Recent Results and Northern 10 news




Bill McFadden


Roy Gunnett reports:
We had an excellent turnout of 19 for this event – including guests from as far north as Glasgow and as far south as Brighton.
The weather had calmed down somewhat following storm Doris on Thursday.
Adrian and Bill McFadden had a close battle for most of the race until near the end when Bill pulled away strongly to win. Glyn just piped Dan to take third place.
Irene had a great race and easily won the Allison Trophy handicap prize .



Irene Pike

We were all delighted to see John and Jane Pouncy returning to competition following the motorcycle accident they had last year.


15 kilometres

1 Bill Mc Fadden Scotia RWC M55 83.04
2 Adrian Edwards Lancashire WC M50 86.02
3 Glyn Jones Coventry Godiva M70 99.12
4 Dan Maskell Surrey WC M65 99.13
5 Dave Crompton Lancashire WC M50 101.26
6 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M70 102.02
7 Irene Pike Lady Lancashire WC W65 102.38
8 Stuart Edgar Dudley & Stourbridge M45 102.54
9 Phil McCullough Lancashire WC M55 104.32
10 Roy Gunnett Lancashire WC M65 104.55
11 John Crahan Lancashire WC M60 105.00
12 Ian Hilditch Lancashire WC M75 105.59
13 Sailash Shah Lancashire WC M50 110.37
14 Ian Vaughan Lancashire WC M60 122.51
15 John Payn Lancashire WC M80 127.32

11 kilometres

1 Greg Smith Lancashire WC M60 78.53
2 Andrea Lennon Lady Lancashire WC W75 95.19

7 kilometres
1 John Pouncy Lancashire WC M70 63.32
2 Jane Pouncy Lady Lancashire WC W60 64.51


Fred Pearce reports:

1 Tom Bosworth 40.20
2 Callum Wilkinson 40.59
3 Cameron Corbishley 41.23
17 Dave Crompton 65.00
22 John Crahan 68.56
23 Roy Gunnett 71.00
DQ Sailash Shah ( 3 x <)
DNS Tony Bell. Sore throat and cold
Teams :
1 Manx H. 2 Enfield & Haringey 3 Birchfield H. 4 Lancashire W C

Weather cold (5deg)….windy…..wet .including hail stone at one stage….sun for about 5 mins. All in all poor conditions for racing……but we did well to finish a team. At least 50% of the field received at least one red card.

Mark Easton’s photos of the race here. Some good ones of Dave and John, too safe, but good knees.


Northern Area RWA 10mile championship and Triangular match will take place on Saturday, March 18 at Stockport


Important information from Roy Gunnett

The race will be held over a traffic free lap course within Woodbank Memorial Park , Stockport., starting at 1.30 p.m.

The lap length is 1k in length – therefore 16 and a bit laps to complete the 10 miles.

The park is just a couple of minutes from Junction 27 on the M60.  Map and directions

There are 2 car parks which can be used – namely a small car park by the museum which is postcode SK1 4JR and a larger car park behind the community centre which is postcode SK1 4BN. Both car parks are off Turncroft Lane, the 2 parks are a short walk to the changing rooms and the athletics track. Registration, changing , refreshments, awards will be at Stockport H .Track.

I have attached 2017 NARWA 10 Mile Championship entry form. Closing date for entries is Wednesday March 15th.

Cheques for the £5 individual entry fee should be made out to Lancashire Walking Club. Cheques for the £8 team entry fee should also be made out to the Lancashire Walking Club.

We will need helpers at the race as well as walkers – so if you are not walking and can help please let Fred know.

Entries should be posted to:
Fred Pearce
4 Anglesey Drive,
SK12 1BT.
Fred’s email is




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Belated New Year Catch-Up and Sam Shoebottom Result

I must apologise for the lack of posts on the site over the past few months. Unfortunately a range of personal issues has been overwhelming. This has been especially frustrating as I’ve got some great stuff in the bank, including a fascinating account of his Manchester-Blackpool exploits from Guy Goodair. Hopefully, in the coming weeks, I’ll get a grip on proceedings.

For now find below a couple of race results to keep the site up-to-date.

Sam Shoebottom 10K 4th February 2017 at Simister 

Fred Pearce reports:

‘We had a good turnout of 15 (2 of which did 5k) for the first event of 2017 following the winter break. The weather was kind to us with winter sunshine and a temperature of 10 deg C.
At half way (5k) the first 4 were having a contest going through within 3 seconds of each other ( just under 32mins)…..followed by Peter Crahan 24 sec back….and then another battle of 4 in just over 33mins.
Tony pulled away in the last kilometre to win from Dave with Glyn finishing third 100 m back.
A great day of competition and camaraderie to start the new year’.



Tony Bell leads Martin Fisher in a Winter League race


1 Tony Bell Lancashire WC M50 63.37
2 Dave Crompton Lancashire WC M50 63.51
3 Glyn Jones Coventry Godiva M70 64.27
4 Peter Crahan Lancashire WC M60 65.29
5 John Crahan Lancashire WC M65 66.14
6 Stuart Edgar Dudley & Stourbridge M45 66.15
7 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M70 66.47
8 Pat Evans Lady Lancashire WC M65 66.59
9 Greg Smith Lancashire WC M60 67.38
10 Phil McCullough Lancashire WC M55 69.13
11 Sailash Shah Lancashire WC M50 70.20
12 Andrea Lennon Lady Lancashire WC W75 78.06
13 John Payn Lancashire WC M80 78.55

1 Irene Pike Lady Lancashire WC W65 33.22
2 Ian Hilditch Lancashire WC M75 37.22



Great credit is due to Dave Crompton for his steadfast support of the Winter League races. just a point away from being joint first overall.

Dave Crompton

Dave Crompton [minus festive hat] leads Denis and Russ Jackson at Kirkby Fleetham.

 1. W.McFADDEN SCOTIA WC 57.36  2. C. SCOTT YRWC 62.28  3. G. JACKSON YORK CIU 63.16  4. A. THACKER YRWC 63.51  5. D.CROMPTON LANCS 64.53  6. D. JACKSON YORK CIU 65.08  7. A. ELLIS (F) SCOTIA WC 65.26  8. R. JACKSON YRWC 65.51  9. M. COLE UNATT. 68.37  10. M. BYRNE REDCAR WC 70.57  11. D. COLE REDCAR WC 74.19  12. G. McCONNELL SCOTIA WC 80.05  13. K. FRENCH YRWC 83.35

1. C. Scott 107 Pts 2. D Jones 107 Pts 3. D Crompton 106 pts

1. YRWC 305 Pts C. Scott 107, A. Thacker 100, K. French 98
2. REDCAR WC 259 Pts D.Jones 107, L Holmes 78, M Byrne 74

Individual gaining no other prize; R Jackson YRWC

A total of 19 walkers competed throughout the series, one less than last year. We need some new blood, of the sort who know that real life exists outside the confines of their mobile screens. Oh well, the organiser is off to Oz now, for some warm weather training.

Alan Brooks



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Lookin’ for’ards : Fixtures for 2017

Find below next year’s fixture in case you lose  the circulated hard copy and so that the web site is up-to-date.


On a personal note [ and I don’t think it’s just my hobby horse] we are still struggling to find a couple of flat road courses, where we can improve both technique and speed.Funnily enough I was looking back at club races from fifty years ago and there were any number of flattish, fast courses at such places as Denton, Wythenshawe, Urmston, Leigh, Bolton and indeed the West Didsbury HQ, all of which have fallen foul of the all-consuming automobile. It’s not that we didn’t have courses of character like Chorley and Sutton Macclesfield. We were just lucky enough to have a greater diversity of venues. As things stand I believe we are exploring whether the Northern 10, March 18 might be held on the Woodbank Park circuit, Stockport, which would be excellent.



    4  FEB B 10k Sam Shoebottom Trophy 1.30 SIMISTER


 25   FEB B 15k Alison Trophy 1.30 CHORLEY





Lancs v Yorks v Scotland

1.30 Venue to be decided


   8    APR  B 20k Macclesfield Shield 1.30 SUTTON MACC’FLD




   6   MAY       B 15 miles Allen Trophy 1.30 CHORLEY





27     MAY  B 3 X 5K Fred Pearce Trophy Relay 1.30 SIMISTER






  8     JULY B 10k Barnard Trophy 1.30 SUTTON MACC’FLD




29     JULY B 1 hour track Lambert Trophy 1.30 BURY A C TRACK


   5 AUG           B 100 miles CENTURION BURY ST EDMUNDS




19     AUG B 10K Goodwin Cup 1.30 CHORLEY


  9    SEPT B 2 Hour track R & Z Smith Trophy 1.30 BURY A C TRACK




  7    OCT B 10k Albert Rigby Shield 1.30 SUTTON MACC’FLD


  4   NOV B 5k Lancashire Walking Club AGM (110th) 1.30 SIMISTER


   2   DEC B 10k Dick Maxwell Mem. Race &  Xmas H’cap 1.30 SIMISTER
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Bill Jackson 5K and Club AGM


Great group photo from Bury – Ta to Linda McDermot

Bill Jackson Trophy 5,000 metres, 3rd December 2016 at Simister : Race Permit RWA 6073-1A

Roy Gunnett reports:

There was a good turnout for the race of 18 walkers – these included 2 guest walkers (Glyn Jones from the Midlands and Dan Maskell from Brighton). Weather conditions were cold and sunny. The scratch race was won by Greg Smith closely followed in second and third by the two Crahan brothers Peter and John.The winner of a tightly contested handicap race was Irene Pike.


Linda in full flow at Bury – Ta to Linda again

1 Greg Smith Lancashire WC M60  31.13
2 Peter Crahan Lancashire WC M60 31.19
3 John Crahan Lancashire WC M65  31.32
4 Dan Maskell Surrey WC M65 31.40
5 Dave Crompton Lancashire WC M50 31.42
6 Glyn Jones Coventry Godiva M70  31.49
7 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M70  32.34
8 Roy Gunnett Lancashire WC M65  32.44
9 Pat Evans  Lancashire WC W65  33.10
10 Tony Bell Lancashire WC M50  33.13
11 Dave Connor Unattached M40  33.26
12 Irene Pike Lancashire WC W65  33.47
13 Sailash Shah Lancashire WC M50  34.35
14 Phil McCullough Lancashire WC M55  35.06
15 Ian Vaughan Lancashire WC M60  36.57
16 Ian Hilditch Lancashire WC M75  37.24
17 John Payn Lancashire WC M80  38.15
18 Andrea Lennon  Lancashire WC W75  38.58

Might, I add – Great piece of handicapping by Dave Evans – barely 39 seconds between the first and sixth.

Further information from Fred on the day:

With regards to the race………Dave Evans & myself did the timekeeping and recorded, Chris Bolton turned everybody round in the Park ( replacing the much missed Vic Murray’s  position ), Adrian Edwards ( recently qualified) judged/ marshalled . Incidentally, I stood with Adrian for 2 periods as the walkers passed for his observations / comments etc …..
A new guy Dave Connor ( lives in Knowsley) turned up out of the blue to race. He is in his early 40s and is a Triathlete. Performed well ( obviously very fit) and I feel would be good if we can hold onto him and develop his technique. Dave gave him tuition prior to the race and I tried to help him during the race and afterwards….watch this space.


The 109th Lancashire Walking Club AGM was held following the race, chaired and presented, to everyone’s pleasure, by Fred Pearce, back at the helm following his absence from the last couple of races due to health problems. As usual the club’s Secret Santa presided over the giving of presents and the munching of mince pies, all accompanied by festive music.

The AGM agenda was full to the brim, but Fred’s firm chairing meant that the business was completed by 4.45. Evidently he left a touch knackered, but satisfied with events. Since the day has Fred has distributed a range of material to keep everyone up-to-date. Hence I’ll post here no more than the names of the recipients of the club’s 2016 Awards.

Winner of the Annual Handicap prize : Joe Hardy

Winner of the A J Taylor Award for the best performance of the season : Roy Gunnett

Winner of the Cliff Royle Salver for the best long distance performance of the season: Adrian Edwards

I’ll do a separate post looking at the fixture list before Xmas.


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Out of the Nightmare, Christmas beckons


The Nightmare course on a good day!

Roy Gunnett reports:

This is the first race in the new 2016 to 2017 season.
The race was held over the tough/ undulating 6 lap ‘Nightmare Course’ – on a bright sunny cool day.
Tony Taylor, over from his home in Crete, won the scratch race in a great time for his age group of 55mins 42secs.
Stuart Edgar, up from the Midlands, walked strongly to secure second place.
Sailash Shah won the handicap.
After the race all enjoyed the annual /traditional pie and peas kindly provided by Pat and served by her and Flo.

1 Tony Taylor Lancashire WC M65 55.42
2 Stuart Edgar Dudley & Stourbridge M45 63.51
3 Sailash Shah Lancashire WC M50 65.21
4 Roy Gunnett Lancashire WC M65 66.00
5 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M70 66.28
6 Dave Crompton Lancashire WC M50 66.35
7 Phil McCullagh Lancashire WC M55 68.17
8 John Payn Lancashire WC M80 76.59
9 Ian Vaughan Lancashire WC M60 79.47

1 Pat Evans Lady Lancashire WC W65 33.25

Ian Hilditch Lancashire WC M75 27.22

[Thanks too to Dave and Roy for improvising, given the water on the course and fireworks in Heaton Park, to Eric and Pam Horwill, Eric Crompton and Greg Smith for officiating in freezing conditions. Whatever anyone says, it was freezing as far as a Wigan immigrant in Crete is concerned!]


NEXT RACE: 5k ordinary handicap race followed by the 109th AGM

DATE SATURDAY 3rd December 2016



We will have our Christmas ‘Secret Santa’ following the race – please bring along a wrapped present up to the value of £5 for this.

Look forward to seeing as many of you as possible at the race/meeting.

To quote Fred ‘s request in his letter: –

‘It is essential that you make every effort to attend in order that your valued contribution will help with the election of officers and decisions to be made for the future success of the Lancashire Walking Club’.

The latest news is that Fred Pearce is on the mend after his operation and will as ever preside over the business of the AGM. Will be great to see him back at the helm.


To end on a very sad note we extend our sincerest condolences to Greg Smith on the tragic loss of his wife, Shauna. Amidst the grief and trauma Greg, a long-standing stalwart of the club, found the energy and time to be with us at Simister. Indeed he volunteered to man the bleak, windswept turning point out in the fields. Everyone was moved by his presence. In some small way we hope the club might prove to be a source of strength and comradeship in the coming months.


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Adrian and Roy gut it out to retain the 50k team trophy plus more results and important news

Adrian Edwards reports from the National 50 kilometres championship, where he almost pulled off a hat-trick of individual victories. Great respect to both Adrian and Roy for hanging in when things weren’t going their way. Frankly the out and back 500 metres for a 50 kilometres sounds a nightmare.
3 years in a row for the red rose.
I had another bad day at the office but got over the line. Roy was on schedule at half way, but slowed a bit and it was going to be close, he put in a spurt near the end and came home with 2 minutes to spare.


Adrian winning the Northern 35k

They were really strict. Someone who has only been walking 2 years, doing his first 50K, got to 49 with 3 minutes to go and they wouldn’t let him finish. They wouldn’t wait an extra 5 minutes. He was fine about it and said he’ll just have another go next year. Good man, I would’ve spat my dummy out!


Roy winning the 2 Hours Challenge

I was talking to some officials who said if Roy didn’t get over the line in the required time they wouldn’t award a team trophy, ignoring the classification from 35K rule they have sometimes used. So well done the man. He gets my vote for long distance performance of the year. It’s not an easy course 500 metres out and back on a bend, tight turns at each end and an awkward road camber, being a cycle circuit. He walked well, 50K is tough at any age.

RWA Men’s 50km (B) – Team = Lancashire Walking Club
1 Matthew Haddock (M35) Manx Harriers 5:32:33 2 Adrian Edwards (M50) Lancashire Walking Club 5:46:36 3 Martin Fisher (M50) Redcar Race Walking Club 6:07:48 4 John Borgars (M70) Loughton Athletic Club 6:08:17 5 Roy Gunnett (M65) Lancashire Walking Club 6:12:44
David Bowker (M55) Fairlands Valley Spartans DNF Chris Flint (M70) Surrey Walking Club DNF Ed Shillabeer (M75) Ilford Athletic Club DNF John Constandinou (M40) Birchfield Harriers DNF Sean Pender (M60) Enfield & Haringey AC DNF Colin Vesty (M50) Leicester Walking Club DNF Mark Culshaw (M50) Belgrave Harriers DNF Jonathan Hobbs Ashford Athletic Club DNF

A number of our walkers supported the Annual Ryan Cup event, walking for the Civil Service against the Police, held mid-week on September 23. Pat Evans was an excellent second in the Women’s 5k, clocking 32:36.


Pat leads the lads at Bury

In the Men’s 10k Peter Crahan, Dave Evans and John Crahan packed tightly, finishing in 64:02, 64:14 and 64:30 respectively. Indeed Dan Maskell and Glyn Jones, great supporters of our events, must like Lancashire’s company on the road, for they clocked 63:51 and 64:12. It looks as if you could have thrown the proverbial blanket over the lot of them.

Albert Rigby Shield 10k held at Macclesfield on 8th October 2016.

Roy Gunnett reports:
Glyn Jones and Stuart Edgar, who travelled up from the Midlands, gained first and second places in the race – and in a madcap sprint finish, it would seem!?
John Crahan won the handicap and was awarded the Albert Rigby Shield.
The weather was dry and mild for October.
Marshall and Kath Barnard provided, as usual, excellent post race refreshments.

Glyn manning the feeding station at Bury and keeping a close eye on Ron’s technique!

1 Glyn Jones Coventry Godiva M70 65.30
2 Stuart Edgar Dudley & Stourbridge M45 65.33
3 John Crahan Lancashire WC M65 66.21
4 Joe Hardy Lancashire WC M70 67.22
5 Pat Evans Lady Lancashire WC W65 67.29
6 Dave Crompton Lancashire WC M50 67.58
7 Irene Pike Lady Lancashire WC W65 71.01
8 Steve Sargent Lancashire WC M65 71.34
9 Roy Gunnett Lancashire WC M65 71.53
10 John Payn Lancashire WC M80 79.49
11 Ian Hilditch Lancashire WC M75 79.50
12 Ian Vaughan Lancashire WC M60 81.36



A decision was taken following the race to swap the next two races around, namely:

Original Dates
5th November 5k @ Simister followed by 109th AGM meeting
3rd December 10k @ Simister ‘Dick Maxwell Mem. Race’

New Dates

5th November 10k @ Simister ‘Dick Maxwell Mem. Race’
3rd December 5k @ Simister followed by 109th AGM meeting

The reason for this swap is because Fred unfortunately has some health problems – which are currently being treated. He will need some recovery time to get over his treatment and therefore he will not have time to do the considerable amount of work required to prepare for an AGM to take place on the original 5th Nov. date. Swapping the races around will give the extra time needed by Fred.


I’m sure we all wish Fred all the very best and hope to see him fighting fit at the beginning of December.

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Remembering Ron’s Record : A Walk down Memory Lane

When Fred Pearce suggested holding a 2 Hour track walk to commemorate Ron Wallwork’s UK and Commonwealth record set in 1971 there were a few raised eyebrows.  Why forty five years on, couldn’t we wait till fifty? Never mind that 2 hours lapping a track wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea. However the more we thunk upon, the more sense it made. 2016 marked also the fiftieth anniversary of Ron’s momentous victory in the inaugural Commonwealth Games 20 miles. 2016 is the year of Fred’s well-deserved reign as the RWA National President. And a few cheeky characters hinted that the motley crew from 1971 weren’t getting any younger. Best get it done on September 10th then.

Hence,  blessed with a pleasant summer’s day, we descended on the sheltered Bury track, barely a discus throw from the famous market. You could almost smell the black puddings,  which may or may not have inspired a magnificent turnout.


Such was the hugging and kissing, the mistaken identities, the banter and buzz of nostalgia it’s a wonder the race ever started at all. However Fred, as ever keeping his head, whilst others pissed about, brought to us our senses. Numbers were collected and a few dedicated souls warmed up. Sean Pender lay down on the track and ventured impressively a few stretching exercises. He had come all the way from Enfield.

Of those, who had raced in 1971, let it be public knowledge that Ron, Dave Vickers and Eric Crompton assured me that they were just doing a couple of laps for appearances’ sake. Mick Entwistle was clear that racing 5,000 metres as fast as he could was his target, whilst Julian Hopkins, the proud owner of two hip replacements, decided to settle back into his role as influential coach and technical adviser. With this in mind  I decided to race up to 10,000 metres and see how I felt. And so to the off. My shame was yet to come.


John Crahan [16] shouting presciently, ‘Don’t worry about Taylor, he’ll go off too fast and die!’

To cut the embarrassment short I tried to pretend I’d done 10k after 24 laps, only to be corrected by a battery of high-ranking officials, managed another and called it a day. I’ll spare the reader the excuses. Pat Evans and Guy Goodair settled for 10k, whilst Mick, Irene Pike and new recruit, Ian Vaughan completed the 5k. Meanwhile everyone else gutted it out with Roy Gunnett, earning Julian’s praise for his straight legs if not his backward lean, holding off Sean [a few more exercises?] second, with John Crahan [a bit less ale?] third. Ron, Dave and Eric defied age and arthritis to finish the two hours, once more out-psyching me.


Pictures of concentration from left to right – Christine Pearce, Fred, Trevor McDermot & Eric Horwill

As well as the officials, the great, the good and attractive, pictured above, Dave Evans was also recording, whilst Glyn Jones and Ian Hilditch managed the back straight water and sponges. As ever without this support the race would not have taken place. A word for the spectators is also not amiss. Joan Wallwork and June Vickers rolled back the years, observing the efforts of their respective husbands with a mixture of pride and dismay. After all the lads had claimed they were only doing a lap or two, so why the bloody-mindedness insistence on finishing the two hours?!

Scratch Name Club Age Distance Distance
Pos. Grp Metres Miles
1 Roy Gunnett Lancs WC M65 17498 10.875
2 Sean Pender Enfield M60 17435 10.836
3 John Crahan Lancs WC M65 17428 10.832
4 Alf Short Lancs WC M70 16960 10.541
5 Sailash Shah Lancs WC M50 16701 10.38
6 Joe Hardy Lancs WC M70 16534 10.276
7 Dave Crompton Lancs WC M50 16471 10.237
8 Dave Jones Redcar M65 15811 9.827
9 John Payn Lancs WC M80 14701 9.137
10 Andrea Lennon Lady Lancs WC W70 14270 8.869
11 Dave Vickers Lancs WC M75 12895 8.014
12 Ron Wallwork Lancs WC M75 12390 7.65
13 Eric Crompton Lancs WC M75 12046 7.487
10K Time
1 Tony Taylor Lancs WC M65 57.39
2 Pat Evans Lady Lancs WC W65 69.09
3 Guy Goodair Lancs WC M75 74.24
1 Mike Entwistle Lancs WC M65 33.38
2 Irene Pike Lady Lancs WC W60 33.46
3 Ian Vaughan Unattached M60 41.04



Roy receives the R.Smith Trophy from Ron. In his early years Dick Smith was Ron’s coach.

In his speech at the prize-giving Ron paid tribute to everyone, who had contributed to a wonderful day and had a special word for those, who had been there in 1971, singling out some of their successes. The following based on a bit of follow up research fills out his remarks.


From left to right – Julian Hopkins, Eric Crompton, Mick Entwistle, Fred Pearce, Ron and Tony Taylor

Julian Hopkins, is famously or infamously, remembered as a National Coach way ahead of his time, hounded out of the sport for observing that contact was increasingly impossible as the event developed. In his time he featured on the cover of Race Walking Record, July 1967, as a rising star, having finished 10th counter in the National 20k, won by Ron Wallwork, enabling a second place for the club. In 1970 he was integral to the team that placed first, second and third in the four senior championships, alongside Wallwork and Taylor, ensuring that the club won the A.D. McSweeney trophy as the leading club of the year, ahead of 29 teams – with four walkers to count in all championships. The other counters in that notable year were Dave Vickers [10 miles], Chris Eyre [20k[, Don Warren [20 miles] and Mick Entwistle [50k]

Eric Crompton was a tenacious competitor, excelling in the endurance events. He remained loyal to the Leyland Athletic Club, child of the Leyland Motors Club, the offspring of that post-war tradition, whereby major employers within manufacturing put some of their profits into leisure facilities for their workers. In doing so he probably deprived himself of a medal or two with Lancashire WC. I need to do some more work to track down Eric’s best performances –  around 4 hours 40 minutes for 50k? I’ve a decade of Race Walking Records missing.

As Ron pointed out,  Mick Entwistle made an enormous contribution to the club’s historic success in 1969/1970. He had finished as third counter in the team that finished second in the opening National Junior 5 won by Brian Adams [Leicester WC]. Chris Eyre was 6th in 39:15, Steve Crow 9th in 39:55 with Mick 10th in the same time. Ten months later we went into the final and vital 50k championship with the bare bones of a team, leave aside only just making the start. Ron remained an inspiration, but Tony and Julian were not famed for their long-distance exploits  and Mick was a debutant. In the end Ron finished 3rd in 4:25:16, putting his Commonwealth Games disappointment behind him, Tony and Julian dragged themselves to 17th and 20th respectively in 4:56:33 and 5:01:12 with Mick, 39th in 5:15:43, out on his feet, but making sure we took third spot to clinch the title of top club in the land, ahead of rivals, Leicester and Belgrave. Conditions were warm and humid, 107 started, but only 72 finished. In October Mick showed another glimpse of his potential finishing 5th in the National Junior in 39:06 in a race won by Olly Flynn [Basildon] in 37:05 in front of Mick Holmes [Yorks WC] 37:24 and our very own Tony Malone, 3rd in 38:02, Backed up by a disappointed Steve Crow, 15th in 41:00 we won the team race by one point from Steyning.

As for our Fred Pearce, who never lived up to his potential as a walker because of the pressures of his business career, those of us gathered together in Bury once more agreed  unanimously that he was, indeed is, the Team manager par excellence. Classically Fred’s painstaking record of the 1971 2 Hour race itself illustrates his attention to the finest detail.

At some point I must organise an interview with Ron to trace his remarkable career, which began in 1958 on the lanes of Sutton Macclesfield. At this point I want to reflect simply that such was his remarkable consistency the year 1970 saw him finish 2nd in the National 10 miles, 20km and 20 miles, all behind West German international, Wilf Wesch, and 3rd in the above-mentioned 50km.

As for myself, I must have put the poor performance in the 1971 2 Hours race behind me as I was selected later in the year to walk for Great Britain in the 20km against West Germany on the back of a 3rd place in an Enfield Invitation event, clocking 93:52 behind winner, Paul Nihill, 92:26 and Steve Gower, 93:35. I think this is the only occasion when the club had two members racing for GB in the same race as Ron and I competed in the 20km.

Missing from the above photo are Dave Vickers and Guy Goodair. Dave, a Lancashire County steeple-chaser, took up our sport in 1968, whilst injured, having bumped into Ron at Leverhulme Park, Bolton United Harriers’ headquarters. That very year he burst dramatically onto the scene, winning the prestigious Dick Hudson’s race in 69:24, hauling in Roy Thorpe [Wakefield] and Mal Tolley [Sheffield] on the steep finish. In the end this was probably Dave’s finest hour. Despite other good performances in the early 70’s his progress was thwarted by recurring and debilitating shin soreness and he returned to the running fraternity. As for Guy, now a leading Masters orienteer, it is difficult to know where to start in reflecting on an amazing career in the colours of Wakefield, dominated by his performances at the longer distances. In particular he seemed to be an ever-present at our club’s blue riband event, the Manchester-Blackpool. I think his first appearance was in 1961, when he finished 6th in under nine hours amongst a band of ‘ultra’ greats, Frank O’Reilly [Lozells Harriers], Hughie Neilson [Woodford Green]and Karl Abolins [Royal Sutton Coldfield], to name a few, although the event itself was won in 8:25:24 by John Edgington [Coventry Godiva], who represented GB at 20 kilometres. It was a race notable for a victory in the team race for Lancashire led home by Charlie Colman, 3rd, John Todd 4th, Jack Sankey 15th and Chris Bolton 19th. In 1964 Guy won the Blackpool in a time of 8:16:54, only 47 seconds short of the record at that time. Just the week before he had illustrated his good form , placing 6th in the National 50km in 4:30:57. I wonder if Guy has kept a record of the miles he has raced across the years. Phenomenal. Another interview beckons, given he is an adopted son.

Enough is enough and I hope I’ve not tried the patience of the reader. Let me apologise to anyone I’ve left out of the credits – oh, many thanks to Linda McDermot and Ian Vaughan for the smashing photos, not to forget Pat and Flo for the refreshments – and to say Bury is a very welcoming venue with great facilities. I’ll leave the last word to a lovely bloke, outstanding captain and athlete.bury8

‘It was a damn sight easier in 1971!’


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