Grace Wells became a non-running member of the Joggers through her husband Sid.
Sid had been very athletic as a young man at school in Steyning, When the Henfield Joggers started Sid was one of the first to join and became a very enthusiastic member.
Sid loved working out the time that people would take doing various runs. For the South Downs Relay he would work out a timetable of when people could be expected at the various checkpoints. We used to travel by coach to watch our runners taking part in the London Marathon and Sid would work out when you were likely to see them at about 4 different places on the route.
So it was no coincidence that he had Grace sitting either on the seat next to the oak tree or, if pouring hard of rain, in her car at the finish of the handicap course by the side of the car park next to the Sports Centre. The tree was removed, but the bench is there with a dedication to Sid and Grace. Sid would then work out the times for people to start the handicap course, the objective being for people to finish together “racing” across the football pitch.
Grace always helped at the Seven Stiles Fun Run, which Sid’s company Grommets sponsored. Grace also helped Liz Hodgson with the food on a Wednesday evening and was really good to have on your team at the Village Hall Quiz. Grace was a lovely lady who just quietly got on with things and was a great support to Sid when he was racing.
Just a mention – Sid also marked out a 10 mile route around the village with Grace driving the car and Sid leaning out of the door and spraying the road with a spray can. There’s probably still a warrant out for them! Brian and I still run “Sid’s mile”; it is from a tree (which Sid sprayed with paint, sadly all faded away now), on the railway line near the Stretham Manor bridge back towards the village to the bridge there.
A lovely couple who really supported the Joggers.
The names on the Shield above, the first winners of the Grace Wells Handicap, are:
1991 – Michael Hoadley
1992 – Sid Wells
1993 – Michael Bonnington
1994 – Rosemary Sayers
1995 – Derek Eastwood
1996 – Malcolm McLean
1997 – Roger Brindley
1998 – Liz Brindley
1999 – Briony Bradley
2000 – Alan Barwick
2001 – Alan Barwick
2002 – Deborah Locke