Atmospheric Upper Torsos in the Bill Jackson Trophy race!

Grateful thanks to Greg Smith for a string of excellent photos taken at the entrance into and exit from Heaton Park during the Bill Jackson and AGM 5k race.

By way of an atmospheric change find below some of the upper torso images he captured.

Sailash speechless, a rare event!
A grimacing Joe Hardy
Pat Evans prepared for the worst
Ian Hilditch, less than his cheery self
Roy Gunnett in fetching turquoise gloves
Tony Bell oblivious to the elements
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It’s a real shame this is the day after our Xmas Handicap, but it’s well worth getting up for! Beautiful village, excellent course and a warm welcome assured.

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Bill Jackson Trophy goes to new President, Tony Taylor

Roy Gunnett writes:

As per usual the Bill Jackson Trophy 5k race at Simister on November 2nd was a yacht handicap. Ten walkers took part on the out and back course to Heaton Park.

Tony Taylor ahead of Tony Bell

Excellent handicapping by Dave Evans ensured there was some close racing in the final kilometre. Tony Taylor put in a superb performance to win the scratch race and the Bill Jackson handicap. The weather was mild with light rain.

Roy Gunnett

Following the race the 112th Lancashire Walking Club AGM was held. This was the first since the loss of our dearly missed President and Chairman, Fred Pearce. Dave Evans did a great job in chairing the meeting. Greg Smith took the minutes, which will be circulated so I will not duplicate the information here. One particular point of note is that all members were delighted that Tony Taylor accepted the position of our new club President.

Andrea Lennon on her way home


The table below indicates in order – Name, age group, actual time, handicap position, handicap points and age graded performance. All competitors were LWC members.

Tony TaylorM7025:51:0012599.37%
Tony BellM5531:46:0081867.99%
Phil McCullaghM6033:22:0022468.26%
Joe HardyM7533:38:0032380.60%
Sailash ShahM50 33:57:00101962.50%
Pat EvansW6534:35:0052167.02%
John CrahanM7034:41:0071972.22%
Roy GunnettM7035:20:0091772.70%
Ian HilditchM7535:34:0062078.46%
Andrea LennonW7544:13:0042279.90%

In addition here are Dave Evans’ welcome thoughts.

John Crahan chased by Sailash Shah

This race is the only yacht handicap on the Lancashire WC programme and presents all competitors with a different challenge.  From the word “Go” every walker understands that his/her final handicap position is based on the order in which you cross the finishing line. Andrea Lennon was the hare and on a drizzly day she walked remarkably well having now recovered from the fall she had some weeks ago. Starting positions on the grid reflected current form or more likely the times walked in the Fred Pearce relays in July when competitors tackled the same 5k distance. Having seen the final walker, Tony Taylor, on his way some 14 minutes or so after Andrea, the officials retired to the warmth of the school headquarters. Emerging 20 minutes or so later informal bets were taken on who would appear at the head of the field. Nobody guessed the leading walker so when Tony Taylor came into view it was quite clear that this was his day. He raced right through to the finishing line and was rewarded with a very impressive 25 minutes 51 aided by the line of lesser mortals on route ! The main group of aspirants came into view a full minute later with last minute improvements etched on their faces. Phil McCullagh produced a swift second half and as a consequence was rewarded with runner up position. The next block of heel toers closed on the finishing line at speed with Joe Hardy a good third just ahead of Andrea  Lennon and Pat Evans. 

Ian Hilditch looking too cheery?!

Thanks to Ian Vaughan, who as well as marshalling at the turn, took the photos.

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On your marks for the new season’s races


Feb 8 Sam Shoebottom 10K at  Simister

Mar 7 Alison Trophy 15K at Chorley

April 11 Macclesfield Shield 10 miles at  Sutton

May 9 Dave Crompton Memorial 7 miles at Chorley

June 8 Dick and Zena Smith 10K/5K at Bury

The start of the British Masters 5k 2019

June 21 British Masters 5k at Horwich

July 4 Barnard Trophy 10k  at Sutton 

Hoping for better conditions at the Fred Pearce Relay in 2020

July 25 Fred Pearce Relay [3x 5k] at Simister 

Aug 8/9 Centurions 100 miles at Colchester

Aug 15 Goodwin Cup 10k at  Chorley

Preparing for the start of the Joe Lambert One Hour race 2019

Sept 5 Lambert Trophy 1 hour at Bury

Oct 3 Albert Rigby Trophy 10k at Sutton

Nov 7 AGM 5K at Simister

Dec 5 Dick Maxwell and Xmas Handicap 10k at Simister

All events except the British Masters race are governed by  ‘B’ rules and start at 1. 30 p.m . on a Saturday

The British Masters 5k  under ‘A’ rules starts at 11.00 a.m. on a Sunday.

Click on CLUB VENUES at the top of page for details and directions


Dec 8 ( Sunday) 10k at Kirkby Fleetham, starting 11.00 a.m. to be followed by discussion. including the NARWA AGM

Jan 26 (Sunday) Yorkshire RWC 10k, starting 11.00 a.m. at Dridlington

Feb 23 (Sunday) Proposed event at Alnwick, Northumberland – more details to follow.

March 21 Race Walking Association Inter-Area Match at Sheffield – more details to follow.

March 29 (Sunday) Ken Munro 10 miles + 3k , starting at 11.00 a.m. at Dalton, North Yorks.

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Dave Evans reports on a year tinged with sadness

You will find below our Chairman’s moving and informative report on the year 2018 to 2019. As John Crahan noted at the AGM held last Saturday Dave Evans has been a tower of strength in holding things together since the tragic loss of Fred Pearce.


Before presenting my annual report of the life of the club in the last 12 months I need to honour the achievements of Fred Pearce, the longest serving member of the Lancashire walking club in its 112 year history. Despite suffering from increasingly poor health in his last 12 months he maintained his enthusiasm for the sport and was solely responsible for the continued existence of the club. Fred’s involvement with the sport goes back to his teenage years and he became a member of the Lancashire Walking club in the early 1950’s. He was a very stylish walker throughout his competitive years and even in recent times was able to display all of the skills of a proper exponent of race walking before one of our Bury track races. He will be greatly missed by the club especially as he was a steady hand, an excellent communicator and extremely hard worker in the name of the club. We now have to continue to manage the club as best we can and keep our national profile at a decent level. In praising Fred’s unrivalled expertise we must not forget that behind the scenes he was supported magnificently by Chris and her family and we hope the Pearce family will continue to visit us as often as they can.

Chris accepts graciously the request from Dave Evans that she steps into Fred’s shoes as our President.for the rest of 2019

I will start my annual report by confirming that our club has maintained its membership at around 35 comparing very favourably with most of the country’s prominent race walking clubs. Whilst we continue to promote our monthly races I would like to give special thanks to our regular guest walkers and officials, these being Glyn Jones, Eric Horwill, Stuart Edgar, Dan Maskell and Martin Fisher. Both Glyn and Eric either hold or have held high office in the RWA so their presence has kept us in touch with what is going on further afield. 

            The championship highlight of this year’s walking  programme was the BMAF event at HORWICH in June supported by the Lancashire Walking club in substantial numbers.  Adrian Edwards was the race co-ordinator and with the assistance of Eric Horwill the race was a great success. We had 4 individual gold medallists with Andrea Lennon securing the womens V75 title, Tony Malone the V65 , Joe Hardy the V75 and John Payn the V85 crown. Silver medals went to Tony Taylor(V70), Sailash Shah(V50), Phil McCullagh(V60) and Ian Hilditch(V75). Sole bronze medallist from the club was Greg Smith in the V65 category.  Tony Taylor was a member of the winning English national team and Tony Malone a silver medallist in the Irish team. Despite performing with distinction John Crahan, Roy Gunnett and Steve Sargent found themselves in the age group with the most competitors and finished 5th, 6th and 7th in the V70. Tony Taylor recorded an age graded performance of 90.7 % and Andrea an excellent 80%. 

                              In the last 12 months we have had 12 club races with fields ranging from 5 through to 20, the latter being Fred’s relay event.  Overall we have maintained a decent turnout at races although very slightly less than in 2018. We have had 144 walkers in total at our races with guests accounting for a quarter of the field. Whilst the numbers are slightly less than in 2017/18 I must point out that 2 or 3 club members officiated at the events but did not walk.  Our guests have continued to support us and we owe them a debt of gratitude given they have travelled from the Midlands, Yorkshire and the South to be with us. Dan Maskell, Glyn Jones, Eric Horwill, Stuart Edgar and Martin Fisher have kept us on our toes, sorry heels, and we hope they will continue to walk and/or officiate at our fixtures. Although not all are Lancs WC club members they are considered very much part of our infrastructure. 

                               While we turn up each month to contest another club race I think I should use this opportunity to thank a number of people for their part in the life of the organisation.  Roy Gunnett has taken over full responsibility for our fixtures and the finances. All of our events have to be given a racing permit and this requires Roy to obtain authorisation and where necessary a risk assessment. He does all of this quietly and has ensured that the club meets all of its financial responsibilities. Registering club members is a large part of the job and Roy has done this efficiently. The finances are in safe hands.  Tony Taylor is always with us in spirit developing our club website from Crete and very fortunately for us in person when he can get a suitable flight back to the UK. The site has gone from a fairly mundane display to a gradually evolving collection of interesting articles, statistics, photos and comments on the walking fraternity and related issues. We appreciate the work which has gone into its development and hope people will have a look at it regularly and if required send articles to Tony for publication.  Greg Smith is the quiet man of the club going about his business without prompt and although still very capable of racing will always marshal if we’re short. He is a steadying influence and I hope he manages to get back into racing on a regular basis to stir the competition. As AGM secretary he does quite a bit behind the scenes and his expertise is greatly appreciated. Our races are spread between 4 venues, most of which we have used for many years, thanks to the goodwill of our hosts. Eric Crompton and Louise have continued to allow us to operate from St Peter’s club at Chorley, Marshall Barnard and Kath have entertained us at the Ex Serviceman’s club at Macclesfield, both venues at no charge with provided refreshment for free.  Emma, one of the “trustees” of today’s location, has always looked after us and just recently when we had to transfer our race from Macclesfield, made sure we could use her school. She even makes a financial adjustment if we can’t use all of the normally available facilities. Even the full cost of this is minimal. Pat, our resident caterer, has done a great job providing refreshments at Simister, and I would like to thank her for looking after everyone including our vegetarians.  Our final venue in the round is the Bury Athletic club track where Roger, a retired” athlete always makes us welcome and provides very good changing rooms with showers and plenty of room to do post race activities.  

Tony Malone powers away in the Fred Pearce Relay

                                                        Having found his Irish roots a few years ago Tony Malone is now able to walk in their national championships and in the Masters event he walked a solid 29 mins 53 for 5th place. 

                                                        In   the Centurions 100 mile, an event we have hosted in the past , our two aspirants were Adrian Edwards and Sailash Shah. The Isle of Man, was this year’s venue, and both of our colleagues were ready to do battle. In the first 12 hours both Adrian and Sailash were on target but in the next hour or so the wheels started to come off.  Adrian had done all of the right sort of training but a large blister on his heel gradually brought him to a stop having walked 59 miles in 13 hours 9 minutes of walking . Sailash was walking particularly well as he entered his 50th mile but not too long afterwards he experienced increasing problems with his system which meant his body not holding onto its fluid content. He gradually started to dehydrate and eventually was taken to hospital and was lucky not to have suffered any permanent damage.He still managed a very reputable 53 miles in 14 hours 8 minutes.   Looks like it might be 2020 for our next attack on the Centurions event which I think could be in Colchester. Hopefully we can get some supporters down there to second both challengers and any other club walkers who want to have a go at this iconic challenge. 

                                                             Prior to the 100 Sailash competed in the NARWA 10k championships where he finished third.  Generally we do not manage to field any really numbers in the championships which by and large are category A events. 

Chris Bolton

Chris Bolton, one of our oldest members completed yet another Nijmegen walk, this one being his 18th. Chris first started doing these marches in 1958. 

It has come to my notice recently  that Maurice Ireland, one of our oldest members has recently been in hospital following a stroke and I know you will all join me in wishing him well. Tony Taylor put a nice article on the club website highlighting Maurice’s ability to lead most races regardless of standard so in common with his usual race practice we wish him a speedy recovery. 

                                                 Amongst a number of interesting facts which arise during bits of research conducted by me and my ever vigilant colleagues are the following:-

  1. The running shoes worn by Roger Bannister when he broke the world mile record in 1954 were designed by Eustace Thomas, a member of the Lancashire Walking club.
  2. The Lancashire walking club was founded in 1907 under the direction of Mr W Coles of the Manchester Athletic club who wanted to inaugurate a club which would have as its objective the promotion of walking as an exercise and sport in Lancashire.  The title of Lancashire Walking club was decided upon and a Mr A Edwards was elected our first honorary secretary. The meetings were held in late November 1907 at the Sherwood Hotel in Fallowfield. 40 walkers had expressed an interest in joining the club from Liverpool, Bolton, Chorley, Stockport, Altrincham, Sale and Manchester. The annual subscription was set at 5 shillings.  Within 1 month a group of walkers were already planning a stroll from Manchester to Blackpool a precursor of the famous race over that course and by complete coincidence another name appears, mirrored in the present day. A Mr Crompton no less who with Mr Edwards and a third party completed the stroll with I read, meals on route at the 16 mile point, then Preston and finally Lytham.  6 months later the club arranged a Whit tour of London which in itself is not too exceptional but when you do it on foot from Manchester the exercise is a different challenge. They covered 190 miles stopping at Congleton, Rugeley, Coventry, Towcester and St Albans. They finished at Marble Arch and by all accounts were guided from St Albans to London by a cluster of London walkers and on finishing were entertained with a substantial dinner at a London hotel. 

Dave Evans, Chair of Lancashire Walking Club

Race result, photos and more information to follow.

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Greg Smith, our AGM Secretary writes:

Dear Lancashire Walking Club members and friends,

The Annual General Meeting of Lancashire Walking Club will be held on Saturday 2nd November 2019 at Lady Wilton Hall, Simister. As is our custom, it will be preceded by a 5kms race walk, starting at 1.30pm.

Dave Evans attempts to bring order to the proceedings at Bury as he will have to do at the AGM!

Attached please find:

  1. A letter of invitation from the Chairman
  2. The agenda for the 2019 AGM
  3. The minutes of the 2018 AGM.

I do hope you will be able to participate and I look forward to seeing you on Saturday 2nd.

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Maurice Ireland – Best wishes for a speedy recovery

It is with much concern we report that Maurice Ireland, a club stalwart and member since 1960, a former Chairman and President, not to mention the organiser of many a splendid Annual Dinner, was struck by an unexpected stroke last Saturday. At the time of writing he is still in hospital and recovering slowly. In his prime Maurice was well-known for his audaciously fast starts to races. In truth, being a senior manager in the Post Office, he never had the time to fulfil his undoubted potential.

Maurice winning 1978 NW GPO Champs 15k in 74:12

Supported by his dear friend, Chris Bolton we wish Maurice the speediest of recoveries and look forward to seeing him out and about in the near future. Maurice, what about racing the Masters 5k at Horwich, June 2020?

See Maurice’s lovely contribution to our historical musings back in 2016 ‘Joining the daft beggars’.

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