Whitworth Recognises Champion Victorian Runner, James ‘Treacle’ Sanderson
|Author: Karen Douglas||Published: 19th June 2012 12:12|
On Tuesday 12 June, Whitworth Town Council and Whitworth Sports Council held an evening to celebrate one of Whitworth's greatest, but largely forgotten, sons.
The monument and noticeboard in Whitworth James ‘Treacle' Sanderson was a Whitworth blacksmith who, for a time around the 1860s, was one of England's greatest runners in a career stretching for 20 years, during which time he won many prizes and trophies in the North of England and in London, in front of crowds numbering thousands.
The evening began with a short ceremony at the side of Cowm Reservoir in Whitworth at which a monumental wall and information board (jointly funded by the Town Council and Sports Council) were officially unveiled by the Mayor and Mayoress of Whitworth. The wall was built by local dry stone waller Alan Rhodes; included within the wall were two stones in which James Sanderson himself carved marks, one a ‘440' and one a cross, to mark the end of his training route. The wall also features a piece of slate engraved with James' details, which was donated by Whitworth Quarry. Around 100 people attended the ceremony, including descendants of Mr Sanderson who travelled from as far afield as Blackpool and Barrowford for the event; a number of his relatives who still live in Whitworth were also in attendance.
Then, Whitworth Sports Council held the inaugural Treacle Challenge, a 440-yard time trial challenging anyone who fancies it to try to beat Treacle's time over 440 yards. 40 runners that took part in a time trial that was marred only by Scottish quantities of midges and some technical glitches. The event was won by Aaron Barker of Rossendale Harriers in an impressive 51.6 seconds, and teammate Sarah Yeomans was fastest woman at 1 minute and 4 seconds. The runners ranged from half a dozen local 11-year-olds to veteran athlete John Bradbury at a youthful 72, via the entire Whitworth Juniors U-13 football team together with their coach, Andy O'Loughlin, and, fittingly, three descendants of Treacle Sanderson himself.
Full listing, (category winners in capitals):
BAILEY BENNETT 1.17, Aidan Kirkbride 1.31, Jack Marshall 1.24, Matthew Szelesi 1.22, Katie Aldred 1.44, KATIE MEADOWS 1.33.
John Bradbury 2.03, John Leyland 1.12.6, JACK MCGUIRE 1.12.2, Danny O'Malley 1.13, CHRISTA SANDERSON 1.52.
BRANDON BARRY 1.12.9, Danny Brown 1.24, Callum Burton 1.22, Robert Caulfield 1.24, Callum Farrell 1.14, Alex Greenwood 1.20, Scott Kirkbride 1.22, Jack McAvoy 1.24, Kenan Nield-McGrath 1.27, Danny O'Connor 1.29, Alex Park 1.17, Owen Reardon 1.13.1, Jack Reeve 1.26, Lee Waugh 1.20, ALEX BENNETT 1.22.
Ryan Bradshaw - no time recorded, JAMES SALT 0.56.
ANTHONY DALTON 0.59.2, Alex O'Malley 1.11.
Oliver Marshall 0.59, Andy O'Loughlin 0.58, James Sanderson 1.37, John Sanderson 1.18, Jan Wormald 0.57, AARON BARKER 0.51.6, Chris Fell 0.54, Andrew Lee 1.06, Sam Tosh 0.57, SARAH YEOMANS 1.04.