The World Coal Carrying Championships

The World Coal Carrying Championships

The World Coal Carrying Championships

Where: Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, UK

When: Easter

What’s the idea of carrying a bag of coal almost a mile when there isn’t even a need for it at the end of the trip? Well, the tradition of coal carrying began in 1963 when several no doubt inebriated customers of the Maypole pub in Gawthorpe decided that they needed to see which of them was the fittest!

Instead of witnessing the probably improbable sight of several unfit middle aged men puffing and grunting up the hill at a canter under the strain of a hundred-weight of coal, the main event these days at The World Coal Carrying Championships sees the fit and ready male contestants line up at The Royal Oak pub on Owl Lane. These competitors must carry the same hundred-weight of coal (50 kg) as the competition’s originators almost a mile to the foot of the Maypole (at the Maypole pub) in the quickest possible time. The fastest time on record is currently 4 minutes and 6 seconds by David Jiones of Meltham, which gave him one of his six times within the top ten.

I wonder what Roger Bannister would have made of all that?

More info about this and other events:  Clockwork Gallery @ Facebook.


Chris Gray

Clockwork Gallery


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