Saturday 24th September - LANGHOLM SHOW CANCELLED
Saturday 8th October - Alwinton Show
Saturday 8th October - Wasdale Head Show

My outdoor tomatoes have been dropping off the bush in the wind and rain, and the wrestling fixtures have been going much the same way. In the past week Borrowdale Country Fair, Eskdale Show and Langholm Show have all cancelled because of water-logged fields. When Eskdale cancelled that caused problems for the Wrestling Association, as they were due to host the 12st World Championship. The CWWA Secretary, Alf Harrington, quickly negotiated with Langholm Show and they agreed to take on the championship. Two days later Langhom had to cancel, too.

One event, Egremont Crab Fair, survived the weather, but long wellies and four wheel-drive tractors were part of the essential equipment for the event.

As happens this year in West Cumbria, regular and trained wrestlers were in short supply, but that was unimportant for the success of the event as so many local lads crowded round and into the ring to take part.

And then there were the Norlanders, a group of eccentrics dressed in a spectacular version of our traditional strip, who shared names associated with horses, and had boundless enthusiasm to enjoy themselves by participation. All I could glean was that they were a theatre group and were filming for German television. They provided the only two entries for the Ladies wrestling and, wrestling best-of-five, it took six entertaining and athletic bouts before Simone Klein beat Bonnie Gelding.

In the main wrestling it was good news and bad news time. The good news for James Hayhurst was that he produced the performance of his young life to win four categories. There were some big strong lads in the boys' events but Hayhurst coped with them all, and on this day bested 10½st Champion Jack Brown in both the Under 18s and the 11½ stones finals.

His flowering achievement came in the 13 stones where he met Richard Fox, the 13st and 14st Champion, in the final. Fox took the first fall, and all seemed to be following the form book, until Hayhurst caught Fox with a cross-buttock as he attacked. With the score at "one falls each", Fox pressed and attacked, only for Hayhurst to wriggle free, turn under his man and bring him over high and handsome with a full-buttock.

And the bad news? In the first round of the All Weights, as he was winning his first bout against Formikka Horsenhund, he injured his leg and was unable to carry on. Already with four trophies to his name, he gained another when Linda Scott awarded him the Guinness Trophy for the best performance in all the wrestling. Her note-book and careful attention were scarcely needed for the easiest decision ever in the forty years of the Guinness Trophies.

Results ( * signifies 'not eligible' for The Victor Ludorum 2011)

Egremont Crab Fair
Under 12 Years C DoranA Caine S Aspinall
Under 15 Years J Hayhurst D Caine T Gibson
Under 18 YearsJ HayhurstJ Brown D Caine
Ladies (*)S. Klein B Gelding  
11½ stoneJ HayhurstJ BrownH King
13 Stone J Hayhurst R Fox J Brown
All WeightsR FoxJ Brown F Horsenhund
Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (Septembert 22nd 2011)

Stock photography by SOLMAR at Alamy

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