ORION HARRIERS - biannual photos
and getting them online!



1922 Southern Team : Hughie Dare 13th, the team 5th

CLUB PHOTOGRAPHS Some background
written by Bob Henbest, July 2007

(Bob took on responsibility for identifying as many people in these photos as possible.
Not everyone who was a club member at the time a photo was taken appears in the picture.
They may have been on holiday or out on course, trail-laying - or making tea etc...
or, like Nick Bishop, was actually engaged
on the other side of the camera capturing these images!)

"These have now been re-hung in the Club Room, with quite a number having been smartened up. They may be a bit high but this leaves room for future years! Apart from some early prints, all have the names of those appearing listed on the back. Club Photographs are normally taken every other year. Some historical notes follow.

1911 – 12 This Club photograph was given to Helen Legge in the late 1950s by the widow of Tommy Townsend who had joined Orion in 1926. Helen was the wife of former Captain and first President of Orion, John Legge: she used to work with Townsend. We received this photograph some ten years ago.

Research in conjunction with the Club’s archivist, Bert Bond, made us sure that it was taken on the 23rd March 1912, when the first Club Handicap was run over 6 miles. We reckoned that the fourth runner from the left in the second row is A S Harley and the first member on the left of the front row is F O (Frankie) Harriss.

Frankie Harriss was the Club’s first Hon. Secretary and his report on the Handicap recorded that "Entries numbered 31. 19 started and finished". The photograph shows 31 in running kit so it seems a dozen of them didn’t like their handicap allowance!

Subsequently, Blackheath Harrier John Copley saw the photograph and, with the help of his mother and aunt, confirmed that we had correctly identified Frankie who was his great uncle. John also told us that Frankie’s brother, who was his grandfather, WJ (Jimmy) Harriss, is also on the front row, second from the right.

Later, after he joined the Club in 2003, Warwick Barton identified his grandfather, Len Barton, second from left in the front row and Joe Spicer, fourth from left, who worked in his great grandfather’s Walthamstow business. Len, Harley and the two Harriss brothers were among the original twenty ‘founding’ members of Orion.

1920 – 21 The Club minutes recorded (i) that the photograph due to be taken on 14th March 1914 had been cancelled owing to bad weather but it "would be taken early next season", by which time the First World War had broken out, and (ii) a photo would be taken on 19th March 1921. Bearing in mind that the first post-war run was not until October 1919, this was probably the first Club photograph after the war and only a "smudged" copy remains. The clear photograph of the 1922 Southern Team makes amends for this. Hughie Dare was thirteenth and the team fifth.

1924 – 25 is interesting for the large number of Honours Badge holders appearing. The Badge was introduced in 1921 and seven badges had been awarded up to 1924. Six of the then holders appear in this print – A H (Hughie) Dare, C E & J N Ovington and W J Goffin, plus two out of J A Callum, W D Jenkin and M D Pontifex.

1926 – 27 No photograph has been traced and we wonder if one was taken. The January 1927 Gazette shows that one was due to be taken before the Mercury on 12th February. The race report talks of fog. So did bad weather cause the photo to be cancelled as in 1914? The next photo we have was taken in October 1929. Thereafter they have continued to be taken near the start of the cross-country season and we seem to have a full set, allowing for the interruption of the Second World War."



The framed photos mounted on Orion's Clubhouse walls had been rather neglected down the years. At the turn of the century it seemed inevitable that damp and other vagaries of time might destroy them and they'd be lost forever. Bob ensured they were all 'smartened-up', safely reframed and mounted and then Nick Bishop, who has taken the Bi-annual photo for many years, devoted much time and energy to re-photographing all those original images, as back-up!
It is Nick's photos of the... er... photos...
that we intend to show online.


In 2012, the 100 Club/Ray Valins
eventually managed to furnish the necessary images to complete the online process.
The 100 club also remounted the framed images.
They've been rehung on the inside of new clubhouse roof.


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