World Coal Carrying Championships held in Gawthorpe

Date:21st April 2014, Picture James Hardisty, (JH100332l). The 51st annual World Coal Carrying Championships held at Gawthorpe, near Dewsbury. Pictured One of the many male competitors taking part in the event.
Date:21st April 2014, Picture James Hardisty, (JH100332l). The 51st annual World Coal Carrying Championships held at Gawthorpe, near Dewsbury. Pictured One of the many male competitors taking part in the event.
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Crowds lined the streets of Gawthorpe yesterday for the 51st World Coal Carrying Championships.

Men, women and children took part in the world-famous event, which has grown in popularity since it was first held in the village in 1963.

Entrants haul sacks of coal along a 1000-metre route from the Royal Oak pub on Owl Lane to the village green for the Easter Monday tradition.

Winner of the mens’ event was Chris Birkin, from Chickenley, who finished in 4 minutes and 46 seconds.

The veteran men’s race for over 40s was won by John Hunter, of Scarborough, who had previously won three times, finishing in 4 mins 57 secs.

The women’s race was won by Penny Ditchfield, 37, of Huddersfield, in 4 mins 39 secs.

The youth race was won by the only entrant Brandon Omeila, 15, who carried a 10kg sack of coal.

Men carry a 50kg sack of coal, women haul a 20kg sack and children carry 10kg in the race.