(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


It is said that an army marches on its stomach. In the Bullock Smithy Hike walkers obviously walked on their stomachs - consuming hundreds of jam butties, jam doughnuts, hot dogs, rice pudding, tinned fruit, chocolate biscuits, cakes, bananas, gallons of tea and squash. Not forgetting hundreds of the ubiquitous penguins and, at the finish, the all-night full English breakfast! Local Member of the European Parliament, Chris Davies said a few words of encouragement before hammering the Smithy Anvil releasing himself, and 170 walkers and runners, into the Cheshire and Derbyshire countryside. Participants came, not only from the North West, but from many parts of the UK, some travelling over 100 miles to take part in the 56mile trek. The weather forecasters' prediction of showers and sunshine was accurate, with just one shower at Bowstones, followed by beautiful sunshine and clear visibility over Chinley, Edale Cross, Edale, Castleton and Peak Forest. This was followed by a cool clear night through Millers Dale, Chelmorton, Earl Sterndale, Brand Top, Cumberland Cottage, Walker Barn and Whiteley Green returning to Hazel Grove.
How delicious darling! Ooops - I'm going to sneeze!
The event went very smoothly with only 43 having to retire and six walkers finishing outside the 24 hour time limit. The first to finish, and win the Bullock Smithy trophy, was fell runner Mark Hartell in 9hours 3minutes, followed closely in second place, by local MEP Chris Davies who kindly presented trophies and certificates to the successful winners and finishers. After 27 years, a BBC TV news camera and reporter Paresh Patel were attracted to the event, bulletins being issued on Sunday and Monday with a report on Look North West on Monday evening. Another first was the use of the excellent facilities at the Wesleyan Chapel at Walker Barn as a check point control. Finally, the 3rd Hazel Grove Scout Group placed reports and digital photographs of walkers on the web site during the event. Up to date information for those interested and left at home. There were, as usual, lots of stories, many given to those walking with Jerzy (George) Matuszewski who completed his 27th circuit. Bradley Murphy, who went round with a bag of sand on his back training for a SAS type jungle expedition. Policeman, Mick Regan, completing 170 miles of events, during the summer, for the Rainbow Family Trust and the Anthony Nolan Trust. Things were lost and found, but no one found a set of teeth lost by one walker. Two walkers were lost and found at Flash, put back on the route, then lost again near Buxton. They telephoned to say, "We are going home - by bus!!". Walkers, again, paid tribute to the helpers and commented on the excellent organisation.
To all participants, we hope you enjoyed your weekend. Thank you for your support, and we look forward to meeting you again next year on our 28th event to be held on the 6/7th September, 2003.
Happy walking!

John Corfield, John Feist and Peter Wood - Hike Organisers.