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Wharfedale Scouts torch race returns

The Wharfedale District Scout and Explorer Scout Sam Ives Torch Race took place again last Friday after a three-year gap.

The original Torch was first held in 1935 as part of the celebrations of the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary, local Scouts have arranged to hold a relay from the town centre to a flagpole placed on the site of the original beacon ever since.

Richard Nerurkar MBE, a one-time Menston Scout and a Torch Race competitor, who went on to run in the 10,000 metres at the 1992 Olympics and the marathon in the 1996 Games, kindly donated a second trophy for the Explorers’ race some years ago.

The Thorpe Brothers who were games teachers at Ilkley Grammar School and Ilkley Middle School ran Menston Guy 1909 Scout Troop and then won the torch Race for many years with Richard in their team.

Three teams of Explorers from Ilkley and Burley plus seven Scout teams from 1st Ben Rhydding, Burley, Otley Bridge, Otley Methodists plus Menston assembled at the bottom of Station Road at 7.30pm.

The race ran directly up to the chevin slops to the flagstaff erected; the winner is the first runner to touch the flagstaff.

The presentation of the trophy took place at the finish at approximately 8pm, after all the judges have satisfied the organisers that the rules were adhered to.

The Winners of The Scouts Competition were 1st Ben Rhydding and Ilkley Explorers won the Explorer trophy. The Assistance District Commissioner for Scouts, Naomi McMorn, and District Commissioner, Tim Haskins presented the Trophies.

A spokesperson said: “Wharfedale Lion Hearts SAS Service team organise the Race and the District are for ever grateful to these long serving members.

“Sadly, one of The Lion Hearts very long serving members David Hunt Died last week aged 77 who had helped with the Torch Race each year for the last 50 years. We sent our best wishes to Pat his Widow who also is long standing Lion Heart member.”

For more information on Scouting in Wharfedale & Adults offering to volunteer please contact or message on the group Facebook page.


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