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Harrier
Coventry
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1 of 30  Wed 18th Apr 2012 9:02pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:163

To answer Johnnie Walker's query of 8th April; some comments about George Gould which might be of interest and his role in Godiva Harriers and other athletic clubs in the area. Firstly to put my interest into context. I have been researching the history of Coventry Godiva Harriers for a decade or so. The club was founded in 1879, one of the oldest clubs in the world, never mind England. When I started to research, there was very little available information about the club for two very good reasons. Firstly:- until 1984 Coventry Godiva Harriers had no permanent headquarters, all records, minutes, club information etc. was kept by the various officials at their own homes. When they died, the relatives, not appreciating the importance of all the documents, quite naturally, threw everything away!!! Secondly:- When the club's centenary was approaching in 1979, an attempt was made to write a history of the club. Different people were approached to undertake the task, local journalists etc.. The person who showed the most interest was Colin Smith of Mantec Publications, Rugby. Much material was collected and sent to him. Then a series of incidents. The club was organising the AAA National Marathon Championships for 1979 from Woodlands School as part of the Godiva Harriers Centenary Celebrations, Godiva being a club with a reputation for marathon running and for supplying more Olympic marathon runners than any other athletic club in GB. While helping to measure the course, one of the two officials charged with organising the writing of the club history was tragically killed whilst out measuring the course. Just before this sad event, Colin Smith had contacted the club secretary to say that all the material he had been given should be returned to the club as he was no longer able to undertake the task. The secretary, with the sudden extra work burden caused by the accident, never answered the letter, and most of the material went astray. Despite a great deal of time and effort, I have been unable to find Colin Smith, any trace of him or his company. One of our old members took photographs of all different sports, collected photographs avidly, accumulated huge quantities of programmes of sports events, photographs, badges, all kinds of memorabilia; the photographs were meticulously labelled and kept in a series of albums. Luckily I have located all post 1938 albums. I am talking about George Gould. He joined Godiva in the 20's; he was also second claim member for other clubs, Sparkhill Harriers, Lozell Harriers etc. He had one son, again I have failed to find his whereabouts, or if he is still alive; I believe his wife ran (owned) the sweet shop opposite the Hippodrome? George died in his late 80s so his son must be at least that age now, if still living. George collected anything and everything sporting; it was not unusual for him to attend two or three sports events each and every weekend of the year!!!! The photo albums from the earlier (pre 1938) are missing. Many artefacts went astray, just prior to the 1979 centenary; a result of the non-return of the stuff given to Colin Smith?? Certainly George Gould's albums existed just prior to this date. I speculate that they were given as part of the bundle of stuff to be used for the Godiva History. Sadly, last September, some of George Gould's photographs were sold at auction in Warwick. At the moment, three dealers are selling George's photos on e-bay. I have contacted the dealers to try to find out the 'auction lot numbers' which would enable the auction room to trace the seller and thereby help me to find out just what is still in existence. Unfortunately, the three dealers have not been very cooperative and either will not answer my repeated e-mail enquiries or will not give me any positive help. George was a club standard runner, officiated in many varied capacities, wrote for the Midland Daily Telegraph and did a little coaching. You are quite correct when you said that he used to jog round the Butts track well into old age, the Coventry Evening Telegraph published regularly a photo of him doing just that. If any Forum members have any memories of Godiva I would be most interested to hear from them.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
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2 of 30  Wed 18th Apr 2012 9:40pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:254

Thanks so much for all this history, Harrier. It's tragic that so much might have disappeared. Another name I remember from the 1960s was Harry Lapworth, who used to drive us around in his Ford Popular. Duff Rees was a very capable coach for the middle distance guys like me. If either of these are still with us they may have useful documents. There was a great atmosphere at the club in those days, with our athletes winning, breaking records, and getting selected for Olympic teams etc on a regular basis. I still proudly have the red and yellow vest in the cupboard - and it still fits me!
True Blue Coventry Kid

Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
PhilipInCoventry
Holbrooks
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3 of 30  Thu 19th Apr 2012 7:56am  
Moderator: Joined Apr 2010  Total posts:4110

Hi all Wave & Welcome to our site Harrier. Not only made a good contribution but a reply too. Best wishes for a happy time on here. Thumbs up
Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
Harrier
Coventry
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Thread starter
4 of 30  Fri 27th Apr 2012 3:02pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:163

A photo of George Gould (1961) jogging round the track at the Butts Stadium.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
Midland Red
Cherwell
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5 of 30  Fri 27th Apr 2012 4:57pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5118

Thanks for that, Harrier - I'm sure it will stir up some memories ! Cheers
Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
JohnnieWalker
Canberra, Australia
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6 of 30  Fri 27th Apr 2012 10:40pm  
Member: Joined Jul 2011  Total posts:254

Brilliant, Harrier and MR! That certainly does bring back memories - gosh - the number of laps I must have done on that track!! Duff Rees used to have us doing repetition 220yds in 28seconds, with 220yd jog in between, and I thought my legs would drop off. I thought about George as a candidate for "Famous Coventrians". Do you think he qualifies? I have no idea if he was a genuine Cov-kid or adopted the city. Cheers Cheers Cheers Thumbs up
True Blue Coventry Kid

Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
Harrier
Coventry
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Thread starter
7 of 30  Tue 27th Nov 2012 3:49pm  
Member: Joined Apr 2012  Total posts:163

A group of Coventry Godiva Harriers outside what I was told, was the British Restaurant at the entrance (or was) to the running track at the Butts Stadium off Albany Road. A previous thread (JohnnieWalker April 8th) referred to a member George Gould. He is seated cross legged at the front next but one to the end on the right.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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8 of 30  Sun 7th Dec 2014 11:45am  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2527

Hello there MR, I am trying to find out about paper chases around Coventry in the 20-30 era on the Bulkington side of the city, I have no idea how to do this, unless the Telegraph wrote about them. Any suggestions please?
Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
Norman Conquest
Allesley
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9 of 30  Sun 7th Dec 2014 12:02pm  
Member: Joined Oct 2014  Total posts:823

I would doubt if there is anyway to find out about paper chases as these were largely organised by schools and perhaps small running clubs and the likes. Anyone now taking part in a paper chase would be in trouble for scattering litter. Norman
Just old and knackered

Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
Midland Red
10 of 30  Sun 7th Dec 2014 12:23pm  
Off-topic / chat  

scrutiny
coventry
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11 of 30  Sun 7th Dec 2014 12:40pm  
Member: Joined Feb 2010  Total posts:644

MR, you might know it as "Hare and Hounds". A runner starts off with a bag of paper bits and drops them on his route, the other runners set off at a later time and follow the paper trail. Thumbs up
Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
Midland Red
Cherwell
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12 of 30  Sun 7th Dec 2014 12:57pm  
Moderator: Joined Jan 2010  Total posts:5118

Nope - sorry, my good friend, not anything I've come across Oh my
Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
NormK
bulkington
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13 of 30  Sun 7th Dec 2014 12:57pm  
Member: Joined Jan 2012  Total posts:857

They sound like modern day litterbugs. Oh my
Milly rules

Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
Kaga simpson
Peacehaven, East Sussex
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14 of 30  Sun 7th Dec 2014 1:11pm  
Member: Joined Sep 2014  Total posts:2527

I don't want to sound rude, but if you looked at the Coventry Godiva Harriers history, not only describe paper chases, the beginning of the modern day marathon in Coventry, but has a lot to do with a mayor and a lot of Coventry history.
Sport, Music and Leisure - Godiva Harriers
Midland Red
15 of 30  Sun 7th Dec 2014 1:51pm  
Off-topic / chat  


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