The Fred Pearce Relay, July 24 – a memorable day

Our Fred, enormously missed and never forgotten
Christine and Charlotte looking radiant

Dave Evans reports:

A terrific turnout of 6 teams of 3 made this year’s race particularly memorable and very grateful thanks must be extended to Fred’s family In the guise of Christine and Charlotte who provided a sumptuous buffet and prizes for the first 3 teams. A minute’s silence was observed in Fred’s memory and thoughts were directed towards his contribution to club activities for nearly 60 years.

The race itself is a bit of a lottery as the handicapper endeavours to balance out the strengths and weaknesses of each squad but there are always individuals who excel in this sort of competition but this makes things more interesting. No money ever changes hands despite the rumours !

Dave strides in from the left to bring order to the proceedings!

A team’s composite handicap decides their starting time with just less than 3 minutes covering all 6 . Once onto the second leg the likely contenders emerge so anchor folk are usually a bit more animated before the final leg. On this occasion Sheffield “resident” Tony Bell walked impressively and brought his team into second place just less than a minute behind former UK 50k champion Adrian Edwards. As leg two unfurled the positions changed with a third squad moving into first position with a lead of 90 seconds. The big hitters were still to play their hands and former international Tony Malone threw in a fastish 5k to bring his team home by 50 seconds. Martin Fisher, better known for his feats as a centurion, walked with his usual precision posting a speedy 29 mins 50 anchoring his colleagues to second place. The third place was a nail biter with Stuart Edgar holding off Phil McCullagh and reaching the finish 24 seconds better.

Joe Hardy and Phil Carroll – old adversaries

The full results are as follows:-

Team 5. Adrian Edwards 29 24, Andrea Lennon 40 50, Tony Malone 30 27
Team 2. Tony Bell 30 48, Phil Carroll 41 28, Martin Fisher 29 50
Team 4. Roy Gunnett 35 04, Dan Maskell 34 01, Stuart Edgar 33 28
Team 1. Ian Hilditch 33 44, Joe Hardy 35 14, Phil McCullagh 35 29
Team 3. Sailash Shah 35 03, Steven Wilde 36 01, Stephen Walker 32 01
Team 6. Pat Evans 34 12, John Crahan 36 24, Martin Payne 37 12.

None of our events could be undertaken without the support of our officials and marshals and very grateful thanks must be extended to Eric Horwill (timekeeping), Pam Horwill(Recording), Glyn Jones, Eric Crompton, Greg Smith and Louise for marshalling the course.

Eric and Pam Horwill compare notes

The weather stayed fine and Fred’s old adage of fielding 20 walkers was achieved even if two of them were involved in the organising.

Dave Evans, handicapper extraordinaire. Much appreciated.

As well as handicapping the teams the individuals themselves were handicapped and the final compilation shows the final net handicap position as follows:-

Tony Bell 26 48
Ian Hilditch 27 44
Martin Fisher 27 50
Andrea Lennon 28 05
Adrian Edwards 28 24
Pat Evans 28 27
Dan Maskell 2901
Roy Gunnett 29:04
Stuart Edgar 29 08
Stephen Wilde 29 16
Tony Malone 29 27
Joe Hardy 29 29
Sailash Shah 29 33
Phil McCullagh 29 49
Phil Carroll 30 28
John Crahan 30 39
Steve Walker 32 01
Martin Payne 34 12

We pride ourselves in drawing support from outside our region and Dan Maskell(Brighton), Martin Fisher and Phil Carroll(Bradford area), Stephen Walker(Wales), Stuart Edgar, Glyn Jones, Eric Horwill and Pam Horwill,continue to make our enterprises successful. A big thank you to all of them.

Tony Taylor adds:

Readers with an eagle eye will have wondered why Martin Payne was one of the slowesr competitors. He was looking good for close to thirty minutes. Those in attendance will know that, in Martin’s own words, he had something of an escapade, falling, breaking a wrist and gashing his forehead badly. Fortunately Adrian Edwards was at hand, assisting him to the finish before administering expert first aid. In the aftermath Martin would like to have recorded his sincere thanks to everyone, including the Pearce family, who made sure he was comfortable in advance of him being whisked off into the diligent hands of the NHS. His arm is now in plaster and his good looks are intact. As things stand he will await the’all clear’ before returning to competition. He has all our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

I must add that Dave omitted reference to Martin’s escapade in his original report as he hadn’t spoken to Martin about furnishing the detail of his adventurous afternoon. All is now revealed.

Thanks to Martin and Judith Fisher for the photos. There are more from other sources in the offing. If these appear I’ll do a new Fred Pearce Photos Special!



On the back of your 5 kilometres on Saturday you are well placed to post a fast 3km time trial this week. Clockings to be with Tony by midnight, Sunday, August 1st.

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The Fred Pearce Relay, July 24 – Advance notice of attendance much appreciated

A lovely photo of Fred Pearce Senior seen here with Jack Tempest on the left, Alf Scorer on the right and a local dignitary in between

Thankfully the Fred Pearce Memorial Relay is to go ahead on Saturday, July 24 at Simister, 1.30 start. All the facilities of the Lady Wilton Hall will be available. We’re pleased and grateful to report that Christine Pearce will be providing the refreshments.

In this context [ how many butties should Chris make?!] and with Dave Evans having to sort out the relay teams it would be enormously helpful if you would let Dave or me know if you are attending and in what capacity.

The Relay is a centre piece in our calendar and is a touching reminder of all that we owe to Fred Snr and Fred Jnr, together with the Pearce family as a whole.

I’m gutted not be with you on Saturday as you know how much the very name Pearce means to me. Flights were booked. I must confess that the government’s refusal to recognise my European Union digital certificate of vaccination irks, especially as I’m less than keen on increasing State surveillance of all our lives. As things stand I must go into 10 days quarantine on my return to England’s green and pleasant lands even though I’ve been innoculated twice with exactly the same experimental drug as used in the UK. This is carrying anti-European, chauvinistic sentiment to a silly end. I can but hope that a measure of good sense will prevail in the next few weeks. Flights are booked now for September!

Less of my whingeing. Here’s to a sunny day, fierce competition and a plethora of personal bests in memory of father and son.

James and Bronte hoping for better weather this year!!
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On Ron Wallwork’s 80th: A Personal Reminiscence

Weeks later than promised here is my personal contribution to celebrating Ron’s 80th.

Ron, Joan and family out for a walk on his 80th birthday

My first memory of Ron sees him striding stylishly towards me, already in the lead as the 1959 Northern Junior 10 miles championship unfolds. For my part, I was positioned a few yards up a railway bridge in the village of Bickershaw, thirteen years later the infamous site of a mud-spattered pop festival. The course comprised an initial out and back section, to which I had been assigned, followed by three undulating laps of just under 3 miles. Back in the red-brick Hindley Green Labour Club, where the competitors changed in the committee room and milky tea poured out of large green metal kettles was the obligatory post-race refreshment, I was too shy a twelve-year-old to say anything. However, I could sense a buzz of excitement from the gathered besuited Lancashire Walking Club officials. Had the club unearthed someone, who might begin to challenge the dominance of Sheffield United Harriers with its array of stars, such as Roland Hardy and Lol Allen? Indeed in retrospect it certainly had.

Ron leads Jack Sankey and Mike Jeffries in a 1958 club race at Leyland
One of my appearances in a club race at Leigh , circa 1962. From left to right – Dick Smith, Joe Lambert, Mike Hatton, Graham Abley, Frank O”Neill, Fred Pearce Jnr, Fred Pearce Snr, John Grocott, Ron [the tallest at the back], Ivor Percival, a youthful me John Todd and Dick Rattigan. Tucked away on the pavement berween Dick and Joe is the diminutive figure of Zena Smith. Has anyone got a good photo of her? She was an ever present stalwart.

Over the next few years, given the absence of opportunities for youths and juniors in the North-West  I was allowed to race in club events now and again. During this period Ron was living up to the old guard’s expectations, winning Northern titles and establishing himself, in the words of Race Walking Record, ‘as a walker with a very bright future’.  Indeed, my next memory of Ron conjures up his image in pursuit of the majestic Ken Matthews in the 1963 National 10 miles championship held in Manchester at the rain-drenched Belle Vue Zoological Gardens.  He was to finish fifth behind Ken, Paul Nihill, John Edgington and Vaughan Thomas. The sight of these stars in full flight had a great impact on me. Later that year in October Ron was a member of the GB team that defended successfully its grip on the Lugano Trophy, the World Cup of Race Walking. He finished a magnificent 5th in the 50 kilometres. Could I ever hope somehow to follow in his footsteps?

A key moment in my relationship with Ron came in 1967, courtesy of the Northern Senior 10 miles championship held on the hilly roads of the picturesque village of Holloway in Derbyshire, home of the enthusiastic Northern President, Joe Twells. Travelling down from Newcastle where I was studying, playing football and beginning to train a little more consistently I found myself making history in the company of Ron, Julian Hopkins and John Todd. Below the banner ‘Wallwork puts an end to Sheffield Run’ Peter Keeling, a 4-minute miler himself and a good friend of our sport, explained in the Manchester Guardian.

Since the race was started in 1947 Sheffield United Harriers have always won the Northern 10 Miles road walking championships but on Saturday their run – the longest monopoly of any event in the British sporting calendar – was ended by the Lancashire Walking Club.

Sheffield without International Mal Tolley defended their record bitterly, even to the extent of bringing back veteran Olympic walkers Lol Allen and Paddy Proctor. But Lancashire led by Empire Games gold medalist Ron Wallwork just had the edge by a four-point margin, despite spirited packing by their Yorkshire rival.

Wallwork’s impressive individual victory, his fifth successive win in the event, left him seven hundred yards ahead of Wakefield’s Guy Goodair and George Barras.

A classic image of Sheffield’s post-war dominance – all those hooped shirts! Lol Allen is taking the lead on the inside. Other notables are John Dowling [32], Norman Hopkinson [41] and Mick Greasley [28]. John Todd to Mick’s right is the first Lancs competitor.

In the pub afterwards, sharing a shandy with Ron [nothing ever stronger as I remember], I felt the flowering of a friendship. Although he was a gold medalist and on his way to winning both the national 10 miles and 20 km championships that year he was without ego, possessed of an engaging smile and a wry sense of humour. In particular, he was an attentive listener, a quality to be treasured and, in my experience, rarer than a truthful answer from Boris Johnson.

Ron triumphs in the 1967 National 10

In hindsight 1968 was a frustrating year for Ron himself as he missed out on making the Olympic team. Yet in a contradictory way, this setback was to be the stimulus for both his own spectacular comeback in the next few years and the rise to consistent national prominence of the Lancashire Walking Club itself. Such was the enthusiasm Ron generated that I moved with my first wife, Hilary into a one-up, one-down cottage complete with a lavatory across the cobbled street, that led to the Eagley Mills in Bolton – a couple of miles from Ron’s and twelve from the school where I taught. The priorities were plain – training first, teaching second, toilet facilities a constipating third! To illustrate what you might well see as my skewed priorities, I arose in the said cottage on the Sunday after my wedding the previous day to participate in a training event, organised at Leverhulme Park by Ron. Such was my romantic honeymoon.

School Street, Eagley Mills where a strong bladder was required!

Over the next few years, Ron burst back onto the national and international scene. I can but mention a few of the things we did together that both played a part in his revival and illustrate his commitment and desire to do the best for the club and the sport.

In a gesture to the Mexico Olympics, we formed in October 1968 the ‘Groupo Uno’. Apart from Ron and I, regulars were Steve Crow, second to the mercurial Olly Cavigioli in the National Youth 3 miles of that year, Mick Entwistle, team player extraordinaire, Dave Vickers, a converted steeplechaser, who in a meteoric rise to prominence had just won the classic Dick Hudson’s race and, last but not least, Julian Hopkins, who was to become an innovative and controversial National coach. Amongst our sessions was the Wayo Assault Course, named after the beautiful reservoir where the masochism took place in the early hours of Sunday mornings. Always it seemed in the pouring rain. The exercise consisted of a combination of strolling and running around the reservoir itself,  all of which was a prelude to a series of exercises undertaken on a steep slope above the tranquil waters below. Passing ramblers were perplexed to see us hopping on two legs, on one leg, forwards and backwards, up and down dale. Years later you could still see the down-trodden area we had ploughed up with our gymnastic antics.

Wayo on an unusually sunny day!

Winter evenings saw us introducing on Mondays and Fridays a programme of demanding circuit training. along with an increased emphasis on mobility exercises. We tried to convince one another that racing was bound to be easier than this twenty minutes of hell.  Thanks to Ron’s relationship with the caretaker of his old secondary school we used unofficially its gym and its equipment. carefully putting everything back in place before locking up after ourselves. Such an informal and trusting agreement would be utterly impossible nowadays.

A fast session every week was essential, usually midweek from Ron’s house or at the weekend from the Leverhulme Park track, home of the Bolton United Harriers and the likes of Ron Hill, Mike Freary and Steve Kenyon. Most of these efforts were not timed. Neither were the courses measured. Everything was down to how we felt. How far is such an intuitive approach from the exhaustive data-driven regimes of today? This said,  our resident physicist Julian Hopkins was beginning to drag us from the subjective to the objective, drawing on his meticulous scientific mind. As it was, ignoring Julian’s insights, every month our unashamed ‘blast’ preceded a nourishing meal prepared by Joan, which set us up for the dash to the splendour of the Midland Hotel, West Didsbury for the always well-attended club committee meetings. 

The Midland Hotel, West Didsbury with the LWC club crest on the wall

Together with Chris Bolton and Fred Pearce, Ron was instrumental in producing CONTACT, the club’s monthly newsletter, which was an essential ingredient in nourishing our camaraderie and respect for each other. One way or another every member of the club was afforded a well-earned mention in its pages.

To give you an idea of the dedication demanded by Ron we went on holiday together in early July 1969 to Criccieth, a beautiful resort in North Wales.  Our relaxing break went as follows.

Saturday – arrived after an eventful journey in Ron’s ageing car. Settled in and at 9.00 pm 7k run, partly on the beach.

Sunday – 8.15 am 15k steady walking; 2.00 pm 2k running on sand dunes; 9.00 pm 7k run

Monday – 7.10 am 40k comprising stroll from Criccieth to Snowdon followed by ascent and descent of the mountain via the Watkin and Pyg tracks. Ignored the effort of a Countryside Warden to dissuade us from proceeding on account of our scanty attire.  Met by Joan, two years old, Linda, born on the eve of Ron’s 1967 National Ten victory and my first wife Hilary in the support vehicle.

Tuesday – 8.30 am 12k fastish walking; 5.45 pm 12k run on a mix of road and sand.

Wednesday -7.45 am 15k steady walking; 6.00 pm 8k run through fields. Heated conversation with nettles!

Thursday – 9.00 am 12.5k run; 7.40 pm 12.5k fast walking reverse direction.

Friday – 8.50 am 12.5k easy walking; 8.00 pm 8.5k run roads and tracks

Saturday – 8.00 am 10k run, Black Rock Sands. Travelled home – a little tired.

Total: 173k – Enough said. What Joan, Hilary and Linda thought about this week’s frolics and fun is another matter!?

Responding to Dave Ainsworth’s lovely tribute to him in the Essex Walker, Ron recalled what he thought of as one of his greatest weekends, May 30/31, 1971.

On the 30th, I drove from Bolton to Saffron Lane, Leicester for the CAU 10km championships finishing second in 43.57 to the great Phil Embleton, 42.24, then drove home. On the following day I drove from Bolton to Bradford for a 9.30 start and after a torrid battle with John Warhurst won in 4.29.20, one of the few sub 4.30 performances at that time. John clocked 4.30.03. Oh, and then I drove home again and turned in for work at 07.30 the following day.

Ron and Jake Warhurst shoulder to shoulder

Yet Ron’s Inter-Counties 10km and  Bradford 50km double tells only part of the tale, within which I played a supporting role. On the Bank Holiday Monday as he was battling with John I was his Lancashire County substitute in a lively CAU 3 km, finishing a distant fourth behind Bob Hughes, Geoff Toone and Wilf Wesch. The fancied favourite Phil Embleton was disqualified by none other than Bob’s dad, Alf! The decision was accepted with good grace.  However, the week was far from over. In Blackpool the following weekend for the Lancashire 3km and Northern 10km championships, Ron was victorious in both events with me chasing forlornly as usual, followed by the evergreen Joe Barraclough in the shorter and  Sheffield’s John Warhurst in the longer distance. Not a bad eight day’s racing for Ron!! Certainly, he was in great shape that summer as confirmed by his 2 hours UK record in late July. With hindsight, it is tempting to suggest that in 1971 Ron would have been better served by focusing on the 20 rather than 50 kilometres, being selected for the European Games in the latter, where he was forced to retire. Personally, I’m sure that in the right race he would have gone under 90 minutes for 20 kilometres.

As can be seen from above my very best memories of Ron might well be found in the many miles we did together in training. Although I must confess to being envious, even jealous of the fact that Ron never seemed injured. Or perhaps he never complained when he was. As for myself, I was more than prone to whingeing ad nauseam about my painful right groin and hamstring! In passing let me mention that Ron never ventured out to train on Guy Fawkes Day. In those days every street seemed to host a bonfire. Over in the world of serious competition, he always found another gear, leaving me trailing in his wake. I remember with joy finishing 6th [74:07] in the 1970 National 10 at Kirkby, close behind Phil Embleton, as Ron was pipped by Wilf Wesch for the title. Mistakenly I felt I was on my way to greater things, inspired by Ron. It was not to be. I never really lived up to that promise.

The 1970 Metropolitan 20 kilometres. As ever I’m following Ron with Wilf Wesch [124] to our left

Nevertheless, in 1971 I was chuffed to be with him in the 20 kilometres winning team, the club’s very first national title; made up to be on the same sodden Blackburn track when he broke Ken Matthews’ 2 hour track record; and proud to be selected alongside him to represent GB in the match against West Germany – a first for the club, having two members in the same international team. As for our personal rivalry it’s revealing to note Colin Young’s reaction in the Athletics Weekly to my defence iin 1974 of the Lancashire 15 kilometres title. Somewhat shocked Colin penned a headline, startling in its simplicity, ‘Tony Taylor beats Ron Wallwork’, omitting sensitively the caveat ‘at last’! The spectators at the race itself in Stockport were equally stunned.

The eagle-eyed will notice that both of us raced in the colours of Blackburn Harriers. There is a tale that needs telling as to how this came about.

1974 was to prove a pivotal and contrary year for both Ron and me. At least I think so. On paper 1974 was my best year in the sport, ranked 6th at 20 kilometres, selected for my second GB vest. Yet something was not quite right. My discovery of Marxism and political activism clashed increasingly with my athletic pretensions. In the ensuing years, I was to spend more time on the picket line than the starting line. As for Ron, performances on the road were disappointing by his high standards and a new career with fresh challenges beckoned.

On the picket line in 1979. Bearded as befits a would-be revolutionary!

By a twist of fate, the way forward for both of us was to be provided by youth work, the oft-misunderstood world of relationships and conversations with young people outside of schools and further education. Out of the blue, or so it seemed, Ron had been offered the post of full-time trainee youth worker with the Lancashire County Council. Within weeks I was doing part-time evenings, sweating profusely in the gym of the Briarcroft Youth Centre for which he was responsible. To cut the story short, Ron moved to Leicester in pursuit of his full-time qualification, whilst I leapt from teaching into youth work with the newly created Metropolitan Borough of Wigan. For an insight into Ron’s philosophy as a youth worker and human being see this link – his humanity shines through.

Ron was that rare character, who worked with young people and the community on the same patch throughout his professional career. Huge respect.

Our paths were not to cross for many a year, catching up with one another made even more difficult by my emigration to Crete. As is well-known Ron has continued to make a remarkable contribution to race walking in general – even now the leading light in the success of the Enfield Walking League. For my part, I am grateful and privileged to have been his friend and training partner those decades ago. And, I know it seems a tired cliche but when we have met up in recent years, notably when we celebrated the anniversary of his UK record, in my mind I can still see us going hell for leather up Crompton Way, ‘eyeballs out’ on a bitterly cold Bolton evening back in 1969. It’s as if it was only yesterday. Thanks for the treasured memories, Ron and enormous respect. for all you have achieved.

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There’s been a good response to our June 3 kilometres time trial. Hence it looks as if the notion is proving useful and motivating. Thanks are due too for the accompanying messages, which add spice and interest in maintaining our contact with one another.

Another blast from the past shows from the right, Ken Matthews, Stan Vickers and Eric Hall in either the 1959 or 1960 National 10 miles. In both races they finished in that order.. Ken clocked 70:57 in 1960 when Ron Wallwork raced his first National 10 finishing 20th,

Ian Hilditch – Tony, the temperature this morning was only 21 degrees so only half of what you have been experiencing.

Marco Bernatzki – under hot and sweltering conditions. Greetings from Germany.

Greg Smith – Walked on a 760 metres circuit on an industrial estate that used to be knownas the Bury ground. It was done on a warm summer’s day on one of the few bits of flat land in these parts. Please note my time of 18:34 (an improvement on last month). Am now recovering from hernia surgery. Hope to get along to the Fred Pearce relays on 24th July to watch/marshall/photograph.

Martin Payne – Tony, you talked me into it! [Martin had indicated he might not do a 3k as he was focusing on longer distances. I begged him to think again.]

Glyn Jones – After my disappointing performance at the Bury track 10km, things went a bit downhill during the earlier and mid part of June. Whether it was the heat at Bury or some other cause I am not sure, but I came down with a very heavy head cold, a cough and a runny nose and  wobbly on the legs. All in all it felt like flu, but of course I regularly have the flu injection and also I have had both vaccinations. Anyway I just felt like a damp squib and on the advice of my daughter went to the local Covid test centre and which I am pleased to say came back ‘negative’ and the same for a lateral home test some days later which I needed as I was officiating at the British Championships in Manchester last weekend. (27th.June) My co-walks officials said I looked tired but I didn’t want to let the side down and make them short.

Consequently race walk training was non existence until this week when feeling much better and stronger I was putting my Addidas shoes back on and went out along the lanes to get back into the mode of training again. I have only been out twice, the second time today (Thursday) and did the June virtual 3km. My time was 20mins 35secs for 3km which in the circumstances I was happy with.It was late afternoon, quite sunny, warm with no breeze at all and no traffic whatsoever along the lanes.When I am back next week, will start to get some longer walks to get ready for the Fred Pearce Relays at Simister when I hope to be there.

John Crahan – Cavendish emulates Crahan. Bob Monkhouse once said “They laughed when I said I was going to be a comedian -they are not laughing now”.On a day when my coach had to race behind closed doors at her school sports I did a 3k in 20 mins 33 sec.I am really tired after training fairly hard but 3k has always been my best /least worse distance.My walk finished at the War Memorial -amongst the many names is the man I am humbled to be to named after. I hope that my change from Stella to Peroni aids my return to a less sloth like progression.

Tony Taylor – A real struggle, not just on account of the furnace-like heat. I was chatting to Greg a few months ago about continuing back and hip problems, saying it might be a good idea to have a few months just rambling around our country lanes. However I kept going, mainly because of the Virtual Series. I could cope with just 2 kilometres! As it stands the hip is really sore so a rest of sorts is on the cards. Hoping to be back for the Lambert Trophy.

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Barnard Trophy 10 Kilometres, Sutton – July 3

Martin Payne sets 10k personal best at Sutton

Dave Evans reports:

Good support today and the threat of inclement conditions did not materialise despite poor weather north and south of the race venue until an hour before the off.  Actual race number 3 of the 20/21 season brought together a well balanced field of 10 with quality walking and times throughout.  Adrian Edwards and Tony Malone were asked to give the rest of their colleagues a 4 minute start which gave everyone something to chase so all finished within a 6 minute window.  Competition usually brings the best out of performers and the physical presence of club colleagues gave an extra incentive. With this event under their belts I suspect all walkers will improve the times as we head towards the autumn.

Joe Hardy – a model of consistency

Leading home the aspirants at the end of the 10k was the tall figure of Adrian Edwards who rattled off laps in 20 26, 20 25 and 20 10 producing a final time of 61 mins 01. Tony Malone chased him home with a very solid 62 mins 11(21 04, 20 43,20 26). A much improved Martin Payne destroyed his old pb with an eye opening 63 mins 47(21 19, 21 09, 21 19). Stuart Edgar made a worthwhile journey from the Midlands posting an encouraging 67 mins 04(22 10, 22 23, 22 31). Dan Maskell made the long journey from Brighton and showed he is gradually getting back to his usual good standard and as always attracted compliments on his walking style. His 68 mins 51(22 36, 23 03, 23 12) is a good standard to start from. Ian Hilditch appears to have recovered from his 20 + day traverse of the Pennine way recording a swift 69 mins 31 reflecting his physical strength on a testing course. Roy Gunnett is another stylish walker and his 71 mins 16 was a solid performance with a good opening lap of 23 13 and follow up laps of 23 45 and 24 18. Joe Hardy is a model of consistency and laps 23 32, 23 58 and 23 51 show that his pace judgement is still intact. 71 mins 21 is proof of his ability to churn out solid times. Pat Evans walked well with laps in 23 33, 23 59 and 23 57 and a finishing time of 71 mins 29.  She has managed to hold her form from the Bury track race. Phil McCullagh employed his normal tactics of gradually increasing his pace and to prove this he recorded a first lap in 24 41, a second in 23 42 and a swift 23 18 for his final lap. A final time of 71 mins 41 made him the fourth walker with a 71 minute clocking.

Phil McCullagh getting back to racing

Six walkers sent apologies for their non appearance – Tony Taylor, John Crahan, Sailash Shah, Glyn Jones, Stephen Walker and Tony Bell which reflects their disappointment at not supporting our latest event.  Thanks to Eric Horwill for timekeeping and Irene Pike for course marshalling. We always appreciate the input from officials without whom we could not promote these events. At the close of proceedings walkers were reminded that our next event will be the Fred Pearce relays on July 24th at Simister and we would hope for big numbers. Thanks as always to Marshal Barnard and his wife Kath, our host at Macclesfield for their continuing support at this venue.

Race result
1. Adrian Edwards 61 01
2. Tony Malone 62 11
3. Martin Payne 63 47
4. Stuart Edgar 67 04
5. Dan Maskell 68 51
6. Ian Hilditch 69 31
7. Roy Gunnett 71 16
8.Joe Hardy 71 21
9. Pat Evans 71 29
10. Phil McCullagh 71 41

1. Martin Payne 53 47
2. Phil McCullagh 55 11
3. Joe Hardy 56 21
3. Dan Maskell 56 21
5. Ian Hilditch 56 31
6. Pat Evans 57 29
7. Stuart Edgar 58 04
8. Tony Malone 58 41
9. Roy Gunnett 59 16
10. Adrian Edwards 61 01

Thanks to Greg Smith for the photos taken during our previous race at Bury.

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Almost a return to normal at Sutton, July 3 -1.30 start

Forgive this brief reminder but it’s 42 degrees centigrade on Crete and my head keeps falling on to the keyboard. Scorchin’!

The Barnard Trophy is going ahead at Sutton on Saturday, July 3 with access to all the facilities of the club and refreshments provided. It’s still very helpful if you can let Dave or me know if you will be attending and in what capacity.

It looks as if it was hot in September 1933 at White City. Tommy Green being cooled down during his attack on the 8 hours record. Tommy Richardson just behind.

And to add that the deadline for your June 3 kilometres time trial clockings is midnight, Friday, July 2nd. Additional comments about your effort gratefully received.

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Green Light for Barnard Trophy at Sutton on July 3

All is looking good for the Barnard Trophy 10 kilometres at Sutton on Saturday, July 3rd – start as usual at 1.30 p.m. There is even the possibility that post-race refreshments will be provided. Normal service on the way to being resumed if the propaganda of fear abates.

Oh, for a return to the days of pre-race banter!

As before please let either Dave or me know that you are attending. Given it’s an out and back course there is less need for officials than at Bury. Hence little excuse not to race!


PS Date of the Fred Pearce Relay is Saturday, July 24. More details to follow.

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I’ll resist ranting about the undemocratic, unethical and utterly erratic policies of the present UK government. At least it looks as if we can continue with the opening up our fixture list. We will confirm the Barnard Trophy event in the next few days. Unfortunately it seems very likely that I won’t get back fot the Fred Pearce Relay as Greece remains on the amber list. This matters to me but is of little consequence in the grand scheme of things when the restriction means that on Crete people’s livelihoods are devastated for the second year in succession.









And to cheer us up here’s Jack Tempest, smiling as ever, approaching the finish of an unknown race


There was a heartening response in May to the Time Trial Proposal. Thus we will continue this month. Please send your clockings to Tony at by Friday midnight, July 2.

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Last month we decide to test out whether having a monthly time trial would be interesting, fun and an incentive to keep including in our differing training regimes a ‘fast’ session. Hence here are the clockings from May. For those involved last Saturday in Bury it’s interesting to compare these with times achieved in the Dick Smith 10 track kilometres.

The 3,000 metres distance replaced the classic 2 miles of yesteryear. In those days local galas would host athletics meeting including the 2 miles race walk. I couldn’t resist posting this 1950 photo of Leyland’s George Lamb in exemplary action on a grass track. My feeling is that the race is taking place around the perimeter of a cricket field – location unknown. George came close to winning the Blackpool in 1953 finishing 2nd in LWC colours to Vic Stone of the Polytechic Harriers.


Information about your 3k is most welcome – the type of course, how you were feeling and so on.

Glyn Jones

On Saturday (30th) in view of the arrival of summer sunshine and nice warm temperatures, I had planned to get out early and do the 3km along the lanes which I use.

However at 8am I was contacted by my daughter who only lives no more than 10minutes away and who is a Marketing Manager for West Midlands Safari Park that she was unexpectedly having to work from home until 12 noon regarding issues arising at the safari park.

Hence granddad Glyn was delegated for the early pram walk with granddaughter aged 14mths to the local park. There and back and twice round the park lake was about 3 and half miles I guess and so a bit of training mileage at pram walking speed!!!

Back home later and the garden needed some intense TLC after all the recent rain so an hour and half spent bending, kneeling removing numerous unwanted weeds.

Early evening feeling rather aching to say the least, I decided now or never the best time to go and do the 3km series. A gentle warm up of 1km before the start and then off. The lane was quiet, just 2 cars who gave me plenty of room. The evening was quite warm with clear sky and no wind.

The stiffness soon wore off and I finally managed to just get under the 21mins with a time of 20mins 54secs. Would have liked to get more closer to the 20mins but I guess the days activity bore some resemblance. On the other hand I was saving myself for Bury on Saturday (5th).!!!

Ian Hilditch

An early submission of my 3km time for May at 20m 17s. It’s earlier than normal because I’m off to start the Pennine Way walk tomorrow morning which will take me nearly 3 weeks. Will miss the Bury track walk in June which I always enjoy unfortunately.

Tony Bell

Greetings from Sheffield where it is pouring down. 

John Pouncy

Thank you so much for organizing these 3k virtuals — it is greatly appreciated and is a huge help to many.

Stephen Walker

Seeing as I appear to be getting better if you want to let people know about the recent cancer treatment then that’s okay. Hoping to be at the race in July.

[Steve had asked me to hold back on letting members know of his battle with cancer. I’m sure we are all chuffed to hear about his recovery and look forward very much to seeing him in July. He is in our thoughts.]

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Heatwave hits the Dick and Zena Smith Trophy Races, June 5!

Dick Smith [39] in the company of the great Harold Whitlock [1], 1936 Olympic 50k gold medallist, at the start of the Liverpool-Manchester race – date uncertain

Dick with Jim O’Neill [5] to his right followed by Harry Wheeler [?] of the Yorkshire RWC


A group photo of our assembled stalwarts

Dave Evans reports:

With temperatures hovering in the 22-24c range the prospect of circuiting a running track in the full glare of the sun for at least an hour would not have been too appealing. Despite the warm atmosphere all 11 hardy souls toed the starting lines prepared to do battle with the elements.

On the starting line

Dave Hoben(Surrey Walking club) and Andrea Lennon we’re off on their 5k as soon as they heard the air horn whilst the remaining aspirants charged off with 25 laps ahead of them. It became obvious that there was to be a bit of cat and mouse play as the laps unfolded with no one wanting to tow the field around for too far. It was clear to the handicapper that several of the walkers were showing a much greater level of fitness than before so make hay while the sun still shines !

The early leaders setting the pace

There were some great rivalries on show with Martin Payne, Tony Bell and Roy Gunnett testing each other and Joe Hardy and Pat Evans having a real ding dong throughout the race. Glyn Jones (Coventry Godiva)found the earlier part of the journey fairly comfortable but mid race was troubled by a leg problem. He soldiered on as he always does and will live to fight another day. Phil McCullagh continues to show a disciplined walking style but on this occasion was unable to accelerate in the second half which has become his trademark.

Roy Gunnett and Tony Bell getting stuck in

Adrian Edwards and Greg Smith assisted with the lap counting, with both swapping the race for a pre race training session so they could help with the officiating.  Very grateful thanks to both as without them we would have not been able to administer the event.  Circumstances prevented Eric Horwill from timekeeping at this track race but as always he send his apologies and best wishes for a good day.

The full results are as follows:-

Great to have Dave Hoben contesting the 5k

1. Dave Hoben.   39 mins 14
2. Andrea Lennon  43 mins 18

1. Tony Bell.    68 mins 38
2. Martin Payne. 68 mins 45
3. Roy Gunnett. 70 mins 15
4. Sailash Shah 72 mins 22
5. Pat Evans 72 mins 23
6. Joe Hardy 73 mins 35
7. Glyn Jones 74 mins 22
8. Steven Wilde(guest) 75 mins 38
9. John Crahan 78 mins 15

1. Roy Gunnett 51 mins 45
2. Sailash Shah 54 mins 22
3. Steven Wilde(guest) 56 mins 08
4.  Pat Evans 56 mins 23
5.  Joe Hardy 57 mins 05
6. Tony  Bell 57 mins 08
7. Phil McCullagh 57 mins 38
8.  Glyn Jones 58 mins 22
9. John Crahan 61 mins 15

Grateful thanks to Greg Smith for the photos of the Bury race

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