||No-one knows the date of the
earliest inter-club run between Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, or
Peckham AAC as they were then known, and South London Harriers.
With Blackheath tracing their roots to 1869, and SLH
forming a breakaway from them in December 1871, possibly as a result of
a dispute over handicapping, (a vital part of early athletics
competition), there is evidence suggesting these two clubs, then both
based in Peckham, encouraged members from the other club to their
weekend training runs as early as the autumn of 1872.
The Blackheath history reports the first official
run between the Clubs was December 1873, whilst the SLH later reported
it was on November 14th 1874. The latter event was from SLH
headquarters, then not in Coulsdon, and ‘the number of runners was the
largest that had ever turned out for a cross-country run’, so the home
side’s Gazette reported in 1912. Perhaps the first year, it was
training, and the following year it turned competitive….
Download the full copy
of the commemorative booklet celebrating the 100th match against SLH