IN THE year 1993, crowds flocked in their thousands to attend the 49th Ambleside sports day, in hopes of meeting Prime Minister John Major who had been invited to this traditional popular Lakes sporting event.

Event secretary Christine Laidler said she asked the PM to attend the event after it was revealed how much he loved the Lakes and had spent his most recent birthday in the region with his wife Norma.

Christine said: “After hearing he loved the Lakes, I invited him but added if he couldn’t make it this year, he would keep next year free when we will be celebrating our golden jubilee.”

A TV crew from Los Angeles were scheduled to attend the event with the intention of filming the Cumberland weight lifting competition and wrestling matches.

They were to be filmed for American television.

While the cameras were focused on the wrestling, the secretary had hoped that they would be filming other sporting events as well.

Especially the popular hound trials which had been a much an anticipated event that year.

One event which attracted the largest crowds was the Reebok eight-mile Rydal Round, which was won in 1992 by Kendal’s Mark Roberts.

The day included fell racing, from junior levels to senior.

Competitors from Scotland came to join the Ambleside event.

In 1992, the warm weather greeted hundreds of competitors and thousands of spectators for the 48th Ambleside sports day.

Commentators said: “There may not be as many people here today as there are in Barcelona but there may well be a budding Olympic hopefully taking part here.”

Mark Roberts, set out to prove his skill when he ran the Reebok Rydal Round, leaving the rest of the trial far behind in his wake.

He said: “It was very hard, and I had to push through the whole way round. I thought maybe I had gone away too quickly maybe I had gone away too quickly but by the time I reached the top of the club I had that much of a gap it was OK.”

Running the course in 14 minutes, he celebrated as he crossed the line with an impressive time.

Having previously won the race in the under 14s and under 12s category, Robert was a familiar sight at the sports day.

“That was not bad, very acceptable, in fact it was excellent – once I got to the summit first and turned it was very good, but I felt knackered.”

The winner of the senior guides was Robert Hudson, 22, from Malham.