Search is on for lost trophy

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MORPETH Harriers are hoping to celebrate a special sporting year by regaining their own Olympic trophy.

The Morpeth Games, which began in the 1870s, used to attract vast numbers of runners from all over the UK and abroad, with events including the high jump and pole vault, plus Cumberland and Westmoreland wrestling.

When they were wound up in 1958, one of the trophies was presented to Morpeth Harriers and it was competed for in the club’s annual 11k race — held on a long-established route from Morpeth through Mitford, the Mitford Steads and back to Morpeth.

It was presented to the race winner, but has now disappeared.

Harriers Secretary Mike Bateman said: “We think that during the 1980s or 1990s one of the winners didn’t bring it back and since then we’ve lost track of the trophy.

“It would be great if we could get it back so that we can exhibit it at the Morpeth Gathering lecture and other events leading up to London 2012.”

If you are a previous winner of the Morpeth race and have a trophy which is or could be the one the Harriers are looking for, e-mail morpethharriers@aol.com

l On Sunday, April 15, sporting history expert Martin Polley, author of the English Heritage book The British Olympics, will give a talk about the Morpeth Olympics from 6pm in Morpeth Town Hall.

This will be followed by an archive films screening from 7.30pm.

Tom Temple’s Morpeth Olympics sequences and local sporting heritage footage from Keith Hartnell will be shown.

An evening ticket, which covers both events, is priced £5.

They are available from the Morpeth Tourist Information Centre, The Chantry, on 01670 535200.

Leading songwriter Jez Lowe has begun work on a special Morpeth Olympics composition and it is hoped that it will premier at the Gathering.

For more information about all of the festival’s activities, visit www.northumbriana.org.uk/gathering/next.htm