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Outer Circle Relay Race


master brummie
I have just purchased a silver fob for a watch chain that may be of some interest to forum members.

I made a few enquiries about the race and it appears that this was an annual event, the first one held in 1927, the year following the completion of the outer circle bus route, and was made up of teams solely from Harborne Harriers athletic club.
In 1928 the race was opened up to other clubs and a won by a team from Birchfield Harriers. They dominated the race for several years. Indeed they won it in 1939 the date shown on the medal.
There were twelve teams competing that year and they were Birchfield Harriers; Harborne Harriers; Godiva Harriers; Leicester Harriers; Leamington C & AC; Lozells Harriers; Nuneaton Harriers; Small Heath Harriers; Smethwick Harriers; Sparkhill Harriers; Stourbridge Harriers; Tipton Harriers.*

The winning Birchfield team was composed of the following runners.
T.Kibble; J.M.Smith; R.E.Ballenger; S.H.Smith; H.H.Johnson; N.H.Edwards; C.A.H.Sanderson; H.J.Hackett; A.Bourton; J.T.Richards; L.Richards; J.Biggs; J.Allen; D.A.Currie; Smith.**
It would be interesting to see if any of the above or their descendants are around now and to whom the medal I have, was awarded.
I have some further information on the races and will post them later.

* & ** This info was obtained from newspaper archives but although I downloaded
the articles they show the whole page and I'm not computer savvy enough to show just the article. There is also a picture of the start of the 1939 race, taken from the Birmingham Mail,which may show some of the winners.


master brummie
Outer Circle race part 2:

The two pictures (not very good quality I'm sorry) Show the winning Birchfield Harriers team comprising of from l. to r.
R.E.Ballinger; J.T.Richards; J.M.Smith; J.Briggs (Or Biggs); N.H.Edwards. If my old eyes are right J.M.Smith can be seen in between numbers 39 and 76 in the first picture.
Their winning time was 2 Hrs, 9 mins and 40 secs.

As far as I can understand the race was run over 5 legs starting from the Vine Hotel, Harborne to Alcester Rd, Kings Heath. From there to Swan, Yardley. The next leg was to Reservoir Rd., Erdington and then from there to the Farcroft Hotel, Handsworth and then back to the start. It appears that Birchfield won each leg and running in this order. Smith, Bellenger, Edwards, Biggs, Richards.

There was also a trophy, donated by Henry A. Butler (Of Butlers Brewery family) cup which can be seen, alongside other pictures on the following

link https://www.flickr.com/photos/birmingham_rowheath_ac/sets/72157601198338692/

My thanks to Chris Holloway for the above link

Unfortunately Harborne Harriers no longer exists as an Athletic Club and I have no idea when the last race was held. I was told it was still being run in the 1970s but can't find anything. If anyone could confirm this it would be great, but with traffic as it is and the number of competitors involved the logistical organisation would prove a nightmare. I don't know if the trophy is still in existence, perhaps still in the possession of the last winners.
I hope these two posts have been of interest to the forum.