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Monday, January 3, 2005

Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race 2005

The traditional New Years Day event, was again a fantastic success attracting a large field of entrants and visitors from near and far.

Organized by the Ponteland Round Table with the support of staff from Zurich Financial Services, and regulars from the Blackbird, a bucket collection raised £793.42. Zurich Financial Services then doubled this, with all proceeds going to the “Tsunami Disaster Fund.”

Blackbird Inn manager, Lorna Calder, a key figure in the event said "with it being a little bit warmer, it was the best turnout in years".

Round Table Chairman, Mark Been, who was appointed “Lord Mayor of Ponteland” for the day, as the Church Clock strikes Noon, started the Race.

This year the event was won by students David Jeffries of Alnwick and Marcus Welch of Riding Mill, who were first over the line in the admirable time of 7mins 33 secs. each receiving a winners tankard, and the prestigious Silver Salver presented by Ponteland Parish Council.

David and Marcus, having finished third in last years race were determined, despite nursing hangovers from the excesses of Hogmanay, to do better, and are now looking forward to defending their title next year.

Ian Browell and Ewan Ellis claimed a gallant second place, and are to be watched in next years race.

In the under 14s Race, Geraint Ellis and Josh Browell, younger brothers of Ian and Ewan headed the field over the shorter distance. Watch out for them next year in the Adult Race! The boys received Vouchers to use in the Metro Centre, as were the other prizewinners, to which thanks must go to Mr. Ron Woodman of the Metro Center.

First women over the line were Lucy Vickers of Norfolk and Lucy Cowen, both girls aged 18. "Everyone else was so far ahead, we lost sight of them" says Lucy, however they received the biggest ovation from the near 1000 crowd, who cheered them home, perhaps this typified the spirit of the race more than anything else.

The Race is rumoured to date back 700 years, with each two-person team running the 1.1 mile race, with one person in the barrow at all times.

Round Tabler Jonathan Goodwill, who collects the wheelbarrows every year, reminds us the event would not take place without the kind support of GREENHAMS, who provide them without charge.

Ponteland Round Table and The Blackbird Inn, wish to thank all those who turned out to support, sponsor and participate in the Race.

Ponteland Round Table raises thousands of pounds for clubs, organisations and charities, and are holding a Sportsman’s Dinner on Thursday 27th January 2005, those interested in a table should contact Paul Makepeace on (01670) 738111.