Monday, January 22, 2007


It's Official - Nordic Walking began in the UK in 1968 (or was that C1907?)

Ok folks - I have the documentary proof - An elderly gentlman was recorded on film taken back in 1968, somewhere in England, walking with two 'wooden' ski poles using the poling technique similar to that of cross-country skiers eg what has widely become known today as Nordic Walking.

Ok, agreed that there was no suggestion in the recorded film at the time that this was being referred to as 'Nordic Walking' but it was definately recognisable from the filmed evidence to be what we now call Nordic Walking...

So the Brits were first! Not our American friends or the Finnish friends either but the Brits - and yes it was definately a British gentleman and it was definately in Britain!

Perhaps a more appropriate term for the activity we know think of as Nordic Walking would be 'English Country Pole Walking'?

There can be no denying this because the evidence is recorded on film for all to see...

Ok - So how can you see this 'proof'? It's very easy... Just watch the film 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' - No I haven't taken leave of my senses... I'm serious; Honest :-) and you will see a a very brief shot of Grandpa Potts (who is definately an Englishman), Nordic Walking!

The exact spot in the film is when the inventer Charactacus Potts first drives 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' out of the garage having faithfully restored it to it's former Glory. Jeremy and Jemima jump aboard and as 'Chitty' drives away, Grandpa Potts can be seen setting out Nordic Walking in the opposite direction (don't blink because you will miss it).

Now - So where does C1907 come into this? Well that's simple. 'Chitty Chitty Bang Bang' was filmed in England in 1968 but the film was staged in the early 1900's - Remember (if you have seen it) that the film starts out with Chitty (in her racing days) winning the Grand Prix races in England, France and I think it was Germany? In it's final race (on the screen I think it said 'British Grand Prix' 1907) 'Chitty' crashes - Which is what leads it to be bought and restored by Charactacus Potts.

So that puts an approximate date line on the setting for the film C1907 - I therefore wonder if the film makers know something that Nordic Walking historians don't eg that what we now know as Nordic Walking was a popular country activity in Great Britain in the early years of the 20th Century...

Should we now re-write the Nordic Walking history book? :-)


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