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Feature 23

All are culpable ways of thinking that came bloom of adulthood into the
What becomes patently clear out of those changes. club; he created new events
from the above is that in any such as inter-schools races and
community be it in work, The legacy of Dyball novices events for Wednesday
leisure, politics or religion Losses in club membership nighters; he also introduced
there are and always have from the war and from distinguished coaches into
been critical voices which can the club s relocation away the club infrastructure such
be a significant discouraging from its traditional south- as Olympians Albert Hill
presence. We re all potentially east London heartland of and Henry Stallard which
culpable of some of those Peckham and Blackheath nurtured future talents such
items quoted above and had driven it into deep crisis as Ernie Page and Sydney
in the past may have been with membership struggling Wooderson.
reluctant to get more involved around the 100 mark. In the A natural diplomat with the
in organisations. This might early twenties the club had ability to establish relations
be because of experiences of difficulties in even fielding with outside bodies he
unfair and hurtful criticism a turnout in double figures transformed the club s image
and misunderstanding, in major athletic events. from a rugby club in spirit
which may have impaired our and injected new blood which
enthusiasm to get involved, he nurtured by taking the
and which for some people trouble to get to know and
can be very damaging. We encourage new members. In
know that cynicism and his five years as secretary club
apathy are blights in modern membership had rocketed to
society which couldn t 657 by 1927 and he was, as
possibly have thrived in a the Club History claims,
previous, simpler age. Well
in fact they did, and when a focus of energy and
at critical periods in the H.J. Dyball personal magnetism, pouring
club s history they thrived it Club Secretary 1922 life and energy into the club
was clear that the club was against a background of
floundering. Was the club in Thanks to the influence and shattering reverse
so bad a state that, in those endeavours of Club Secretary Thanks to his influence during
times, it was still struggling the mid-1920s the club started
to exist as a potent athletic H.J Dyball however this to flourish again as a major
force? Well bear in mind that crisis was faced head on and force in British Athletics.
the aforementioned column overcome dramatically. From
dates from the immediate his arrival and appointment The example of games-
post First World War period in 1922 the club went through makers
and the club was genuinely its biggest renaissance This of course raises the hoary
struggling to survive at the since its reincarnation as old problem of attracting new
time. There was cynicism and Blackheath Harriers in 1878. blood and persuading people
atheism then as the war s He adopted a rigorous policy to volunteer for posts which
survivors were trying to come of recruitment and introduced have seemingly become
to terms with the challenges a whole new generation of much harder to fill in the last
of a changing society and new young men in their first twenty years. Looking back
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