The Tinker Cup


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Add to Calendar August 2, 2021 12:47 Holmfirth Harriers Event:


Our most prestigious race the Tinker Cup, 111 years after the race was first contested in 1908.

The Tinker Cup was provided by Henry William Cossart Tinker, who was a founder member and Vice President of Holmfirth Harriers AC when the club was formed in 1907. He donated the “Tinker Cup” trophy in 1908 when he was 23 years of age. The first race took place on Saturday 26 December 1908 and has been contested annually ever since apart from two years during the Great War, nine years during World War II and immediately afterwards and one year in the early 1950’s when there were no competitors.

There have been 99 races to date with 75 different winners and sixteen people have won the race on more than one occasion. The first person to win the trophy three times was Frank Beaver in the 1920’s and a replica of the trophy was made and presented to him.  After his death the trophy was given back to the club and is now awarded to the handicap winner of the Club’s Summer Championship. Three other members have won the trophy three times, Bob Asquith, Les Bailey and Trevor Ramsden, but Laurie Liles won the trophy an unprecedented six times in the 1950’s, although it should be noted that the numbers contesting the race were usually in single figures, apart from his first win in 1950-51 where 11 started the race and 10 finished. He did however run the fastest time on eight occasions and was no doubt a worthy winner.

The first lady to win the race was our Ladies Captain, Helen Berry in 2002 and the only person to win both the Tinker Cup and the Ian Roberts Trophy for the fastest time is Mark Buckingham in 2003 who was the youngest ever winner at 18 years of age and has since won the Ian Roberts Trophy on 11 occasions.

This year we would like to mark the Tinker Cup Centenary with at least 100 competitors, but entries will only be accepted from members who are affiliated to UKAthletics. The highest number we have achieved in the past was 93 in the Club’s Centenary Year (2007), but we had 92 finishers and the same number in 2008.

It would greatly help the organiser, Chris Whitelegg  (or Rob Kersey ), if you could let us know if you hope to take part, at what we hope will be a memorable unique event, in order that we can make arrangements for the likely number of entries.

If you are a former winner of the Tinker Cup, we hope to have a group photograph of all the winners at 1.30pm prompt outside the race headquarters at Honley Cricket Club. If you plan to attend, we would be grateful if you could let one of us know so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

We do need about 30 Marshals at various points on the course, so anyone who does not want to take part in the race, please offer to help and let us know as soon as possible. Finally with the increase in entrants, past winners, marshals and other helpers plus probably other spectators there is going to be a need for even more donations of food than usual. Again please help with sweet or savoury items (bought or homemade) if at all possible and let Alison Whitelegg (via Chris’s email) know what you will supply.

It’s Christmas, it’s muddy, it’s not just off road, it’s off trails… it’s the Tinker Cup.

How to attend the The Tinker Cup

You can enter using the form on this page, or sign up at the club.

Photos from the The Tinker Cup