Terry Birkinhead
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Terry Birkinhead - Ullswater, The Lake District, 1955

I was on the very first course (U1) at Ullswater in August 1955, having been sent with my pal, Dave Addison by our employer, The Vulcan Foundry, Newton-le-Willows, Merseyside. ( Locomotive manufacturers.)
Included in the athletics programme was a 5mile walk - 'heel and toe' - along the lakeshore road, 2.5 miles then turn round & 2.5 miles back. It was a scorching hot day, and 72 lads set off together ! The 'Honours' time for 17 year olds was 52 minutes and I was 1 month into that group. After a while, Dave said "You push on if you wish", which I did and found I was overtaking people. At the turn-around, we were drenched with a bucket of water from the lake - wonderful - before steaming on. I realised that there were not many in front of me,, and as I rounded a slight bend in the road, with about 50 yards to the finish, I saw a small group, a few lads and instructors all yelling at me to "step on it!". I did my best to increase my pace (slightly) and flopped over the finish line. I think I was about the 5th to finish, and amid congratulations from the other lads, the instructor who was time-keeping rather apologetically told me that my time was 52 minutes and 1 SECOND ! To their credit, the other lads tried to persuade the officials to 'knock off' the offending second, but no, honesty prevailed. (The next walker was about 2 minutes behind me.) Well, there you go !
Terry Birkinhead,