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New Wenlock Olympians Games Book Published (19th March 2012)

New Wenlock Olympians Games Book Published

A new pictorial history of the Wenlock Olympian Games - the inspiration behind the modern Olympic movement - is about to be published.

This lavishly illustrated full-colour book, The Olympian Games in Wenlock: A Pictorial History, is the first to tell the story of the Games’ 160-year history from their creation in 1850 by Dr William Penny Brooks to the present day.

Pictures range from sepia tone images of penny-farthings to full colour pictures of recent events, including a visit to the town by the Wenlock mascot last year.

Local historian Joy Sims collaborated with best-selling author, and Much Wenlock publisher, Ina Taylor on the book, which is officially launched on 30 March at the town’s Priory Hall at 7pm.

“The book follows the progress of the games from their Victorian beginnings in this small Shropshire market town to the thriving celebration they are today and explains their role in the founding of the modern Olympic movement,” explained Ina.

“People in the town and families further afield have been incredibly helpful, finding photographs in dusty cupboards and remembering stories granddad told them. It has also been really enjoyable to hear from local people who compete in the games today and to publish some fascinating pictures which have never been seen before,” she added.

Anecdotes about competitors include tales of the 1920s Wenlock postman who trained for sprinting events by running from house to house and the local woodman who learnt to pole vault over hedges on Wenlock Edge.

Catherine Beale, who wrote a widely-praised biography of William Penny Brookes last year, has acted as consultant on the project.
The book will be sold at retailers around the county and through the website from 30 March, price £12.99.