The West Hartlepool walker whose mum wrote to a shoe firm

Martin Slimmings

Martin Slimmings

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Last week, we told the story of Martin Slimmings who walked 53 miles in a competition and won a new pair of shoes for his troubles,

Today, we can share a little more on the lad from Hartlepool who grabbed the headlines in 1964 when he was the youngest competitor in the West Hartlepool walk.

The presentation ceremony for the walkers.

The presentation ceremony for the walkers.

The Round Table event was an annual one at the time and it sorted out the men from the boys.

Martin didn’t win the race but he won lots of praise because he was only 12 when he completed the course in 18 hours and 52 minutes.

Not in any top-notch running shoes either. Or any tough and sturdy walking boots.

He did it in a comfortable pair of black rubber-soled shoes and was one of only 16 finishers out of 80 people who had lined up at the start.

But that’s not where the story ends thanks to his mum Mrs A. Slimings who wrote to the people who had made the shoes her son had worn on his gruelling walk.

She congratulated them of producing such a hard-wearing product and added: “Knowing you may receive some complaints from time to time, I feel that this particular pair of shoes deserve recommendation.

“My son received a medal for completing the walk and I think his shoes should get one too.”

The manufacturers replied and congratulated Martin on his achievement. They gave him a new pair of shoes and were so impressed with his achievements, arranged for a presentation to be made by Mr Heally, the footwear manager of the Hartlepools Co-operative Society.

Who remembers the walk? Contact Chris Cordner by emailing chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk