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We can now confirm that Banbury Harriers was formed in September 1879. This was shown in a well preserved fixture list dating back to 1892. The front cover is shown on the right and if you click this you can view the full document. At this time Banbury Harriers was not just involved in athletics but also gymnastics, fencing, sword stick, bar bells, dumb bells, football and swimming. The crest on the front page is very similar to Banbury's crest and is also engraved on one of our trophies in the club house. It is well possible that some of those people named on the fixture list are also shown on the photograph below.


We were also given a certificate for gymnastics dated 1889 shown here.The crest is different but it has aspects of the Banbury crest including the shield, star and some of the latin.  

As well as certificates Banbury Harriers gave out medals and trophies to their club champions. In March 1907 a medal was given to J. Anthistle by the club President W. Hefford for Gymnastics and a photo is shown here. We also know of one that was given to Joseph Parish by the President W.H.P. Jenkins, again for gymnastics on the 21st of April 1891. We also have an engraved plaque which would have been attached to a trophy. This was given by President W.H.P. Jenkins to W. Nelson as first prize for the seven mile steeplechase on the 19th April 1884.  If you know of any other medals in existence we would love to hear from you.


Between 1900 and 1905 the Hon. Sec was Mr C E Turner and a pocket watch was presented to him from the club members on his leaving, as shown on the right. thanks to Mr Matt Turner for the photos. (his great, great grandson)

 One of the first events put on by the new club was a 13 mile cross country taking place on Saturday 27th September 1879. Starting at the cross and taking in North Newington, Shutford, Broughton, Bloxham and Bodicotte mill. This race continued to be staged until at least 1922.

 The photo on the right goes back to 1907 Well that's what it says on

the football. It was taken in the yard of the old White Horse pub in the High street, which was the clubs base at the time. You can click the photo for a larger image. If you have any more information about it or who is on it please e-mail Phil at the address above. 

We would like to thank the British history web site for allowing us to use the following article and it is their copyright.

Banbury Harriers and Athletic Club was formed in 1881 (now known to be 1879) and took a leading part in sporting activities in the town at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries. The club had a gymnasium at the Corn Exchange, but in 1902 moved to Crouch Street British school. The club ran a Whit Monday sports meeting which was attended by champion walkers, runners, and cyclists from all over the county; German bands, Italians with organs and monkeys, and keepers of dancing bears added to the entertainment on those occasions. (fn. 217) Swimming-pools and public parks and recreation grounds were, from the late 19th century, provided and administered by the corporation. 

From: 'Banbury: Introduction', A History of the County of Oxford: Volume 10: Banbury hundred (1972), pp. 5-18. URL: http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=63788&strquery=harriers Date accessed: 19 April 2010.

Banbury Harriers was also involved in cricket having both mens and womens teams.The mens team is known to have existed in 1923 and the Womens from 1928 until the outbreak of world war 2

The club badge to the right has 1879 on it and this is the true formation date. It was designed by John Rolland in 1979, the club's centenary.

In March 1922 the club borrowed sufficient money to purchase the land known as Harriers Ground for £850. In around 1936 and due to the death of two of the three guarantors funds ran out and the bank had to be paid off and the club had to sell the land to the education authority. The clubs fortunes rose and fell until 1966 when it folded. It was revived again in 1970 and in 1978 the membership consisted of Fergus Gillies, Geoff Doyly, Dave Hornsby, Clive Rutland, John Padbury, Andrew Hutton (secretary), Nigel Braggins, Gerrard Sullivan (chairman), Pete Wright, Dave ???, Marie Phillips, Ilene Phillips, Kim Harber, Bernadette Byrne, Ian Hammond, Tracey O'Carroll and Martin Reed. Membership increased to 180 by 1981 and has been going well up to the present day.

I have just received some interesting notes about running with Banbury Harriers in the 1980's from NEIL MOORES click on 1980s with Neil for a read.
Archived Magazines
The second edition of the Harriers magazine from 1981. This is 5.5mb but it is the only way you can get to read "peanuts". If anyone has issue 3 then we might even get to know the answers to the crossword? Does anyone else remember the prefabs at BGN?

This is a programme from the 1984 banbury marathon it is a 6mb file but is well worth down loading and reading as it is a big part of Banbury Harriers history. it also has the results from the 1983 race with our own Nigel Braggins coming second. If you fancy a long run why not try the route, you can do it in 2 sections.

This is the Harriers Herald from Summer 2001 - a 1.5mb file. You might even recognise a few names in this copy. We try to have a bit of fun on the road running side so what about the race on page 7? Anyone fancy a trip to Holland next year?

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