Cumbria Crack

National Tug of War Championships at Cumberland Show a real crowd puller

Norton vs Upper Eden 560kg

The 2019 Tug of War Association National Outdoor Tug of War Championships took place at the Cumberland Show on Saturday, with teams from as far afield as Sussex, Essex and Devon taking part in the mens, ladies and mixed weight classes, with each team in each weight class being formed by 8 team members. Each team was not allowed to exceed the weight limit in each weight class.

Around 250 competitors from 15 different tug of war clubs took part in the event over the course of the day, with hundreds of visitors attending the event from the surrounding areas to cheer the teams on as well as enjoying the other activities at the Show.

There was no one club that dominated the senior mens weight classes was the Lincoln tug of war team and the Oxney Vines Cross team from Sussex, winning two weight categories each, Lincoln winning the catchweight (no weight limit) competition and 680kg and Oxney Vines Cross won the 560kg and 600kg divisions. Norton from Staffordshire won the 640kg competition and Felton Eccles from Somerset won the 720kg competition.

The ladies competitions saw Bedford Ladies dominate all weight categories on offer for the ladies, winning the 500kg, 520kg, 540kg and 560kg divisions, only losing a couple of ends through the day to the Haldon Ladies team from Devon.

Lincoln then went on to win the mixed weight category at the end of the day after they defeated home team Upper Eden from Cumbria in the final.

Upper Eden Men Silver Medal Winners
Upper Eden Ladies Bronze

It was a brilliant day for the Upper Eden team, who have only been up and running for a few seasons, walking away with 3 silver medals and a bronze medal as a club in the mens 560kg and 600kg competitions where the club  won silver, winning bronze in the ladies 520kg competition and then winning silver in the mixed competition. In particular, Upper Eden caused one of the biggest upsets of the day in the mens 560kg competition when they beat defending champions Norton in the first round. Norton had not been beaten in this weight category since 2007!

Upper Eden Coach James Metcalfe receiving the 560kg runner up trophy

The results mean that Upper Eden Club have earned the right to represent England B in the mens 600kg competition and Mixed 580kg competition at the British and Irish Championships in Northern Ireland in August where they will face A and B teams from Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Republic of Ireland which will be a huge honour for the club.

“We had a great day” commented Tug of War Association Spokesman Alan Knott.

“Luckily the weather remained largely dry despite the forecasts, so we had good conditions for competitive tug of war in a great setting, which was great for all of the spectators and visitors who came along to the event.

“We had some really exciting competition, and it was the most closely contested championships that we have had for years, with some really exciting ends and unpredictable outcomes – it is always best when you get competitions like that.

“The winning teams from the national tug of war championships will now go on to represent England at the European Championships in Castlebar in Ireland in September and we would like to take this opportunity to wish our England teams the very best of luck in their preparations for this event.

“Finally, we would like to thank the Cumberland Show Organising Committee and Upper Eden Tug of War Club and all of their volunteers for their assistance in helping us to stage this event. They made us feel very welcome and hopefully we will be able to return in the future.

The Tug of War Association are always looking for new people to take up the sport and for new teams to form. Help and advice is always available from the Tug of War Association for people looking to get started. The Tug of War Association hopes that this event has helped to inspire more people to give the sport of tug of war a go.

For further information about the sport of tug of war, people are encouraged to visit the Tug of War Association web site at or you can follow The Tug of War Association on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the handle @englandtugofwar.

2018 National Outdoor Tug of War Championships – Results Summary

Men 560 kilos – Gold – Oxney Vines Cross (Sussex) – Silver – Upper Eden (Cumbria) – Bronze – Norton (Staffordshire)

Men 600 kilos – Gold – Oxney Vines Cross (Sussex) – Silver – Upper Eden (Cumbria) – Bronze – Norton (Staffordshire)

Men 640 kilos – Gold – Norton (Staffordshire) – Silver – Lincoln (Lincolnshire) – Bronze – Felton Eccles (Somerset)

Men 680 kilos – Gold – Lincoln (Lincolnshire) – Silver – Felton Eccles (Somerset) – Bronze – Oxney Vines Cross (Sussex)

Men 720 kilos – Gold – Felton Eccles (Somerset) – Silver – Lincoln (Lincolnshire) – Bronze – Essex

Men Catchweight (no weight limit) – Gold – Lincoln (Lincolnshire) – Silver – Essex – Bronze – Holland (Staffordshire)

Ladies 500 kilos – Gold – Bedford Ladies (Bedfordshire) – Silver – Oxney Vines Cross Ladies (Sussex) – Bronze –  Kilroe Ladies (Lancashire)

Ladies 520 kilos – Gold – Bedford Ladies (Bedfordshire) – Silver – Haldon Ladies (Devon) – Bronze –  Upper Eden Ladies (Cumbria)

Ladies 540 kilos – Gold – Bedford Ladies (Bedfordshire) – Silver – Haldon Ladies (Devon)

Ladies 560 kilos – Gold – Bedford Ladies (Bedfordshire) – Silver – Haldon Ladies (Devon) – Bronze –  Oxney Vines Cross Ladies (Sussex)

Mixed 580 Kilos – Gold – Lincoln (Lincolnshire) – Silver – Upper Eden (Cumbria) – Bronze – Haldon (Devon)

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