On a lighter note, I've wondered if anyone can remember the route of the dreaded "Gatley Mile". More importantly- was it a mile? It certainly seemed longer. I always considered it a crafty was of the P.E. staff of unloading us from their sight so they could have a cig/whisky/sleep during the school time!
I don't remember the route exactly but I remember the yearly sponsored run around the playing fields and Holyhedge Park. A 1km lap continuously run for either 1 hour or a double period. Sheer hell for us non-runners!
I do recall some of it, I think. We used to start around the fire exit of the gym (near Spikes house). We then exited thru the gates there, turned left and went along Stancliffe Road, we then used to cut thru Hollyhedge Park and out onto Hollyhedge Road, then onto Ogden Grove, then Halstead Grove, then down the infamous slope with the handrail along the middle of it. As I recall this was treacherous after a rainfall as it used to get very slippy and I fell on my a*se at least once! Out onto Styal Road, along Park Road to the junction with Altrincham Road and then passed the front of the school, back up Stancliffe Road (past the Farm(!)) and back into the school perimeter via the same gate we left. We all used to then pass out on the grass area in front of Spike's and the Caretaker's Houses. I seem to remember we were not allowed to lie down to recouperate as this was not the most effective way to regain our badly missed breath. Not that this journey is scarred on my memory or anything ...! I have no doubt it was somewhat more than 1 imperial mile!
I can remember jumping on the 44 once with a couple of other lads (can't remember the names). Only got caught really because I didn't finish in my usual 3rd last place.
I remember one run, maybe 2 half Gatleys, not the full Gatley, that required passing the pavillion on Hollyedge Park, twice. 25 lads started the race and about 15 of us , encouraged by Gazz (Gallagher)(R.I.P) stopped there on the first pass. One of the crowd noticed Mr Mcguire trotting across the park to the pavillion (obviuosly concerned at the amount of smoke billowing from the back. As the dedicated runners made their way past for the second time we joined in and, due to lack of experience of this particular scams, I cocked up and came in 2nd. That following Friday I was running round Mersey Bank in 4 inches of mud.
I seem to remember a part of the run through woodland ? I
too got involved in the stop & smoke scam - then tagged on
the end & trotted in last with Dom Delia & Dave Harding
('73)- the secret to not getting caught I think !