Southwick Country parkrun is cancelled on 2020-10-31 – COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Run Report 14th March 2020 by Michael Guy

Travelling to Southwick Country parkrun this morning I really didn’t know quite what to expect. I
know the course and layout, I’ve run it 123 times so should do, but with Covid-19 beginning to
spread much more I wondered how many it would put off.
Well with 215 participants and a full complement of volunteers it appears that the locals have
decided to keep going.
A gorgeous sunny morning, something of a rarity in recent months, but it was still a wet start with
Puddle Corner being a bit on the slippery side. Cathy Warner took the First-Timers & Tourist brief
and our RD for the day was Simon Lathbury who gave the main brief and got the runners going by
shouting 5,4,3,2,1 Enjoy, so we did.
Today I had planned to walk with my puppy but he had other ideas so walked with the Tail Walkers
(Jay Sims-Bagshaw and Sarah Barker) and Terri & co as I was really not dressed for running today.
There were a few puddles on course to go through and even though I was in normal clothes I
decided to splosh through them anyway, it’d be rude not to eh?
First finisher today was John Reed in a time of 18:09 followed by Paul Crudge who managed a PB
today. First Female was Isabel James, from Kidderminster, in 20:58.
31 PB's in total and 35 First timers, wow, well done and welcome!

Every parkrun is only made possible by our band of volunteers aka the Hi-Viz heroes, and your crew
today were:
Alexander Ross • Benjamin Hails • Bernadette Ross • Bex Walsh-Hill • Catherine
Greenland • Cathy Warner • Charlotte Hill • Colin Sawyer • Dawn Sawyer • Eileen
Farrell • Eloise Nice • Fiona Price • George Robert Sawyer • Gil Nott • Jeanette Sims-
Bagshaw • Jerry Clark • Jonathan Rolinson • Jorja Warner • Josephine Farrell • Katharine
Farrell • Keith Getheridge • Michael Germany • Michael Guy (me) • Mick Marchant • Paul
Brazier • Richard Parke • Sarah Barker • Sean Price • Simon Lathbury • Victoria
Farrell • Wendy Marchant
I don’t think I missed anyone but if I did I’m so sorry.

Congratulations to the following parkrun people on their milestone runs:
Mike Maidment on his 50th
Samantha Castley-MacDonald and Victoria Farrell on their 100th
Anita Bradshaw on her 150th
Alex Chesterton for his 200th
Anita Bradburn for her 300th
Trevor Meadowcroft for his 350 th
There are no incidents to report, thank you for running safely and considerately
Thanks to everyone that took part and volunteered today, it made the day that bit brighter.


Run Report 7th March 2020 by George Sawyer

With parkruns all over the world hosting special celebrations of female participation. Welcome to the International Women’s Day parkrun report. #IWDparkrun

Remember me? I am George Sawyer. I’ve done this job once before when I was park runner of the month in October last year. I am 12 years old and go to St Augustine’s. I am a runner!

Not originally from the sunny Trowbridge I come from Southport in Merseyside, I lived there from 2007 to 2009 then moved to Bath and lived there for half a year before moving in to my current house.

I’ve been running from 15/6/19, inspired by soon to be Bath Half Marathon finisher Dawn Sawyer (my Mum) and my Dad who ran 23:16 today. Over the last 8 months I have run 29 parkruns; Southwick 22 times, Frome 3 times and Kew Woods, Ormskirk, Southport and Chippenham, all once. I have also run one on Christmas Day (Chippenham … likely to be a new Sawyer Family Christmas tradition) and 2 in one day on New Year’s Day (Ormskirk and Southport).

Running has changed my life, I’ve developed more stamina and muscle in my legs, I’ve even got a 5k in under 30 minutes. Yet to be beaten I have completed my fastest parkrun in 29:56 last October.

So far, I’ve volunteered 10 times. I will most definitely be getting my volunteer t-shirt as when the time of me being able to DofE (Duke of Edinburgh Award) I will no doubt join the brilliant parkrun volunteer group for the three-month volunteering part of it. Without our amazing volunteers parkrun would not happen.

Parkrun is such a lovely activity to do, you make great friends, stay healthy and have fun. Today I ran/walked with my friend Peter. Whilst it is called parkRUN, the run in parkrun doesn’t necessarily mean you have to run, you can run, jog and walk at parkrun at whatever pace you move at. Therefore, making it a fun, friendly and fitness activity; the perfect start to your Saturday morning.

As I said earlier, this is my second run report. My Mum has also written a run report about her park bench to parkrun journey. We both think it’s about time my Dad wrote one! Come on Colin Sawyer, what are you waiting for??

As to the parkrun itself, in total 263 people ran, jogged and walked the course today. Well done to the 31 people who got PB's today. Well done and welcome to our 30 First timers!

1st home today was Ben Mees. Ben was first home last time I was the run report writer and again in a new PB (17:49). Whilst our 1st female home was one of our first timers, namely Megan Clement in a fantastic time of 21:12.

Congratulations to Richard Parke for reaching his 300th parkrun milestone today! Many congratulations also to our parkrunner of the month for February, Keith Getheridge.

Today would not be possible without our amazing volunteers who turn out week in week out to ensure the safety of those taking part. Today’s event was made possible by 32 volunteers, namely:

Carrie ALMEIDA • Rosemary BARBER • Alison BREMNER • Dudley BROWN • Jerry CLARK • Amanda ELLIOTT • Debbie ELLIS • Daniel FIEVEZ • Benjamin Edward HAILS • Annalie IBISON • Wendy MARCHANT • Eloise NICE • Gil NOTT • Martin PEARCE • Gill PERRY • Ken PRICE • Sean PRICE • Alan RICHARDSON • Jonathan ROLINSON • Alexander ROSS • Bernadette ROSS • Robert SALES • Colin SAWYER • Dawn SAWYER • George Robert SAWYER • Judy Samantha SCHOLS • Robin-Mark SCHOLS • Kat TAYLOR-LAIRD • Cathy WARNER • Jorja WARNER • Tim YEOMANS

A high five and a massive thumbs up to all our hi-vis heroes today!

Volunteering at parkrun has a bigger impact on health & wellbeing than just running or walking! It may seem a bit intimidating, but honestly volunteering is really fun! All the tasks are pretty straight forward, and full training is given. If you would like to give it a go and volunteer simply email ‎


An amazing story about Run Director, Judy Schols’ Great Grandmother and #IWD

Run Director Judy Schols is really looking forward to welcoming you as run director for the Southwick Country parkrun for the International Womens’ Day on Saturday 7th March, an event that looms large in her family history.

“My Great Grandmother Mary Macarthur campaigned tirelessly for equal pay for women in what were known as the Sweated Industries in the early 1900s”, said Judy. Judy continued, “Mary was a well to do sort with very useful social connections and she utilised them to help the women less fortunate then her for all she was worth.”

From a wealthy family, Mary didn’t need to involve herself but did so with gusto, determined to right the wrong of the women being paid a wage of 5 shillings (25p) instead of the 11 shillings (55p) a man would receive for the same work. 

Women typically did jobs such as sewing, making boxes, wire brushes and chain links, often working from home and in the same rooms as their children and likely working from dawn until after 11pm for a paltry wage.

Mary formed theNational Federation of Women Workers (NFWW) in 1906 and took the women chain makers of Cradley Heath out on strike in 1910. With no wages being paid, a nationwide campaign raised £4000 to help the women while they were not working. After the strike's success a large part of the fund remained and it was decided to commemorate the women's struggle by building an Institute in Cradley Heath. It served as a trade union headquarters, community education and social centre and became a hub for the neighbourhood.

In 1911 because of her success as an organiser at Cradley Heath, Mary was immediately sent for by Ada Salter, a London union activist, when problems were arising for women workers in London. The August of that year was one of the hottest on record and the appalling conditions in some of the factories became unbearable resulting in 14,000 women suddenly walking out on strike from 22 factories. This would later be known as the Bermondsey Uprising. 

Though inspired by Salter it was Macarthur who organised the women strikers, led the negotiations and secured another historic victory for low-paid women. The highlight was a mass rally in Southwark Park where the blistering speech of Macarthur was backed up by Sylvia Pankhurst, Charlotte Despard and George Lansbury.

Mary continued her work with the Women's Trade Union League for her whole life and played an important role in transforming it into the Women's section of the Trade Union Congress. 

Mary Macarthur died of cancer on 1 January 1921 but her fantastic achievements are not forgotten, especially by the people of the Black Country for whom she campaigned so hard. 


A statue was erected at Cradley Heath and a secure medical unit also named after her in 2012. Many streets and facilities in the area have been named after her, along with local landmarks paying more than a nod to the impact she had on an entire movement and community. 


There is no doubt that Mary was a true peoples’ champion and one still fondly thought of to this day.judyjudy1judy2judy 3judy4


Run Report was written by Rachel Kerry, 22nd February 2020

As I arrived at Southwick Parkrun, there was a bustling of people, all ages, families, solo runners, volunteers, gathering, and greeting. Everyone seemed in good spirits. As a visitor to Southwick, I easily felt welcome. What a great start to the weekend. The skies cleared, and there were glimpses of the sun trying to find it’s the way through.

After cheers and whoops for first-timers to Parkrun, first-timers to Southwick Parkrun, milestone achievements, (Chris Bent for running his 100th, Colin Booth and Jackie Hall for running their 150th and Paul Lancaster for running his 250th), and of-course the Hi-Vis heroes that make this happen, we were off!

This parkrun is an almost 3 lap anti-clockwise course, run on a hard trail path, through Southwick County Park. There is a fast downhill stretch to the finish line, encouraging some fun sprint finishes today. There was a fair amount of mud that had accumulated on the paths, so the announcement of the ‘wet start’ made for a less mucky finish. There was only one main large puddle to avoid, or not! On the third time around, many seemed to simply glide through.

A big thank you to the marshals, shouting words of encouragement, egging us on. Such a friendly run, where everyone really does feel welcome.

Parkrun is an all-inclusive and mixed ability event. A shout out to Rosemary Barber and Stuart Macgregor our age-grade winners. Also, Alex Hammond and Polly Pennicott our Junior winners. Another shout out for our furthest traveller (parkrun tourist!), Dan Kate Stolworthy from Huddersfield.

The biggest shout out goes to all 308 of you, for completing the course, joining in and making parkrun what it is.

Open to everyone.

Safe and easy to take part.

Free, forever.


The Calm Before The Storm: by Michelle Pearson

As the weekend approached storm Dennis seemed to be mentioned every time I turned on the TV or radio, warnings of biblical storms and requests to tie down our trampolines. This was taken very seriously in the South West parkrun community and with run after run cancelled options for my Saturday morning fix became more and more limited.
Friday evening was spent studying various weather apps and the conclusion was to travel east and try to outrun Dennis. A quick cross reference with runs on the ‘to do’ list and up popped Southwick Country Park, I had run here a couple of years ago but not very quickly, so a PB was a good possibility. My companions were looking for a ‘south’ for their running challenges and whilst it looked like we would get wet, we should complete before Dennis could do his worst.
We set out from Bristol at 07:30, storm chasers in reverse, keeping a close eye on Facebook all the way, half expecting to see a last minute cancellation. We needn’t have worried, the team at Southwick proved more than a match for Dennis and preparations for the run were in full flow as we parked up. As we walked across to the toilets at the café and slithered back for the first timers brief I was slightly concerned we had made a mistake but this proved to be the only grass we encountered.
At the brief we were asked where runners had travelled from, unsurprisingly in the conditions, Bristol proved to be the farthest and the runner who shouted this was asked if he wanted to wear the tourist T Shirt. I didn’t know there was such a thing, why hadn’t I shouted up first, I came from Bristol, I would have loved to wear the tourist T Shirt, tourism is my thing……ah well maybe next time.
At the start the run director walked us through the final safety announcements and at this point the weather was dry and really quite pleasant, would it last, could we outrun Dennis?
As we set off it was quite congested and whilst wet under foot in places, the paths were firm. We had been warned not to wander off the paths and a quick glance down explained why with standing water and boggy grass on either side. It was not too difficult to puddle dodge and I soon became lulled into a false sense of security that my feet would stay dry throughout, rookie mistake. After the next bend I was met with a particularly spectacular lake to get through…OK maybe lake is a slight exaggeration, it was however deep enough to come over the top of my shoes and ensure damp feet from then on.
The marshal just past the ‘lake’ quickly took my mind off the damp however as he encouraged us onward against a background of music playing from his ghetto blaster. This was at least something to look forward to as we had to traverse the ‘lake’ twice more on the run. It was also a nice touch to see the volunteers at the finish funnel on the first lap, standing arms outstretched, taking jackets from runners and placing them on a tarp for collection at the end.
Despite the threat of a downpour it was a great event, well organised and friendly. Thank you to all the volunteers standing around in puddles or mud and not seeming to mind one bit. In the end the weather held for the run but as a volunteer you never know, you just put your name down and hope for the best. I salute you all.
Afterward we headed off to the café, nice atmosphere, friendly staff and amazing cakes. As we left the warmth of the café the heavens opened and we got drenched on the short walk back to the car. Dennis got the last laugh after all.

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