Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)ATH/ECCU
TitleRecords of the English Cross-Country Union
Extent3 standard boxes (comprising 4 bundles, 5 files and 62 items)
Thumbnail (Click this image to open a larger image)


DescriptionRecords of the English Cross-Country Union comprising minutes and meeting papers, 1975-1983; annual reports, 1932-1970; publications, including programmes relating to the annual championships; and a small number of statistics and results. The majority of papers date from the mid-20th century although the collection does include a newspaper cutting relating to the 1911 National Championship. Some items appear to have been the property of George M. Adam and Harold M. Abrahams and are marked as such.

These records are of interest to those studying amateur sports, athletics culture and cross-country racing in the mid-20th century.
ArrangementThese papers have been arranged into the following four series:

Administrative records;
Publications and printed material;
Statistics and results;
Access ConditionsAccess to all registered researchers.
Finding AidsA catalogue of this collection is available on the online archive catalogue. Click on the Finding Number to display the summary contents list of the catalogue and to view the full catalogue, or view the catalogue as a PDF file by clicking in the document field below. A paper copy is also available in the Cadbury Research Library: Special Collections Department.
Access StatusOpen
Creator NameEnglish Cross-Country Union
Administrative HistoryThe National Cross-Country Union was founded in 1883 in order to control cross-country running under the Laws of the Amateur Athletic Association. The Union's first President was Walter Rye, the founder of Thames Hares and Hounds. Prior to 1883, Thames Rowing Club was organising cross-country runs as a means of keeping fit during the winter months, although these races were perhaps best described as paper-chases. This led to the formation of cross-country clubs, the first being Thames Hare and Hounds and the first so-called 'National' race was held in 1876 in Epping Forest. This race, incidentally, was declared null and void as the competitors had lost their way en route. Clubs then formed themselves into Associations: the Midland came first in 1879, the North in 1882 and the South in 1883 (the East was not formed until 1933). An initial meeting was held to discuss the formation of a national body on 19 May 1883 and the National Cross-Country Union came into existence. The first national race for which it was responsible was held on 1 March 1884 on the Four Oaks Race Course, Sutton Coldfield. But it was not until 1914 that new rules were agreed by the AAA and the Union was formerly made responsible for the organisation of cross-country running.

In 1933 the organisation was renamed the English Cross-Country Union (ECCU), this name was deemed more appropriate since the constituent members of the United Kingdom had their own cross-country bodies. ECCU became affiliated to the International Cross-Country Union and the British Olympic Association.

Sources: records of the English Cross-Country Union; 'English Cross Country Union 1883-1983: a brief history researched and compiled by G. L. N. Dunn', Stapleford: Cambridgeshire, 1983
Custodial HistoryThis collection was previously in the custody of the National Centre for Athletics Literature (NCAL).
Archival NotePapers arranged and described by Mark Eccleston, March 2015, in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description (ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; and in-house cataloguing guidelines.
Related MaterialOther archive collections, formerly held as part of the National Centre for Athletics Literature (NCAL), are catalogued as collections distinct from this collection. They comprise both institutional archives and collections of personal papers of athletes, athletics administrators, journalists and others associated with the athletics world.

Catalogues of the institutional archives available on the online archive catalogue are as follows:
Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1880-1992. Finding No: ATH/AAA;
English Cross-Country Union: papers, 1911-1989. Finding No: ATH/ECCU;
Midland Counties Amateur Athletics Association: papers, 1900-1991. Finding No: ATH/MCAAA;
Midland Counties Cross Country Association: papers, 1898-1985. Finding No: ATH/MCCCA;
Midland Counties Women's Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1949-[1980s]. Finding No: ATH/MCWAAA;
Northern Counties Women's Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1933-1989. Finding No: ATH/NCWAAA;
Northern Cross-Country Association: papers, 1906-1983. Finding No: ATH/NCCA;
Northern Women's Track and Field League: papers, 1982-1983. Finding No: ATH/NWTFL;
Southern Counties Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1958-1983. Finding No: ATH/SCAAA;
Southern Counties Cross-Country Association: papers, 1911-1990. Find No: ATH/SCCCA;
The Sports Council: papers, [1940s]-2001. Finding No: ATH/SC;
Women's Amateur Athletic Association: papers, 1932-1989. Finding No: ATH/WAAA.

Catalogues of personal papers available on the online archive catalogue are as follows:
Abrahams, Harold Maurice (1899-1978), athlete, administrator, commentator and journalist: papers, 1902-1989. Finding No: ATH/HA;
Adam, George Mair (1898-1989), athlete, coach and athletics administrator: papers, 1909-1989. Finding No: ATH/GA;
Binks, Joseph (Joe) (1874-1966), athlete and athletics commentator: papers, [1920s-1950s]. Finding No: ATH/JB;
Brown, Audrey Kathleen (nee Court) (1913-2005), athlete: papers, [1930s]-2005. Finding No: USS22;
Cardew, Martin H. (b 1927), athlete: papers, 1964-1988. Finding No: ATH/MHC;
Cullum, Dennis Noel Johnson (1913-1985), athlete and coach: papers, [1930s]-1985. Finding No: ATH/DC;
Humphrey, David (b 1933), athlete: papers, 1944-1958. Finding No: ATH/DH;
Ives, Bert (1890-1975), athlete and athletics administrator: papers, [1920s-1970s]. Finding No: ATH/BI;
Jarvis, Walter (c 1888-c 1935), athlete: papers, 1910-1996. Finding No: MS4;
Jewell, John Christopher (1912-2001), athlete and athletics commentator: papers, 1897-2002. Finding No: ATH/JJ;
Lloyd-Edgley, Ralph: scrapbook, [c 1924]-[c 1931]. Finding No: ATH/RLE;
MacLean, Duncan (1884-1980), athlete and coach: papers, 1948-1977. Finding No: ATH/DM;
Monk, Walter Harry (Wal) (1896-after 1965), athlete: papers, 1918-1961. Finding No: ATH/WHM;
Morgan, Wilf (b 1935), athlete and athletics historian: papers, 1937-2012. Finding No: ATH/WM;
Newton, Arthur Francis Hamilton (1883-1959), athlete: papers, [c 1904]-[1990s]. Finding No: ATH/AN;
Payne, Howard (1931-1992), athlete: papers, 1899-[c 1975]. Finding No: ATH/HP;
Percy, Joe W. (1912-2001), athlete and athletics administrator: papers, 1910-1997. Finding No: ATH/JWP;
Perry, George (b 1903), athlete: papers, [1920s]-1956. Finding No: ATH/GP;
Powell, Edgar Robert Leslie (Peter), (fl 1920s-70s), athlete: papers, 1813-1988. Finding No: ATH/ERLP;
Richards, Wilf (b 1906), athlete and journalist: papers, 1924-[mid 20th century]. Finding No: ATH/WR;
Roberts, Dave (fl 1930s-1990s), athlete and statistician: papers, [1930s]-1991. Finding No: ATH/DR;
Simpson, Colin J. (1929-2011), athlete and athletics administrator: papers, 1945-1990. Finding No: ATH/CS;
Tatham, Wilfrid George (Gus) (1898-1978), athlete: papers, 1908-1960. Finding No: ATH/WGT;
Thomas, Dr Philip, athletics administrator and coach: papers, [c 1900]-[late 20th century]. Finding No: ATH/PT;
Vargas, Charles Climaco (1905-1975), athlete: papers, 1921-31. Finding No: ATH/CCV;
Ward, Leonard H., athletics coach: papers, [mid-20th century]. Finding No: ATH/LW;
Watman, Melvyn Francis (Mel) (b 1938), athletics journalist and statistician: papers, 1980-1993. Finding No: ATH/MW;
Wight, Robert M., athletics administrator: papers, [mid-20th century]. Finding No: ATH/RW;
Winter, Arthur E. H. (d 1990), athlete and athletics commentator: papers, [early 20th century]-1983. Finding No: ATH/AW;
Yarrow, Squire Stevens (1905-1984), athlete and athletics administrator: papers, 1938-1984. Finding No: ATH/SY.