Starting in 1958 the Surrey County Athletic Association published a newsletter with the banner heading shown above. It was issued around 3 times a year giving reports on recent events and news regarding upcoming activities. During 1968 SCAN was edited by John Martell and David Cocksedge. The items shown below are mostly taken from those SCAN issues which covered 1968 whilst others are from reports to the SCAAA & SCWAAA General Committees.
(1) SURREY SENIOR MEN CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, COULSDON, 6TH JANUARY 1968
The following is the report in SCAN No 28 (June 1968):- Once again, the headlines were screaming EASY FOR NORTH and NORTH SCORES HAT-TRICK IN SURREY CROSS COUNTRY. Farthing Down with it's rural scenery and sharp climbs made for a really tough 7½ miles and Club-men, toiling up steep slopes of clinging mud, were able to enjoy what the British call "Real Cross Country". After Dave Smallbone led the initial dash, it was all Gerry North. The light-footed Bels man soon went into a teasing 20 yard lead, a margin he held over Bob Holt and Roger Robinson (all three running in 1967 finishing order!) at two miles when they were starting to settle down. The chasing packat this point included Tony Fairclough, a dangerously fresh looking Geoff Biscoe, Dave Holt and first-year Junior Don Faircloth. Soon after this Gerry broke the party up ... uncorking whatever it is that makes him invincible at his best, he flashed along the ridge for the second time a clean 120 yards clear and going further away as we watched spellbound. Though Bob Holt drew away from the pack in this second lap, he could do nothing about the King of Surrey Cross Country, who gained on everyone all the way to the finish, pounding home well clear. Roger Robinson, running for the last time in the UK, was rather sadly swallowed up by a bunch of ambitious youngsters in a furious finish for the remaining "vest" places - 19 year-old Faircloth running briliantly in 5th place, and Geoff Biscoe surprising nearly everyone by winning a great fight for 3rd. The team struggle was an absorbing one: points fluctuating between Belgrave and Mitcham the whole way before the latter team, spearheaded by Biscoe, toppled the previous champions by 5 points.
(4) SURREY JUNIOR MEN & YOUTHS CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, EPSOM DOWNS, 3RD FEBRUARY 1968
Photo Courtesy of the Croydon Advertiser The Mitcham Junior team with the Surrey Trophy. From left to right - Keith Wallis (1st individual), Chris Marshall (3rd), Les Morrish (8th) and Graham Mountcastle (9th).
The following are the reports in SCAN No 28 (June 1968):- Off first, the Youths charged off into a flurry of snow at a sharp pace in a medley of assorted club colours, with the fancied holders, Wimbledon College, easily picked out. It was hardly surprising when curly headed Hugh Hayes, who had been winning North Surrey league races for Mitcham, emerged early on, and was battling for the lead with a very dangerous looking John Spooner of Dorking. The race seemed to be between these two, but no - into the final long haul for the finishing funnel it was seen that Hayes had the title under control and the hotly tipped Spooner was struggling after having made his gallant bid for victory in the first 2 miles. Much to the surprise of many it was Guildford's Bob Larder, the County Junior Steeplechase champion, who came through late to take second place from the 1967 Boys Champion Ron Martin (Walton). Oxted's Ray Church was another outsider who beat more fancied runners. SLH packed extremely well to win the Team Gold from Wimbledon College
Lacking a most promising tussle between John Rix (SLH) and Don Faircloth (Croydon), who shook up the Seniors, this nevertheless developed into an absorbing duel between Herne Hill's Gerry Vandelinde and Mitcham's Keith Wallis who finished 11th in 1967. Soon after the start a compact bunch consisting of Wallis, Vandelinde, Chris France (SLH), Chris Marshall (Mitcham) and Kevin Hall (SLH) were forcing the pace in a most determined manner; and Mitcham, with two more in the leading ten, were poised to retain their team title; though Les Morrish appeared to be in trouble. Shortly after this, Wallis and Vandelinde broke the party up rather rudely by breaking away together decisively and fighting it out, shoulder to shoulder, for the next 3½ miles. Next came Marshall who was easing away from France with Hall dropping back slowly. It was not until the final mile that Wallis prised open a 40 yard gap over his struggling rival to achieve a comfortable lead at the finish. The other leading positions did not alter at all on the second lap. Mitcham were comfortable winners of the team competition with SLH second and Belgrave third. The number of starters was disappointing and with only 3 teams closing it meant that Dave McMillan had the honour of taking a 3rd place team medal in spite of finishing last.
(7) SURREY COUNTY AAA (MENS ASSOCIATION) ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING, WIMBLEDON, 15TH FEBRUARY 1968
The 44th AGM of SCAAA was held at the Wimbledon Conservative Association, Trinity Road at 7.00pm. The following is an extract from the report in SCAN No. 28 (June 1968):-
At the meeting the Annual Report, previously ciculated was accepted. It was, in the main, an official record of events already reportede in SCAN. A fall in entries; which surely could not be caused by the clash with the Cup Final; for the main championships was reported and obviously needs watching. The Youths were 25 down to 120, the seniors 27 down to 284 with the Juniors steady at 134.
The Accounts showed a deficit buit a balance in hand of £200. The value of the Fund Raising Scheme was again stressed. Although relatively few clubs take advantage of it, at a penny to the County per ticket and five pence to the Club, £120 p.a. come to the County and £600 p.a. to the Clubs.
The election of the officers for the year saw the installation of Ron Goodman, Herne Hill Harriers, the AAA Officials' Secretary, as President; it is hardly necessary to say that this was a particularly popular choice, the County being fortunate in the number of experienced officials who serve in the so-called higher echelons of athletics, who give the full weight of the experience at County level. Brother Doug was re-elected Secretary and John Martell, Treasurer. John Cooke of Woking who had served for several years was made a Vice-President.
(8) SURREY BOYS CROSS-COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS, MORDEN, 17TH FEBRUARY 1968
(12) JUNIOR MEN & YOUTHS NATIONAL INTER-COUNTY CROSS-COUNTRY, LEICESTER, 9TH MARCH 1968
Below is the report from the Team Manager, Geoff Moulden:-
For a race starting at 2:15pm (Youths) one of team members left home at 7:45am to meet the team at 9am for the train from St. Pancras at 10:30am. We arrived at Leicester 12:15pm and travelled by bus to the course.
In the Youths race the county finished in 6th place out of a total of 26 counties finishing. Overall a solid but not outstanding performance.
Regarding the Junior race, Don Faircloth (Croydon) asked to be released from the team owing to his selection for the England Junior Team to be held on the following week. I agreed to this request and conveyed the good wishes of the county to him. (NOTE. Don Faircloth was fourth in the race held at Tunis.) After a great race the county finished second to Lancashire 46pts to 41pts with the 5th Surrey man (a non-scorer) being home before the 4th scoring Lancastrian. The team, without exception, raced well and packed in as a good team should. Had Faircloth run I consider that Surrey would have won.
Feeling amongst the Southern Team Managers was that the race venues should be changed each year and not remain in the Midlands only, and accordingly a plea for a variable venue must be raised. The experiment, though more expensive, of travelling by train instead of coach was successful, the teams arriving fresher and less tensed up through travel, with accordingly better performances.
(15) CAU (MEN) INTER-COUNTY CROSS-COUNTRY, WINDSOR, 23RD MARCH 1968
Photo by Ron Linstead At the later stages of the race Mike Turner of Lancashire splits Bob Holt (left) and Roger Robinson.
The following is the report published in SCAN No 28 (June 1968)
SURREY FIRST HOME BUT SECOND IN THE TEAM RESULT
In spite of finishing our scoring six in 26, we lost our hold on the Trophy by a mere 5 points to Lancashire, whose last scorer finished 29th. Rarely has the the team struggle been so fierce and absorbing with the lead alternating between us and our age-old rivals almost every lap. Out in front Ron Hill was fighting out a classic duel with Mike Tagg in the sights of Gerry North. Dave Holt and Roger Robinson showed welcome turn of form in moving through comfortably, but Bob Holt was still not quite over the effects of an argument with a rake at an Olympic course a fortnight earlier, and this probably cost him several places - he was 9th last year. Though we were set to retain our title with a mile to go, Lancs' Mike Turner came through with a determined rush to pass
two Surrey vests and secure 10th place; and this proved to be the winning move. Gerry was only 2 places down on last year's 3rd position, and only Geoff Biscoe and Roger Robinson were not in that classic winning side of 1967. The whole team once again had a strong Lauriston flavour. An encouraging sight indeed was the fact that we again finished 9 men in 97 ... no mean feat if you stop to think about it. Young Don Faircloth was last man in, in spite of illness; but Surrey's newest International can be expected to go on to greater things.
Team Manager Bill Lucas dashed from point to point on the course and noted our fluctuating position. At ¾ mile we had seven in twenty, indicating a good start. At 2¼ miles we had Thresher 7, North 10, Dave Holt 15, Bob Holt 20, Biscoe 35 and Robinson 70 after a bad patch. Roger, however, recovered quickly and at 3¼ miles was 22nd with Biscoe 21st. At 5 miles North was 4th, Robinson 14th with the Holts, Thresher and Biscoe close at hand for a score of 103 to about 90 by Lancashire, the only county now worth watching. At 6½, a mile to go, the scoring was equal at 95 each; we could have been said to have been winning as our sixth was more forward.
(18) SURREY 7 MILES TRACK WALKING CHAMPIONSHIP, BATTERSEA PARK, 17TH APRIL 1968
There were 16 entries for this successful promotion. Sincere thanks are tendered to the President for attending the championship in spite of the most inclement weather. Appreciation is also expressed to Frank Norris for starting the race. A special word of thanks is offered to Tom Reynolds and Barry Jones for their time-keeping for the whole of the race. The rain was torrential together with a thunderstorm; the action and devotion of the officials was commented on by the competitors and they expressed their thanks. Paul Nihill (Surrey WC) set a fast pace from the gun aiming to the improve the championship best of 49:45 which he set two years ago. He reached 5 miles in 35:30 with his target within reach. However, the heavy rain that started then prevented him from putting in the fast finish he wanted. He still managed a time of 49:55 (his third sub-50 track clocking) and won his 17th Surrey title.
(20) SURREY MEN V ULAC V RAF V MIDDLESEX INTER-COUNTY TRACK & FIELD, MOTSPUR PARK, 1ST MAY 1968
Below is the report from the Team Manager, Ken Wilmshurst:-
For the first time, Middlesex were invited to this fixture - a move that ought to have provided some much-needed competition on this sometimes rather one—sided evening; particularly since the needs of the Southern Counties and a crop of minor injuries had, as usual, prevented us from fielding anything like a full team.
But Middlesex were apparently in an even worse position than we were and were beaten into third place by the R.A.F.; while we won every field event except the Long Jump; took the lead in the first event; and were never headed, ultimately beating the R.A.F. by 54 points.
It was good to see Ollie Baggott back in action after a long lay-off, and his Hurdles time — though leaving him more than a little exhausted — augured well for the rest of the season. Fred Green and Nick Lovatt, though beaten
by Len Walters, both put up extremely satisfactory times for this time of the year. In both sprint events, Martin Winbolt Lewis was just pipped by Dick Steane, though in the 200 m. in particular, the times were again very reasonable considering the stage in the season.
While these had been going on, Chris Melluish and Pete Lyons had, more or less as usual, wrapped up the Hammer and the Pole Vault; but Jeff Fenge had, untypically, failed three times at his opening height (12ft) and did
not score. Roy Gilfrin, in the Long Jump, found a pulled groin muscle too much of a handicap, but Graham Palmer, coming in at the last minute as a substitute, got an excellent second place. In the Shot, Chris Cogswell pulled out an excellent early—eason put; but in view of his non—vailability for the Inter-Counties because of his exams,
probably the most heartening performance of the evening was Bill Fuller's improvement of some 22 inches on his personal best. Otto Feldmanis and Richard Morris had no real problems in their events, the
latter calling it a day as soon as he had won the event.
In the 3000m, both Bob Holt and Gerry North found the distance a little too short for them; but both John Rix and Fred Stebbings were very happy with their times in the 1500m. Jack Sam gave evidence of his tremendous
potential in the 400m if he can set aside an approach which is casual even by my standards; and Mick Geraghty, a self—confessed out-of-training half miler, put up a time which surprised him. George Tymms and Geoff Manning had no problems in the Hurdles, though neither time was startlingly good; but Bill Dance and Alan Black both
found it a bit early in the season for the Steeplechase.
By dint of a fine last leg by Martin W-L, we won the Sprint Relay, in spite of the usual appalling takeovers; but there was a singular dearth of volunteers for the 4 X 400m and the scratch team that finally took the field left Mick Geraghty with an impossible 100 yards to make up on the last leg. In the growing dusk, the last two field events ground to an end — Kevin Kelly heading a Triple Jump where 2½ inches covered the first four places; and
another Kevin (Sheppard) doing more or less the same in the Javelin, where 11 inches covered the first four.
As usual, a pleasant evening — at one time it looked as if the match would be washed off but the rain stayed away. Unfortunately, there was little sense of urgency or of team competition - partly because of the paucity
of the competition and partly because the progressive scores were seldom calculated and never announced.