Over 100 years of running!
Bradford Airedale Athletic Club started life in 1880 and was known then as Airedale Harriers. ‘Harriers’ was a common term used in those days for clubs who participated in cross country running. The popular theme for these clubs was for a runner (the hare) to set off with other club members following a short time later (the harriers). In 1965 Airedale Harriers amalgamated with the newer Spen Valley AC which resulted in the new name of Airedale & Spen Valley A.C. or ASVAC as it become popularly known. This partnership resulted in the most successful 15 years that the club has known to date with teams winning the National Cross Country Championships and a number of club members achieving international selection. The club has also had successes on the track with three women members representing Britain at the Olympics between 1948 and 1960 and Peter Warden a semi-finalist in the 400m hurdles at Tokyo in 1964 and bronze medallist in the Commonwealth Games in 1966.
During the 1980’s there was a sudden surge of interest in jogging and a number of new local road running clubs sprang up. Many of these clubs took over the traditional recruitment areas of ASVAC and to reflect this the club was renamed Bradford Airedale Athletic Club.
Taken in 1937 of club members with a selection of trophies. They are in front of the club house at Horsfall Stadium which is still used as the club’s base.
Early photo (date unknown) of a club training session – no synthetic running track in those days! Note the hockey match taking place on the centre field and the lack of perimeter fencing.