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'Rain, wind or shine, people took part': Sad day as Pattingham Bells Run ends after 30 years

By Jamie Brassington | Entertainment | Published:

It was a sad day as a Staffordshire village bid farewell to a popular annual run after 30 years.

The Pattingham Bells Run was held for the final time in Pattingham on Sunday.

Hundreds of people turned out in their running gear for the final time, embarking on either a 5km or 10km run.

The event, which launched in 1980, has ended due to uncertainty over the future availability of the course.

Each participant was given a specially-designed brass medal at the finishing line to mark the occasion.

Sally Caton, aged 46, was among the runners to take part. On Sunday, Sally was supported by her father Roger, 75. It was a memorable occasion for the father and daughter, as Roger ran the very first race, and she ran the last.

Sally, who was born in Pattingham but now lives in Yorkshire, said: "My dad ran the very first event and I am running the last one.

"It is such a shame because it has been going on for so long. It is such a good event because you can't run on the land any other time of the year."

Roger added: "It is sad really because people have come from all over the country to run here for the past 30 years.

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"I ran in the first one here and in subsequent ones. In 20 years, I ran 20,000 miles, however I don't run anymore."

The run was originally launched to raise funds for repair work to the ageing tower at St Chad’s Church, in Pattingham, back in 1980.

At the time, the church needed renovation to its tower and new church bells - hence the name of the run which was born.

Each year since, the run has raised money for charitable causes. For this final time, the run is aiding Acorns Hospice and St Chad's Primary School.

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It is an event that involves the whole village and it has more than 100 volunteers who help out.

One of those is Lisa Ainsworth, aged 57, from Pattingham.

She said: "I think it is really disappointing this is the final run. It has been a fantastic experience, I have been involved in it for over 10 years and it has helped a lot of people.

"It is fantastic that people have supported us.

"The run is organised all by volunteers. Any money that is made goes to charity. No one takes any money out of it.

"We have got a fantastic band of volunteers. Well over 100 volunteers help us to get underway.

"It doesn't matter whether it is rain, wind or shine, whatever the weather, people turn out for the race and volunteer for the race as well. It is fantastic."

The team of volunteers includes road and race marshals, people who organise drink stalls and people who bake cakes and make jams, which are sold off for charity.

Jamie Brassington

By Jamie Brassington
Senior Multi-Media Journalist - @JamieB_Star

Senior reporter at the Express & Star. Contact me at jamie.brassington@expressandstar.co.uk.

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