Throwback Thursday (23/07/2020)

With the passing of John Chalstrey back in March 2020 it has provoked Tony Phillips to recall a Tipton victory from 1972.

"Following the recent announcement of the death of John Chalstrey, a former member of Tipton Harriers and Lord Mayor of the City of London, it reminded me of the winning of the City Of London Shield by Tipton in 1972. The invitation to the event came from Polytechnic Harriers. Their President was also Lord Mayor of the City London, and Alderman as was John Chalstrey.

The meeting was to commemorate the Mayoralty of The City Of London of Polytechnic Harriers President Sir Peter Studd. The winning certificates awarded to winners from Tipton Harriers were signed by Peter Studd.

This was the link between the clubs that led to the invitation.

It was a notable event in Tipton's track history as they won the meeting and the City Of London Shield, that was on the wall of the old Tipton Harriers office; it should be among the trophies won by the club.

The event was organised by Polytechnic Harriers, who claimed to be an innovative club, having introduced the first Inter Club meeting, The Kinnaird, and the first marathon race, so the aim was to produce something different. It was an inter club meeting with 18 clubs competing, and described as an experimental Inter Club meeting.

It was held at Chiswick Stadium, London, 22nd April, 1972. Six events were included - 100m, 400m, 800m, 1500m, 5000m, and a 5 mile road race. Heats and finals were run.

All competitors scored with 18 points for the winner and 1 point for the last. The idea was to include a large number of clubs, a small number of events, and all scoring. Teams could be put in two cars, clubs could travel long distances, and it would give competitions that they could not have with larger teams. The principle was that the strength of a team lies in strength in depth and not a few stars at the front! Winners of each event and members of the first three three teams were awarded stamped certificates, and the winning team the City of London Sir Peter Studd Shield.

So the following Tipton team set off for the challenge:- 100m Nigel Higgs, 400m Steve Roach, 800m Dave Eades, 1500m Brian Mills, 5000m Jim Harvey, and 5 miles Road Race Paul Allen.

18 clubs were invited including some well known - Achilles, Blackheath Harriers, Bristol AC, Cambridge and Coleridge, Coventry Godiva, Croydon Harriers, Essex Beagles, Hercules Wimbledon, Manchester AC, Polytechnic Harriers, South London Harriers, Southampton AC, Surrey AC, Thurrock Harriers and Tipton Harriers.
Results of Tipton athletes: 100m Final B, 5th Nigel Higgs 11.4; 400m Final A, 6th Steve Roach 54.6; 800m Final A Dave Eades 1m 59.2 s; 1500m Final A, Brian Mills 3rd 4m 03s; 5000m Jim Harvey 4th 15m 04s; 5 mile road race 3rd Paul Allen 22m 34s. Many prominent runners of the day took part.
There was an exciting finish to the meeting with teams waiting for the finish of the road race that would decide the final team positions that were close. With Paul Allen running a great race Tipton Harriers turned out to be the meeting winners by 2 points from Manchester AC.

Team result: 1st TIPTON HARRIERS 86 Points; 2nd Manchester AC 84; 3rd Achilles 80; 4th Cambridge and Coleridge 74; 5th Hercules Wimbledon AC; 6th Surrey AC 61.

A notable win worth being in the club records. A great team effort. What happened to the meeting format ? It was overtaken by the introduction of the regional and national athletics leagues.

I think Steve Roach remembered the event in the Club News not too long ago, in the last two or three years.

Tony Phillips, Team Manager on the day."

Thank you Tony. Here is how AW (May 6th 1972, Page 14) reported the event.

Tipton AW 1972 Peter Studd Shield Polytechnic Harriers Chiswick London