Horsforth Fellandale- A Short Club History.
The year is 1979 and a clutch of members of the 9th Airedale Venture Scout Unit have reached the venerable age of 21. They have been together since the formation of the Unit six years earlier and during those years have formed a close bond and become experienced fell walkers. Some have competed in fell races and the Karrimor Mountain Marathon and visited the Alps. They have been instrumental in the 9th Airedale domination of the Six Dales Walk and competed successfully in The Four Inns and Masters long distance walk competitions.
Several of these young men have been reluctant to cease attending Venture Scout meetings despite Scout Association rules stating that Venture Scouts membership must end at the age of 21.The Venture Scout leader tolerates their attendance for several months but eventually realises that they are dominating meetings to the detriment of younger members of the Unit. Behind the scenes discussions take place involving Alex Miller the Venture Scout Leader, his Assistant John Eastwood, Dave Hodgson the Group Outdoor Pursuit Instructor and several of the lads.. They decide that the solution will be to form a new Club to keep together the core members of the Venture Unit when they reach 21 and to encourage their development of outdoor activities.
The inaugural meeting was held at the Ringway Pub in Horsforth on 17th January 1980 and it was agreed that the name of the club should be Horsforth Fellandale Club and the club should affiliate to the British Mountaineering Council.and membership of the Scout Fellowship was to be encouraged. The draft constitution which was adopted, stated that the objectives of the club should be :-
1. To promote the sport of mountaineering.
2. To encourage participation in other outdoor leisure pursuits
3 To be in sympathy with the aims and objectives of the Scout Association.
Sadly the minutes do not list the members present, but the following officials were appointed ;- Chairman, Graham Maud. Secretary, Duncan Morrison. Treasurer, David Burland. At least six of the inaugural members are still club members.
The initial programme of the club shows emphasis on weekend camping and hut meets and regular monthly Sunday hikes. An active social programme was also arranged with evening slide shows by Denis Gray of B.M.C and Roger Smith, Editor of Great Outdoors magazine. Within three months membership was nearly fifty and by September 1980 the committee was expressing concern about too much publicity and passed a motion to “slow down recruitment to allow consolidation of the membership and programme.”
The 1980’s were a successful period for the club and a quick check of the club honours list shows several successes in the K.I.M.M. two day mountain marathon, new records in the Six Dales Walk and completion of the Bob Graham round by three members..
By the early 90s the club membership was becoming dominated by those whose primary interest was fell running and gradually the programme began to reflect this aspect of outdoor pursuits. Organisation of the monthly walks ceased and fewer camping and hut meets were organised. A rewrite of the Club Constitution in March 1994 dropped the reference to the Scout Association and replaced it with ‘’ To be in sympathy with the Mountain and Country Code’’ Reference to the British Athletic Federation also appears in the constitution.
The competitive successes of the club continued particularly by the Lady Fell Runners who won the English Team Championship in 1993 and 1994 and the British Championship in 1994. Several more club members also completed the Bob Graham round and Andrea Priestly and Brian Hilton gained English International honours.
Full details of these competitive success are shown in the club honours section of the
The club constitution was again rewritten in 2000 and the Club Objectives were revised to include ’’ To promote the sports of fell running and off -road running’’ and ‘’To abide by the rules of the UK governing bodies of fell running and athletics‘’
This revision reflects the metamorphose of the club..
The club has a good record in service to the community and in particular has been heavily involved in assisting with Fell Race organisation. At one time nearly all check points on the Three Peaks Race were manned by Fellandale members and several of the present membership are still actively involved in the organisation.. Fellandale was heavily involved in starting the Ian Hodgson Mountain Relay and provided most of the marshals for almost twenty years. Some of our members were instrumental in organising The Sport and Fun Day in Horsforth Park The popular Danefield Relay held annually on Otley Chevin is also organised by the club. In sports administration members have been honoured to be elected to senior positions in the Fell Runners Association and Three Peaks Race Association..
The club continues to hold an annual weekend meet in the Lake District during late November when between twenty and thirty members enjoy a mixture of fell walking and running combined with good food and companionship.