(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


The Bullock Smithy 56 mile challenge hike is gaining year on year in popularity with another increase in entries, up this year to 239 with 225 starters. The conditions were perfect for the participants with dry, sunny conditions and a cooling breeze. One walker commented that one couldn’t have ordered better weather. Some 70% finished. A couple of minor injuries where reported and one who went to hospital with an injured shoulder but examinations proved nothing too serious.

At 12 noon on the Saturday, Group Scout Leader Brian Dooley struck the traditional Bullock Smithy Anvil to start the event from Devonshire Park, Hazel Grove. The entrants went through 13 check points, at Bow Stones, Chinley Churn, Edale Cross, Edale, Castleton, Peak Forest, Millers Dale, near Chelmorton, Earl Sterndale, Brand Top, Cumberland Cottage, Walkers Barn and Whiteley Green back to Hazel Grove.
Next stop, Chinley Churn
There was a strong local contingent including the local entrant who has completed 30 Bullock Smithy’s, George Matusewski, but a lot of support came from all over the UK with one entrant coming from Guernsey. Many, particularly young people, were being sponsored, raising funds for charities such as Cancer and Leukaemia Research. One record for the new route was broken. Local girl, Julie Gardner won the Chinley Trophy, in 11hrs 52mins. She took exactly 1 hour off the previous year’s record.

Four of the original organisers, John Corfield, John Feist, Jacqui Lord and Peter Wood took the 30th birthday opportunity to retire from the organisation handing over to a new team. They were presented by the 3rd Hazel Scout Group Chairman, Nick Clarke with engraved tankards and vase. Many stories were exchanged over the weekend. From the beginning, participants have received a results booklet with individual times at each check point. In 1976 this was done on “foolscap” paper and run off on a messy Guestetner, the results tabulated by going around on the lounge floor, with all the check point sheets. Today, computers are used and results displayed at the headquarters on a large screen. Consideration is being given, for next year, to displaying details on the web-site as the participants wend their way through the Peak District. Incidentally in 1976, 124 entered and 79 completed the circuit.

Thanks go to the army of volunteers, many giving very long service of up to 30 years, who help at checkpoints, in the kitchen and with transport. Thanks also the land and property owners and sponsors and finally to the walkers for their continued support.

We look forward to seeing you next year – 2/3rd September 2006. See you all then!

John Feist, Peter Wood & John Corfield – Past Hike Organisers