Is this the first edition of THE GATE?

By Bob Slowe - November 2015

Derek Adams has kindly presented to the club some old issues of The Gate, including what is possibly the first ever issue [see postscript below]. I say “probably” because the journal has had many false starts and it is possible that there were other issues in the preceding 70 odd years since the club was founded. However, it is reproduced and can be viewed by clicking the image below.

First Edition

The original is quite faded and fragile but I have done my best with enhancing the text and I hope you will find most of it fairly legible.

The date of the document has not been specified, but judging from the dates on the cover and the references to the forthcoming 1952 Olympics it seems to be 1951 (5 years before I joined). Those Olympics were held in Helsinki (note the cost of tickets and accommodation!).

The obituary of Harry J Rothery marked the end of one of the great names in the club’s history. He was a founder member and remained a leading light in the club and in athletics generally for more than seventy years until his death. The club’s major individual trophy in his name is still awarded annually.

The Chapman Cup which is recorded in exciting detail (worthy of an Alastair Aitken) was a handicap race run round the roads of the Mansfield estate. Runners went off at handicapped intervals starting and finishing at the track. It was discontinued on safety grounds as traffic built up.

The article on coaching is by Harry Harris who was still coaching when several of us joined the club.

National Service was still in existence and you can read how some of the best juniors were snatched away for their two years military service.

There is mention of Ted Fosbrook, the Laings’ grandfather, who most of you will be aware recently died.

All in all a fascinating read both for young members and us old fogies.

Read the THE GATE - No. 1 (pdf - 733kB)

Bob Slowe

Postscript:

I can confirm that this was the first edition of "The Gate" as I was on the sub-committee of the Running Section that produced it. We met at Derek Willoughby's parents house and Derek's wife Connie did all the typing. The senior Willoughby's ran the social side of the club.
I was junior captain at the time and contributed the article "Junior Mumbles".
The date was late 1951, I remember being taken to task by Charlie Warner, for not including mention of my finishing 2nd (easing and beaten on the line!) in the London Junior 880yds Championship. It was my only performance of any note and I still have the plaque, dated 1951. I joined the club in 1949.

I recall that the Walking Section took exception to our calling it "The Official Organ of Highgate Harriers" on the basis that it was only the Running Section producing it. They were offered space in future editions.

Derek Adams

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