORTH YORKSHIRE

By twist of fate , all being well, I’ll be back in the UK and can do this race. It would be good to have a strong Lancashire team in the mix.

Saturday, April 9 MACCLESFIELD SHIELD 10 MILES at SUTTON MACCLESFIELD

Club races start at 1.30 p.m.


 

RIP DOROTHY TAYLOR

Over the last few years, my mother Dorothy Taylor has been suffering from advanced dementia and I’ve often dashed to races after seeing her in the nursing home. Many of you have gone out of your way to be sensitive and supportive. It is with a mixture of relief and grief that I have to report that at the age of 99 years she passed away on Sunday, February 17. As you know the A J Taylor Award for the best performance of the year by a club member honours my father and her dear husband, a staunch supporter of race walking in Lancashire, who died in 1970. Thanks again for your compassionate concern.

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New Year’s Greetings and an intriguing historical enquiry

Firstly I must convey my best wishes and good health for the New Year to everyone at the club and beyond, who visits this LWC blog from time to time. One way or another get a few miles in on New Year’s Day [if the body allows] – always a psychological boost for the months ahead or so I keep telling myself!

Secondly, given my desire to unearth at least some of our club’s history, find below an intriguing and fascinating overture from Colin Kirkham of the Coventry Godiva Harriers. Quite a few of us will remember Colin as an outstanding marathon runner, winner of the Athens Marathon in 1973 and a leading member of the famous Godiva team of the ’60s and ’70s, which boasted such luminaries as Dick Taylor, Basil Heatley, Brian Kilby and Bill Adcocks. On the race walking scene, Godiva’s great and unassuming ambassador was George Chaplin, who sadly passed away this year. I can still remember how chuffed I was to beat George for the very first time in the 1970 National 10 miles, managing to break away from a group of George, John Webb and Jake Warhurst in the last mile to finish 6th in 74:07 with Ron Wallwork 2nd, sandwiched between the two Germans, Wilf Wesch and Bernard Nermerich. It was something of a breakthrough race at a national level as our club finished 2nd team [Wallwork, Taylor,, Vickers, Hopkins] to Belgrave Harriers, whilst the Lancashire team [Wallwork, Taylor, Alan Callow [Isle of Man], Vickers] was third behind Essex and Surrey in the then hotly contested Inter-Counties championships.

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Colin Kirkham writes:

 

I have spent a great deal of my time researching ‘The History of Coventry Godiva Harriers and Other clubs in the City over the last 140 years’. I have done this from the perspective of trying to highlight the effects of local education, industry, philanthropy, immigration and emigration, social (family / individual / longevity), geographical, political (small and big ‘P’), etc, influences have had on the success of the club.

Then I began to wonder what would have been the effect of such influences on a club that failed. A club that folded.

As I was brought up in Ingrow, Keighley, I looked at the short lifetime of Ingrow Harriers aka Ingrow Athletic Club, aka Keighley Harriers aka Keighley Parish Church Harriers aka Keighley and District Harriers ……. and the point of this letter, Keighley Walking Club, formed as a branch of the Yorkshire Walking Club which had its HQ on the Keighley side of Bradford [all this squeezed between 1892 and WW1]. For some curious reason, Keighley had a great deal of walking activity, this was beside the interest sparked by the walking boom of 1903.

To the point …. as part of my investigations into the local [Keighley] race walking scene 1875 to WW1 I have come across the enclosed photo about which I am trying to find information. The Lancashire Walking Club had an annual walk on Boxing Day, from Haworth [in Yorkshire] over the Herders [the Pennines] to Lanshaw Bridge in Lancashire, about 10 miles of severe climbs … I do mean severe. They would be walking into the prevailing wind and believe you me, the weather can be rough [this used to be part of my weekly ’20’, so I speak from experience].

Can any of your members in the Lancashire Walking Club offer any information why the chosen date and particular course?? Any details of any results? Any known members, or when the photo might have been taken … I think the pub is on Haworth Main Street, coincidentally where a few of the local fell races have their race HQ. at the present time. Are the trophies still current? And any suggestions as to why walking appeared so popular in a Victorian outpost like Keighley, both on the roads and at local Galas and Fetes – both amateur and pedestrian?

I appreciate that information might be non-existent, but thanks for any help you may be able to give.


I’ll follow up this post with a few thoughts next week on histories.

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Xmas spirit arrives early at the Dick Maxwell 10k

Santa’s Little Helper and assembled Xmas 10k field

Dick Maxwell Memorial 10k Race @ Simister 1st December 2018
Roy Gunnett reports:
The race was not held over the advertised Nightmare course as this was flooded.
Instead, it was held on the 2 lap out and back course to the park.
Weather for November was fairly good – a mild day with little wind and a slight drizzle.
Adrian Edwards walked strongly throughout and won the scratch race with Martin Fisher just under 40 secs behind.
Roy Gunnett won the handicap and was awarded the Dick Maxwell trophy.
Following the race, all enjoyed a meal of Pie and Peas prepared by Pat and the ‘Secret Santa’.
[ Tony Taylor is reliably informed that anyone revealing the identity of Santa’s Little Helper will receive a severe penalty at the hands of the Club Handicapper!]
10 kilometres
1. Adrian Edwards Lancs WC 57:59
2. Martin Fisher Redcar WC 58:38
3.Tony Bell Lancs WC 63:32
4.Stuart Edgar D&S 64:09
5.Roy Gunnett Lancs WC 65:41
6.Dan Maskell Surrey WC 66:58
7.Glyn Jones Cov. Godiva 67:42
8. John Crahan Lancs WC 69:15
9. Joe Hardy Lancs WC 70:03
10. Sailash Shah Lancs WC 72:04
11. Ian Hilditch Lancs WC 73:07
12. Ian Vaughan Lancs WC 76:41
13. Andrea Lennon Lancs WC 83:41
5 kilometres
1. Pat Evans LancsWC 35:00
2. Greg Smith Lancs WC 36:29
3. Arthur Wilson Unattached 38:48
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The Pre-Xmas Nightmare, December 2

nightmare

STOP PRESS

SOMEBODY’S PRAYER HAS BEEN ANSWERED AS FLOODING MEANS THE RACE WILL NOW BE HELD ON THE USUAL OUT AND BACK PARK COURSE

[To the dismay of many,  Roy Gunnett reports that Saturday’s race will take place on the infamous ‘Nightmare’ Course. We will see if prayers for a deluge of Biblical proportions are answered.]

Date:     Saturday 1st December 2018 @ 1:30pm

Race:     Dick Maxwell Memorial 10K race 

Course:  ‘Nightmare’ Course flooded so changed to usual Park Course!

Venue:    Lady Wilton Hall, Simister M25 2RX

The race will be followed by a ‘pie and peas’ meal and the Secret Santa.

Please let Roy know if you will be attending as he needs to let Pat know how many she needs to cater for regarding the ‘pie and peas’.

As usual please bring along a wrapped Secret Santa gift (£5 value)

Please bring along your £15 annual subscription ( unless you have already paid).

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An emotional AGM as Fred Pearce ‘retires’

The 111th Lancashire Walking Club AGM witnessed a heartfelt and humbling occasion. Dogged by ill-health Fred Pearce, the club’s ‘Jack of all trades’ and pivotal personality, was stepping down from his roles as President, Chairman and Treasurer. In his address, Fred outlined the club’s continuing and significant presence on the race walking scene, which owes much to his sterling efforts over decades of commitment to the cause. However, as he came to close his remarks, Fred found it nigh impossible to control his emotions, bringing a tear to many an eye, not least those of Christine, his devoted wife. Finally, he managed to mouth the painfully ironic, yet evergreen club motto, ‘Health is the first Wealth, before giving way to standing ovation from all those present. In doing so we remembered also with great sadness the passing of Dave Crompton, a much-missed Lancashire stalwart.

The meeting was faced with the dilemma of how and with whom to replace our Fred. To the rescue, cutting through the fog of anxiety,  came John Crahan, famous for his wit, tact diplomacy and fondness for a pint. He proposed to much acclaim that Fred continued as an Honorary President, whilst suggesting that Roy Gunnett and Dave Evans between them shared the tasks of Chairman, General Secretary and Treasurer. To our collective relief, Roy and Dave succumbed to John’s charm. Rumour has it that John was approached to sort out the whole Brexit chaos, but he refused, preferring to prioritise his arduous winter training regime in a bid to put his brother, Peter, firmly in his place. We will see.

Crisis averted, the business of the AGM was completed with the minimum of fuss, Our financial situation proved to be healthy. Adrian Edwards took both the Cliff Royle Salver and the AJ Taylor Award, proving to be yet again the club’s outstanding performer, whilst Joe Hardy’s commitment saw him take the Annual Handicap Award just ahead of Roy Gunnett.

Go easy on the whisky, Fred

There was though one more moving moment before the meeting closed.  Roy Gunnett stepped forward on behalf of the whole membership to present Fred with an engraved whisky decanter to mark the occasion and as a tribute to his remarkable contribution to our club across 66 years of membership. Following in his wake Glyn Jones, wearing his Race Walking Association hat, paid a fulsome tribute to Fred’s endeavours.

Glyn Jones pays tribute to Fred

Fred, number 5 – Northern Junior 10 1961 Bradford

And, allowing myself a personal touch, I recollected that Fred and I raced against one another for the first time on September 29th, 1963, over fifty-five years ago, The event, a club four and a quarter miles handicap starting at our headquarters, the imposing Midland Hotel in the centre of West Didsbury, saw John Paddick, a guest, win the scratch race ahead of Ron Wallwork. Although Fred beat me by a couple of minutes, I took the handicap prize, having a week earlier gained the then coveted 6 miles in the hour badge in the ‘D’ section of the famous Highgate track event. A fortnight later Ron Wallwork finished a brilliant 5th in the Lugano Trophy 50k in 4:23: 56, a member of the victorious GB team in what was in all but name the World Team Championship.

Ron winning the 1970 Leigh Harriers 5 miles in 36:09

In the following years, Ron put Lancashire Walking Club firmly on the map, always confident that Fred would make sure that all necessary arrangements were immaculately organised. What’s changed? And yet change inevitably lies before us.

On behalf of all, sincere thanks to Fred for all his graft, enormous goodwill and generosity.

Forever in your debt.

Tony Taylor

BILL JACKSON TROPHY 5k, NOVEMBER 3, 2018

Roy Gunnett reports:

There was a good turnout for the pre-AGM race of both walkers and officials – the 12 walkers included 3 guest walkers (Glyn Jones and Stuart Edgar from the Midlands and Dan Maskell from Brighton). Weather conditions were good for the time of year.
The scratch race was won by Adrian Edwards. Roy Gunnett won the yacht handicap and was therefore awarded the Bill Jackson Trophy. It was a closely fought out race with half the field finishing within a minute of each other.

1 Adrian Edwards Lancashire WC M55 28.54
2 Stuart Edgar Dudley and Stourbridge M45 31.40
3 Peter Crahan Lancashire WC M65 32.00
4 Dan Maskell Surrey WC M70 32.10
5 John Crahan Lancashire WC M65 32.30
6 Tony Bell Lancashire WC M55 32.40
7 Roy Gunnett Lancashire WC M70 32.44
8 Glyn Jones Coventry Godiva M75 32.49
9 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M75 33.05
10 Sailash Shah Lancashire WC M50 33.51
11 Pat Evans Lady Lancashire WC W65 35.08
12 Ian Vaughan Lancashire WC M65 37.38

 

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