Wheely good show as Ponteland event returns

After the cancellation in 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions at the time, large crowds came along on New Year’s Day to watch the returning Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 5th January 2022, 11:00 am
The annual event was back for 2022 after being cancelled in 2021 due to Covid-19 restrictions at the time. Picture by Colin Morgan – leisurepics.co.uk

This year’s event saw 43 teams take part, on what was an out-of-the-ordinary relatively warm mid-winter’s day.

The mile-long course kept with tradition by starting and ending at The Blackbird Inn.

It is thought the event goes back to the 14th Century and it has taken place just about in all years in past decades, except for when there were major wars.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Large crowds watched the action. Picture by Colin Morgan – leisurepics.co.uk

The Open Race was won by Mark Turnbull and Julian Goodhall in seven minutes and 20 seconds.

Second were James Mould and Sam Olds and third were Elliot Blain and Will McGubbin.

Second, third and fourth places were taken by teams from Ponteland Rugby Club.

The Ladies Race was won by Abi Leiper and Caitlin Flanagan in seven mins and 36 seconds – which is the fastest ever recorded time for the Ladies Race.

One of the races at this year’s Ponteland Wheelbarrow Race event. Picture by Colin Morgan – leisurepics.co.uk

Second were Joanne Shallcross and Alexandra Longton and third were Louisa Hamilton and Charlotte Naughton.

Joanne has now run in five of the eight fastest recorded times for the Ladies Race.

The Junior Race was won by Philip Waite and William Bush.

Second were Cate Johnson and Millie Johnson and third were George Forster and Ethan Turner.

This year’s marshals produced a record as well. Ninety-four-year-old Neil Buchanan involved himself yet again, having helped with marshalling duties “ever since he can remember”, he says.

The races, which start at noon along a circular course, are organised by Ponteland 41 Club and Ponteland Rugby Club, with support from The Blackbird.

Through sponsorship and entry fees, more than £3,000 was raised. This will be donated to St Oswald’s Hospice and Tynedale Hospice at Home.

Supporters were able to make the most of The Blackbird’s pizza oven and a barbecue outside, along with seating and a fully stocked bar at the tipi, with hot drinks served throughout the day.

Anybody who would like to sponsor a wheelbarrow in next year’s race should contact Andy Lawson – call 07989 355557 or please send an email to [email protected]