DISTANCE APPROX:- 72 MILES
ASCENT AND DESCENT APROX:- 27,000’
WALKING AND RUNNING: 19-6-76 CLOCKWISE
ATTEMPT BY:- L. POLLARD
ASSISTED ON THE FELLS BY:- D. MOULDING, D. FIELD, P. DAWES, S. HUNT, P. SCHOFIELD, A. WALKER,
P. FLEMING, R. ASTLES, M. McGOVERN, Mrs J. DAWES
Mrs B. ASTLES, Mrs F. POLLARD, E. ROBERTS, M. DEWHURST, B. BOGLE
REPORT ON THE ATTEMPT BY THE CONTENDER
On the 19 th June 1976 I was fortunate enough to have a group of friends assembled in the Lake District with one thought and one purpose in mind …… to get me round the ‘Bob Graham’. They were successful. I am not sure which is the hardest thing about the ‘Round’ the organisation or the run! One last minute change in the support party had to be made and Dave Field was brought into the 1 st section. I was surprised to see so many people gathered to see me off, each trying to give me confidence. At mid-night Fred Rogerson set the run in motion and rain and mist accompanied us round the 1st section and the dawn was put back many times by black menacing clouds. Dave Moulding’s knowledge of the district brought me safely to the top of Halls Ridge where the night gave way to a grey dawn. I have never been on Halls Ridge and I found the run down very exhilarating.
At Threlkeld my wife made a welcome cup of tea and Peter Dawes took over the job of pacing. I had fallen 27 minutes behind on the 1 st section (a schedule time I now know was too fast for a person of my running ability) but with Pete up front and Arthur and Peter working hard carrying the rucksack, this 27 minutes was reduced to a 2 minute deficit at Dunmail.
Breakfast made by Beryl Astles, a change of footwear, Bob as pacer and Phil and Steve to carry the sack and I was the summit of Steel Fell dead on schedule. The ups were going alright but the downs were painful and I slipped behind schedule again. After Bow Fell I took a better grip of my thoughts and got back on and then in front of schedule again. At Wasdale, Eddie Roberts dished up dinner and Pete took over again. Mike carried the sack.
On the climb up Yewbarrow, John North and a little later Colin Ratcliffe passed on their way down to Wasdale on their own attempt. I found this section the most trying and I felt much happier when I arrived at Honister a little in front of the estimated time.
It was a large party which set off up Dale Head but success was at hand and even the rain could not stop the banter and wit of these Horwich lads although it was tempered a little since Jean Dawes was in the party. If Ihad a good send off, I had an equally good reception back at Moot Hall. Fred said “the time is 23 hrs and 25 minutes, the same as Stan Bradshaw”. I felt very proud indeed. I had no beautiful sunrise or unforgettable sunset but I did have some very good friends to accompany me on the greatest day that I have ever had on the fells. Thank you each and every one of you. Things which I will always remember include my unfortunate choice of where to cross the River Caldew; Peter going up Clough Head; Arthur’s descent off Nethermost; Bob’s remark “Do you realise you have just walked a LEVEL stretch”; Phil and Steven’s ‘rocky pinnacles’ the climb up Yewbarrow; Peter Dawes knowledge of the route and Mikes steadying hand on my back when a gust of wind got hold of me on Great Gable.