The January ‘Joe Lambert’ Virtual Club 3 Kilometres

The January ‘Joe Lambert’ Virtual Club 3 kilometres

A ‘posh’ 1966 Club Dinner sees a genial Joe in the centre flanked by Dick Smith and Ron Wallwork

The following obituary gives a feel of Joe’s enormous contribution to the club and to race walking as a whole. He was held in great esteem and regarded with much affection.

71 Years a Lancashire Walking Club Member

Our longest serving member of the Lancashire Walking Club Committee, Joe Lambert, passed away on the 6th January 1992 after a short illness, writes Frank O’Neill.

Joe was 91 years old and had been a member of Lancashire Walking Club for 71 years. He joined the club in 1920 after competing in the Manchester to Blackpool, an event he completed 25 times.

Perhaps Joe”s best performance only 3 minutes down on the great Joe Hopkins. Gleaned from the late Brian Ficken’s scrapbooks by Ron Wallwork, courtesy of Pam Ficken.

He continued to make progress over the years at both short and long distances and won many track prizes during the years before the war. Joe took part in many northern area and national championships competing against such men as Joe Hopkins, Harold Whitlock, Tommy Green, Tommy Payne and Lloyd Johnson, all first class competitors.

In 1935, 1936 and 1938 Joe was a member of the British team in the four day Nijmegen marches. After the war he again competed on four more occasions and was captain of the British team in 1958. He became Centurion No 223 in 1954 in the Blackpool to Manchester and Back in 21 hours and 44 minutes.

Thanks to Harold Ogden and Roy Gunnett

Joe competed in many events when well over 70 but from 1936 had begun to take an interest in administration and held many positions. He had already become club captain in the late twenties and proceeded to the offices of club president, chairman, timekeeper, treasurer until 1981 and a grade 1 judge. He was an able administrator.

Joe was Northern Area president in 1958 and later was made a life member of Lancashire WC and NARWA. In 1964 Joe was elected National president and proved to be very popular during his year of office, also being very active on RWA sub-committees and attending several Southern Area functions. On RWA matters he was secretary of the A.D. McSweeney memorial committee which was organised in the mid-sixties. He was later elected a life member of the RWA and his last accolade was being made a vice-president of the Centurions.

He was an AAA senior coach and NARWA coaching secretary, visiting schools in the Manchester area.

Joe was for some years a member of the international selection committee and team manager of British teams competing in East Germany, France and Italy with both seniors and juniors.

Joe’s working life was as a civil service administrator in telecommunications with the old GPO and as a result of this experience trained would-be signal operators for the RAF during the war, holding the rank of Flight Officer. Naturally he competed in many post office walking events.

Joe Lambert had a wealth of experience and will be greatly missed by the walking fraternity and his family. His daughter Joan is carrying on in his footsteps and has been the President of Lancashire Walking Club for the past seven years.

[Tragically, Joan, a dear friend and a colleague in the Wigan Education Department died only a few years later.]

Ron Wallwork remembers Joe:

My recollections include a train journey back from which race I cannot remember. I think Julian Hopkins and the usual suspects were among the others in the party. Joe was telling us how to control stomach ache or it might have been stitch by the pressure of a hand circulating on the affected area in a clockwise direction.

Such was the respect we had for him, that none of us laughed, interrupted or contradicted him. Mind you we did later.

On the other hand my memory differs:

Joe knew I was having all sorts of pre-race stomach problems and, perhaps with a twinkle in his eye, he advised me to rub my belly in an anti-clockwise direction and cover it when training with a sheet of brown paper.

Chris Bolton remembers Joe’s days as a watchful Treasurer:

He was certainly a stalwart and very well respected. I’m sure you will have many anecdotes to share.

I well remember a committee meeting where when Joe had given his meticulous Treasurer’s report a certain Tony Taylor suggested “let’s blow the lot, baby”. I don’t however remember his response!

Anecdotes/photos relating to Joe will be welcomed and added.


Our grateful thanks to everyone, who defied a freezing January [excluding Taylor, who wallowed in temperatures of 20 degrees Centigrade and probably had a back spasm from lying on a sun lounger] and a warm welcome to Atmaram, Grace, Tony, Sarah, Val and Jagannath from the McDermot stables of the Yorkshire Race Walking Club. They will feature in the handicap next month.

  1. Tony Taylor 16:48
  2. Greg Smith 18:03
  3. Graham Jackson 18:30 [G]
  4. Dave Evans 19:12
  5. Tony Bell 19:40
  6. Denis Jackson 19:46 [G]
  7. Martin Payne 20:01
  8. Atmaram Dahal 20:07 [G]
  9. Marco Bernatzki 20:11.4 [G]
  10. Joe Hardy 21:02
  11. Ian Hilditch 21:09
  12. Roy Gunnett 21:11
  13. Pat Evans 21:13
  14. Grace Gilpin 21:29 [G]
  15. Glyn Jones 21:30 [G]
  16. Tony Ryder 21:54 [G]
  17. Sarah Circo 23:07 [G]
  18. Val Mitchell 25:10 [G]
  19. Andrea Lennon 26:08
  20. Jagannath Sharma 28:54 [G]
Eat your heart out – this is the 500 metres out and back favoured by a certain Glyn Jones


  1. Graham Jackson 18:30; 2:20; 16:10 [G]
  2. Greg Smith 18:03; 1:45; 16:18
  3. Glyn Jones 21:30; 5:00; 16:30 [G]
  4. Denis Jackson 19:46; 3:05; 16:41 [G]
  5. Martin Payne 20;01; 3:15; 16:46
  6. Tony Taylor 16:48; 0:00; 16:48
  7. Dave Evans 19:12; 2:15; 17:03
  8. Joe Hardy 21:02; 4:15; 17:17
  9. Andrea Lennon 26:08; 9:20; 17:28
  10. Pat Evans 21:13; 3:40; 17:33
  11. Ian Hilditch 21:09; 3:30; 17:39
  12. Marco Bernatzki 20:11; 2:20; 17:51= [G]
  13. Roy Gunnett 21:11; 3:20; 17:51=

Enfield League Virtual 5k, 30/31 January

There was an excellent response to the first race in this series. Tony Bell with a clocking of 33:02 was 22nd in a field of 56 athletes. The next edition will take place over the weekend, 20/21 February and contributions are welcomed from far and wide

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