David Thorpe Photography

Personal Pix

Landmarks and Memories

In 1967 Reading athletics Club decided to run a relay race from lands End to John O' Groats, 603 miles. Reporter Bill Doult and I trailed them, reporting and picturing the race as it unfolded, from Cornwall via Wales and Gretna to the far tip of Scotland. We had a specially kitted out van so that one of us could rive while the other slept, since we needed to be on the move 24 hours a day as the runners were. it was a logistic nightmare because the runners could go across mountain tracks and paths where we could not.

Our specially kitted out van, as the Reading Post put it, consisted of a newspaper delivery van with a mattress slung in the back and a few crates of beer. One of Bill's reports I recall was when he wrote how the event came to mean something to him "when we found ourselves passing towns that up to then had just been names in the football results".

It showed me that while a picture may be with a thousand words, sometimes half a dozen word were worth a thousand pictures.

This picture was taken on the - then - newly opened Severn Bridge. You can't tell but I hadn't slept for 36 hours when this picture was taken. That's what it is to be young.
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