History of the Club Print
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Sunday, 07 March 2004 14:31

The club was formed by merger in 1985 of the Royal Borough of Kingston AC and the Polytechnic Harriers. The present club colours of blue and black were adopted then.

The Royal Borough evolved out of the now disbanded Surrey AC which originally used the Royal Oak public house in New Malden as a meeting point. Surrey AC was the direct descendant of the Malden Harriers, founded in 1903 by E.F Vowles. When Mr.Vowles changed the club name, he was not the most popular person in Surrey Athletics, but it appears one did not successfully argue such points with him!

The Polytechnic Harriers were formed in 1883, for four years being known as Hanover United AC, and were the athletics arm of Quintin Hogg's Regent Street Polytechnic. (The late Lord Hailsham of parliamentary fame as Lord Chancellor, was Mr.Hogg's grandson).

Both clubs went on to become top flight clubs in the United Kingdom and were instrumental in providing countless Olympians and UK internationals throughout the first 70 years of the 20th century. A purely random selection might evoke memories for some - from Surrey AC - Ken Caulder, Edgar Mountain, Dave Travis, John Snowden, George and Tony Timms - and from Poly - Willie Applegarth, Arthur Wint, McDonald Bailey, Colin Campbell, Peter Hildreth and Denis Watts.

Later,in 1969,both clubs were amongst the 18 teams who contested the first matches in the inaugural British(then National) Mens Athletics League.

 

Surrey AC had its HQ latterly at Norbiton, where the first cinder track was inaugurated in 1961 by the Australian Olympic 1500 metres champion, Herb Elliott. Polytechnic Harriers were based at Chiswick where the stadium and track were opened by Lord Aberdare, the then chairman of the National Fitness Council in 1938.

The club now operates from the Kingsmeadow Athletics Stadium on an 8 lane all-weather track laid on the exact site of the previous cinder surface. The standard of facilities attracts fixtures up to British Athletics League and Area and County events.

 

 
 

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