You will find below the invitation to the 116th AGM of our great club, together with the Chairman’s and President’s reports. All other papers pertaining to the AGM have been circulated by Greg Smith, who unfortunately is unable to be with us – sincere thanks to him for his labours. Please send your apologies if you are unable to attend and in the same vein let Dave know if you will be at the race and in what capacity. It helps preparations enormously. It’s important to stress that the AGM is the moment when members renew their annual subscription, which this year stands at twenty pounds. This is a veritable bargain especially as seventeen of these pounds go to England Athletics and the Northern Counties with a mere three going into club funds. All being well I will be at my first AGM since 2019 and look forward to being with everybody in person.
Tony Taylor [ A Lancastrian abroad]
Chairman’s Report November 2022
I am pleased to begin my report by saying that the major issues presented by the Pandemic have largely disappeared so our calendar of events has continued as planned. Two fixtures had to be cancelled through the illness of one venue host and the refurbishment of the Bury track but in the latter case, an alternative venue was found.
Although we are all one year older, it is very pleasing to see that we have generally held together as a group and while times are a little slower, the enthusiasm is still there. At this point, I should add that our youth programme has come to nowt but we have acquired a new member who is improving well and making his presence felt. Steve Wilde is a runner by background and is getting the hang of things in this technical discipline.
Our regular venues continue to be available thanks to the good work of Roy Gunnett. The charges for race venues have remained fairly static and thanks must be given to Eric Crompton for providing an alternative changing area when the St Peters Club was closed.
From a competitive point of view, our race numbers have been encouraging with between 7 and 13 walkers. In the latter part of this year, a couple of our regulars have been side-lined through injury but both have hopes of returning to the fold in the near future.
Few, if any, walking clubs in England, promote monthly club events so we should be proud that we are continuing a tradition established way back in 1907 by our founders.
Most organisations rely on a number of backroom staff and I would like to take this opportunity of giving my thanks to Roy Gunnett, Tony Taylor, Greg Smith, Adrian Edwards, Eric Crompton, Louise Whaite, Pat Evans, Marshall Barnard, Chris Pearce and Ian Hilditch, all of whom have provided logistical support throughout the year. A special mention must be made of Eric Horwill who travels from the Midlands to the vast majority of events to do our timekeeping and Glyn Jones, a fellow Midlander, who has been a regular competitor and a confidant on all matters relating to the sport.
I am sure that colleagues will mention this as well but the highlight of the club’s performances this year has to be in the Centurions 100 mile in Middlesbrough. The bravery and character shown by our representatives were outstanding and we were proud of all of them.
Adrian Edwards became the Club’s newest and 41st centurion, Martin Payne almost walked that magical distance again, Sailash Shah was battered by the wind and rain into submission and Martin Fisher had to cut short his attempt to claim his 29th hundred.
We move into our 116th year with the knowledge that we are continuing to promote our sport and are mindful of the club’s antecedents who laid the foundations of the Lancashire Walking club. Long may we continue.
Dave Evans, Chairman, Lancashire Walking Club, November 2022
President’s Report 2021/22
In the last 12 months, the Lancashire Walking Club has continued to pursue an activity which is now in its 115th year. As Club President I have been very pleased to share the camaraderie and enthusiasm with my fellow walkers and long may it continue.
We are steeped in tradition and still celebrate the achievements of former club members as far back as 1924 when Reg Goodwin took a silver medal in the walk at the 1924 Olympic Games. Most of our club trophies are named after individuals who brought credit to the club and rightly so.
This last season, 2021/22, saw us returning to something like our old timetable at venues in Simister, Bury, Chorley and Macclesfield, all of which have been supported by our regular nucleus in good numbers.
In previous years one notable highlight would have been the British Masters’ championships at Horwich where we collected almost as many medals as we had participants. However, these championships were sadly cancelled when the host town was unable to provide the usual facilities.
Aside from this event, we had no major championships on the calendar, however, hopes were high that we might be fielding a number of individuals in the 2022 Centurions 100-mile race at Middlesbrough.
In August, four of our club members toed the starting line for the country’s longest race-walking challenge in the hope that we could add more names to the Lancashire Walking Club roll of honour, numbering 40 at that point.
Twenty-four hours after the start the Centurions were delighted to receive Adrian Edwards into the Brotherhood after his highly traumatic journey around the 166 circuits of the Middlesbrough cycle track. His journey has already been described on our club website but suffice to say his success was hard-earned and richly deserved.
Martin Payne, already a Centurion, completed the sojourn around the open enclave, failing narrowly to double his tally for the event, as he too suffered trauma on route but regained his composure in the last two hours.
Sailash Shah was walking very well in the first 6 hours but 40-mile-an-hour winds and torrential rain closed in as it was going dark and he was unable to sustain the pace required to make the 100-mile cut-off. He lives to fight another day and he will.
Martin Fisher, our second claim member, succumbed to an underlying health problem and was to step off the circuit at halfway. With 28 previous 100’s to his name, he has nothing to prove.
Former club member, Hazel Fairhurst, completed her second Centurions event with a tremendous display of disciplined walking knocking around an hour off her personal best.
As President, I have been privileged to see the Club continuing to promote its events and aspiring to keep the Club’s name in the headlines. While we owe a vote of thanks to our committee members and helpers on this side of the European continent, may I give a very big thank you to Tony Taylor, our website controller, for his magnificent contribution to the life of the Club. One of these days he may make it over from Crete so we can thank him personally.
Joe Hardy, President, Lancashire Walking Club, 2021/22