19 March 2013
Did You Know?
Your President for 2013/14 is
Bob Cliff - more...
Lessons learnt at London 21-02-13
Solomon in I Will Be Next
Peel & the Olympic Torch
Your President for 2012/13 is
Steve Hollingdale -
Peter & John Shake, Jogle & Roll
SCOTT OVERALL THE NEW BRITISH
By Alastair Aitken....
Your President for 2011/12 is Denis Lawrie -
Your President for 2010/11 is Richard Coe -
Your President for 2009/10 is Alison Brand -
Your President for 2008/9 is
Tim Soutar - more...
Your President for 2007/8 is
Les Roberts - more...
Your President for 2006/7 is
Ken Daniel - more...
Pole Vault - A
great sequence of photos 20-07-05
Your President for 2005/6 is
Anne Cilia - more...
All about Dave Taylor
Your President for 2004/5 is
Margaret Baldwin -
Herring in 15 October 2003 Daily Telegraph
Your President for 2003/4 is
John Robinson -
Chris Brasher 17-03-03
for 2002/3 is Pat Calnan -
That Alastair Aitken"s latest book,
Enigmas, brings together the extremes of the athletics world: those
star professionals whose names are familiar to us all and the ordinary club
runners who are largely unsung. It also includes numerous references to
Blackheath Athletes. More details here...
All you need to know about the
C-C Trophies 12-03-01
started? Copy of original article of 70 years ago
The origins of the
That the Club Challenge Cup (these days more commonly
known as the Club 5) was first run for in 1880 and the winner was C Cattlin.
Adam Gemili: Lessons learnt at London
If you missed Adam's BBC
Live5's interview on Wednesday night you can listen to it
What a great insight
Adam Gemili: Lessons
learnt at London 2012Sprinter Adam
Gemili speaks about his amazing 2012, and what he learnt from his
appearance in the semi-finals of the Olympics 100 metres when he was
Serita Solomon in I Will Be Next
||Our Serita Solomon is one of the athletes
featured in SportsAid’s new film, called I Will Be Next.
http://youtu.be/VHlrkW8txZI to watch her in action.
I Will Be Next features ten
young SportsAid athletes who aspire to be our Olympic and Paralympic
champions of the future.
Peel & the Olympic Torch
The Olympic Torch came to Bromley on
Monday 23 July and PP Mike Peel carried it through Crystal Palace Park. 23-07-12
The Daily Mail has an article
here... 9 February 2012 10-02-12
Above is a photograph showing presentation of 50
Year Award to 93 year old Fergus Ankorn, albeit seven years late! He
also has a recent biography published, "Captivity, Slavery and Survival
as a Far East PoW". £15.99 from
www.pen-and-sword.co.uk I also presented him with the 2nd
edition Club History and Sydney's "Forgotten Champion".
John Baldwin PP
12 December 2011
SCOTT OVERALL THE NEW BRITISH
By Alastair Aitken....
( Born 9/2/83)
As I write this on October the 18th, 2011, I realise that Blackheath &
Bromley club runner, Scott Overall, who ran 2:10:55 for the marathon in
Berlin, on the 25th of September this year, had run the fastest marathon
time by any UK runner since John Brown did 2:9:31 in the London in 2005. Yet
it was Overall"s first attempt at racing the distance. He ran 47:37 for 10
miles at the BUPA Great South Run on the 24th of October last year, which
must say something about his distance running ability but his titles were-
UK 5000 track Champion in 2009 and "Under 23" AAA"s Champion over that
distance in 2005. I talked to Scott just before he took Blackheath & Bromley
up from 56 to 25 on leg 2 in the National Six stage road relay at Sutton
Park on the 15th of October.
How did it all begin for Scott
" When I was about 14/15 at Orleans Park School in Richmond I did
cross-country and joined an athletics club from there."
"As a junior we used to go to the National junior road
relays at Sutton Park, Birmingham. I ran for Hounslow at the time. We used
to be quite successful at the road relays as juniors." "I was always about
average. One of the top 10 to 15 fastest times of the day but we would be
leading after two legs and Mo Farah handing over last." "We had good runners
as Hounslow the Sam Haughian, Ben Whitby and Mike Simpson. Probably the best
team in he country for a six stage. A lot of strong guys."
That must have been an inspiration for Scott
" I think so. Half the battle was trying to get in the team."
" I was quite successful as a junior" (Here are some
1500 times he was doing as an "Under 20" in BMC races at
Watford-31/7/02-3:49.69; 14/8/72 -3:48:72; 28/8/02-3:49.04--Later on his PB
was 3:41.90-2008 and 3:58.61 indoors for the mile in 2010 in the USA).
" I remained quite successful as a junior at Under 23
level as well. I went to the European Championships (6th in Under 23 Final
or 5000, on 15th of April in Erfurt Germany, in a time of 14:17.6)."
" I got a scholarship to America so I went out there
to Butler University, Indianapolis, for three or four years."
" I think going to America was what helped me
" I went out there in 2004. In the UK if you got under
14 minutes, that was seen as amazing but when I went to the USA there were
guys over there at University under 14 minute all the time. Over there it is
not seen as anything!"
"I ran 13:38 when I was out there." (At Stanford,
California 30/4/06. - His PB was 13:28.33 in 2008)
" It opened my eyes to what is good rather than what
you thought was good. So much depth."
"The competition is great. You can only be brought
`" I was there 2004-07. I stayed out in the States
another year with my coach ROBERT CHAPMAN and came back 2008/9."
" I still go over for a couple of months at a time to
Flagstaff, Arizona. For the last four years I have gone to Flagstaff and
then come down and raced at Stanord and Mount Sac races then come over
" Up to 4 or 5 weeks at altitude then come down and
you can either race straight away, which we normally do at Mount SAC and
then you have two weeks to Stanford."
"Injuries have prevented me from running on the track
for the last couple of years!"
" At the same time out of something bad came something
good on the road!"
" At the beginning of this year I did not race very
well at Stanfard and Mount Sac and then I did a half marathon a week later,
because I knew there was a lot of prize money."
" I was in shape but not running very well so, I did
that and ran 63:21 not really training for the half marathon (Half marathon
at Indianaplolis on 7th of May) and so that was when I decided to start
looking towards doing a marathon because, I have always run quite well on
the roads and stuff. BERLIN WAS MY FIRST ONE in 2:10:55."
I thought he was good at cross-country and track as
well but his reply did not indicate that, as far as he was concerned.
"Cross-country is not that great but track is O.K but the road I seemed to
(However, he did do a couple of cross-countries early
in 2011 coming 5th in the Cross International San Sebastian and 11th in he
Cross International Juan Muguerza both in Spain in January.)
Now for Berlin and his good time:- " I felt
quite comfortable the whole way really. The first half I felt fine, felt
great. I was running with a French guy. We worked together to half way. He
kind of dropped off at half way."
"The last half of the race I was completely on my own.
I seemed to cope O.K with that. Really the last 5k was probably the hardest.
I was having to work quite hard for the last 5k to remain on pace."
Were there or are there people that have inspired
" Not really. Obviously having Mo. I have known him since I was 14 or 15 and
seeing what he has achieved and that can only be an inspiration. I have
known him since he was quite young so, to know he is World Champion is quite
Highlight of the Veterans
Athletics Club Championships at Lee Valley, on 22 February 2009, was a new UK
best in the over 75s shot putt. Gordon Hickey, who in his younger days was one
of Britain’s top high jumpers, produced a throw of 9.89 to improve the previous
record by 14 centimetres.
|Pat Calnan wrote this article some time ago
(2004) for Masters Athletics
the imposing bulk of British Record holder for the M70’s shot Gordon
Hickey, it seems hard to believe that he was once the Southern Counties
high jump champion, was coached by Sir Arthur Gold and trained with the
The 70 year old, has been competing for Blackheath
& Bromley Harriers AC for 49 years during which he has metamorphosed
from one the country’s top high jumpers to head the age group rankings
for the shot and throws pentathlon.
Highlight of his career as a high jumper was
winning the Southern title. “I must have jumped 6 foot 2 inches over 30
times but then towards the end of my career I cleared 6 foot 3 on a
grass run up.” He does wonder what he would have jumped using a tartan
Hickey used to travel across London to train at
Parliament Hill under the guidance of Sir Arthur Gold and his assistant
Ron Murray. It was Gold who arranged for a number of jumpers including
Mary Rand to work with the Royal Ballet. “That was tough training”
recalls Hickey “We were doing all the exercises for a couple of hours
and you could hardly walk afterwards”
Specific event training for the high jump was not
a year round cycle. “I did no jump training in the Winter. We’d just
play football and then around March time started to think about
Perhaps he would have gone higher had he trained
specifically for the event but the other factor militating against his
jumping was his job as a film and tape editor with ITN. Nightshifts
every other weekend and travel could intrude. He recalls an assignment
in Belfast in 1970 where the only thing that didn’t seem to get bombed
was his hotel.
One meeting he enjoyed was at the White City in
1958 two weeks before the Empire Games. “I was ranked 2nd in England,
4th Briton, but couldn’t get in because all the jumpers from around the
Commonwealth were competing. After many protests I was eventually
allowed to compete and was number 31 on the programme. I qualified for
the Final on the Friday night, but then had to go off to work all night
before returning to compete without sleep the next day. I finished in
Despite being one of the top jumpers in the
country he never gained an International. “The only times I competed
abroad was with the Club on tours to Switzerland and Northern Italy”. He
fondly recalls the Italy trip where races were held on the promenade.
The shot took place on the beach and then they went up to the town
square for the jumps and somewhat surprisingly the discus.”
Hickey had always putt the shot in Club matches
but in his 40’s as his spring deserted him he began to take the event
more seriously. “I cleared 1.81 as an over 40, 1.75 as an over 45 and
1.70 as an over 50 but then my hips just went”
One of his last high jump competitions saw him
return to the straddle as just as the jumpers were about to start the
event at Charlton Park a lorry pulled up and took the mat off to another
higher League Division match at Sutcliffe Park. They were left to land
in the sand, an opportunity turned down by some of the field but
accepted by Hickey with some aplomb as he won the competition .
Hickey won his first National Shot Putt title when
he was an over 50 and has set British Records in all age groups up from
there. “I can’t actually remember how many titles I’ve won. I’ve never
kept records but since turning 40 it’s something like 10 high jump
titles and 14 for the shot.”
He currently does a couple of training sessions a
week but competes very regularly. He can still be seen in action in the
Southern Men’s League either in Division One and Three often beating
athletes who are 50 years younger.
In the 2001 season he also competed in the British
Athletics League Division One. The match at Eton saw the British Over
65’s Record holder going head to head with the USA’s Olympic Silver
Medallist from Sydney 2000 Adam Nelson who was competing for Birchfield.
Nelson won. “The only time I’ve been in a competition where someone has
thrown over twice as far as me” commented Hickey who didn’t enjoy the
What he is enjoying is the wide variety of throws
competition available. He has set a British record for the throws
decathlon and is a dab hand at the Greek discus which is basically doing
a standing throw with an overweight implement. “If I do a spin in the
Southern League with the 2kg it goes about 25.10. When I do the standing
throw it goes about 25.00 which shows how good my turn is!”
He is bluntly philosophical about his
achievements. “ It’s not a case of how good you are it’s more a matter
of whether you are still alive. You may be the most talented athlete in
the world but it’s no good if you’re pushing up daisies” He added that
the standard of sandwiches at funerals is improving.
Hickey has just returned from the European Masters
in Denmark. He enjoyed the trip with his wife who is Danish but the shot
competition was a disaster. He’d checked with the organisers that they
had large diameter shots but when he got to his competition he found
they were all at the other pool. “I had a lot of problems with the
smaller shots and the wet conditions” He threw 11.28 but did further in
the throws pentathlon with 11.82. “I got home and threw over 13 in
to PP Alan Pickering who received a CBE in the New Year Honours for
services to Occupational Pensions - Alan is Chairman, European
Federation for Retirement Provision.
Obituary for John
Herring in 15 October 2003 Daily Telegraph
John Herring, who died on October 7 aged 68, enjoyed a
long association with the London Marathon.
The Marathon"s inaugural running in 1981 was so popular
that the founder, Chris Brasher, and his team realised that they needed
specialist help. Among those they approached was Herring, a former international
athlete who had been assistant director of Crystal Palace Sports Centre since
From 1982, Herring took responsibility for the start of
the next 12 London Marathons, in which the number of runners has increased from
16,000 in 1981 to around 30,000 today.
This was no easy task, since it involved co-ordinating,
for both the men"s and the women"s event, separate starts for the
"elite" runners, the celebrities, and the general mass of
From 1994 Herring acted as the Marathon"s course manager
for three years, another demanding role which involved responsibility for the
26-mile course and the smooth running of the race on the day. From 1996 until
this year, Herring acted as a consultant to the Marathon, with special
responsibility for liaison with the police.
John Herring was born on April 10 1935 at Lewisham, south
London. After attending Colfes School at Lee Green, near Lewisham, he went on in
1953 to the London School of Economics. Two years into his Economics degree
course he decided to leave, emerging an excellent athlete - he had been a runner
since the age of 14 - and a proficient bridge player.
National Service with the RAF allowed Herring plenty of
time to pursue his athletics, and he then became a Customs and Excise officer
based at Surrey Docks, remaining there until taking up his post at Crystal
Palace, from which he retired in 1987.
Herring was a lifelong member of Blackheath Harriers and
enjoyed a successful track career, representing Britain over 5,000 metres in the
1964 Tokyo Olympics; he finished sixth in his heat. That year he was ranked
fourth in the country behind Mike Wiggs, Fergus Murray and Bruce Tulloh. It was
with typical wry humour that Herring noted, just months before his death, that
this year"s winning time for the 5,000 metres at the AAA championships was more
than five seconds slower than the time he set almost 40 years ago.
Although forced to give up running at the age of 50 due to
problems with his Achilles tendon, Herring continued to pursue a healthy
lifestyle, swimming 1,000 metres every day. In the mid-1990s he moved from
Beckenham to Sudbury, in Suffolk, where he indulged his passions for listening
to modern jazz, good food (he was an excellent cook) and fine wines.
In 1958 he married Shirley Dyer, who survives him with
their twin son and daughter and a second daughter.
This obituary has been copied from
the Ranelagh Harriers
site. 5-03-03 amended 17-03-03
Chris Brasher died of cancer on February 28th at the age
of 74. Many column inches of newsprint over the past few days have been devoted
to the achievements of his remarkable life and I need do no more than repeat the
bare outlines here before moving on to Chris"s considerable contribution to
Born in British Guiana in 1928 and educated at Rugby and
Cambridge, Chris discovered a love of the adventurous outdoors early in life and
before the age of 22 had participated as a geologist on two expeditions to the
Arctic. He was introduced to serious athletics at University and quickly made an
impression, competing in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics before famously helping to
pace Roger Bannister to the first four-minute mile in 1953. Not content with
playing a bit part to greatness he resolved to dedicate himself to the 1956
Melbourne Olympics where he nevertheless lined up only as Britain"s third-choice
steeplechaser. Against all expectations - except perhaps his own - he won the
gold medal in a time, 8.41.2, that would still rank highly in the UK
A successful career in journalism and broadcasting
followed and he was twice voted British Sportswriter of the Year. But he always
continued to pursue his own sporting passions which from the early 1960s had
included orienteering. A business based on selling orienteering gear from the
boots of cars preceded the opening of the first Sweat Shop in Teddington which
in turn led to the highly lucrative sports shoe distribution company Fleetfoot.
Living in River Lane literally just around the corner from
our clubhouse, Chris became a Ranelagh Harrier in the mid-1960s. In July 1965 he
organised in Richmond Park the first orienteering event ever to be held in the
south of England, won by track international Tim Johnston with Ranelagh"s Jeff
Bull and Rex Lofts 2nd and 3rd. Afterwards over a beer in the Dysart the
Southern Navigators club and the Southern Orienteering Association were formed
and one year later Chris became chairman of the British Orienteering Federation.
Chris was an enthusiastic member of the Ranelagh
team that set a new record of 33.41.15 for the Pennine Way relay in 1971, an
account of which he later presented to a wider audience in an article in "The
Observer". Another article two years later centred on the South Downs Way where
several teams from Ranelagh and other clubs ran the route as a relay using rules
devised by Chris. It was fitting that Chris"s own team of himself and the two
Ians, Milne and Macintosh, should set the day"s fastest time of 8.04.43. Just a
few weeks later Ranelagh set another footpath record on Offa"s Dyke and again
Chris was involved, taking amongst other sections the final stage into Prestatyn
where he insisted on running all the way down the beach and into the sea.
In our centenary year of 1981 we were back in the Pennines
and although over three hours faster than ten years earlier we fell just 48
minutes short of the new record. Chris was in the team of course and in 1987 at
the age of 58 was one of the prime movers and organisers of our final (to date)
effort when severe weather unfortunately caused us to abandon the attempt on
grounds of safety.
He took part in the more traditional events too and won
three club handicaps: the Clutton Cup in 1970, the Baker a year later and the
Page Cup in 1975. In 1979 he and his erstwhile Olympic steeplechase colleague
John Disley missed the start of the Southern Veterans Over 50 championship at
Milford by a reported two minutes yet still ran through the field to finish 11th
and 22nd and together with Ray Dare 27th they won bronze medals. Timekeeping was
better in the National event at Parliament Hill two weeks later where the same
trio finished 4th, 17th and 44th and the team 2nd.
It was later that same year, with ten other Ranelagh
Harriers on the Sweat Shop tour to the New York Marathon, that Chris was
inspired to wonder whether London could organise a similar event. "We have
the course, a magnificent course, but do we have the heart and hospitality to
welcome the world?", he wrote. Only a man of Chris"s vision and
determination could have brought the dream to fruition a mere 18 months later.
Many Ranelagh Harriers helped in small ways in that first event, from recceing
the route to behind the scenes paperwork to manning the registration desks, and
many continued to volunteer for years to come; others took full-time jobs with
the Marathon organisation. The first race also featured another series of
"Observer" articles, pitting the John Hanscomb long steady training regime
against the Brasher "fartlek" mixture of speedwork and distance. I don"t know
how the respective camps" guinea pigs fared but John won their personal battle
in the race, 2.54.29 to 2.56.56.
Chris served on the club committee for many years and
often represented the club at meetings of the sport"s governing bodies. He also
provided valuable assistance in our various struggles to improve and rebuild our
clubhouse. In later years he developed an interest in horse racing and became an
enthusiastic owner. In pursuit of these interests he moved out to Berkshire but
retained an active interest in both Ranelagh and Thames Hare and Hounds of whom
he had also become a member.
Chris Brasher was an extensively generous man. Within
Ranelagh there were the many rounds bought at the bar, wine for our suppers with
Thames and two trophies, the Brasher Cup under 15 boys championship and the
Brasher Bowl women"s marathon championship. But much more importantly he devoted
large sums of money to conservation projects to protect some of the wilder and
most beautiful parts of our country, via foundations such as the John Muir Trust
and the Chris Brasher Trust. The latter receives 40% of the profits from the
Brasher Boot Company, another of Chris"s businesses, which he founded in 1983
with the aim of developing a walking boot with the comfort of a running shoe. He
also supported many young athletes via the Ron Pickering Foundation. But perhaps
his greatest legacy will be the London Marathon itself which has raised and will
continue to raise millions of pounds for charity while providing thousands of
ordinary men and women with the opportunity to meet a challenge most of them
would never have dreamed of attempting. As Hugh McIlvanney wrote in this week"s
"Sunday Times": "I"m glad Chris Brasher was part of my life. An entire
nation has cause to say the same".
Chris was appointed CBE in 1996 and is survived by his
wife Shirley, daughters Kate and Amanda and son Hugh, himself a steeplechaser
and a Ranelagh Harrier for some years. We offer them our sincere condolences.
In writing the above I have deliberately kept to the facts
and figures and avoided repeating any of the many Brasher stories and anecdotes
that come to mind, for it occurs to me that many of us in Ranelagh have such
stories to tell. Please send in anything (printable!) that you"d like to pass on
and I"ll compile them into a Brasher miscellany.
Don"t say you didn"t know... read the official UKA
document on Doping and it"s regulation. Also includes a list of all
banned substances. 21-02-03
Three of the
Clubs athletes have received grants at the London Borough Of Bromley
Excellence Awards 2002 which were held at the Pavilion Leisure
2002 winner of the prestigious "Sports Scholarship Award" was Rebecca
Taylor. At 13 years old she is a valued athlete at Blackheath
Harriers, Bromley - where this season she has set 3 new club records. Her
800m record is the fastest in the UK this year and her 1000m record is 4th
in the United Kingdom all time rankings. She retained her County Under 13
titles at both cross-country and 800 metres and added to these with
victory in the London Mini Marathon.
It"s Nolan Simmons!
Nolan has been involved in the Notting Hill
Carnival for many years. One day he will bring his assorted
costumes down to the Clubhouse. 2-05-02
That our Club holds copies of ALL
past issues of the Gazette, the Courier and also
Athletic Weekly as well as other Athletic items. If you would like to do
research or want more information please contact the Archivist,
outlining your requirements. This link
gives you details of Supplements, Newsheets and Couriers.