CUMBRIA YFC Northern Field Day


Saturday, June 14th - 1230 - Roman Wall Show U10 / U13 / U17 / Ladies / 11½st / 13½st / AW
Saturday, June14th- 3.30 - Cumberland Show U10 / U12 / U15 / U18 / Girls U15 / Ladies Open / 12st / 14st / AW (£950 prize money)
Saturday, June 14th - Lowgill - 7pm - U7 / U12 / U14 / U16 / Girls / 12st / AW


Richard Fox buttocking in the rain at the YFC Field Day

The forecasters threatened hail, thunder and lightning, so the young farmers at their North Cumbrian Field Day at Hesket Newmarket I suppose were lucky to have a mere downpour that would have worried Noah. The winter training on the Carlisle Wrestling Club mats had raised the general standard of the bouts, but as usual, the more serious wrestlers, with years of training in their system were mainly the winners.
In the men's weights it all went to form with good wins for Thomas Wales, John Harrington and Richard Fox. Dawn Gibson, in the Over 10 Stones, is no longer a regular competitor, but she is from a family of wrestlers and has put in the mileage in the past, so she was able to fell another knowledgeable Close attentioncompetitor, Sandra Woodend, in the final.

The biggest stir-up and confusion came in the Women's Under 10 Stones. Early in the competition, Nichola Smith of Brampton, "Titch" as it said on her shirt, took the first fall against Zoe Hall of Skelton with a full on hank which left the Skelton girl flat on the wet ground for some time, trying to recover her wind and wits. She made a full recovery, fought back to beat Titch in the next two falls and in the final she felled a good young wrestler, Abi Marston, who is a regular competitor.


Mervyn Sewell, a leading figure in the Post War era when wrestling blossomed, has died aged 88years. He won the lightweights at Grasmere in 1946 while still a Mathematics undergraduate at Manchester University, trained regularly with the great Ronnie Steel, was a leading light in the formation of a new Carlisle Academy in the forties, and wrote for the Carlisle Journal under the nom-de-plume of "Crossbuttocker".
Mervyn was elected to the Governing Board in 1971 and was appointed as an auditor in 1975. He served as auditor until 1987. At that point he was elected as a life member of the Wrestling Association.
When I first met Mervyn I did not know who he was as I was a regular competitor while he was watching from the surrounding crowd. I came for interview as an English teacher at Trinity School, and was shown into the Lower School staffroom where a small bespectacled man shouted, "It's Tony!" (As was my family name in Northumberland); he grabbed hod and started wrestling. Welcome to Carlisle.
As a teacher in his first job he organised wrestling at Brook Street School in Carlisle , and he did the same when he moved into the more rural Caldew School after stints at Carlisle Grammar School and Trinity School.
I knew of Mervyn before I ever met him, for there was talk that Tom Harrington had a sort of wrestling guru and Personal Trainer, and that was Mervyn Sewell. The reality was that Tom Harrington worked at Belmont Farm which was run by Mervyn's brother-in-law. Each day the two of them would work shoulder-to-shoulder amongst the dairy cows, and the talk was always and incessantly about wrestling, wrestlers and the action. The yard brush was perfect for demonstrating how to do an outside-stroke.

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


( * signifies 'not eligible' for The Victor Ludorum 2014)
CUMBRIA YFC Northern Field Day
Event First Second Third
Men's 9½ Stone T Wales (Raughton Head) R Beard (Longtown) J Mounsey (Drigg)
11½ Stone J Harrington (Caldbeck) K Miller (Aspatria) P Gardner (Longtown)
Over 11½ Stone R Fox (Longtown) A Coulthard (Wigton) M Bush (Penrith)
Women's 10 Stone Z Hall (Skelton) A Marston (Kirklinton) O Grindley (Aspatria).
Over 10 Stone D Gibson (Skelton) S Woodend (Drigg) E Fisher (Penrith)
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