Changes to the CWWA Governing Board


Saturday, 5th April - Academy Shield at Burnieside Cricket Club -
7pm Registration - Open classes before and after the main event.
Sunday, April 13th - Angus Backhold Championship, Carnoustie Leisure Centre. Many categories male and female at under 15 years, and at 16 years and over

Cumberland and Westmorland wrestling's Governing Board lost many years of experience when three of its farming elder statesmen retired this year at the Annual General Meeting. Between them Alan Coulthard, Henry Hail and Robert Carter had served 89 years.

When Henry Hail joined the Board in 1998 he forged a link with West Cumbria from the times of the Academy boom in the Post War era when he was a stalwart of Gosforth Academy.
I remember Alan Coulthard from the 1950s, when he was a top lightweight, and Ted Dunglinson organised impromptu training for innocent me and savvy him after the wrestling at Yetholm Show. He won the 10½st, 11st and 12st championships in the late fifties, and in 1966 he shocked the wrestling world by coming out of retirement to take the All Weights Championship. Originally wrestling from Laversdale, he farmed at Justicetown between Carlisle and Longtown. In 1998 he joined the Board and served as President from 2008 to 2011.
 Bob Carter, peeling walls, and the Carlisle Academy team in 1949

Longest serving of all was Robert Carter of Gerrard House who joined the Board in 1963. He held the 11st Championship in 1949 and the 12st in 1950. A keen stockman, he was noted for his Simmental cattle and Suffolk sheep. He became a noted judge in all areas of interest. He judged many an All Weights Championship and travelled widely to judge cattle. From 1971 to 2003 he was Chairman of the Governing Board.

Their replacements are a different breed, although Darren Whitfield is in the old mould of champion wrestler becoming a steward of the sport. In his youth he was a regular winner of the 14st Championship; more recently he became Heavyweight Champion. For some years he has been the wrestlers' representative on the Board, but he is now retired and moved on to being a regular Board member. His place as the wrestlers' voice has been taken by Andrew Carlile.

The other two new Board members come to wrestling from a different slant. Neither Gary Lothian of Langwathby nor Paul Barber of Acomb, near Hexham, has ever wrestled. Instead, they have keenly followed the sport over several years and bring other skills to the table. Paul Barber is a protégé of Peter Hunter who has tutored him year by year to take over the running of the events on the wrestling calendar for which he is responsible

Carol and Gary Lothian engrossed by the Grasmere wrestling in 2012. But he never spilt a drop!.Gary Lothian is a businessman who runs his own electrical firm. A year ago, I wrote an article about wrestling's "super-fans" and said: "Gary Lothianfrom the Penrith area admits to having been "crackers" about wrestling for nearly forty years. A relative of the Lee family from Abbeytown, he sadly admits that "Mam wouldn't let me wrestle", but as soon as he could drive he followed the sport everywhere.
Two years ago he even used Grasmere Sports as the launch pad for his marriage to Carol his partner for fifteen years. In the car park, as they arrived, instead of getting out the wellies, he produced an engagement ring, a bottle of bubbly, and a romantic proposal. Later in the day we all knew about it when the wrestling commentator took a rest from talk of hipes and buttocks, and told the assembled crowd about the shenanigans in the car park.

We also have a new President, Joe Harrington, who farms at Bewaldeth. His championship credentials are spectacular, but perhaps more important is his sustained keenness over the years. He travels widely to many events, whether or not his son, John Harrington, is competing. Joe's brother Tom steps in as Vice-President.

Written by © Roger Robson ..... Photographs by © Roger Robson, Julian Richardson or Linda Scott (2014)



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