City of Hull Athletic Club (incorporating Hull Harriers)

Over the long years since Hull Harriers first ran on the country a number of other clubs have come and gone. Others have stayed and flourished. 

Often these clubs have been formed by former members of Hull Harriers and City of Hull. In the 1983, for example Brian Spratt and Rob Fitzjohn left to form Hull Springhead Harriers and soon had a large membership and a club-house at Springhead. A number of members of City of Hull also left to re-form Hull Achilles. Both these clubs have enjoyed considerable success but the remaining members, anxious to protect their Hull Harriers' lineage and trophies, changed their name once more in 1987, this time to City of Hull Athletic Club (incorporating Hull Harriers).

Despite these splits, City of Hull enjoyed considerable success in the late 1980s. The ladies and men's sections were replaced by track and field and road and country sections and the advantages of the reorganisation was perhaps reflected in results. In 1989 David Tune won the Yorkshire Junior Cross-Country title at Pudsey whilst the men's track and field teams were ranked as third Yorkshire and seventh northern team in the rankings compiled by Today's Runner magazine, thanks in no small way to their dedication and the hard work and enthusiasm of their coaches. The Ladies track and field - who were the first in the Hull area to reach division one in the UK League back in 1982 after seven successive years of promotion - often dominated the local scene and had 26 entries in the 1989 Women's National Track and Field rankings. In the same year Andy Gill, Tanya Blake and Jeanette McLean won junior international events; the veteran squad of Jim Dingwall, John Matthews, Phil Groves and Pete Flatman took second place in the European Veterans 10k held in Bruges whilst Eric Seedhouse gained an international vest in the 100k and won the London to Brighton Road Race. Glen Hood, a relative newcomer to the club in the later 1980s, discovered a talent for road running that brought him several prizes in the over 60s categories towards the end of that decade and beyond.

Track and Field Athletes c 1990
Track and Field Athletes c 1990

Throughout the 1980s and 1990s the main run of the week was from Costello Stadium on a Tuesday but in summer the run from Raywell on a Thursday night was often – and indeed still is - very popular. Variations on a course of up to about eight and a half miles – depends who you talk to - were run from April to October and the great thing about these routes, which include part of the very tracks run over by the club’s forefathers in the first run of 1882, is the diversity of country covered: uphill, downhill, woods and open fields, all variations are covered and no more than a handful of houses are passed on the entire route. Sunday mornings have also proved a popular run for those willing to get out of bed early and meet in Brantingham Dale in winter or at the top of Beverley Clump in summer. One and a half hours over the country in all weathers with Gordon Jibson on a Sunday morning will wake anyone up.

For those who have run on a Sunday Morning this photograph, taken by Laurie Jones at the end of an outing in the 1980s, will need no further words
For those who have run on a Sunday Morning this photograph,
taken by Laurie Jones at the end of an outing in the 1980s, will
need no further words

During the 1980s the Costello stadium building was completely rebuilt and an impressive stand with changing rooms and indoor training facilities replaced the wooden pavilion. These facilities allowed indoor training, provided ample spectator provision and represented a real bonus for the city. However, many members of the club felt that the new facilities, whilst impressive, did not take sufficient account of the needs of the athletic clubs that by now used the stadium. Criticisms were levelled regarding the fact that the club room was often hired out for private parties and that there were sometimes problems with club helpers members providing tea and refreshments for their members on training nights and during athletic meetings. In short, they felt that the club environment – so important for the continuing vitality of athletics - was not always nurtured by the new facilities. Such problems were a renewed source of aggravation with local government but did improve somewhat after meetings with local officials and help from the stadium management from the later 1980s.