Review of ‘Longnor Sports’, by Claude Fearns & Sheila Hine

This review is by Julie Bunting, and was published originally in The Peak Advertiser, the Peak District's local free newspaper, on 6th September 2004, and is reproduced with Julie's kind permission.

compiled by Claude Fearns & Sheila Hine
Published (2004)

Longnor has every right to blow its own trumpet this year (2004) - perhaps with the help of Hollinsclough Silver Band, who will be making things go with a swing next week during the centenary celebration of Longnor Sports, otherwise known as the Races.

Claude Fearns and Sheila Hine, who last year (2003) produced the best-seller 'Claude's White Peak Memories', have now compiled this entertaining tribute to an old Wakes Week tradition born in 1904. Within its 64 pages are dozens of illustrations and memories spanning the past century. The photographs are treasures and the quotes priceless, all borrowed from regular competitors and visitors.

Some can recall the year one motorcyclist won several races before the police arrived to cart him off because the motorbike was stolen. Another competitor who always came last finally received a cup for faithful attendance - how very Longnor.

Many families have been involved for generations. One comittee member follows in the steps of his grandfather and great-grandfather. Another regular, coming up for his 86th birthday, has missed only one event in his whole life. Then there's Charlie, who always looks forward to the Sports but generally can't remember coming home, while Les swears that Knowsley Hill starts to move around 7 pm. Many a man admits to being the worse for wear after 'too much hospitality'; the attending vet has been known to check over a two-legged visitor in a state of collapse. The vet himself has had to learn to resist the local farmers' challenge to get the vet drunk.

There is lots of talk of camaraderie, laughter, teamwork and atmosphere, not to mention cowpats and clean-ups, all part of the fun. A television company has shown interest in filming this year's big day and one regular has been invited to perform a centenary streak, but nothing is definite!

Review by Julie Bunting

Editor's Note:
The 'Longnor Races' centenary took place on Thursday 9 September 2004, and no doubt a good time was had by all!

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