Strange companions at the wrestling rings


Saturday July 21st - Kirkheaton CANCELLED
Sunday July 22nd - 2.30 Coniston U12 / U15 / U18 / Ladies / 11½ st / 13 st / AW
Wednesday July 25 2.00 North Lonsdale 2.00 U12 / U15 / 11½st / 13st / AW
Thursday July 26 1.00 Ambleside U12 / U15 / U18 / Girls U15 / Ladies / 8/11½st / 12½st / AW
Friday July 27 2.30 Langholm U12 / U16 / Ladies / 11½ st/ 13st / AW
Saturday July 28 2.30 Penrith U12 / U15 / U18 / Girls U15 / Ladies /11½st / 13st /AW
Saturday July 28 Beetham
Sunday July 29 Flookburgh

Cumberland and Westmorland Wrestling has some strange companions at the various events where it is held, but none is noisier and more dynamic than a 6000 horse-power tractor rearing and surging, and pulling an impossible trailer along a 100 metre track at Great Ecclestone Show. Even in the much quieter main ring a procession of vintage tractors trundled past as the wrestlers hiped and hanked in their corner.

The wrestling day began well for the Threlfall family, and ended well, too. An impromptu Under 10 Years event brought Jack Threlfall against John Gibson and together they wrestled with skill and panache beyond their years. In the end Threlfall won the deciding fall with a right side wrench buttock. His eye-catching skills did not end there for he came second in the Under 12's still wrestling his heart out.


At the other end of the wrestling programme, Jack's father, Joe Threlfall, was successful in the All Weights when he hoisted Graham Brocklebank around the ring in the final. With hipe upon hipe, then a twist, Threlfall bossed Brocklebank with his power and know-how.

The end result is that Joe Threlfall won the All Weights trophy, and young Jack went one better by winning the best performance trophy, judged by local worthy, Max Carlyle, and donated in memory of Jack's grandfather, Bill Threlfall. Great Ecclestone Show is held a short distance from St Michael's-on-Wyre village hall where Bill Threlfall founded and ran the wrestling academy which revitalised wrestling in Lancashire from 1970 onwards.


A good contimgent of wrestlers from Milnthorpe Academy, and a selection from the Wilson and Brocklebank families ensured some stong competition throughout the programme. Best of the Milnthorpe wrestlers was Joe Lashley, who won a competitive Under 15s, felling Thomas Gibson of Carlisle in the final. Gibson took the first fall, winning by a short head as they launched forward and down to the ground, but Lashley struck back to win the next two falls.


Brothers Ben and Graham Brocklebank then took over: Ben was in the full control that comes from height, strength and hiping skills to win the Under 18s. He then battled gamely but unsuccessfully with big brother in the 13st final. The pattern was repeated when Graham in turn "battled gamely, but unsuccessfully" in the next final against heavyweight Joe Threlfall.

With the unprecedented summer rainfall another event has been called off. An email from the Gilsland Show secretary said that "Gilsland Show Committee voted unanimously tonight to cancel the show this year. The field has not yet been cut and is standing in water and with the forecast not good we have made the decision to cancel." The amazing thing is how many events have survived.

Only Coniston is on this coming week-end, but in the following week wrestling could become a full-time job for a while with events next Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday….weather permitting.

Results ( * signifies 'not eligible' for The Victor Ludorum 2012)

Great Ecclestone Show
Event First Second Third
U10 Years Jack Threlfall J. Gibson  
U12 Years H. Wilson J. Threlfall J. Gibson
U15 Years J. Lashley T. Gibson S. Wilson
U18 Years B. Brocklebank J. Bellamy J. Lashley
13 Stone G. Brocklebank B. Brocklebank S. Wilson
All Weights J. Threlfall G. Brocklebank B. Brocklebank

Written by © Roger Robson. Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (2012)


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