Gawthorpe World Coal Carrying Championships - 12 memories from down the decades

It's the the uniquely-Yorkshire event whose heritage stretches back to the mid-1960s.

Monday, 13th April 2020, 6:00 am
Enjoy these memories of Gawthorpe World Coal Carrying Championships down the decades. PICS: Gawthorpe Maypole Committee
Enjoy these memories of Gawthorpe World Coal Carrying Championships down the decades. PICS: Gawthorpe Maypole Committee

The Gawthorpe World Coal Carrying Championships sees runners carry coal sacks along a 1.1km through the village near Wakefield. The race is held each Easter Monday and has attracted competitors from around the world. Male runners carry coal sacks weighing 50k. Female runners' sacks weigh 20k. Organisers have cancelled the 2020 event in line with social distancing measures to tackle the Coronavirus pandemic following consultation with West Yorkshire Police and Wakefield Council. It is the first time the annual race has been scrapped since it began in 1964. We hope these photos, published courtesy of the Gawthorpe Maypole Committee, will spark happy memories for event supporters. READ MORE: Gawthorpe World Coal Carrying Championships cancelled for the first time in its 57-year history due to Coronavirus

Roy Bostock runs in his working clothes.
The women's coal race in 1966.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The Pigeon Clock used for the official time for the race.
Roy Bostock, the winner in 1965.
Amos Clapham's coal lorry.
George Crossland, until recently the oldest competitor.
Gordon Fomont, the race winner in 1966.
John Hunter, who has been taking part in the race for 30 years.
Memories of long term racer John Hunter during the early years.
Roy Bostock, race winner in 1965.
Susan Hall, winning the Women's Race in 1973.
The Beehive Inn where the idea for a coal race was first conceived.
Multiple race winner Tony Nicholson from Penrith.
World's Strongest Man Jamie Reeve with multiple women's race winners Janine and Belinda Burns.
Chris Mackie, winner in 2005.
Reggie Segewick, one of original Beehive three, with men's winner Matthew Wainwright, women's winner Catherine Foenton and veteran's winner John Hunter at the 50th race in 2013.
Share your memories of the Gawthorpe World Coal Carrying Championships down the years with Andrew Hutchinson via email at: [email protected] or tweet him - @AndyHutchYPN