Yapton Walk


Walking for Glory

News that the Management Committee of the Village Hall is considering the possibility of resurrecting the Yapton Walk as part of its celebrations to mark the official opening of the hall 20 years ago, prompted the Clerk of the Council to rummage around in his attic for a box of silver cups which he had placed there some years ago. A dusty box (and Clerkl) eventually emerged, followed by a trip to the supermarket for Goddards silver polish. Then, after an afternoon of polishing (entrusted to the Clerk’s wife), these six magnificent engraved cups were revealed in all their glory. 

 

Further research revealed that the last Yapton Walk took place in 1984 as a revival of the competitive walks which were held in the village some 50 years earlier and for which the cups were first awarded. The 1984 race was staged to raise funds for the Yapton & Ford Sports Pavilion Club and the accounts kept by the Clerk show that the takings for the event were £430.63½, a significant sum of money at that time. Lucky programmes were printed and sold to raise money and these give further details of the event as well as the history of Yapton’s very own walking race.

The programme includes a foreward by Olympic Gold Medal Swimmer, Duncan Goodhew, who was president of the club and a former resident of the village. Also included are pen portraits of a number of the entrants for the race including a certain John Young whose notes state:

John Young runs his own business as a Landscape Gardener and is 56 years old. John is unique among our walkers today because he took part in the old Yapton Walk in 1939 as a boy, and clearly remembers the route taken then. He now lives in Barnham, but John was born in Yapton and played football for Yapton Football Club for many years.  Apart from the walk of 1939, he has no previous walking experience, but feels that his job keeps him fit and healthy, although he would prefer to push his mower round the track - it would enable him to keep going for longer.

(click for larger image)

 

lt would be interesting to hear what became of John or indeed of any of the other competitors who ‘walked for glory’ in the 1930s. A number of winners’ names are engraved on the splendid silver cups. Are you one of these, or do you know someone whose name is? We would be pleased to hear from you.

David Tansley
December 2008

(Originally published in Yapton News & Views, January 2009)

 


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