THE Wharfedale District Scout and Explorer Scout Sam Ives Torch Race took place again last Friday after a three-year gap.

Three teams of Explorers from Ilkley and Burley-in-Wharfedale, plus seven Scout teams from 1st Ben Rhydding, Burley, Otley Bridge, Otley Methodists and Menston assembled at the bottom of Station Road at 7.30pm.

The race ran directly up to the top of the Chevin and the winner was the first to touch the flagstaff at Surprise View.

The presentation of the trophy took place at the finish at approximately 8pm after all the judges were satisfied all rules had been adhered to. The Assistant District Commissioner for Scouts Naomi McMorn and District Commissioner Tim Haskins presented the trophies.

The winner of The Scouts Competition were 1st Ben Rhydding and Ilkley Explorers won the Explorer trophy.

The Torch Race was first held in 1935 as part of the celebrations of the Silver Jubilee of King George V and Queen Mary. The torch was made by the late Sam Ives. It was carried on that occasion by the Scouts of Otley from the Jubilee Clock to the summit of the Chevin.

It was then used to light the Beacon on the Surprise View, which was one of a chain throughout Britain to celebrate the Jubilee.

After the 1935 celebrations, the torch was presented to the Scouts of Otley, and on the first or second Friday of May each subsequent year, the Scouts have arranged to hold a relay from the town centre to a flagpole placed on the site of the original beacon.

Richard Nerurkar MBE, a one-time Menston Scout and a Torch Race competitor, who went on to run in the 10,000 metres at the 1992 Olympics and the marathon in the 1996 Games, kindly donated a second trophy for the Explorers’ race some years ago.

A spokesperson for Scouting in Wharfedale said: "Sadly, one of The Lion Hearts very long serving members David Hunt died last week aged 77. He had helped with the Torch Race each year for the last 50 years. We sent our best wishes to Pat his widow who also is long standing Lion Heart member."

For more information on Scouting in Wharfedale and for information on volunteering opportunities for adults contact or message Wharfedale scouting on their Facebook page.