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Alastair Aitken reports on .......
          Alastair Aitken    
Southern Counties Veterans Track & Field League Finals (September 2014)
THE SOUTHERN INTER-COUNTIES INTERVIEWS (July 2014)
Donna Fraser (June 2014)
Southern Track and Field Champs (June 2014)
Ickenham 5 Miles Road Race (June 2014)
Job Kinyor of Kenya (June 2014)
Night of the 10,000 PBs (May 2014)
David Bedford Looks Back (May 2014)
National 12 stage Road Relay (April 2014) Part 2
The Women's National Six Stage Road Relay 2014 (Part One)
GERRY NORTH (1936-2014)
Hillingdon Half Marathon (March 2014)
Inter-Counties Championships - 8th March 2014 (Part Two)
Inter-Counties Championships - 8th March 2014 (Part One)
National Senior Cross Country Championships - 22nd February 2014 (Part Two)
National Senior Cross Country Championships - 22nd February 2014 (Part One)
The SOUTHERN CHAMPIONSHIPS on 25th January 2014 (Part Two)
The SOUTHERN CHAMPIONSHIPS on 25th January 2014 (Part One)
Sir Christopher Chataway (31/1/31 - 19/1/14)
Andy Holden the Legend (22/10/48 - 5/1/14)
North London Cross Country Championships (November 2013)
THE LIDDIARD CUP (OCTOBER 2013)
SURREY VETS CHAMPIONSHIPS (October 2013)
RYAN McKINLAY THE VERSATILE CLUB RUNNER (September 2013)
MIDDLESEX CHAMPIONSHIP 10K - 7th September 2013 - Victoria Park
SHAUN LIGHTMAN (September 2013)
SPRINTING MASTER ALASDAIR ROSS (AUGUST 2013)
An Appreciation of Charlie Williams (2013)
JACK PARKER (Looks Back in July 2013)
MIKE TAGG 1960 and 70's Top Youth/Junior/Senior (August 2012)
SOUTH OF ENGLAND TRACK & FIELD CHAMPS (June 2013)
NATIONAL INSURANCE CHAMPIONSHIPS (JUNE 2013)
HIGHGATE HARRIERS FIRST OPEN 10K (6th June 2013)
FRANK SALVAT (30th of October 1934 to May 2013)
MIDDLESEX Track & Field CHAMPIONSHIPS (MAY 2013)
JIM McNAMARA an IRISH LEGEND (May 2013)
Mike Gratton Looks Back (April 2013)
Aldershot Champions Again (April 2013)
NATIONAL 12 STAGE ROAD RELAY (April 2013)
VICTORIA PARK WOMEN'S RACE (April 2013)
VICTORIA PARK 5 WITH MARTIN & HICKEY (April 2013)
World Trial and Inter-Counties Part Three (March 2013)
World Trial and Inter-Counties Part Two (March 2013)
World Trial and Inter-Counties Part One (March 2013)
Southern Cross Country Champs - Part Three (February 2013)
Southern Cross Country Champs - Part Two (February 2013)
Southern Cross Country Champs - Part One (February 2013)
MIDDLESEX CROSS COUNTRY CHAMPIONSHIPS (January 2013)
HARRY TEMPAN RETIRES AT 87 (December 2012)
Running Still - 133 years of Highgate Harriers (August 2012)
FRANK SANDO (14/3/31 - 13/10/12)
GREG RICHARDS (October 2012)
THE MIDDLESEX & OPEN 10K (September 2012)
NINA ANDERSON (September 2012)
MO FARAH - HIS BREAKTHROUGH YEARS (August 2012)
WILLIAM SHARMAN (August 2012)
DWAIN CHAMBERS (August 2012)
CHRIS TOMLINSON (July 2012)
ARIES MERRITT (July 2012)
TYSON GAY in London (July 2012)
CHRISTIAN TAYLOR TRIPLE JUMP WORLD CHAMPION 2011 (JULY 2012)
DON TAYLOR (1936 TO 2012)
THE MAN WHO CHANGED 10,000m RUNNING HISTORY (JULY 2012)
THE LAST TWO BRITISH OLYMPIC WALK MEDALLISTS (July 2012)
JIM RYUN with MARTY LIQUORI and JOHN WHETTON (JUNE 2012)
TWO OF THE GREATEST OLYMPIC THROWERS - JANIS LUSIS and AL OERTER (JUNE 2012)
BASIL HEATLEY THE GREAT ROAD/CC/TRACK RUNNER (MAY 2012)
RON RODDAN COACH TO A 1992 OLYMPIC CHAMPION (MAY 2012)
BRONISLAW MALINOWSKI STEEPLECHASER '1960's to 81' (MAY 2012)
GASTON ROELANTS 'THE STEEPLECHASER OF THE 1960'S' (APRIL 2012)
JOHN DISLEY THE UK'S OUSTANDING STEEPLECHASER OF THE 1950'S
MEN'S NATIONAL 12 STAGE ROAD RELAY (April 2012)
Women's National 6 Stage Road Relay (April 2012)
THE 46th VICTORIA PARK '5' (April 2012)
SIX OUTSTANDING OLYMPIC MEDALLISTS- 800m to 10000m (APRIL 2012)
EIGHT AFRICAN OLYMPIC CHAMPIONS (March 2012)
McCain UK Inter Counties & UK Challenge 2012 - part 3
McCain UK Inter Counties & UK Challenge 2012 - part 2
McCain UK Inter Counties & UK Challenge 2012 - part 1
THE ENGLISH NATIONAL 2012 - part 2
THE ENGLISH NATIONAL 2012 - part 1
THE LATE BMC COACH FRANK HORWILL (FEBRUARY 2012)
SEAA Cross Country Championships - Juniors (January 2012)
SEAA Women's Cross Country Championships (January 2012)
SEAA Senior Men's Cross Country Championships (January 2012)
Six Olympic 110 Hurdles Champions Talking (January 2012)
CHRIS FINILL'S RUN ACROSS AMERICA IN 2011 (January 2012)
'HUSTLING HERB' ONE OF THE FIRST JAMAICAN OLYMPIANS (January 2012)
SEAA Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships 10/12/11
Dick Taylor and Allan Rushmer (60's,70's & 80's)
Lynn Davies (Looking back in November 2011)
Scott Overall (October 2011)
Keith Gerrard (October 2011)
National Six Stage Relays (October 2011)
National Four Stage Women's Road Relay (October 2011)
David Hemery (1968 & 75, Updated October 2011)
Tony Simmons an Underrated 'Star' Performer (September 2011)
Kenya's First 'Great' Sprinter - Serapheno Antao
The Vets Athletic Club's Championship (August 2011)
Mel Batty (August 2011)
Tiffany Townsend (August 2011)
Coach John Smith (August 2011)
Jason Richardson (August 2011)
Lisa Dobriskey (August 2011)
Mark Lewis-Francis (August 2011)
David Rudisha - IAAF World Athlete of the Year 2010
David Morwood (June 2011)
Rosemary Chrimes - A Star for 40 Years (June 2011)
Paul Dickenson Commentator and Athlete (June 2011)
Larry Achike (May 2011)
Three of Histories Greatest milers - Part 3 - SEB COE
Three of Histories Greatest milers - Part 2 - JOHN WALKER
Three of Histories Greatest milers - Part 1 - SYDNEY WOODERSON
Three very great curve runners of the past and their views
Derek Ibbotson (Interviewed Oct 1962 - updated 2011)
Walter Wilkinson (Interviewed Summer 2000)
Dave Chapman (Interview Autumn 1998)
'Never Say Die' Les Roberts (April 2011)
David Cannon (Interview April 2011)
Bruce Tulloh (Interviewed April 2011 and September 1962)
Geoff Harrold remembered (Born 25/5/39 died 1/4/11)
Nick McCormick at the Victoria Park '5' (March 2011)
The Victoria Park '5' A World Renown Road Race (March 2011)
Bernard Plain MBE (March 2011)
South London's Historic Mob Match (March 2011)
World Trials and Inter-Counties - report 3 (2011)
World Trials and Inter-Counties - report 2 (2011)
World Trials, Inter-Counties and Mike McLeod (2011)
North of the Thames Championships - Kingsbury (Feb 2011)
Memories of Peter Hildreth (1928 - February 26th 2011)
Jonny Hay and Richard Goodman at the English National Junior 2011
Louise Deman and Hatti Dean at the English National 2011
Steve Vernon - English National Champion 2011
Chris Smith and Serpentine - Outstanding in the Met League Final (2011)
Nielson Hall and others at the the SEAA Championships 2011)
Dave Clarke (The Great Runner from Hercules Wimbledon)
Chris Finill the Outstanding Ultra Distance Runner
Three New Stars at the 'PREMIER LEAGUE' Jo Smith Cup (Sept 2010)
Gladys Bird - Woodford Green & Essex Ladies
Bob Smith - Newham and Essex Beagles
Richard Thompson - August 2010
Danielle Carruthers - August 2010
Angelo Taylor - August 2010
Michael Rimmer - August 2010
British M45 javelin record holder Roald Bradstock
James Shane with his Coach Martin Brown JUNE 2010
Tony Jarrett JUNE 2010
Andy Turner Interview JUNE 2010
Southern Counties Track & Field Championships at Crystal Palace JUNE 2010
The Aldershot National Womens 4 Stage Champions 2010
Grenville Tuck Interview (May 2010 and in 1975)
The stage winners at the National 12 Stage Relay - Sutton Park - April 2010
Anthony Whiteman Interview - April 2010
Bill Adcocks Interview - 13th March 2010
Wendy Sly Interview - 13th March 2010
Peter Clark A Forgotten Hero
Dic Evans A Runner for Wales for 45 years interviewed in 2009
Douglas Alistair Gorden Pirie (Born Leeds 10th February 1931 Died 7th December 1991)
Peter Browne: British Milers Club and Racing Against Ovett and Coe
Peter Browne: Born 3rd of February 1949
Six of Belgrave's Winning 12 Stage Team
Newham & Essex Beagles 6 Stage Winners and Course Record Breakers 2009
John Salisbury
Dave Moorcroft Through the Years
Bob Smith the Successful Newham & Essex Beagles Manager August 2009
Debbie Ferguson-McKenzie Interviewed in London Summer 2009
Martyn Rooney at Croydon July 2009
Felix Sanchez in London 2009
Kerron Clement interviwed on 24th of July 2009
Simeon Williamson in London (July 25th, 2009)
Dayron Robles interviewed in London 2009
Irie Hill at the British Master Championships 2009
Andy Baddeley
Roy Fowler - The Red Fox
John Snowden
John Hall - Race Walker
Mara Yamauchi - Outstanding British Performer in the London Marathon 2009
Nick Goolab - The Revelation of the UK Cross Country Season 2008/2009
Joyce Smith M.B.E
Mike Barratt The 'Evergreen' Running Legend
David Bedford
Clare Elms A Revelation of Age Athletics
Harry Tempan The Rennaisance Runner
Maureen Bonanno-Smith
Kermit Bentham - A man who has run over 500 one lap races in his life!
Andretti Bain 2008 Olympic 4x400 relay silver
Bernard Lagat in London July 2008
Usain Bolt in London
Charlie Williams - Outstanding Master Sprinter
Where Are They Now - John Greatrex
The Truly Remarkable Tony Bowman
Stan Eldon
Ian Stewart
Pam Davies
Avard Moncur
Ken Norris
Gerry North - The Most Consistent cross-country runner of the 60's
Peter Hildreth
Robert Slowe - Outstanding Clubman
Anthony Noel - World Masters Champion
Franics Obikwelu
Alan Webb
Andre Bucher - 2001 World 800m Champion
Wallace Spearmon (2006)
Derek Johnson (1985)
James Carter - USA 400m hurdles Champion 2002 and 2004
Dorothy Manley - Silver medalist London Olympics 1948

Information

                                                        The Parlette's  By Alastair Aitken

It was after Easter in 1948, at the training weekend at Butlins' for Olympic possible, that John Parlett and Dorothy Manley struck up an acquaintance and then they became friends at the major Championships of 1948 and 1950. After that both went their separate ways and had families and, did not meet up again till sometime after the tragic death of Dorothy's husband (Hall) in 1973..It was sometime after that John Parlett and Dorothy Manley had met again and got married in 1979.

Dorothy Manley was born on the 29.4.27 at Manor Park. She belonged to Essex Ladies and her racing height and weight was 1.65/56kg. It was interesting to note that she was a shorthand typist with the Suez Canal Company when she went to the Olympics at Wembley in 1948 and, was granted the time off for the Games as 'Unpaid leave!'  She went into the Olympics in 1948 as her first international event, having finished fifth in the final at the WAAA Championships although, she had won a 100yards race at Eton Manor in 11.1 in May. In June she won a 100m in Lee in 12.00 which was her fastest time for the distance. She did in fact only win one women's WAAA title and that was over 200m in 1950 at the White City Stadium. As Dorothy Hall she ran 24.6 that year in a heat in the European in Brussels and that was her listed best. Remembering that was all on cinders, as there was not such a thing as tartan in those days..
Another interesting fact is that Dorothy and John Parlett were both part of World Record Relay teams' at the White City in September of 1951. The events were 4x220 and 4x880 respectively and co-incidentally they both retired in 1952. John after an appendix operation and Dorothy after a serious thyroid problem in 1952.
 
Interview

Dorothy Nee Manley (As listed in the Olympic Records), then Hall and later Parlett)

What is your memory now of the Olympic Final in London in 1948( 1 Fanny Blankers-Koen (NED) 11.9; 2 Dorothy Manley (GBR) 12.2; 3 Shirley Strickland (AUS) 12.2; 4 Viola Myers (CAN) 12.3; 5 Patricia Jones (CAN) 12.3; 6 Cynthia Thompson (JAM) 12.9.)
"I have got vivid memories of the Olympic Final. I was absolutely terrified before when the six of us were in the tunnel waiting to go out for the Final. If I could have run away I would have done. It was really so nerve racking then, coming up out of the tunnel I heard someone call my name and I realised it was the chap who ultimately  became my brother in law. Just hearing his voice sort of helped. Someone you recognised as I was going to the mark and putting my starting blocks in place. What disappointed me most in the Olympics was being in the lane nearest the crowd because, had I been in the centre I always felt that if you were in the centre lane you can judge people either side of you. In the lane I had you can't. Running up I instinctively turned my head round once just like that. I never did it before and I never did it after. I don't know why I did it. I think because running in that lane something inside me  just told me to  look to see where the others were.
Another thing about that race was that I had got such a good start as , I was usually a notoriously bad starter. On that particular occasion I think I got the best start of my life and in fact I thought I had got a flyer and I was expecting us to be recalled and, in so doing I must have lost, obviously I was not going to beat Fanny, but I think I would have been closer to her had I not been thinking things like that.You hear them today say 'I am absolutely focused from the starting point' but I was not like that. I was not really focused on what I was doing.'
Fanny Blankers - Koen was voted for by the IAAF, at one time, as the Greatest woman athlete of all time and Karl Lewis was voted as the 'Greatest' Male athlete. What did you think Fanny Blakers- Koen was like as a person and as an athlete.
She was a lovely person. I met her a number of times after.I never beat her obviously but I did run against her in Dublin.
I think she was lucky in that she was such a strong person, physically strong and I think she was quite determined. I think she was like me in that she just loved running. I don't think she did things like they do these days.
The European Bronze medal that was something special too. (1 Fanny Balkers-Koen 24:0; 2 Yevgeniya Sechenova SU) 24.8; 3 Dorothy Hall (GBR) 25:0; 4 Sofya Malshina (SU) 25:0; 5 Bertha Brouwer (NED) 25:00; 6 Zoya Dukhovich (SU) 25.5.
'Yes! That was a nice race. I did my fastest ever  200m in the heats in Brussels but I did not do that in the final.'
You appear to have had a good time when you competed
I had a happy time. Obviously one wanted to win but it was not the be all and end all. People say to me 'If only I had got the gold kind of thing'' I say 'It did not disappoint me that I was only second because I did not think I would get second in the Olympics. When you think about it I had not really done anything at all until 1948 of note and I was put on the list of possible as a high jumper.
You were fourth in the high jump at the Commonwealth Games in Auckland in 1950 (1 Dorothy Tyler (Eng) 5'3/1.60; 2  Bertha Crowther (Eng) 5'3/1.60; 3 Noeline Sweinton (AUS) 5'1/1.549; 4 Dorothy Hall 5'1/1.54. out of nine finalists.
'That was a laugh because  I did not know I was even entered till we got to New Zealand and it was coming up in a day or two's time and the Team Manager said to me 'Would you like to do the high jump' and I said 'How can I be in the high jump I have not be entered and he said 'Yes you have!' I had no idea, no one had told me so John (Parlett) and I found a rope and we stuck it on some posts in New Zealand and I used to jump over that and, that was the only training I had and I went out on the day of the event and managed to get fourth.It all strikes me as very funny.' (Also she achieved a bronze in the 440yards medley relay and a silver in the 660yds medley relay).
You achieved a gold medal in the 4x100m relay in the 1950 European in front of Holland, Soviet Union, France, Italy and Yougoslavia in 47.4.That must have been a memory for you (Team Elspeth Hay; Jean Deforges later-Pickering; Dorothy Hall and June Foulds later Paul)
We beat the Dutch. That was probably the most exciting race because we actually got the medal and we had beaten Fanny.
June Foulds was the one who was running against her although she did not necessarily do the winning of it. I ran third. I always preferred running round the bend. I always felt I was running faster round the bend. I have discovered since then that I have got one leg that is quite a bit shorter than the other and, it is that way round. If it had been the other leg a bit shorter I could not have run as I would have been lopsided. It is funny that I got an Olympic medal with a leg shorter than the other.'
Were you inspired to come into athletics to begin with
My schoolteacher at the junior school. She was so keen and she gave me every encouragement. First of all it was running for the school, then it was the District, then the County. Of course, then the war came and so we did not do anything for a time at all.
I did not do anything at all to begin with as everyone was evacuated but in 1942, when everyone was drifting back again, there was a meeting down at Ashton Playing Fields and I remember running in that, with no training of course because I had not done any. I won the 100 and 200 down there that day. How I won the 200 I don't know. I had not run a 200 before. When I finished it I nearly passed out because I lacked training. I had not got a lot of stamina. I was only eight stone so I had not got a lot of strength in me but as I have said before I always take my ability to run as 'God Given' I am a Committed Christian. He gave me that ability and it has given me a lot of fun. Unfortunately it ended in 1952, the same as John did by a strange co-incidence with is appendicitis. I had the starting of my thyroid trouble and it just got worse and worse. I could not run round the track as I got this burning in my throat and got all out of breath and got a goitre in my throat, my eyes started to bulge and I had every symptom they could have apparently. I was terribly on edge and had a voracious appetite and lost a lot of weight so, my days for being an athlete were over then.
But you had had a wonderful opportunity and you did very well
That is really Thank's to Sandy Duncan. He was the one who got me through the Olympics. He was my coach.
People who were put on the list as Olympic possible at the end of 1947,if they had not already got a coach they were awarded one and I was put in the hands of Sandy and I had not met him till then. I did not start training with him till March and I won my medal in August. So he did a wonderful job really in a short time I was grateful to him..
When you gave up athletics you had that strong interest there being a Committed Christian.
I have always had an interest. I am an Elder of my Church. I am a Non-conformist and belong to the Reformed Church."


Alastair Aitken
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