Wakefield’s Purple Patch 1967-1969
Ron Wallwork writes:
When recently gathering information about LWC’s National Team successes I noticed that Wakefield H too had enjoyed a national championship purple patch at the back end of the sixties. The recent award of the A.J.Taylor trophy to Guy Goodair prompted me to salute him and his club-mates. In the three year span 1967 to 1969, Guy was a scoring member of Wakefield’s team, which in addition to two top six finishes, won five national team medals, the Milan Trophy and in the process Guy also occupied a top eight individual spot on three occasions.
1967 National 10 miles at Bolton on 18th March
Bronze: Guy Goodair 11th/78.19, George Barras 15th/79.50, Roy Thorpe 21st/80.25, John Hampshire 48th/ 83.53 were the scorers. J Barraclough 89th/87.56, Ken Newson 122nd/94.02 and Ken Bingley 127th/92.25 also took part.
182 started, Belgrave H and Trowbridge AC occupied the top two team places whilst the individual medallists were Ron Wallwork 75.35, Shaun Lightman 75.43 and Arthur Jones 76.10.
On 24th June George 8.03.15 and Guy 8.03.27 finished runner-up and third in the Manchester-Blackpool
National 50km at Redditch on 22nd July
Bronze: Guy Goodair 7th/4.50.24, Roy Thorpe 13th/4.56.40, L.Monkton 19th/5.02.40, John Hampshire 30th/5.18.32. Hot humid conditions and a stiff three lap undulating course proved to be too much for thirty of the 88 starters. The real heroes that day were George Barras 35th/5.24.36, Brian Marsland 43rd/5.34.54, Ken Bingley 54th/5.49.15 and J.Croll 58th/5.56.45 who stuck it out, and because they did, Wakefield in addition to winning team bronze also won the prestigious MILAN TROPHY.
The Milan trophy was won by a British long-distance team in Italy and presented by the British amateur Athletic Board to the RWA and is awarded to the club first finishing its complete team of eight in the RWA 50km championship. It was first contested in 1962.
88 started, Belgrave H and Trowbridge AC occupied the top two team places whilst Shaun Lightman 4.26.56, Ray Middleton 4.33.28 and Don Thompson 4.34.16 took the individual honours.
1968 National 50km at Ewell, Surrey on 20th July.
Bronze: Guy Goodair 8th/4.47.45, R.Manning 17th/5..02.54, Roy Thorpe 21st/5.06.39, John Hampshire 43rd/5.31.11
This race was the trial for the Mexico Olympic games and was the first time a short multiple course had been used in England. It was twelve laps and was dictated by road conditions in the area. It was not an easy course with a long climb up Reigate Road on each lap.
89 started, Belgrave H and Metropolitan WC occupied the top two team places whilst Paul Nihill 4.18.59, Brian Ely 4.22.16 and Shaun Lightman 4.23.17 took the individual honours.
On 29th June Guy 8.09.39 and George 8.14.52 had finished runner-up and third in the Manchester-Blackpool and along with Roy Thorpe 8.35.15 and J.Grayson 9.28.41 won the team race. R.Manning 19.56.20 also found time to qualify as a Centurion in the Leicester – Skegness 100 on 2/3rd August.
1969 National 20 miles at South Croydon on 14th June
Silver: Roy Thorpe 13th/3.00.40, George Barras 16th/3.02.24, Guy Goodair 18th/3.03.19, J.Grayson* 28th/3.12.15 were the scorers with E.Lee* 29th/3.12.40 and Ken Bingley 73rd/3.39.05 backing up.
A very hilly course on the warmest Saturday of the year was factor for 29 of the 137 starters who failed to finish.
137 started, Belgrave H were the team winners and Coventry Godiva H finished third whilst Paul Nihill 2.44.51, Brian Ely 2.46.24 and Bill Sutherland 2.48.45 took the individual honours.
On 28th June George 8.13.35 after two years in the minor placings finally won the Manchester – Blackpool with Guy 8.15.07 in second place heading an impressive team win. Guy’s turn to taste victory would be four years later in 1973 clocking 8.07.45. (See LWC website for Guy’s Manchester – Blackpool recollections.
National 50km at Redditch on 19th July
Silver: Guy Goodair 8th/4.36.56, Roy Thorpe 19th/4.59.38, E.Lee 23rd/ 5.03.17 , John Hampshire 40th/5.14.50.
The race was held over the one used two years previously and proved to be a faster race with 19 bettering five hours and the leaders who competed in 1967 all produce faster times.
111 started, Belgrave H were the team winners and Bristol AC finished third whilst Brian Ely 4.19.13, Shaun Lightman 4.24.58 and P.Klopfer (USA ) 4.25.04 took the individual honours
*E.Lee 21.10.37 and *J.Grayson 23.19.52 also found time to qualify as a Centurion in the Leicester – Skegness 100 on 2/3rd August.
Thirteen walkers made up the scoring squad over the period, eight of them were Centurions. In alphabetical order they were: J.Barraclough c382, George Barras c361, Ken Bingley, J.Croll, Guy Goodair c327, J.Grayson c432 John Hampshire c325, E.Lee c429, R.Manning c 415 ,Brian Marsland, L.Monkton, K.Newsome and Roy Thorpe c381.
Ron would be interested to hear from anyone who can correct errors he might have made, supply first names etc..
His historical burrowing is deeply appreciated and most revealing.
Great article couple of great walkers from york mentioned roy Thorpe and John grayson .also but not mentioned ray lockwood also walked for wakefield , ray started my dad walking in the working man’s club walks and coached him in his early career