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Last updated 05 October 2021


Archive Photos & more...


PP Alison Brand was found a couple of old photos...


Woody has been in the loft again...





There have been times when some are critical of world records being set whilst involving pacemakers. Back in 1937, Sydney Wooderson broke the mile world record, in a handicap race, here’s the lineup, at Motspur Park, of course Sydney off scratch, with a time of 4:06.4. From Facebook "I am or was a runner"  29-01-20




I read the other day that Adam Gemili has been awarded the 2019 BASWA in memory of the late John Rodda and I remembered that I have a photo of John in deep conversation with PP Graham Botley. It was taken in 1990 at the World XC Championships in Aix Les Bains, France. It was the second year of me managing the GB XC team. I thought that this might be of interest. Ian Wilson

This time it's Jim Phelan - "Just got a device for scanning negatives and been going through old packs of films… came across these from the days when Mob Matches were Mob Matches!" 12-11-19


16 November 1985 the Mob Match against SLH from Hayes,  Barry Attwell won in 38:38. We won match 5,383 to 7,064. Barry also ran in the other weeks Mob Match (27 October 2019)

. Jim says "I was 49th out of 217… 29th in BH out of 137! We won, making it 38 all in the series"





Chris Woodcock has been in the loft again... 9-11-19

As written by E. D. Lacey :

Fire Brigade Meeting White City 19th August 1964
John Thresher ( Belgrave ) leading John Herring ( Blackheath ), Alan Simpson the event winner, John Cooke, John Whetton & Maurice Herriott - during the 2 mile invitation.

Blackheath Harriers Annual 10 mile 2 man Relay, Ladywell, 23rd February 1964
John Baldwin passing the baton to John Herring just before completing the clubs fastest time this season - 42min 52 secs.

 CW note : Eric Read the shorter gentleman in the trilby next to Jack Sims.

Jack Braughton not in the photo... 1-11-19
Mike Martineau once asked Alan Brent to point Jack out (as he had hair then). Alan said “He’s not in it, he couldn’t get time off from work”.

Men’s team in 1948 Olympics. Harold Abrahams Olympic 100m Champion 1924 is 6 from right in back row, next to him, blond with quiff is Bill Nankeville, Dad of comedian Bobby Davro, end of back row is Ross McWhirter of Guinness book of records fame. Spot the one black face! Sprinter McDonald Bailey.


Rob Hadgraft writes:

Exactly 70 years ago - March 13, 1948 - little Sydney Wooderson swapped track for the country and astonished the athletics world by winning the gruelling 10-mile English National in Graves Park, Sheffield. This pic (via Colin Kirkham) shows him sprinting for home leaving Vic Blowfield (Belgrave) and Albert Shorrocks (Halesowen) in his wake. Fourth was Jack Charlesworth (Aylesford Paper Mills), who said afterwards: "Sydney proved his utter superiority up that final hill. Blowfield and Shorrocks tried desperately to hold him. I blew up and managed to scramble in fourth. It was my hardest race ever and the other two were equally played out. Sydney just did not know what it was to give up.”
My biography of Sydney will be published soon (excuse the plug)!



At Alan Brent's funeral on 4 July 2017, Nicola (Alan's daughter) gave us three boxes. mostly mugs trophies and minute books but did contain a few photos.

I've attached three, one of Alan running, one of the 1947 National team and one of an Orion mob match. There are no dates on the other two but the National took place on 8/3/47 at Apsley. The team was SC Wooderson 7th, G E Monshall 9th, R R Choat 35th, W F Spencer 64th, A J Brent 66th, G H Wilkinson 102nd, D W Smith 138th, D E Reynolds 144th, A Dale 171st. The team finished 4th. There were 279 finishers. Pat Calnan




Blackheath Harriers in the 1930s
Author Rob Hadgraft is writing a book on Sydney Wooderson and sent a request for the first names of seven BH members from the 1930s. Their forenames did not appear in the Club History so all the 1930 Gazettes were trawled through. It is always a joy to have an excuse to do such research but there was only success with two names out of the seven. Ronald Philo who became Club Captain in 1937 and John Poole who was also a steeplechaser and. Cross Country man. Scoring twice in the National team and achieving a best of 58th place. The rest are only ever referred to by their surname or by their initials and surname. Such was the custom of those days. Membership lists only contain the initials, as do lists of those serving in the armed forces. Announcements of forthcoming weddings also only used initials. L D Butler was in the London Empire Games of 1934 (BH President at the time was Chair of the Entertainments Committee for those Games) at TJ and LJ but only the medallists from those Games are recorded. A mention is made of L D Butler’s election to the Stock Exchange AC committee. "Congratulations Butler" it says. Dark went to Palestine to join their Police. He wrote to the Treasurer, "Dear Woods". But nothing apart from R H Dark ever appears in print. Similar for the others. Bliss was a 2nd Lt in the Army.


But what else do the 1930 Gazettes contain.

Came across an interesting 1936 letter from Sydney who wrote to the Club members thanking them for paying for his coach Albert Hill (himself a top International Athlete and double Olympic Gold Medallist) to go to Berlin where he managed to stay in the Athletes Village and was “very useful”. Sydney referred to this as a great oversight by the AAA. Also stated what a wonderful experience the Berlin Olympics were.

Albert Hill used to write in the Gazette on training. The bit that stood out was as follows: “One run a week, which is the amount undertaken by a big majority of the members, is hopeless and will get you nowhere”. In 1930, Track training for the Club under Albert took place at Battersea Park!

Sydney missed the 1938 Empire games which were in Australia. You had to sail there and back in those days which took about 6 weeks each way. Why did he miss them? He had his Law finals to sit. At that time he was anticipating doing the 800/1500 double at the 1940 Olympics in Tokyo.

His World Mile Record at Motspur Park was on the first day of the Football season. A lot of money had been put into staging this meeting and there was nervousness about the size of the crowd that would turn up. It all worked out OK with, at that time, the best ever attendance for a meeting at that venue. Legendary Past President, Tom Crafter, was there. He had also witnessed W G George’s World mile record in August 1886. He led the Club Cry after SW had broken the record with the words: “Gentlemen, this is an occasion…” Tom was founder of Kent County AAA and its first President. He was also VP of Surrey Walking Club. He kept the Club going during WW1.

The Walter Cups (presumably after Walter George) get a few mentions. Wonder where they are today. Another distinguished member was the Earl of Dartmouth who was one of the oldest members. He played Cricket for Eton and was President of the MCC.

There was also a meeting on Coronation Day in 1937 and a moving poem was written on the death of the King in the previous year. Regular requests are made for ‘artistes’ to perform at ‘smoking concerts’. And, would you believe, you could buy three different brands of cigarettes at the Club. Annual Dinners were held at the Waldorf Hotel and in 1929 a Diamond Jubilee Dinner was held there. Marriages and births were announced in the Gazette, the bride’s first name was always given but never the groom’s. Usually some humour was included at the expense of the Club member, ie the groom (we were all male then!).

The AGM in 1933 was attended by just 40 members. The editor was obviously disgusted and pointed out quite forcefully that the Club had 753 members. Nothing seems to have changed much in 80 years!

Indoor Athletics surprisingly featured in the 1930s and there is a record of the AAA Indoor Championships in 1936. And Veteran Athletics also gets a mention. A newspaper in India had a photo of a 70 year old Marathon runner from Blackheath Harriers.

In 1934 ‘Pole Jumping’ is referred to. League Athletics had started and we needed competitors for all events. This event’s inclusion was considered most unfair but it was hoped that the BH spirit would prevail and that there would be plenty of volunteers to take part in this novelty and somewhat precarious event.

There was also concern in the 1930s that taking part in Athletics would shorten your life! Much discussion in the 1930s about amateurism and professionalism and also the use of psychologists. BH was considered to be one of the Clubs that had money and could fund development of Athletics by a more professional approach and the establishment of Centres of Excellence.

The SLH HQ was bought and opened in the 1930s and there is mention of a visit to Hayes by Gordon’s Mum, Mrs Pirie. Two of the mob matches from that era against SLH had fields of 208 and 225. There were many passionate entreaties in the Gazette for people to turn out for mob matches and a note to members informing them that it was “their duty” to support the Club at The National Cross Country Championships. New President’s Granddad, George, features quite prominently as does another PP, Don Gillate.

The Club had moved to Hayes in 1927 from the Swan at West Wickham. The Club address was originally Station Road, Hayes, then Station Road, Hayes, Bromley. Then Station Road was changed to Bourne Way and finally number 56 was given to the Club. Incendiaries landed in the Club Car Park during the 2nd World War. Outside the Swan used to be a large tree. It was called the ‘Old Stocks Tree’ and had been there for over 100 years. The Village Stocks were beneath it. Sadly, it was cut down in the 1930s so that road improvements could be made. Hard to visualize this at such a busy junction in 2017!

Other odds and ends: The collection box for the Bromley and District Hospital was emptied and it contained £1.1/11d. The recipe for Punch for Punch Bowl evening is in the March 1933 edition. In 1932, congratulations were given to someone who escaped danger on the water. W W Davis was on board a pleasure steamer off Weymouth when it was rammed by a submarine! A Rugby match against Park House and Cricket against Addington. Encouragement from a young spectator: “Daddy, they’re just starting the low jump”. Reference in 1939 to a “horrible blot on the landscape, the new Addington Building Estate”. Described as a “most distressing sight”. Different meaning from the Treasurer for PDQ: ‘Please donate quickly’. And going into WW2, we merged with SLH and London AC in order to fulfil fixtures and were referred to as TCC (The combined Clubs).

A real joy, looking at the 1940s next!

Mike M


I am the archivist for Tipton Harriers and I have recently been going through the archives of the late Dave McNamee of Cheltenham Harriers within which I found the attached paperwork. I thought you might like this for your files as he clearly ran for Blackheath & Kent in 1947. I have taken the trouble to transcribe the article should you wish to use it anywhere. 27-02-17

Chris Holloway

Tipton Harriers Historian/Archivist

Click to view supplied PDF includes photo



The Torch


There cannot be many sporting events which can draw several hundred people out of their beds to stand alongside a country road at 5.30 in the morning. When the event is the passing of a lone runner not out to beat any records but with instructions not to complete his 2 mile journey in less than 15 minutes, its ability to attract so many spectators at that hour might seem to you rather mysterious – until you are given the information that it was not the runner they had come to see, but the Olympic Torch which he was carrying.


To take part in an Olympic Torch relay is a privilege not enjoyed by very many. That particular year (1948) the flame had been lit, as always, on the slopes of Mount Olympus, and had been passed from runner to runner, from Torch to Torch, until its arrival on board a destroyer at Dover. Thence it travelled northwards through Kent, westwards below the scarp of the North Downs, and anticlockwise, in a wide sweep, around London on its way to Wembley Stadium. Each club through or near whose territory the route ran was asked to supply a runner and a reserve to carry the Torch. “Why” everybody asks (some in purely interrogated tones, others with an inflection which is not entirely complimentary) “were you chosen?”


It so happened that, at the time, I was the cross-country Captain of Blackheath Harriers “the job included responsibility for road relay teams”, and when the club was asked to nominate a representative, responsibility for doing so was given to me. It wasn’t as easy as that! There was one obvious person to ask – the great Sydney Wooderson, that year in his last season of competitive running, which rounded off an unsurpassed athletic career, (during which, as I trust I don’t need to tell you, he held world half mile and mile records) by winning the Southern Counties and the English Cross-Country Championships (both run then over a man’s distance of 10 miles!). But Sydney declined the invitation. Since he would not do it, I saw no reason why anyone else but myself should!


So there I was, with my reserve runner (Derek Reynolds, my Vice Captain, one-time holder of the London to Brighton record) eating bacon and egg at 0345 BST (not an experience I would recommend to a gourmet) somewhere in Kent at the house of a fellow ‘Heathen. On the way to Sundridge, where my “leg” was to begin, it was obvious, passing through Sevenoaks as dawn broke, that it was going to be a glorious day – and so it proved. But it was to be the forerunner of an unsettled period which vainly did its best cool and dampen the enthusiasm aroused by the games. The sun was just up as I waited for the previous runner to arrive, and remember feeling, oddly enough, just as nervous as before a race. There was a great air of expectancy and excitement in the air – understandably, since it was probably the only time in their lives when most of those watching would see an Olympic Torch “in the flesh”.


The two miles of the A25 to Brasted was a road I knew well, but I had never seen it with so little traffic and so many people. In Sundridge and Brasted themselves the road was lined with spectators, while small groups stood at every cottage gate, and larger groups where side roads joined, all applauding the passing of the Torch, and many taking photographs. The run completed, the next Torch having been kindled on the forecourt of the White Hart in Brasted, and one’s own quenched in a bucket of water (the flame was guaranteed wind and rain proof!), The next 10 minutes or so was spent posing for dozens of photographs and signing autographs books. I wonder how many people, looking back at these books, wonder who on earth “R R Choat” was!


The rest of the day was a bit of an anticlimax – but the memory of those first few hours remains vividly with me, and the Torch is certainly one of my most cherished athletic souvenirs.


Richard Choat


The son of H Rhodes, Peter Rhodes, has scanned numerous photos and press clippings covering many Blackheath members/results which can be viewed here... 3-05-15

You may know her as Sue Cluney... from Athletics Monthly October 1980.

A Young Paul Austridge... from Steve Cluney

Undated but assume 1969


A few more from Chris Woodcock's locker...

BMAF Cross Country 1992

Handover from Peel to Woodcock - 100 x 1 mile relay

Before the start of the 24hr Relay 1973

Haines, Horwood. Botley, Woodcock, Baldwin. Richardson
Wilson, Hawtin, Clare, Bailey

The BMAF National X/C at Tonbridge - circa 1994 and we were 2nd team in M50
Tony Weeks-Pearson, Chris Woodcock, Dave White, Mike Cronin & Barry O'Gorman - DW was a little light-weight then!

Kipper again by Ed Lacey 1 August 1964
England v Ireland at Crystal Palace 13m 58.6s and off to Tokyo he went!

Fire Brigade 2mile invitation. 9 August 1964 by Ed Lacey
Thresher, Kipper, Simpson, John Cooke who won!!, Whetton, Herriott - a pre Tokyo warmup

Harlow Marathon 1970 Mike Hampton and Chris Woodcock - early on - Chris's first marathon ~ 2h 43m

From VP Bob Richardson
Bill Adcocks is guest of honour at the Club Dinner on 15 November 2013

Above from Chris Woodcock - the first Maxol marathon just before Ron Hill took off - he's hidden, you can just see his leg...
Derek Clayton the Aussie star leads; this was the BIG clash of the year and Ron stormed it - with a little help from his friends.
Alan Domleo ran that year - I took the pix and coached. This was the first BIG sponsored marathon in this country and Maxol were very generous. Chris

Four photos from Ian Wilson's attic...

20 June 1982? Blackheath Team for the Offas Dyke 15
Brian Swift, Chris Ware?, Peter Hannell. Keith Whicheloe, Ken Pike, Tim Soutar (in those shorts again!)
Alan Davis, Ian Wilson and Bill Wade

1988 Blackheath Bruges Vets 25k Team
Peter Hamilton, Dave White, Mike Cronin and Ian Wilson

1980 Part of the Blackheath Le Quesnay Marathon Team
Barry O'Gorman, Les Roberts, Joe Clare, Ian Wilson, Chris Woodcock and Team Manager Joe's Dad Frank Clare

1982? Offas Dyke 15 Team accommodation before Nick Gasson took over!
Brian Swift, Tim Soutar and Alan Davis


Shaun Lightman in the National 20k Walk at Crystal Palace 1970
Shaun (275) came 4th and was the third Britain home.

Steve Cluney found a couple of photos from the 1977 Jubilee run to Buckingham Palace

Ian Macmillan of Invicta fame sent this in...

Came across this picture of Bob Richardson leading me in the Southern in 1970 I think. Bob Ellis of TVH is ahead of us both.

Jim Phelan has been in his attic....

Who remembers Sabrina and the torch relay?
Alan Brent on the left, Johnny Withers is third from the left & Terry Sullivan on the right - November 1957

Chris Woodcock is number 5, and number 6 is former member Alan Domleo & 4 is Ian Macmillan
Next to Woodcock is Johnny Oliver representing Kent AC

Chris Woodcock and I have been discussing where I took it. I'm pretty sure it was at the Club's Centenary
Track Meet at Crystal Palace in 1969.
Tom Philips 30-03-12

Can anyone guess the names of these two? 

And the first all correct answer was from Margaret Baldwin - a young Tim Soutar and Emil Putteman.

A few from Tim Soutar - having been prompted by Chris's offering's...

'Trash & Field' British League team of the early 80's, so ably led by Bob Taylor, larger one is 1982, I think, and the smaller, 1983 – both celebrating Division success and promotion.

1982 Club 10 (not quite snowed off, but run round Sparrow's Den – the only time I broke 50 mins for 10!

A couple more from the Silver Jubilee

Three from Chris Haines

1977 Silver Jubilee relay from Bromley to Buckingham Palace. Chris Haines and Steve Cluney, having run from
Bromley Town Hall hand over to Mike Peel and Andy Frankish at Catford Bus Garage

An early morning leg for Chris Haines at Crystal Palace on 14 April 1973, its note the decrepit state of the scoreboard

The Chief Trail Layer, Bob Cliff showing the way to The Hon. Handicapper,
Chris Haines sometime last century in the Southern at Parliament Hill Fields

A few from Ian Wilson's files...

1964 Press Report on the Blackheath 6 x 3m Road Relay (Parris handicap course)

Press report

1966 winning Team Canterbury 6 - Wilson, Weller, Barker, Richardson holding cup

Tom Phillips at Croydon Arena in July 1975

Two photos from the late 60's of runners setting out from the clubhouse on a Sunday morning run. Found in Chris Haines loft...

Fred Dudman (left) and Ted Pepper (right) setting out on a Sunday morning run having missed the main pack. (Photo: MA Walker)

Sunday morning run, easy going for 17 miles or so:
left to right: Fred Dudman (formerly VP and Club Treasurer), Alan Domleo (2nd claim BH, Derby&County AC), Alan Davis, Ted Pepper (now remembered in the Ted Pepper 10k), Martin Hore (3rd in the National Youth X-C Championships) , Chris Haines, Mike Willis (4th in the BBHAC all-time marathon rankings at 2:17) , Tony Dunnett. (Photo: MA Walker).

I've just come across the archive photos section of the Blackheath Harriers website and found a photo of myself in 1969! Quite a surprise.

I'm at the back of the group leaving the clubhouse on one of our Sunday morning 17 mile runs. I was 18 at the time. The caption describes me as Southern Counties youth champion but in fact I was only 4th in that race, just behind Phil Banning who went on to have successes as a senior. Later that season I was 3rd in the National Youths Championships at Parliament Hill Fields, by some margin my best ever result, beating Phil Banning and the Tuck brothers on that occasion.

I was at St Dunstan's College at the time. The school had a very competitive cross country team under the excellent coaching of Bill Wade, also a Blackheath member. Tony Dunnett, also in the picture, was another St Dunstan's student, only 16 at the time - quite an achievement to complete a 17 mile training run at 16.

Of the other runners pictured in the archive photos I remember Ted Pepper, who died on the Three Peaks a few years later, and also Nick Mandeville. Nick assisted Bill Wade with a St Dunstan's College mountaineering expedition to the Lofoton Islands in Norway of which I was a member. Bob Richardson was, of course, a leading club runner at the time, and I also remember Alan Brent and Tony Weeks-Pearson, who I see are listed on the site as existing past presidents.

I carried on running competitive cross country for a couple of years at university, but soon nagging injuries intervened and I turned my efforts to mountaineering. Nowadays I compete regularly in orienteering events, moving up into the 60 - 65 age class this year.

Although I never realised the promise as a senior athlete that the club might have hoped for, I'm certain that the training at that time has stood me in good stead health-wise ever since, so I've a lot for which to thank the members of the club who encouraged me at that time. If any of the above are still involved, do please pass on my thanks.

Best Wishes
Martin Hore

Bob Richardson about to beat Ian Stewart...

Past Presidents all... Charing Cross Hotel, Friday 18th April 1969

Back row: Victor Beardon, Harold Thompson, Will Vercoe, Cecil Pollard, Dick Cockburn, Alan Brent, Laurie Hammill, Jack Sims, W J (Bill) Traer
Front row: Charlie Wiard, William (Bill) Knobby Clarke, Dudley Child, Sydney Wooderson, J. Morrison. Cyril Starnes, Freddie Barker

This has some famous names - our Silver Jubilee Relay to Buckingham Palace in 1977.
Back row: Chris Haines, Steve Cluney, Roy Savery, Bob Taylor, Mike Winch, John Baldwin, Graham Botley & Mike Peel
Front row: Tim Soutar, Eddie Haynes, Andy Frankish, Mike Mahoney & Ian Wilson

This is from the 1969 Polytechnic Marathon run on 14 June which was a very hot day causing many retirements en route! The photo was taken soon after the start with Windsor Castle in the used to be on the wall at the clubhouse...BH runners shown are 7 Ian Wilson, 5 Alan Davis (28th, 2:46:13), 8 Ted Pepper, 9 Chris Haines (48th, 2:53:51), 172 Mike Willis. Others of interest are Dave Dellar (Cambridge H), 46 P Filler or K Jones (?) (Orion), 43 Lionel Mann (Belgrave) 47 Mark Shearman (Croydon..photographer) (elbow obscures Guy Ogden (Highgate) then 71 Don Thompson (Olympic Gold Medallist 50km walk Rome 1960) 156 Martin Craven (Kendal) 127 (SLH).  Also competing on that day (not shown) were Alan Domleo (Derby & County AC, second claim BH: 4th 2:29:14) and Nick Mandeville (11th, 2:38:23) Chris Haines and Ian Wilson

You may know her as PP Margaret Baldwin...

These two from around 1970 - note the Scottish Vest in the 2nd photo.

John Baldwin                                                         Bob Richardson

Peter Horwood (5)

Bob Richardson (5) - above photos taken at Crystal Palace
from Chris Woodcock

Bob Richardson (131), led by Harry Leeming Alan Davis (17) & Ian Wilson (14) Joe Clare
Barry O'Gorman Chris Haines Alan Domleo was in that race though for Derby & County - he was also second claim BH - he's now Hon Treas of D&C

from Chris Woodcock

Chris Haines (17) & Nick Mandeville -  in the 1969 Maxol Marathon - from Chris Woodcock

10k - Ron Clarke leads Dick Taylor / Derek Clayton / Alan Rushmer but spot Bob Richardson in the black vest (4th from left)
- from Chris Woodcock

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