Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club

Friendly east London club for athletes of all abilities


Loading

Introduction

Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club was formed in 2001 as a merger of Victoria Park Harriers (founded 1926) and Tower Hamlets Athletics Club (founded 1976).

Victoria Park Harriers: The History of an East London Athletics Club, 1926-1976, by Gordon Everson

This is a very extensive history of the first fifty years of VPH and is well worth a read.

History of Tower Hamlets Athletics Club, 1976 to 2001

Tower Hamlets AC started on 5th October 1976 as a result of a very poor performance when the Borough hosted a heat of the London Boroughs Championships, the fact that children would not travel to Victoria Park in the winter and the virtual non-existent opportunities for female athletes. One of the big factors in establishing the club was the opportunity to use the floodlit track at East London Stadium (now renamed Mile End stadium) as the track in Victoria Park was unlit. The Club struggled for existence during various renovations of the Stadium but managed to survive with help from Tower Hamlets Council.

Tower Hamlets AC concentrated on track and field athletics and had a mainly young membership who joined as total beginners and learnt their events under a handful of talented coaches. The club had a very young men’s team competing in the Southern League which rose to division 3 during its most successful period and a ladies/girls team which mainly competed in the lower divisions of the Womens’ Southern League. The club's athletes won hundreds of Middlesex Championships over the years and many athletes went on to achieve representative honours at county, schools, area and International level. It was very pleasing to note that almost three quarters of the honours were won by female athletes. As the number of youngsters grew the small number of coaches and officials at the club found it increasingly difficult to organise all the different league teams and open meetings that the young members needed to attend. Eventually they approached VPH in 2001 for a merger in order to benefit from the greater number of experienced volunteers at the older club and to produce a strong club in this area of London.

Club Newsletters edited by Wayne Du Bose, 1994 to 2004

These are collated here as PDF files.

The merger between VPH and THAC is covered in the December 2001 issue, as follows:

Annual General Meeting, 25th October 2001: The VPH Management Committee proposed that Victoria Park Harriers should merge with THAC to create a new club to be called "Victoria Park Harriers & Tower Hamlets AC". The new club to wear a white vest with blue and jade green diagonal sashes, i.e. the addition of a jade sash to the existing VPH vest. The existing VPH badge to be updated to incorporate the new name of the Club and to reflect the change to the club vest. The general view held by the Committee had been that this was a positive step for the Club after 75 years and would give us a better chance of securing our future and would provide a wider range of activities for our membership. Of the 12 VPH members, who had been unable to attend but had sent apologies for absence, 11 had indicated a preference for merger, with 1 against. The motion was carried with a unanimous vote.

The Modern Era, 2004 to present

Race reports, photos and results are more distributed in the modern era, with the following being the best places to find that information:

Obituaries