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Chapter 1 – The Early Years (1934 to 1950)

Chelmsford Athletics Club was formed in 1934, with its first Headquarters at The Cock & Bell pub in Writtle.  At the inaugural meeting on 5th October 1934, the minutes include the following report on the inaugural speech made by the club’s founder – Arthur Beeton:

“Briefly, the latter said he felt the time had come when Chelmsford, as county town, should have its own open athletics club.  He mentioned that there was no intention to poach runners who were already members of other athletics clubs*, but to band all local athletes together under one name, as he felt sure they had the talent and it was up to them to give those athletes a club worthy of the town that first brought Essex athletics to light.”

* Smaller local clubs had existed prior to the formation of Chelmsford AC – Marconi AC, Crompton AC and Hoffman AC.

The following club officers were elected at the meeting:

President: Sydney Taylor

Secretary: Arthur Beeton

Treasurer: Mr G.W. Skinner

Committee: A.D. Bickmore, L.J. Hemmings, J.H. Potham, H. Sweeting, G.A. Taylor

Ladies Sub-Committee: Miss R. Bailey, Miss R. Clapperton, Miss G.B. Moore

Captain, Men’s Section: G. Bothwell

Vice-Captain: C.C. Jackson

Captain, Walking Team: A.F.P. Spendlove

Ladies Captain: Miss M.A. Chipstone

Offers of help from W.B. Welham (Chelmsford City) as Trainer, and Alf Fulcher (Landlord, Cock & Bell, Writtle) of Cross-country Headquarters were accepted.

An “Inaugural Run” was held on 17th October 1934, and following photographs record this auspicious occasion:

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Club History

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* Arthur Beeton, club founder, can be see sitting front centre (5th from left), behind the sign.

Ten ladies are shown in the photograph, but they were present as spectators only.  At the time, ladies were only permitted to run 100yds, or 80m low Hurdles – and were excluded from Triple Jump, Pole Vault and Hammer.  There was also no provision made for them to change in the club hut.


Arthur Beeton – Club Founder

Records show that Arthur won the 1922 Essex CC Junior Championship in the colours of Marconi AC, and in 1924 took the Senior one mile title in a time of 4min 34.9secs.  This suggests that he was born in around 1902.

After founding the club in 1934, he went on to his greatest achievement, in organising the Inter-counties Cross-Country and Southern Track Championships in 1936.  He resigned as Secretary when war broke out, and was succeeded by Ernie Daley.  He remained a member of the Committee, and donated the Beeton Cup for Cross-Country in 1946, before emigrating to Perth, Australia in 1949.  He kept in occasional contact with the club, and wrote in September 1956 to report that he was entertaining several thousand children one Saturday in a central park in Perth. 

Ernie Daley – 50 Years of Service

Ernie Daley, who took over the role of Club Secretary from Arthur Beeton, served the club for over 50 years.  Remarkably, he ran in both the Inaugural Run in 1934 (coming second) AND the four mile anniversary run in 1984, fifty years later, at age of 80!  He won a European Bronze medal in the 1500m for the Over 80’s.

For many years he was a fixture at the club, working as a coach.  A number of comments recorded over the years indicate the esteem in which he was held:

“….on arriving was mentored by ……. good old Ernie Daley, who also gave a lot of encouragement to Bill when he arrived on the scene.”

“All coaches were volunteers….. An older gentleman called Ernie Daley…… watched over me at practice and gave me useful tips on technique, race strategy…….. We, the teenagers liked to tease Ernie, but we truly respected him and listened to him more than he realised.”

“The Club was very friendly and welcoming.  I remember particularly the club coach, Ernie Daley’s infectious enthusiasm.”

“I was walking my dog in the fields behind the Melbourne athletic track one Sunday in September 1967.  People were training on the track.  I walked into the track area and was jumped on by one of the coaches and told ‘DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED’.  I said Sorry, but would like to join the club.  The coach said ‘OK!  Get some running shoes and meet me here on Tuesday, 7pm’.  I turned up and joined that coach’s group; that coach was Ernie Daley.  He lived by himself in the high rise block of flats just down the road.  Ernie lived for Athletics – lovely man”.

Sydney Taylor – Founding President

Sydney Taylor was the serving Mayor of Chelmsford when he took on the role of President at the founding of the club in 1934.  He made several substantial financial contributions to the club during his involvement.  His first donation was a contribution of £25 towards the building of the club’s Waterhouse Lane hut.  Later, during the Second World War, he gave the club £65 to keep it afloat in a time of adversity.  When he died in 1947, club members raised £176 in his memory – most of which was used to fund the creation of a trophy to support the Sydney Taylor Relay.

Lavinia Keene – Club Benefactress

Lavinia Keene was the daughter-in-law and heiress of the founder of the Pearl Insurance Company, and made a significant financial contribution to the club in its early years.  She donated £100 (a massive sum at the time) towards the building of the Waterhouse hut:

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The Southern Championships – July 1936

One of the club’s most notable early successes was the organising of the Southern Championships in July 1936, which took place at the Chelmsford cricket ground.

The star attraction at the event was due to be Jack Lovelock. Lovelock was from New Zealand, but had come to the UK to attend Oxford University in 1931, and had subsequently stayed in the country to qualify and work as a doctor.  In 1933 he had set the World Mile record at Princeton.  He came to Chelmsford with a considerable entourage, including Harold Abrahams (Chariots of Fire), Jerry Cornes (Olympic Silver Medallist), Sandy Duncan (later Secretary of the British Olympic Association), Bill Thomas (Oxford Trainer), and ‘Doc’ Porritt (New Zealand 100m Bronze Medallist in 1924 – and later to become The Queen’s Surgeon).  Lovelock had also been treated personally by Alexander Fleming for a painful knee, as part of the latter’s research into penicillin!

Lovelock and Cornes attracted most attention before the event, but also competing was Sydney Wooderson, nicknamed “The Mighty Atom” – who had won the Silver medal for the one mile event at the British Empire Games in 1934, and, after running in Chelmsford, went on to compete in the 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin.  In 1937 Wooderson set a world mile record of 4min 6.4secs, and in 1938 set world records in the 800m and 880 yards.  He won European Championships Gold in the 1500m in 1938, and Gold again for the 5000m in the same Championships in 1946.

In the event, Lovelock avoided Wooderson by running the 880 yards, where he only narrowly beat Chelmsford’s Vice Captain, C.C. Jackson in the heats, and finished second in the final to Jack Powell, the English Champion.

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                                                                             Lovelock (9) and C.C. Jackson (13)

Wooderson was up against Cornes in the mile, and caused a sensation amongst the huge crowd by comprehensively beating the favourite (Cornes) and shattering Lovelock’s British record (despite the challenge of running on a grass track).  It was a result that caused uproar amongst the selectors for the forthcoming Olympics in Berlin, where a Coe/Ovett type clash was foreseen in the 1500m between Lovelock and Wooderson.  Unfortunately, in Berlin, Wooderson suffered a broken bone in his foot, and the showdown never materialised; Lovelock took the Gold medal.

First Matches

The newly formed Chelmsford AC took on their first opponents - Essex Beagles, at Dagenham Old Park in May 1935 – and returned home victorious.

Amongst the notable performances recorded by club athletes on the day were:

  • Men’s Mile: C.C. Jackson in 1st place, by 70 yards, with a time of 4mins 48s

  • 440 yard relay: 2nd place (J.H. Gray, R.W. Rotans, W.J. Andrews and W.D. Lodge)

  • 880 yard relay: 1st place, in 1min 39s (J.H. Gray, W.D. Lodge, N.S. Parish, and H.H. Durrant)

  • Mile relay: 1st place, in 4mins 3s (E.G. Daley, R.G. Simmons, N.S. Parish and H.H. Durrant)

  • Two mile relay: 1st place, in 8 mins 38s (E.A. Parish, A.C. Alchin, R.R. Fullerton, C.C. Jackson)

The Ladies team took on a very strong Essex Ladies team at the same event.  The 100 yards was won by F. Illiott of Essex AC in a time of 12secs.  Chelmsford’s R. Bailey came third, and her club mate M.A Shipstone came fourth.  In the team relay, the club were represented by M.A. Shipstone, D.G. Everard, M. Cox and R. Bailey), and finished second.


A year later, in May 1936, the archives record a victory against Southend AC and Epsom Harriers at the EKCO Sports Ground in Southend.

It was recorded that:

  • Johnson won the 100 yards, in 10.5secs, against a strong wind and a slight incline!

  • Joe Elvin won both the Javelin and Discus

  • Ray Fullerton won the half-mile in 2mins 8s – with 25 yards to spare

  • Wilsmore won the 440 yards

  • Chelmsford (Fullerton, Horrex, Atkins and Johnson) won the mile medley

After the meeting, Southend AC ‘entertained the visitors to tea’!

Post War

Founder member Ray Fullerton led the post-war revival of the club, assembling a team who became expert in organising home fixtures.  During the war, Ray served with the Essex Yeomanry 104th Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, and went to Palestine, via Marseilles.  He was in Palestine in 1940, and by 1942 was part of the Long Range Desert Group “fighting behind the lines”.  In 1943 he was on special service in Syria, in the mountains above Beirut.

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Later, when it was reported that Rommel was almost captured when roaming behind enemy lines and coming face to face with a British patrol, he commented “That’s interesting.  I remember an incident like that.”


The club recorded its most outstanding result in its existence in the last race of 1949, when the cross-country team came only second to Woodford Green, in the Friendship Cup at Chingford, beating many leading London clubs.  Jack Bowen, although still a junior, came home first for Chelmsford, in 10th place.  Bowen went on to be the club’s leading distance runner for the next 6 years or more.

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A group from the club during Ray Fullerton’s time.  Roy Meadowcroft can be seen on the left in the back row.


The following week, seeing in the start of the 1950’s, Chelmsford athletes were in action again, at the Cross Country event held at Chigwell Road, Woodford Green – with the senior championship run over 7½ miles, and the junior race over 5 miles.

Chelmsford were apparently hampered by the absence of several runners – all victims of influenza.  First home for the club was a newcomer – Laurie Durrant – who had been called out on an emergency building job the night before, and reportedly arrived only a few minutes before the race, minus both kit AND sleep.  Running in borrowed vest, socks, shorts and shoes, he did well to finish in 24th place.  Also competing for Chelmsford were Michael Ranson (25th), Ted Brown (31st), Ray Fullerton (35th), Geoff Crow (37th), Arthur Alchin (47th), Johnny Atkinson (79th) and D. Wright (81st).


In May 1950, Chelmsford were up against Finchley Harriers, Mitcham AC, Thames Valley Harriers, and Walton AC, in their first Summer fixture.  The club’s athletes faced stiff competition from a number of athletes with international experience.

The best Chelmsford performance was by Gordon Orrin, in the half-mile, finishing second to Bill Nankeville, the AAA Champion, who recorded a time of 2mins 1.5s.  Trevor Thorpe also acquitted himself well, finishing second in the 100 yards, in a time of 10.4secs.  David Cox – a junior High Jumper, recorded a commendable clearance of 5ft 2in.

Geoff Rison finished third in the junior 440 yards in 53.6secs, while A. Johnson came fourth in the junior 880 yards, despite being badly spiked on the first bend.  Jack Taylor came third in the junior 220 yards, in 24.6secs.

Chapter 2 – The Post-War Intake (1950 to 1956)

In 1951, so great was the reputation of Chelmsford AC that Essex turned the club Chairman – Ray Fullerton – to become Essex Secretary.  They also asked the club’s cross-country secretary – Arthur Alchin – to take up the same role for the county.  This coincided with their (and others of the pre-war generation) to retire from competitive running.  The loss of some of the club’s most revered winter runners was balanced, however, by their prowess in bringing about various innovations, and in laying the foundations for future success.

At the start of the 50’s, there were no regular inter-club meetings, but Ray recognised that this was the future, and convinced the Council to donate the Festival and Coronation Trophies.

Business-organised events still took place though, and many Chelmsford AC members were very much part of the organisation and management of these events:

  • Alec Spendlove – Essex 10 miles walking champion 1923 & 24 – was for two decades a committee member, and track marker

  • Ted Brown – Essex Cross Country champion 1945

  • Joe Radford – Wartime Secretary; Treasurer for 25 years; President in 1984

  • Harry Gratze – Club Timekeeper

  • Frank Holroyd – Club Shot record holder 1954


The Introduction of the 440 yards for Ladies

It was 1954 before ladies were allowed to run more than 220 yards, and that year saw the first running of the Ladies 440 yards, as part of the Club Championship.  The press report on the occasion noted:

“….the excellent turn-out of seven girls for the ladies 440 yards handicap, a tribute to the hard work of Miss Joan Falconer in reviving the ladies’ section.  The race was won by Diane Gray daughter of a former member of the Club, in a promising 67.8 secs, from a 6 yards start, with Pat Stock (12 yards) a close second, and another new member, Margaret Harrby, third.”

Joan taught at The County High School in the early fifties and despite poor facilities, vigorously developed an active Ladies Section.

She would bring Mrs Wenley’s dog with her for exercise and it appointed itself guard hound for the hut, falling upon other passing dogs with great fury, to Joan’s great embarrassment!


New Events and Innovations

Ray Fullerton launched the Sydney Taylor Memorial Relay in the early 1950’s, and the event quickly became the first big race in the South East Road Relay season.  The photo below shows a young Roy Meadowcroft receiving the baton from Mike Ranson:

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Ray encouraged Roy Meadowcroft to found the S.E. Essex Cross Country League – one of the first in the country – and himself organised cross country matches against Cambridge University.  He also back the an initiative by Track Secretary Mike Ranson to arrange a Club Floodlit meeting at Rayleigh Stadium, and a successful club tour to Switzerland.

The main initiative in the mid 50’s was the launching of a Schools Cross Country Relay in 1955, followed by a Boys (U16) invitation race which later became a County Championship.  Such were the number of activities that the club organised for teenagers that the club won the Council’s 1955-56 award as the Youth Club of the Year.

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In 1954, the club tragically lost one of its most promising young middle-distance runners. Tony Johnson (age 20) was killed only a few months after his own father’s suicide.  On his way home from a club dance, he was knocked off of his bicycle in Baddow Road.  The hit-and-run driver was later arrested, charged and fined for dangerous driving.

In 1956 tragedy struck again. Pamela Little, the 18 year old daughter of Ted Little (who had joined the club in 1938) died suddenly, having suffered a brain haemorrhage. Not only had she caught the notice of the local press with her high jumping, but she was also the elected Junior representative on the Committee.

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European Tour 1954

In September 1954, Mike Ranson organised a two week European Tour, that took in competitions against local teams in Schifflange (Luxembourg), Strasbourg (France), and Thun (Switzerland). 

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In Chelmsford, ready to depart

Reports from the local papers recount:

“Members of Chelmsford AC, home from their two-week Continental tour, have quite a tale to tell.  Club coach Ernie Daley told me in rather wistful terms of the wonderful facilities athletes have abroad.  He also recalled the fine hospitality they enjoyed, and how English visitors to the European Championships (in Bern, in August) travelled to Thun to root for Chelmsford’s athletes.

“Derek Cole spoke of the stop at Luxembourg, where Olympic Champion Josy Barthel showed them round the town, and the match at Schifflange where they were presented with two drawings by a local artist.  He also told of the Strasbourg match, at the vast Stade Racing, where the home club gave them a painting as a souvenir, and generously met part of their hotel expenses.”

“At Thun they were kept fit by the long climb of 400 steps to their hotel, perched high up the mountain, overlooking the lake.  One evening the party joined the British team for the European Championships for tea and a cruise on Lake Thun.  They also paused in Paris where some met Dr. Roger Bannister, who was holidaying there.

“At the dinner the Thun Club threw for the tourists after the match, Len Garner presented Mike Ranson with a writing case for ‘his hard work and tireless enthusiasm’ throughout the tour.”

The newspaper reports that Chelmsford won the match against Thun, by 57 points to 42.  They excelled in the Track events, being placed first and second in every race, with the outstanding performers were reported as John Capers and Doug Minett, who both competed in four events.  Minett won both sprints, while Capers win the 400m.  Colbert won the 800m for Chelmsford in a Season’s Best time of 2m 2.3s, and K. Rogers won the 3000m in 9m 23.3s.  Chelmsford (Minett, Capers, Loft, Cole) won the 4x100m in 44.9s.

The Field events did not tell such a successful story, with the club failing to register a single victory, despite Frank Holroyd recording a new club record of 35ft in the Shot.

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The club team with their hosts at Schifflange.

A film showing highlights from the tour can be viewed here.

Bill Cornell

The mid 1950’s saw the initial rise to prominence of Bill Cornell, who won many titles during his time with the club, before moving to the U.S. where he became a legendary figure in athletics coaching, being named Coach of the Year an amazing 18 times!

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Bill was brought up in a council house in Eastern Crescent, on the Boarded Barns estate in Chelmsford.  During the 1950-51 football season he was playing for the Kings Road Junior School team, alongside England 1966 World Cup hero, Geoff Hurst – and in the Summer months he was regularly winning the 100m events at school sports days.

One day his father binned his football boots and cricket shoes, and presented him with spiked running shoes, running gear, and a membership card for Chelmsford AC, saying “I truly believe this is your sport son, give it a shot for me.”  His father must have known what he was talking about, because Bill went on to the following notable successes:

  • 1954 – Winner, Essex Boys High School Champs 400 yds

  • 1955 – Winner, Essex Boys High School Champs 880 yds

  • 1955 – Winner, Southern Counties Youth Champs 440 yds

  • 1956 – Winner, Essex Youth Cross Country Champs

  • 1956 – Winner, Essex Youth Champs 880 yds

  • 1956 – Winner, Southern Counties Champs 1 mile (4:21.8)

  • 1957 – Winner, Essex Youth Champs 220 yds

  • 1957 - Winner, Essex Youth Champs 880 yds

  • 1957 – Winner, Southern Counties Champs 1 mile

  • 1957 – Winner, Club meet against George Knight of Essex Beagles 1 mile (4:16.5)

  • 1957 – Winner, AAA Junior Champs 1 mile (4:15.4 – record)

  • 1957 – Winner, Intercounties Match at Eton Manor, 1 mile (4:14.6 – World Record 17 year olds!)

  • 1957 – Winner, GB v USSR Junior 880 yds (1:52.8 – Junior record U19)

  • 1958 – Winner, Essex Youth Cross Country Champs

  • 1958 – Winner, Essex Youth Champs 880 yds

  • 1958 – Winner, Southern Counties Junior Champs 1 mile

Bill was struck down by the Asian Flu epidemic in 1957, and thereafter suffered such intense nervousness before and during races that he was unable to return to his previous form, and hung up his spikes to return to football and cricket.

Out of the blue, however, he was offered a coveted athletics scholarship to Southern Illinois University (SIU), which he accepted.  The move caused a furore amongst the British Amateur Athletics Board, who were outraged that he and two other British milers had accepted the offers without consultation, and banned them all from racing in the U.S.  Chelmsford AC protested about the ban, and eventually the BAAB reversed their decision.  Bill regained his confidence and went on to become a three-time All-American, a US Track & Field Federation champion and in 1962 was hailed SIU’s Athlete of the Year.

After finally retiring as an athlete, Bill went on to even greater success as a coach in the US, coaching 11 Olympic, and 49 All-American athletes.

He was forced to retire in 2000, having been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 1989.

In 2005, he was inducted in the U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association Hall of Fame.  Not bad for a lad who started out in a council house in Chelmsford!

Chapter 3 – The Years of Growth (1956 to 1961)

In 1956 Jack Bowen became Chairman, and Norman Skingley stepped into the role of Club Captain.  With Roy Meadowcroft, they were to preside over a major expansion in the club’s activities.


Although Ray Fullerton had laid the foundations, it was under the leadership of Jack and Norman that the influx of youngsters was encouraged and brought forward, especially in distance running and sprint relays.

Members of the club won five National Schools titles in three years – amongst them Nick Torry, who won the 100m in 1959.  The Junior Sprint Relay team of 1959 (Nick Torry, Jaffa Jarvis, David Grimwood and Ralph Burrows) set a British Junior record in the Southern Championships – a club record that still stands today. 


Nick Torry wrote at the time that ‘the relay training was ahead of its time, and would be very helpful for the GB relay team”.

However, the record setting was not without incident. In the heats, as Colin, all unaware won the race with ease, the other three gathered in excited chatter in the middle. Jaffa (2nd leg) had put the wrong hand back for Nick, who did a ballet dancer’s step to pass the baton. Ralph took a split decision to put his usual hand back and prayed. Jaffa likewise made an improvised pass!

Brian Hill-Cottingham was the first, and most outstanding of the intake of distance runners recruited in Ray Fullerton’s time, and was quoted at the time that he was “mentored by the club’s best distance man, Jack Bowen”.

A very good team became an outstanding team with the arrival of Buddy Edelen in 1960, and that Christmas they won the Bedford to St Neots Road Relay.  In April 1961 they were victorious in the Leyton to Southend Relay, and gained a place in the Southern London to Brighton event.

Southern Counties Cross Country 1957-58

In Chapter 2 we covered the exploits of Chelmsford’s rising star, Bill Cornell, in the latter half of the 1950’s he helped the club win their first medals in the Southern Counties Cross Country.  Bill registered his first victory in the event in 1957, and the following year he led the Youth team to a bronze medal.  The newspaper report on the event describes him taking the lead 250 yards from the finish of the 3.5 mile race, and going on to cross the line a full 10 seconds ahead of the competition, in a time of 18m 59s.  Bob Rust finished in 46th place, Peter Bailey was 55th, and Colin Christian came 57th.  Bob Squirrel, in his first year as a Youth finished 60th.


Brian Cottingham-Hill - The Club’s First International

In January 1960, 21 year old Brian Hill-Cottingham was selected to run for England in an international cross country event in Belgium, having finished 12th in the National Championships.  The local newspaper ran a feature on him in the build up to the event, describing Brian’s typical training regime – catching the train home from his job as an articled accountant in London, and then riding his bike straight from Chelmsford station to the Club HQ in Waterhouse Lane.  And then, after a thorough work-out, a ride home, a shower, a meal – and then straight to bed!  “I don’t have a special diet”, he commented to the reporter, “I don’t think my programme is too strenuous – it’s just a question of routine.”


1960 – The Most Successful Year Yet

By 1960, plans were afoot to create a new cinder track at Melbourne Park, and Chelmsford was becoming the real focal point for athletics in Essex.  The excitement was enhanced by the instigation of the first coaching courses in Chelmsford, organised jointly by the club and the Essex Coaching Committee.  At the first such course, at Melbourne Park, 75 local youngsters turned out, with the coaches including:

  • Brian Cottingham-Hill and Tony Elder (Senior Essex Coach) - Distance Running

  • Nick Torry, Norman Skingley (Club Captain) and Don Evans (Senior Essex Coach) - Sprints

  • Bob Sussex (former international long jumper) – High Jump

  • G. Tregunna (Southend School Master) and F.C. Smith (Essex Schools Champion) - Discus

This first coaching event, combining the talents of top coaches and local athletes was, by all accounts, a huge success.

The air of positivity and enthusiasm around the club was clear from the 1960 Annual Report:

International Cross-Country honours for Brian Hill-Cottingham, a new cinder track; a profit on the year of nearly £250, victory in the Coronation Trophy, the Legion Trophy at Hornchurch, the South East Essex League, the Essex Junior Cross-Country, the Glemsford Road Relay and the Brantham Junior Trophy; English Schools Championships for Jennifer Farley and David Rutty; these were the achievements of the most successful year in the Club’s history.

Many and various were the fine performances of club members, but we must single out a few of them for mention.  The Committee decided that two performances – 21st place in the International Cross-Country, and 5000m in 14m 9s – both by Brian Hill-Cottingham, were the best of the year and he therefore wins the Ward Trophy.

The Sykes Trophy is awarded for improvement resulting from hard and consistent training, and the Committee were quite unable to separate Bob Squirrell and Ken Burgess.  They therefore share the trophy for the following year.

To name every athlete who did well would turn this report into a book, and to name only a selection would be unfair, but the Committee wish to congratulate all our members on the part they have played in this fine season.

We are issuing a Building Fund Appeal, as we regard the provision of a new Headquarters as one of the main tasks facing us.  The provision of a new HQ has become urgent because the new cinder track is being built.  This new track marks a turning point in our history and the Committee would like to express their thanks for Chelmsford Council for the support they have given, and are giving to us.

Unfortunately, poor weather subsequently delayed the completion of the cinder track, and it was not finished until July 1961, and the Opening Match was postponed until April 1962.

Buddy Edelen

In October 1960, an American distance runner appeared on the scene.  Buddy Edelen was a former student at the College of Minnesota, and had set an American record for the 10,000 metres earlier in 1960.  Edelen had embarked on a tour of Europe, and on his way home stopped off in Chelmsford, where his coach Fred Wilt hoped to find him a club.

He made his debut for the club, and gained his first experience of cross country running in the South East Essex Cross Country League at Hadleigh, where he pushed Brian Hill-Cottingham into second place in a largely two-man race.  New club colleagues Ken Rogers, Dave Loveless and Peter Bailey came 4th, 6th and 7th respectively, and Chelmsford ran out winners with the most convincing victory in the history of the League.

Road Relay Success

The addition of Buddy Edelen to the club distance running squad stood Chelmsford in good stead for a number of fine team performances in Road Relays over the next few years. 

In April 1961 the team broke the event record at the Leyton-Southend Relay.  The race was an Eight Stage event:

  • Stage 1:                                Loveless (11th in 26.20min)

  • Stage 2:                                Bell (27.20min) – Chelmsford up to 2nd

  • Stage 3:                                Brian Hill-Cottingham (26.32min) – Chelmsford remain 2nd

  • Stage 4:                                Christian – 2nd

  • Stage 5:                                Rogers – 3rd

  • Stage 6:                                Edelen (25.11min) – 1st

  • Stage 7:                                Burgess -1st

  • Stage 8:                                Bailey (19.12min) – 1st

Winning time:    3:06.2

Apparently the team celebrated by going on to Bill Cornell’s wedding reception, before he left for Illinois the next day!


The team then went on to make a first appearance in a National Relay in October 1961.  The London to Brighton relay was a 12 Stage a race for the top 20 clubs in the South, and the club finished in a highly creditable 15th position, competing against a raft of international athletes.  The stage breakdown was:

  • Stage 1:                                Dudley Courtman – Chelmsford 11th

  • Stage 2:                                Bell – Chelmsford up to 6th

  • Stage 3:                                Loveless – Chelmsford down to 16th

  • Stage 4:                                Bailey – 16th

  • Stage 5:                                Rogers – 17th

  • Stage 6:                                17th

  • Stage 7:                                17th

  • Stage 8:                                Edelen – up to 15th

  • Stage 9:                                Hill-Cottingham – remaining 15th

  • Stage 10:                              15th

  • Stage 11:                              15th

  • Stage 12:                              Christian – 15th

Their result meant that they qualified automatically for the 1962 event.


Chapter 4 – The Cinder Track Years (1961 to 1969)


Off the track, the 1960’s were dominated by the opening of the cinder track at Melbourne Park – and by a successful fund raising scheme to build a proper HQ at the new hub of Club activities.  The opening of the new Clubhouse meant that the Waterhouse Lane hut that had been used since the early days of the club could finally be discarded.

In terms of personnel, as well as the everlasting Roy Meadowcroft, the other leaders of the club in his decade were Norman Skingley (Chairman), Joe Radford, Gordon Harris, Bob Rust and Graham Smith.  The club also relied for its reputation on a large team of volunteers, including Ron Wicks, who began by raking pits, and ended up as an experienced Field and then Track Judge.

Trans-Atlantic links continued to be a feature of the club during the 60’s.  Buddy Edelen’s arrival was covered in Chapter 3, and he was joined by a US Airman from USAAF Weathersfield called Andy Davis, who became one of the club’s most popular members.

Jennifer Farley’s win in the National School’s hurdles in 1960 launched a new era for the Ladies section of the club, as their numbers swelled to match the men.  Irene Gould, Babs Horton, Angela Jones and Mary Tucker were some of the leading lights, and in 1964 Penny Gardner became the first Junior in the world to break five minutes for the mile – a record she held for three years.

Another section was revived when Don Cox joined the club in 1967, and began a long and successful walking career.

In 1965 the Club took the lead in making a major change in Athletics by organising home matches on a Sunday.  For a long time, Sunday’s had been out of bounds for competition because the Sunday Observance Act prohibited charging for admission, and clubs were, until the 60’s, in the habit of charging spectators.  Sunday’s had therefore become the preferred day for training.  Chelmsford took the lead in making the change.


The Dyson Affair


Athletics was poised to become ungovernable in January 1962 after controversial National Coach Geoff Dyson resigned, violently accusing some officials of gross incompetence. 

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Dyson’s supporters put down a vote of censure, accusing officers of the AAA of wild maladministration – which others vociferously opposed.  Those managing athletics were likely to end up not on speaking terms with each other, and chaos loomed.  Fortunately, Johnny Johnson of Hornchurch, coach to 4-time Marathon world record breaker Jim Peters, persuaded the S.E. Essex clubs to propose a compromise amendment striking out the vote of censure and substituting an expression of ‘alarm and dismay’.

Chelmsford AC then took the lead in attempting to resolve the overall dispute by asking for more information at the Southern Counties AGM, and by circulating a summary of the position to all clubs.  The club also put the S.E. Essex proposal to the AAA President – Lord Exeter, who sent Harold ‘Chariots of Fire’ Abrahams to an all-Essex public protest meeting to investigate.  Following his attendance at the meeting, Abrahams advised Lord Exeter to back the Chelmsford-initiated amendment, which he did.

With Abrahams in attendance at the Southern Counties AGM, lobbying for the amendment, it was carried by a large majority.  This took the heat out of the dispute, and common sense returned.  AAA Secretary Ernie Clynes was subsequently quoted as saying that Chelmsford had saved the day!


Stadium Opening


In April 1962, Lord Exeter visited Chelmsford personally, to officially cut the tape, and open the new Melbourne Park stadium.  The local paper proudly proclaimed “the new athletic stadium, with its seven-lane track, provisions for all field events and stand accommodation for 1,000 spectators, estimated to have cost in the region of £20,000”.

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Former Olympic Gold Medallist Lord Exeter acclaimed “this beautiful track”, and speculated upon the future Olympic champions that might owe their success to the new facilities, and the eternal gratitude that youth of the district would express to the club.

To mark the occasion there then followed a match between a team raised by the Secretary of the AAA (Jack Crump), and a team of Essex and Eastern Counties athletes put together by the Secretary of the Essex County Association (Jim Perkins).  It was reported that “many well-known athletic personalities took part” and that the AAA team won by 114 points to 87 points.

Local star Brian Hill-Cottingham won the 1 Mile event, in 4m 11s – and the Essex team won the Relay when the AAA team dropped the baton!  Two lady Chelmsford athletes performed with credit – in the Hurdles Jennifer Farley (former English Schools Champion) set a new club record with a time of 11.7s, while 15-year old Irene Gould finished third in the 100 yards with 11.6s.

The club followed this up with their first Inter Club match – against Metropolitan Police, Welwyn AC, St Albans AC and Hornchurch Harriers, with the wave of excitement carrying them to a 30 point victory.  Amongst the winners on the day were:


  • I. Pulley – 100 yards

  • Nick Torry – 100 yards second string

  • Buddy Edelen – 880 yards AND 3 miles (twice!)

  • Jack Gardiner – Triple Jump

  • B Cottingham-Hill – 1 Mile


In addition to Buddy Edelen, several of the men doubled or even trebled up on the day, with Peter Bailey running in both the 440yds Hurdles AND the 3000m Steeplechase, Dudley Courtman running the 880 yards AND the 3 Miles, and Brian Cottingham-Hill running the 1 Mile twice!


Jennifer Farley finished second in the Ladies Invitation Hurdles, beating an Olympic finalist, while Irene Gould crossed the line third in the Invitation 100 yards.  Irene still holds four club records for sprinting.


A Galaxy of Talent


After such a decisive win in the Opening Meeting, the local press became very excited at the Galaxy of Talent which had appeared at the club in the past few years. At the National Schools Championships, Nick Torry led the way by winning the 100 yards in 1959, followed by Jennifer Farley (Senior Hurdles) and David Rutty (Junior Pole Vault) in 1960, and then Richard (Jack) Gardner (Intermediate Triple Jump) and Roger Turner (Junior Pole Vault) in 1961. They were to be followed by three second places (when the English Schools Championships were hosted at Melbourne Park) by Irene Gould (100 yards), Penny Gardner (1 mile), and John Archer (880 yards with 1m 55.4) in 1963. Also Angela Jones was 3rd in the Junior 150 yards, Roger Turner came 3rd in the Intermediate Pole Vault and Dave Gill was 3rd in the Senior Pole Vault. Mike Erith, Bob Chapman, Gareth Jenkins & Richard (Jack) Gardner were also in the Essex team which included no fewer than ten athletes from the club! 

Irene Gold went on to win the English Schools Senior 100 yards in 1964.

In 1965 Bob Chapman ran away with the Essex Mile. Although he was disappointed with only 5th place in 4m 10.4s in the English Schools Final, officials and coaches still remember an astonishing blanket record-shattering finish.  His time 1500m time of 3m 52.4s, is still a club junior record.

Another English Schools Champion, Jackie Philp, in 1967 was unbeaten in the intermediate 80m Hurdles all year as well as winning the National Junior Indoor title at 60m.

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Penny Gardner won several Essex titles at 880 yards as a Junior and came 2nd in the 880 yards in the ESAA Championships at Chelmsford in 1963. In 1964 she was invited to attend the WAAA Lilleshall course for aspiring Olympic athletes, and in the same year she came 2nd in the WAAA Mile, setting an age 18 World Record of 4:56.9.                                    

In the winter of 1964/5 she was taken ill after playing in a mixed hockey match, spent her 19th birthday in hospital (Feb 1965) and never raced again.

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A week before the Opening Meeting Buddy Edelen broke the U.S. Record for ten miles by over two minutes when winning the A.A.A. Championship in 48.31.8, the first American to win an A.A.A. title since E.C.Carter won both the 4 m and 10 m in 1887.


English Schools Championships at Melbourne Park 1963


After an interval of 30 years, the ESAA Championships returned to Essex, to be staged at the new Melbourne Park stadium.  Over 16,000 spectators watched the event over the two days, with hundreds turned away each day.  1,797 athletes took part in competitions over “two glorious days of sunshine”.

Officials of the ESAA were very impressed by the facilities at the new stadium, and described the cinder track as “suitable for the Olympic Games”, while the athletes, many of whom stayed with local residents, described their time in Chelmsford as “fabulous”.

The organiser behind an event described as “now second only in size to the Olympic Games” was Sydney Rose – secretary of the Essex Schools AA – and the two days reportedly went without a single hitch, and right on time.  Amongst the challenges falling to Mr Rose was the distribution of 3,000 packed meals on the two days!

Each day saw an opening parade of athletes, headed by the English Schools AA Standard, carried by Chelmsford’s Richard Gardner, of Braintree County High School, flanked by two Essex High Jumpers – Linda Knowles and Janice Hopkins.

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Hopes were high that Essex would carry off the County Shield, but in the event they finished just three points behind the victors – Yorkshire.


Andy Davis – Chelmsford’s Second American


Suddenly in 1964 another Chelmsford runner from America was grabbing the headlines, here and in Europe. Andy Davis, who joined the club during the 1961 track season and competed for the club at every opportunity, was by 1964 a major figure in middle distance running.  Within a few short weeks, he carried off the Essex 880 Cup for Chelmsford, the UK USAF 880 title at Melbourne Park itself and then the USAF European 880 in record time in Germany. He is fondly remembered and efforts are being made to trace him in the U.S.A.

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The New Headquarters 1969


 “We must build a proper Headquarters”, the Club committee resolved vigorously in the mid-fifties. This involved a huge fund raising effort. The first H.Q. cost just over £150, most of it donated by Mrs Keene with help from the Mayor, Sydney Taylor. The only helpful factor was that the Education Department, whatever the political control, had a large fund for capital projects for youth facilities. Although this was long before the lottery, the Government was urging voluntary organisations to find 50% of the cost as they were anxious to pay out the other 50%, so important were youth facilities regarded. Further, the National Playing Field Association would make a loan for equipment and a club member signed a guarantee. Brian Hill-Cottingham qualified as an accountant at the right moment to make the arrangements.

Gordon Harris was the main driving force behind the campaign. As well as many special events, the Weekly Football Goal scoring cards were the main source of income  and the club devised an ingenious summer equivalent based on the week-end county first innings cricket scores in the then championship for the summer months. As the fund grew, the Borough Treasurer chipped in by offering the top rate of interest for loans to the council, usually reserved for city bankers. Joe Radford, the treasurer, was startled to get documents to counter-sign entitling him to attach the council’s rate income if they defaulted!

The Council granted a long lease on the land and, in 1969, the Club President, Councillor Ron Wicks, welcomed Harold Abrahams - Chariots of Fire, British Board Chairman, BBC commentator and Olympic Gold Medallist at the opening of this long awaited and much needed facility.

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A Summary of the 60’s by Mick Elliot


Mick Elliot was a Chelmsford AC Team Manager, and local newspaper athletics correspondent.  He wrote a summary of an outstanding decade for the club:

“The last decade has been one of staggering progress for Chelmsford Ac, which has been transformed from a relatively small club with a ramshackle headquarters in 1960, to a complete athletic club with a plush new £8,500 club house at Melbourne Park in 1969.

“During these years, many famous clubs and athletes have competed in Chelmsford.  The club itself has produced three international athletes in Bill Cornell, Brian Hill-Cottingham and Rupert Legge.  Another international to run for Chelmsford was the then multi-American record holder Buddy Edelen, who at one time held the world’s Marathon record.  He has clocked 2hrs 14mins 26secs when winning the Poly Marathon in 1963.

“Other Chelmsford athletes to become well-known, over the year, in the athletic world were Terry Povey, Andy Davis, Roger Jiggins and John Archer, who is now teaching at the Grammar School.

“Though it is the athletes who have hit the headlines over the years, the club’s administrative staff have also become the envy of most clubs in Essex.  The backbone of the club during these progressive years has been Roy Meadowcroft, who has held the posts of secretary, press officer, men’s and women’s team manager, track and cross-country secretaries, canteen-organiser and last but not least, home-meeting organiser!

“It is in this latter capacity that Roy and Chelmsford AC have really made a name for themselves in recent years, with regular crowds of over 1,000 witnessing some of the best presented inter-club athletics in Great Britain today.  Others, such as Joe Radford, treasurer for over 20 years; Bob Rust, Norman Skingley, Gordon ‘Pussy’ Harris and Graham Smith have all served on the committee for the past decade.

“A major breakthrough for athletics in Chelmsford came in 1962, with the opening of the new cinder track at Melbourne Park, which is now amongst the finest tracks in the county.  (It is feared by some that the track is haunted; phantom runners having been spotted twice in recent years running round the track late at night).

“During the past decade, two club members served as Mayor of Chelmsford.  They were Ron Wicks and Walter Landers, the club’s current president.

“Of the 188 listed Chelmsford club records, only 12 (11 men and 1 lady) were set prior to 1960.”

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Chapter 5 – The Years of Success (1970-84)

The last 14 years of the club’s first half-century opened with Brian Hill-Cottingham leading a team of 10 in a 400 mile relay, with a message from the Mayor of Chelmsford to the Edinburgh Commonwealth Games -


– and with Steve Marlow winning all 400m titles up to national level, including an appearance for GB in the European Championships.

The climax of the period came when Louise Miller and Terry Whitehead reached finals at the 1980 Moscow Olympics.  Louise (PB of 1.94m) finished in 11th place with 1.85m.  Terry was part of the GB 4x400m relay team, who were in line for a bronze medal before the final runner was tripped on the final bend.

The club reached the national league, and won the North of the Thames cross-country on Danbury Common in 1981. 

Marks & Spencers celebrated their centenary by funding an extension to the club house.

Don Cox re-awakened the walking section of the club by winning county 3k Walk twice in the period, and going on to represent GB.  Geof Tyler won 12 consecutive County Discus titles from 1971 to 1982, plus six in the Shot, and one in the Decathlon.  Graham Eggleton won the club’s first major Games medal – bronze in the Commonwealth Games Pole Vault in 1982.

In March 1982, the club men’s team, anchored by Richard Charleston, won the Essex Road Relays, to hold every county team title.

Roland Weedon ran the 800m for GB, in an international match against the USA and Norway in 1983.

Ernie Daley completed the course of the 1934 Inaugural Run, 50 years after he first did so – and John Weir, as a parent volunteered his services on the committee to take the club towards the 21st Century.


Highlights of 1972

The Relay to the Munich Olympics:

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1975 – Unbeatable Chelmsford

1975 turned out to be one of the club’s most successful in terms of the number of trophies added to the club cabinet!  Amongst the triumphs of the year were:

  • Promotion from Division Two of the Southern League

  • Fielding a 16-strong team at a Cross-Country event in Belgium which featured a number of international runners amongst the field of 86, and winning the team trophy!  Notable performances by team members were:

    • Senior Race:

      • Richard Charleston – 13th

      • Peter Fletcher – 14th

      • John Willoughby – 16th

      • Terry Farrow – 21st

    • Junior Race

      • Chris Turner – 7th

      • Roger Woodley – 9th

    • Veteran’s 5000m:

      • Ron Wicks – 40th

      • Ernie Daley – 43rd


  • Fielding a team of 11 women at the Highgate Open meeting at Parliament Fields, and coming home with prizes including two radios, four watches, and seven cameras! 

  • Winning the Holroyd Trophy by 180 points in Southend:

    • Caroline Warren (Essex’s top High Jumper) won the Junior 75mH with 13.1sec, and the High Jump with 1.50m

    • Diane Payne won the Intermediate 80m in 12.9sec

    • Andrew Vince won:

      • Youth Shot - 15.74m

      • Youth Discus – 40.60m

      • Senior Shot – 12.78m

    • Richard Smith won:

      • Senior 100m B – 11.2sec

      • Senior 200m – 22.7sec

      • Senior Discus – 37.46m

    • Alasdair Ross won the Senior 100m in 10.9sec, and the Senior 400m with 53.4sec

    • Sid Radcliffe won the Senior 200m B in 24.0sec

    • John Willoughby won the Senior 800m in 2min 5.7sec

    • Richard Charleston won the Senior 1500m in 4min 4.2sec

    • Michelle Wilcox won the 800m in 2min 24.4

    • Diane Payne, Carla Myhill and Hazel Lowe all won their Javelin events

    • Helen Clarke and Honor Bushnell both won in Discus


1976 – There’s No Stopping Chelmsford!

1976 started in much the same fashion, with a January newspaper headline trumpeting “There’s No Stopping Chelmsford”.  This headline came from a report on the Essex and Border Cross Country League, in which the reporter announced that surely none of the 13 clubs comprising the league could stop them from winning the league trophies for both the Men’s and Women’s events.

70 club members turned out in this first event of 1976, in Colchester, and finished with four team wins and three second places.  Amongst the individual performances reported were:

  • Moira Owers – 2nd in the U13 Girls

  • Peter Fletcher and John Willoughby – joint 2nd in the Senior Men’s race

  • Malcolm Orr – 4th in the Colts race

  • Tony Croxford – 5th in the Boys Youths race (a race won by one Eamonn Martin, from Basildon)

  • Angela Rothwell  - 1st in the Girls Junior race

  • Jeanette Fox – 7th in the Girls Junior race

  • Michelle Wilcox – 1st in the Senior Women’s race

  • Jackie Wilcox – 4th in the Senior Women’s race

14-year old Angela Rothwell was making quite a name for herself in 1975/76, and in March 1976 she collected a trophy to mark her achievement in Liverpool, in September 1975, when she won the WAAA Junior Pentathlon with a new UK record performance.

The local paper reported that she celebrated winning the award in January 1976 by winning the Colchester & North East Essex Schools Cross Country championship, and by leading her Manningtree school team to victory.  She also helped Chelmsford AC to second place in the Young Athletes Cross Country Relays at Thurrock in the same month.

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In October 1976 the club won the 29th running of the annual Road Relay, and brought home the Sydney Taylor Memorial Trophy (named after their own Founding President) for the very first time.  The photo below shows the members of team, showing off the trophy:

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In the same Winter season, the U15 Boys successfully defended the Jubilee Cup, in the Southend Road Relays.

Ups and Down’s in the 90’s

For the years to 2002, the club suffered by having to make do with the old cinder track and wooden stands.  The club’s main focus was on distance running and cross country.  The club could not host any Senior league matches at home, though younger age group matches could be held at Melbourne Park.

The Ladies team (once in the National League) slipped down to the Women’s Southern Athletics League, and the Men’s team had mixed performances in the old Southern Athletics League (Men only) and were promoted/relegated with regularity between Div 1 and DIv 3.  However, the Men were able to turn out two teams – one managed by Jim Sayers, and the other by John Clark.

The Men’s team were better known for their performances at distance running and cross country events, especially as Jim Sayers managed to attract distance athletes to the club.  Keith Cullen gained international honours and still holds the record for the 10K Road Race organised by the club (timed at 29:02).  The event has been run in late November for many years and once had to the called off due to heavy snow falling on the eve of the race.

The most successful performance of the Men’s distance running team was in 1995 when the team were placed third in the South of England event (see photo in Club House).


Milestones in the club’s development in this period are:

·The extension of the Club House building in 1989, following a donation from Marks & Spencer.


·The decision by the Council to scrap the old cinder track and lay the present eight lane synthetic track in April 1999 – aided by funding from the National Lottery


·The later decision of the Council to add the indoor sports hall and sprint straight in 2002, which has allowed athletes to train all year round.  The new facilities have encouraged more athletes to take up the sport, and retention of athletes has also improved.  This has helped strengthen the Ladies and Men’s teams - and also the younger athletes’ teams which have now moved into the Youth Development Leagues for U13/15 and U17/20 age groups.


·The club received a Grant from the Queen’s Jubilee Fund in 2002, which enabled roof repairs to the building, and provision of heating and insulation


·In 2006 the Council developed further facilities at the centre, including a stand for spectators as Chelmsford City FC became joint users of the stadium


·In 2014 the Council added an outside Throws area, to allow Throws training to take place throughout the year, without causing damage to the CCFC football pitch


·In 2015 the club re-developed its gym area, and has a modern strength and conditioning area for use by club members 

Senior Teams

Managers of the Men’s Senior Team in this period have been:


The Men’s and Ladies Teams opted out of the single sex leagues, and joined the new mixed Southern Athletics League in 2011.  The team have been in Div 1 since inception of the League, finishing third in 2015.

Club Committee

The Committee has seen many changes in personnel, especially at Secretary level, and club minutes history reflects this.

Dave Dawson and Ron Woolgar stood down as Chair/Secretary in around 1985, at which time the three regular members of the Committee – Roy Meadowcroft, John Weir and Ralph Burrows were unable to make decisions as no quorum was present.

John Stark and Steve Toogood were encouraged to join the Committee, which slowly expanded over the years to get the club back onto a firmer footing.  Mike Morgan also joined the team and was helpful in the discussions with the Council on the stadium redevelopment.


Amongst the people who played major roles in the management and progress of the club in this period were:

·         Bill Bushnell - a Throws coach at the club.

·         Graham Smith – a long serving coach in High Jump and Hurdles – and a Timekeeper.

·         Roy Meadowcroft – a club athlete in the 1950’s, who has performed virtually every role possible in his 60 years with the club

·         Ralph Burrows – another club star of the 1950’s, who has gone on to be a Field judge in events from Club matches to international events

·         John Weir – a sprinter in the 1950’s and 60’s who joined the Club Committee in 1983, and has served as Treasurer, Chairman, Team Manager – and a plethora of other roles

·         Phil Sergeant – see below

Phil Sergeant

Long term Level 3 Long and High Jump coach Phil Sergeant competed as a distance runner for his school, county, and Durham University in his youth.  He became part of Chelmsford AC in the mid 1980’s, at a time when he had taken up jogging to keep fit (progressing to competing in the London Marathon three times!), and his children were taking up the sport.

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Over the years he has performed a multitude of roles, including Team Manager, Field Judge, Starter, Marksman, and Club Secretary.   His favourite role, however, is coaching and mentoring children and teenagers – not only coaching at the club, but offering his services to the Council, and schools in the area.  His work in this area was recognised in 2010 when he won the England Athletics award for Development Coach of the Year.

Amongst the higher profile athletes that he has coached are Sam Bailey (UK U20 No.1 High Jumper in 2010), and Poppy Lake – both of whom claimed English Schools titles in High Jump, and who have both competed for their country in their event.

Club Awards 1994

A clipping from the Essex Chronicle, November 1994:

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2009-11 – a record breaking period

A feature article in Athletics Weekly in September 2011 acknowledged what a period of success the club had achieved during 2009, 2010 and 2011:


The article describes the club’s out-reach coaching, schools liaison programmes and Under 11’s Academy and how this directly led to the club’s successes:

·  20 club members representing Essex at the English Schools Championships in 2010

·  25 County Champions (and 74 medallists) at the Essex County Championships in 2011

·  8 club members selected for the Essex U13 team

·  9 club members holding international honours:

o   Jess Judd (UK U17 No.1 in 800m, 1500m and 3000m – and bronze medallist at the IAAF World Youth Championships)

o   Sophie Riches (1500m Gold medal at European Youth Olympics)

o   Hayley McLean (UK U17 400m Hurdles record holder, and IAAF World Youth finalist)

o   Georgia Atkins (100m Hurdles at 2009 European Youth Olympics)

o   Lauren Bouchard (400m Hurdles at 2009 European Juniors)

o   Sam Bailey (High Jump at 2009 European Juniors, and World Junior selection in 2010)

o   Marcus Hunt (4x400m relay at 2009 European Juniors)

o   Alex O’Brien (Combined Events Bronze medallist at SIAB Schools International 2011)

o   Ellie Besford (English Schools Pole Vault Gold for three years’ running)

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When Jess Judd moved from Thurrock Harriers, to join Chelmsford AC as an U15 in 2009, she was already the UK No.1 in her age group at 800, 1500m, 3000m, and the 1 Mile!  Since 2010 her continued progress has been outstanding:

· 2014 – Oslo - recorded 800m PB of 1:59.77 in Oslo. Commonwealth Games 800m finalist, finishing fourth in 2:01.91. European Championships 800m finalist, finishing seventh in 2:01.65.

· 2013 - Sainsbury's British Championships 800m - Silver. British Athletics European Indoor Trials & UK Championships 3000m – Bronze

IAAF World Championships 800 - 5th ht. European Athletics Team Championships 800m - Gold

· 2012 - Aviva Olympic Trials & UK Championships 800m - Bronze. BUCS Championships 800m - Gold. Aviva England Athletics U20 Championships & World Trials 1500m - Gold. English Schools Cross Country Championships - Silver. English National Cross Country Championships - Bronze. Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships – Gold

IAAF World Junior Championships 800m - Silver, 1500m - 5th

· 2011 - English Schools Championships 1500m - Gold. Sainsbury UK School Games 1500m - Gold. Aviva SIAB Schools International 1500m - Gold. England Athletics U17 Championships 1500m - Gold. Aviva World Trials & UK Championships 800m - 5th. English Schools Cross Country Championships - Gold. Aviva Schools International Cross Country - Gold. English National Cross Country Championships - Silver. Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships – Gold

IAAF World Youth Championships 800m - Bronze

· 2010 - Aviva English Schools Championships 1500m - Gold. UK School Games 1500m - Gold. Aviva Schools International 1500m - Gold. Aviva England Athletics U17 Championships 1500m - Gold. English Schools Cross Country Championships - Gold. English National Cross Country Championships - Gold. SIAB Schools International Cross Country – Gold

During her time with Chelmsford AC she has been coached by Jeremy Freeman and Rob Denmark.  She is currently at university in Loughborough, where she is coached jointly by George Gandy and her father, Mick.

She is a Sports Ambassador at Chelmsford Sports and Athletics Centre, and is one of the club’s most inspiring ambassadors.

Web Site and Modern Technology

The club has moved forward and now has a comprehensive web site to record the club’s activities.  Members also make full use of Facebook and Twitter to keep in touch.  Team Managers at all age groups keep in touch with athletes via email, regarding availability for club matches.

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