25 February 2021
Archive Photos & more...
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
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!"
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...
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
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...
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
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
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!
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.
Tipton Harriers Historian/Archivist
Click to view supplied PDF includes
TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS FROM HERE ONWARDS
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
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.
The son of H Rhodes, Peter Rhodes, has scanned numerous
photos and press clippings covering many Blackheath members/results which
can be viewed here...
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
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.
Wilson, Hawtin, Clare, Bailey
The BMAF National X/C at Tonbridge - circa 1994 and we were 2nd team in
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
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
Four photos from Ian Wilson's
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
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
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
1982 Club 10 (not quite
snowed off, but run round Sparrow's Den – the only time I broke 50 mins
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
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.
Chris Haines sometime last century in the Southern at Parliament Hill
A few from Ian Wilson's files...
1964 Press Report on the Blackheath 6 x 3m Road Relay (Parris handicap
1966 winning Team Canterbury 6 - Wilson, Weller, Barker, Richardson
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
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.
Bob Richardson about to beat Ian Stewart...
Past Presidents all... Charing Cross Hotel, Friday 18th April 1969
Back row: Victor
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
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 background...it 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.
Peter Horwood (5)
Bob Richardson (5) - above photos taken at Crystal Palace
Bob Richardson (131), led by Harry Leeming
Alan Davis (17) & Ian Wilson (14)
was in that race though for Derby & County - he was also second
claim BH - he's now Hon Treas of D&C
Chris Haines (17)
& Nick Mandeville - in the 1969 Maxol Marathon
- from Chris
10k - Ron Clarke leads Dick Taylor / Derek Clayton / Alan Rushmer
but spot Bob Richardson in the black vest (4th from left)
- from Chris