1963 Recalled By Bill Adcocks (25/01/2013)

Bill Adcocks, the Division 1 Race Secretary, has kindly sent in his recollections of the Winter of 1962/63 and the impact on his athletics. 

Memories of 1963

The snow started falling in Coventry on 26th December 1962 and it snowed and snowed. We have had a number of heavy snow incidents over the years but the stand out memory of this time was the extremely low temperatures over a prolonged period. This lasted until the beginning of March so encompassed the County, Inter-County, Area and national Championships along with two Birmingham league fixtures as already stated and other club fixtures.

I was in my last year as a Junior and over the 10 weeks of the big freeze my mileage was 77, 60,74, 60, 87,75, 72, 63, 60 and 50 culminating in placing second in the National Junior at Cambridge behind John Farrington. John was one of the revelations of the season but for me that was my break through.

This was all done and achieved under real hard conditions. Because of the low temperatures the pavements were not cleared properly for weeks and I even reverted to running on the road in very short spikes to get some grip. The adverse conditions were almost seen as a challenge and added to the satisfaction of the training. That's how it was in those days problems were not seen as barriers but just as obstacles to overcome.

For the Inter-County Champs at Reading I vividly remember the state of the roads between Coventry and Oxford. It was down to single file traffic and the Warwickshire coach only just arrived in time for the race. In those days there was only the one race, the Seniors. Tim Johnson won and he was labelled the "Snow Man" by the press for the rest of the season.

For the Coventry Godiva lads they weathered well under the conditions as the Senior team of Heatley, Juan Taylor, Kilby, Carey, Turney and Dowell won the senior National title with Heatley taking his 2nd win, the Junior team won with Adcocks, Hammond, Horne and Fletcher whilst in the Youths (U17) Dick Taylor was robbed of the title by being miss directed.