Finding Number (Click this to view full catalogue structure)ATH/Z/1/1
TitleUK athletics programmes
Extent42 standard boxes
DescriptionAthletics programmes almost exclusively relating to meetings held in the United Kingdom. Programmes primarily relate to track and field meetings, road racing, road relay racing and cross-country running. There are a small number of programmes which relate to other athletic disciplines including fell running, cycling, tug-of-war and boxing. Some programmes relate to community fun days and galas including novelty events such as egg and spoon races and sack races.

The programmes cover events ranging from local fetes, sports galas and carnivals, meetings organised by local athletic clubs through to corporate sponsored national and international matches. They feature the names of many of the 20th century's greatest athletes. A very broad range of athletics clubs across the UK are represented in this collection as well as clubs associated with work places, academic institutions including schools, and others bodies connected with the armed forces, the police and fire brigade. Many of the programmes relate to meetings arranged by national and regional regulatory and organising bodies such as the British Amateur Athletic Board, the Amateur Athletic Association, the Counties Athletic Union, the English Cross Country Union and the English Schools Athletic Association. Examples of the different clubs represented in the collection include Birchfield Harriers, London Athletic Club, Michelin Athletic Club and the Polytechic Harriers, to name just a few. The competition sports organised by bodies associated with the workplace are also noteworthy and indicative of the social, health and welfare aspect of sporting activities: these include municipal events as well as a number associated with the coal mining industry in particular and others organised by specific companies for their employees such as the Birmingham Small Arms Co. Some programmes are for events and competitions specifically for women or for veterans; other programmes relate to events organised for charitable and fundraising purposes.

There are sequences of programmes for particularly well-known events including the British Games, the Cosford Games, and London to Brighton Relay Race as well as a few Olympic Games ones. There are also programmes of Edinburgh's Highland Games for the 1950s-70s. Sponsors of major events have included representatives of newspaper corporations and of the food and drinks industries, such as the News of the World, the Daily Mail, Coca Cola, Findus, Kraft and Dairy Crest.

Copies of original programmes date from 1881, but the sub-series includes two photocopied programmes relating to meetings held in 1869 and 1878. There is heavy coverage throughout much of the 20th century.
ArrangementThe collection of programmes has been arranged alphabetically, largely by the organiser of the athletics event. However, where the organiser was not apparent, or the sponsor was more prevalent, the sponsor has been used as the heading instead. Sponsors and secondary organisers are also recorded in each entry where appropriate and these can be located by a free text search of the document.

The finding number allocated to each programme consists of a number prefixed by the initial letter of the organiser (or sponsor): A1, B1 etc. The numbers allocated do not always follow the alphabetical sequences: the reason for this is that additional programmes have been inserted in the correct places within each alphabetical sequence but have been given the next available running number. There are also some gaps in the numerical sequences (these are indicated in the contents to the listing).

Note that some references have not been used and these include ATH/Z/1/1/A47; ATH/Z/1/1/A92-97; ATH/Z/1/1/F15; ATH/Z/1/1/H32; ATH/Z/1/1/I14-15; ATH/Z/1/1/R118

Researchers are encouraged to consult the PDF Resource Guide in the 'Document' field below. In additional to the 3,621 programmes listed at ATH/Z/1/1, this Resource Guide includes comprehensive details of athletics programmes held in the personal papers of individual athletes and commentators such as Harold Abrahams and John Jewell.
DocumentAthletics Programmes Resource Guide arranged by date of meeting.pdf
Access StatusOpen


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