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  • Writer's pictureClem Dixon

Down Memory Lane

Updated: Oct 9, 2020

We are grateful to former club magazine editor Malcolm Simmonds for sending in a copy of an edition from 1976. The front cover shows Liz Barnes running in a GB vest with Joan Allison and Glynis Penny also pictured.

The text includes many highlights: Barry Watson earned a place at the Montreal Olympics by winning the AAA Championship Marathon in 2:15:08 and shares the secrets of his training schedule, Peter Hodkinson won the prestigious 53 mile London to Brighton Walk in 8:06:13 and Keith Penny won gold at county, region and National levels at either 5,000 or 10,000 on the track as well as winning the Wimbledon 10 road race in 44:46 albeit on a course shortened to 9.5 miles due to flooding.

In the walking report, titled, presumably ironically, “The Lifters”, Dave Maynard is described as a “mainstay” of the section and his 2nd place in the Highgate Hour as “a joy to watch”. Stephen Marshall is congratulated on winning the English Schools Championship at Under 14 level in a race in which Graham Maynard was 17th and part of a Cambridge Harriers team that came 2nd.

In Mick Paul’s track report mention is made of promising young sprinter Michael Bond who won the sprint double at the Kent Champs and although a “youth” performed creditably against senior opposition.

Other gems include Chateau Tour Du Moulin 1971 claret being offered at £18.25 per case of twelve and members being invited to subscribe just 1.5p per week to “Useless Eustace” tickets giving them the chance to win prizes of 25p and 50p.

With a membership of over 1000, two of whom earned Olympic selection that year, one is tempted to think of that time as a golden era for the club, but the editorial sections of the magazine don’t read that way; indeed one might be forgiven for thinking that the club was in crisis with a lack of officials, a lack of volunteers to participate in running the club and its associated social events, late or non-payment of subs and what is described as a general lethargy all being bemoaned.

In the days before computers putting together a magazine of 24 pages must have been a considerable undertaking and it was impressive to see in the acknowledgements section that as well as representing her country at 800m in Montreal and training as a radiographer Liz Barnes also found time to do the typing!


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