Tuesday, 8 June 2010


What’s been going on? It has been some months since we last updated you on what has been going on. In some ways the project has been overwhelmed with kind responses and offers of information to the various appeals.
The focus has been on the first 50 years and various material has been assembled to allow a “write up” of the period to 1960. This has been painstaking work involving trawling through minute books,  newspaper archives and every copy of Athletics Weekly to try to find details of the Harriers and their athletic & social activities.

Each archive has to be scanned, read and documented properly and then returned safely. A number of informal interviews have been done with the likes of Allan Rushmer, Doug Fownes, Ron Bentley, Jack Corfield, Fred Tonks, Joe Gripton, Keith Boydon, Alf Breakwell & Harry Haden who have all given a fascinating insight into the Harriers and what the Club meant to them.

Keith Atkins & Peter Griffiths have done a presentation on the Harriers & the Project at the Public Library in Tipton attended by around 30 people. Later in the year the Library hopes to have a presentation on Sport in Tipton with the Harriers & Athletics playing a significant role. More on this when it arrives.

What is still to be done? To give you some idea of the scale of the work done to date there is already over 2400 pages of A4 notes in the form of a chronology that lists what the Harriers have been doing over the years. This document, in it’s own right, forms a significant historical statement of the history of the Harriers. It will of course continue to grow as new facts, figures and stories are unearthed and added. A large amount of facts are being amassed, but this needs filtering and transformed into a readable and interesting document.

There is a significant period to cover. The group have yet to look in detail at the career and contribution of Jack Holden, and to cover the Track & Field aspects of the Club that took off during the early 1970’s. Early approaches have been made to to Ray Fletcher & Alan Clay for their recollections on this aspect of the history. It is hoped to interview past members such as Roger Walters (sprinter and renowned coach) for their recollections of the sport in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s when track and field league competition was just taking off. This will compliment the material contained within the extensive writings of Roy Langford.

If you have any thoughts, recollections or ideas as to who should be spoken to then please get in touch.

What will be produced later this year is something that will relate the history, evolution and spirit of the Harriers. To this end Peter Griffiths has started the massive task of authoring this document.

It appears that the Club have lost track of a number of key club trophies and cups. We would like to try & track them down in order to photograph them and restore them to their proper place. If you know the whereabouts of any Club awards please let us know.

Official Function & Reunion Plans - Sadly unable to report much progress on this matter as the Club Committee have only just started to devote time and effort into thinking about the Centenary any events it plans to hold to help celebrate the occasion. Tom Wood, current Chairman, says this is in now in hand.

How Can You Help? We may have been inundated but that does not mean we do not want to hear from you. If you have any material and recollections that you feel could be included then please come forward and contact any of the three named at the bottom of this entry. If you feel you can write something down then please do so. It does not matter if it is handwritten or typed. If you are in contact with any other old members or their families then please pass a copy of this on to them. Also please let us have their contact details.

What are we after? One aspect we feel we would like to explore is to see if we have any old film material taken of the Harriers in action. Does anyone have any old cine films that contain footage of say road relays, track meetings, boxing day handicaps? Have they been converted to video/DVD? If you have, then please get in contact to add this different historical aspect to the project.

It is now clear that we are missing Club Minutes from 1976 onwards and would like anyone who may be has sets hidden away in a file/box to let us have them. Copies of AGM Annual Reports etc. would be a good insight as they often contained a resume of the activities of the club during the year.

We are still after any of the following:
Old photographs
Club magazines
Newspaper cuttings
Race programmes
Race results
Tipton 10 Mile Race Results
Club badges & stickers
Club Ties
Old club memorabilia

In fact we are interested in anything if it relates to Tipton Harriers. It doe not matter if it is just 1 or 100 items. We are interested.

We would like to borrow any items and as part of assembling as big an archive of material on the
Harriers for future generations we will then get them scanned/photographed. This might take a few weeks depending on how much there is.

Rest assured it will be safe with us and by helping out we will be preserving a valuable part of our local and national heritage. So get in your lofts and sort us out some stuff!

Please get in contact with Keith Atkins (see below).

Keith Atkins – 01902 674335
36 Shenley Avenue, Woodsetton, Dudley, DY1 4LR

Pete Griffiths – 0121 458 2880
62 Old Oak Rd, Kings Norton, Birmingham, B38 9AJ

Chris Holloway – 01225 309124

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