George Wilson becomes the Under 15 Years World Champion at Penrith Show

George Wilson outside-hipes Joe Lashley in the championship final

In front of a big crowd, two dozen young wrestlers entered for the Under 15 Years World Championship at Penrith Show. First into the ring was George Wilson of Kendal Academy who gained a good hold and hiped his opponent. Some time later he was the last man standing, the new champion. In between, the younger, smaller, and less experienced wrestlers had all fallen away leaving three strong athletic youngsters to contest the semi-finals.
The tall Wilson struggled with Josh Threlfall of Preston but gained and maintained a strong hold from which he was able to hipe and then twist over the knee for two straight falls. In the final, Joe Lashley of the Milnthorpe Academy made a fine start with an inside-click to take the first fall. The second fall was finely balanced, but suddenly, out of nowhere, Wilson found an outside-hipe which laid his opponent at his feet. The decider was another intense bout but Wilson kept his concentration and a good hold before back-heeling to win. Just to make his day even better, George Wilson then went on to fell Thomas Wales in the final of the Under 18s.

George Wilson with his trophies at Penrith Show.

The theme of the men's wrestling was a series of fascinating, tough finals where no wrestler was dominant. In the 11½ stones David Miller was in full flow and took the first fall in the final with a suddenSynchronised diving at Penrith Show buttock, before the 11st Champion, Jack Brown, regained control enough to hipe him twice.
In the 13 stones Craig Ridley reminded us of his prodigious talent when he made Richard Fox wrestle four times before a decision was reached. Fox began well enough with a buttock finished with a cross, but the next hold was a dog-fall as each wrestler ended up doing handstands side-by-side. Then Fox overloaded himself while buttocking, before normal service was resumed when he won the day by countering Ridley's attack.

 Richard Fox and Craig Ridley match each other toe-by-toe in the 13st final

The All Weights final also took four holds before Jimmy Hall stopped Richard Fox's buttock then hiped him.

  Andrew Carlile hiping in the heat


The day before, at Langholm Common Riding, wrestlers and crowd baked in high temperatures. Andrew Carlile was on good form to win the 11½ stones, but his good form and skill came to nothing in the 13st final against a strong visitor from Glasgow, Nawad Tahir, who was obviously trained in Olympic Freestyle wrestling. The usual good entry of local heavyweights enlivened the crowd, but in the end Richard Fox and John Harrington waded through to the final where Fox won in straight falls.


Another big crowd gathered at Lanercost Priory for the funeral of Reggie Armstrong, one of the stalwarts of the Gilsland Academy in the 1950s. He was immensely strong and a great hiper. Once when in Scotland for Braemar he astonished the locals by running back and forward across the road with the massive Dinnie Stone. These qualities meant that he won the Heavyweight World Championship in 1954 and 1956, and the 14st belt in 1956. That same 14st trophy is up for competition on Sunday at Gilsland Show, held on land at Triermain which Reggie Armstrong farmed for many years.

At the Commonwealth games in Glasgow we have a link to one of the England Netball squad. In 2008 after the Young Farmer's Field Day I wrote,

"Helen Housby of Wigton used to tag along to Carlisle Wrestling Club with her brother and cousin, but that was years ago, and she is now double the height she was then. I remember her amazing gymnastic contortions when she wrestled and the way she could swing round the bars set in the ceiling of the Currock House Gym."

She won the 10 stones that day; now she's goal-shooter for England !

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


( * signifies 'not eligible' for The Victor Ludorum 2014)
Langholm Common Riding
Event First Second Third
Under 12 Years M Wharton G Coulthard T Wilson
Under 16 Years G Wilson A Story J Wilson
Ladies T Hodgson A Coulthard A Marston
* 6 Stone J Gibson C Wharton T Wilson
11½ Stone A Carlile J Harrington J Wilson
13 Stone N Tahir A Carlile J Harrington
All Weights R Fox J Harrington N Colley
Penrith Show
Event First Second Third
Under 12 Years M Wharton T Davidson H Wilson
Under 15 Yrs World Championship G Wilson J Lashley J Threlfall
Girls Under 15 Years A Marston G Coulthard E Davidson
Under 18 Years G Wilson T Wales P Potts
Ladies D Thompson A Coulthard J Eliot
* 6 Stone K Harrison J Gibson J Wales
11½ Stone J Brown D Miller J Harrington
13 Stone R Fox C Ridley J Brown
All Weights J Hall R Fox J Harrington
Beetham Sports
Event First Second Third
Under 12 Years T Hodgson M Smith D Bourily
Under 14 Years T Hodgson J Kirby Currington
Under 16 Years T Hodgson L Hall J Dickinson
Under 18 Years J Hayhurst J Haddow L Hall
Ladies T Hodgson R Hodgson G Hodgson
13 Stone G Brocklebank B Brocklebank L Hall
All Weights T Brocklebank G Brocklebank B Brocklebank

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