Wallasey Athletic Club Christmas Handicap, which had been postponed for a week due to several of the club members having other commitments, was held on a fine but cold day at club headquarters on December 22.
This race is one of the most interesting and light-hearted affairs of the year, and usually the only people who do any worrying about it are the band of highly skilled and very efficient handicappers, who, using all their skill and profound experience, do a job in which the utmost tact and diplomacy has to be shown.
This year their job was made even more difficult by there being an age difference of about forty years between the youngest and oldest competitors, and also a rumour (flatly denied) that Ramsey Hewson had been seen on secret training sessions in preparations for the great day. However, the first, and supposedly slowest runners, got away with a good start of eight minutes on the fastest men off scratch, and several minutes on most of the other runners. This gap eventually proved to be too much for the faster men to close, and the first five places all went to the first five men to start.
First place went to Steve Parry, who ran very well to win easily. He was followed home by - 2nd, Les Watsham; 3rd, young John Edwards; 4th, Bobby McCaig; and 5th, Ramsey Hewson, who ran with all his old fire and speed over the last 100 yards to hold off John Wright in a most exciting finish. Fastest times of the day were recorded by Kevin Mather, 17 mins. 18 secs.; John Wright, 17 mins. 22 secs. and Brian Woolford 17 mins. 33 secs.
After, the handing out of the prizes; which are donated by the runners themselves according to their bank balance, a brisk auction was held for the remaining articles under the keen eye of Tony Townsend, all proceeds going to club funds. Today sees the first of the needle matches between Wallasey and Wirral A.C., these two evenly matched teams fight out the Cheshire Championship at Stockport, in what promises to be one of the most interesting of any championships held. If the Wallasey team, who have been hit by injuries and Christmas spirit, can run as well as they are capable of, they might just snatch victory. So good luck. Wallasey members are asked to meet at 11.45 a.m. at St. Alban's Road, Liscard, or at Hamilton Square, Birkenhead at 11:50 a.m.