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(56 miles in the glorious Peak District!)
The first full weekend in September

Starts on the first Saturday in September and is organised by the 3rd Hazel Grove Scout Group affiliated to the Long Distance Walkers' Association (LDWA) - Click to enter the Group's site

BULLOCK SMITHY REPORT 2000

25th ANNIVERSARY
THE NEW BULLOCK SMITHY

"What is the weathergoing to do this year?" A frequently heard question at events. Following a Friday night of torrential rain in the north-east Cheshire area, the same anxious question was posed by the entrants arriving on the Saturday morning for the 25th Bullock Smithy Hike (BSH). Their fears were soon allayed as the sun came out and a gentle breeze dried the ground to make conditions ideal for the weekend event. The traditional BSH anvil was struck in Hazel Grove, Stockport, at noon on Saturday 2nd September to start 170 walkers and runners on the 56 mile cross country event. Indeed, the conditions continued to improve and in the evening and through the night they were excellent, resulting in an above average success rate, with only 37 retirements.


Congratulations to all who completed the route through the Peak District check-points at Bow Stones, Chinley, Edale Cross, Edale, Castleton, Peak Forest, Millers Dale, Near Chelmorton, Earl Sterndale, and the brand new section via Brand Top, Cumberland Cottage, Walker Barn, Whiteley Green returning along the Middle Wood Way to Hazel Grove. All successful entrants received a commemorative certificate and plate to celebrate the event's silver jubilee.

We are continually making changes to the event, both in the organisation and provision of facilities for entrants. This year was no exception. Some minor changes in the food at checkpoints, thankfully we still have a good supply of Penguin bars!!. The changes to the latter part of the route appeared to meet with approval by many but not all. One person did say, "Walking along the Middlewood Way beats the hell out of walking down the A6". Let us have your views please. Another change, which was probably not noticed by the entrants, was in the communications which is now completely controlled through, both landlines and mobile telephones, to give more rapid information to control and response to any emergencies.

Of course, there were plenty of stories to tell. One entrant, David Harrison, flew from Houston, Texas on Friday, returning home on the Monday!!! Robert Ferry from Northern Ireland and David Hickling from Saddleworth used the event as a training exercise for the Augribies, South African Marathon. Robert and David are members of the 20 strong British Team taking part in the 150 mile extreme marathon on 3rd October. Of course, on this special occasion, many of the regular supporters turned up, including number one, 'George' Matuszewski who completed his 25th BSH.

Another faithful, Phil Broderick, (of 'never again' fame) completed his 11th BSH. Phil is an 'old hand' now and successfully guided some twenty walkers through the night. It was good to greet a number of other 'old hands' including Alan Ireland, who came back for this special occasion. The event was topped off with a report in the Daily Telegraph.


A word about helpers.

Each year dozens of helpers turn out to provide assistance with transport, at checkpoints, catering and safety control. Many were parents of scouts and their Offspring have long left the scouts, indeed many now have their own families. But a lot of the original parents, some of whom have moved away, still turn-up every year to give assistance and the weekend has become something of a re-union, as it is with many of the walkers. To you all, our grateful thanks, for without you we would not have been celebrating 25 years. One regular helper found an excuse not to be available, Dorothy Hallworth celebrated her 70th birthday on the 2nd September and on the same day Eric Peters left his post early to celebrate his 65th birthday. Many belated happy returns to you both - see you next year! One person spent several hours in the local Hospital A & E. department suffering with de-hydration. No, he wasn't a walker but one of the organisers!!! Just shows how hard organising can be. Several said it was easier to 'do' the walk than 'help' on the event! We rest our case.

Thank you for your support and we look forward to meeting you on the first weekend, 1st and 2nd September 2001.

Happy walking!

John Feist, Peter Wood & John Corfield - Hike Organisers