Throwback Thursday (28/12/2017)

With a bit of time to spare over the festive period we have pulled together a couple of images taken from slides that were part of batch loaned to the club this year after the sad passing of Alan Whittle. We are grateful to his family for the opportunity to take copies for the archives.

The images portray an inter club cross country fixture from October or November 1966 at Gloucester. There were races for Seniors, Boys & Youths.

The young athletes races involved runners from Gloucester AC, Tipton Harriers, Birchgrove Harriers & Cirencester AC. In the Boys race a young Alan Grice placed 5th, a name we still see on the racing circuit as a "Master". Tipton were 2nd in this event. In the Youths Dave "Benny" Goodman was 14th.

In the Senior event Dick Cooper from Worcester won the race from Tipton's Jim Wright (2nd) & Alan Richards (3rd). Tipton had thirteen runners taking part. They also won the team contest from Worcester & Cheltenham.

We like the photographs as they convey the typical nature of cross country courses from an earlier time where natural barriers provided both athletes and course designers some challenges!

Tipton Whittle 071 Gloucester XC November 1966

We suspect that the race was staged by Terry Haines who has spent a lifetime promoting athletics events in the County Of Gloucestershire. If you can provide any names for runners in view then please send them to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Tipton Whittle 041 Gloucester XC November 1966

The Tipton Herald reported the event as follows:-

"Tipton Harriers won an eight sided friendly cross-country race run over a 6 miles course on Saturday.

The Tipton squad, using the race as an opener to the cross-country season, made no early challenge and Cooper of Worcester Harriers, who went into an early lead, was allowed to keep his lead straight through to the finish.

Jim Wright eventually made a break and moved up to second position and finished about eight seconds behind Cooper. Tipton’s star young cross-country runner, Alan Richards, stayed at the rear of the field for the first 2 miles before putting in a burst which took him up to third place.

Mel Evans gave his usual solid performance to finish eighth, three places in front of man of the day Mick Orton. In the absence of many of the sides first team regulars, Orton’s 11th position was probably the vital part of the team’s victory. Alan Whittle, confirmed his return to form and finished a good 14th, one place in front of club captain Geoff Wood.

Roger Griffin faded a little after getting away to a good start but beat his team rival Ron Bentley. The tall men of the team, Tony Phillips and Pete Boxley, found the muddy section of the hill hazard and finished 34th and 44th respectively, with a lightweight Roy Masters, back in action after an injury, splitting them to finish 36th. Ken Rock, improving rapidly, gained 49th position and Brian
Boyce 53rd."

We suspect that Alan Whittle was also probably the author of the original article submitted to the paper as he was Press Secretary around this time. We are lucky that the club had people like Alan who recorded the activities of the club and also then kept them through the years so we can now enjoy them.