Contact: Alyson Harvey


About UK CAU

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The Counties Athletic Union was formed at a meeting of the County Associations Executive Committee held at the offices of the AAA on 4 Feb 1926. This followed a decision by the General Committee of the AAA not to take over the Inter-County Championships, which had been held for the first time, organised by the Counties Associations Committee, held on Saturday 22 August 1925 at Stamford Bridge, London, under the auspices of the AAA.

The AAA Committee had recommended in 1918 that County Associations should be set up to promote athletics in each county. The County Associations Committee of the AAA held its first meeting on 25 Sep 1923 and at their April 1925 meeting agreed the staging of an Inter-County Relay Contest.

In November 1925 a meeting was held in the Offices of the AAA with delegates representing Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire, Norfolk and Suffolk. It was proposed that the County Associations were the proper body to be entrusted with the promotion of an Inter County Championship. The General Committee of the Amateur Athletic Association raised no objections and had minuted at one of their meetings that representatives of County Associations are the proper body to be entrusted with the promotion of an Inter County Meeting.

The 4 February 1926 meeting was attended by delegates from Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Norfolk, Suffolk, Surrey and Sussex. Letters of apology were received from Hampshire, Wiltshire and several County Associations in the Midlands and the North who were unable to attend the meeting, but nevertheless were in interested in the movement. This meeting also endorsed the staging of the first Inter County Cross Country Championship held at Beaconsfield on Saturday 3 April 1926.

The first CAU meeting was held at the Olde Rectory, Beaconsfield on 3 April 1926. This was attended by representatives of 14 counties: Bedfordshire, Buckinghamshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Hertfordshire, Kent, Middlesex, Staffordshire, Surrey, Sussex, Wiltshire and Worcestershire and they approved the Union’s Constitution.

The initial Constitution stated that: “The objects of the Union are to encourage and foster the development of the County Spirit in Amateur Athletics, especially by the promotion of an Inter-County Team and Relay Championship Meeting, and an Inter-County Cross Country Team Championship; and by encouraging Team competitions between the Counties.”

The initial subscription was fixed at 10/6d annually. 18 counties were members in the first year, 1926. 

At an Extraordinary General Meeting held in Corby on Monday 25 May 1992, the Counties Athletic Union was dissolved, being replaced by the newly established UK Counties Athletic Union. At the same meeting a new constitution was formally adopted.

From their inception in 1925 through to the late sixties, apart from the war years 1940-6, the CAU Inter County Track & Field Championships were a major international fixture held annually at the end of May, on what was then known as the Whitsun Bank Holiday. After spells at the White City, Crystal Palace, Warley, Leicester, Birmingham and Corby, the event has been regularly staged in Bedford.

The Inter Counties Cross Country equally became a major fixture in the athletic calendar and today still plays an important role in endurance running, providing a high standard of competition for U13, U15, U17, U20 and senior athletes.

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CAU Officers


1926-8       Viscount Burnham

1928-9       Air Vice Marshal Sir Sefton Brancker

1929-30     Douglas G.A. Lowe

1930-2       Lord Burghley

1932-4       Arthur S.Turk

1934-5       Sir Arthur Hazelrigg

1935          Lord Ampthill (died that year)

1936-57     Lord Aberdare

1958-78     Sir William Carr

1978-02     Sir Arthur Gold

2002-09     John Lister

2009-        Peter J.Matthews

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Chairman                                                                                   Vice-Chairman

1926-8       Arthur S.Turk (Essex)                                            

1928-9       Lancelot C.Royle (Herts)                                      

1929-30     R.R.Thurlow (Suffolk)                                          1928-9

1930-1       F.N.Digby-Drake (Cambridgeshire)                         1929-30

1931-2       J.E.Sandhook (Staffordshire)                               

1932-3       E.M.Chrishop (Sussex)                                        1931-2

1933-5       Capt. F.A.M.Webster (Bedfordshire)                  

1935-6       E.F.Vowles (Surrey)                                            1933-5

1936-7       Joe Turner (Middlesex)                                        1935-6

1937-8       Jack C.S.Crump (Surrey)                                      1936-7

1938-9       Frederick H.Hulford (Kent)                                    1937-8

1939-46     J.C.McPhail (Essex)                                             1938-9

1946-7       V.F.Bratley (Sussex)                                           1939-46

1947-8       A.B.Wignall (Bedfordshire)                                    1946-7

1948           I.Allcock (Lancashire)                                         1947-8

1949-50     Donald T.P.Pain (Surrey)                                      1948-9

1950-1       P.S.Gale (Middlesex)                                            1949-50

1951-2       W.F.Pearson (Essex)                                            1950-1

1952-3       F.Gordon Brown (Middlesex)                                  1951-2

1953-4       Leslie R.Truelove (Cambridgeshire)                         1952-3

1954-5       W.J.Western (Kent)                                            1953-4

1955-6       J.Charles Rice (Lancashire)                                   1954-5

1956-7       T.W.Davis (Bedfordshire & Hunts)                          1955-6

1957-8       Antony J. ‘Pat’ Sage (Buckinghamshire)                   1956-7

1958-9       Charles H.D.Neal (Hertfordshire)                            1957-8

1959-60     Leslie F.Edwards (Suffolk)                                    1958-9

1960-1       Eric T.Wheeler (Buckinghamshire)                          1959-60

1961-2       L.E.Prior (Nottinghamshire)                                   1960-1

1962-3       Lister Hay (Middlesex)                                         1961-2

1963-4       Robert M.Smith (Hampshire)                                 1962-3

1964-5       Leslie J.Cohen (Middlesex)                                   1963-4

1965-6       Walter Pearson (Yorkshire)                                   1964-5

1966-7       George W.S.Tolley (Surrey)                                  1965-6

1967-8       John C.Kennedy (Northumberland & Durham)            1966-7

1968-9       Ted Hopkins (Glamorgan)                                     1967-8

1969-70     Frank E.P.Orton (Berkshire)                                  1968-9

1970-1       Cedric Angrove (Leicestershire & Rutland)              1969-70

1971-2       George M.Adam (Yorkshire)                                 1970-1

1972-3       Ron B.Evans (West Wales)                                  1971-2

1973-4       G.Ernie Boot (Leicester & Rutland)                        1972-3

1974-5       William J. ‘Bill’ Ferguson (Nottinghamshire)              1973-4

1975-6       Derek M.M.Shorrocks (Somerset)                         1974-5

1976-7       Antony J. ‘Pat’ Sage (Buckinghamshire)                 1975-6

1977-8       Denis Smith (Warwickshire)                                1976-7

1978-9       Cyril H.Comber (Norfolk)                                     1977-8

1979-80     Cliff Robinson (Derbyshire)                                  1978-9

1980-1       Geoff Clarke (Yorkshire)                                     1979-80

1981-2       Harold Goode (Cheshire)                                    1980-1

1982-3       John C.Smith (Leicestershire & Rutland)                1981-2

1983-4       George Woodham (Bedfordshire)                         1982-3

1984-5       Colin C.Brunning (Suffolk)                                  1983-4

1985-6       John How (Buckinghamshire)                              1984-5

1986-7       Len Beavan (Middlesex)                                     1985-6

1987-8       John Gebbels (Surrey)                                       1986-7

1988-9       Derek Hayward (Shropshire)                               1987-8

1989-90     Howard Williams (Essex)                                     1988-9

1990-1       Barry Wallman (Cambridgeshire)                          1989-90

1991-6       Gerry G.Batty (West Glamorgan)                         1991

1996-2000  Olive Megit (Essex)                                          1994-6

2000-04     John How (Buckinghamshire)                              1998-2000

2004-08     Joe G.R.Mower (Suffolk)                                    2000-04

2008-12     Edwin Bellamy (Humberside)                               2004-08

2012-         Mary Hodges (Warwickshire)                              

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Vice Chairman

1926          E.H. Summers (Worcester)

and see above apart from

1930-1       E.J.Reynolds (Staffordshire)

1932-3       F.Cox (Leicestershire)

1933-5       E.F.Vowles (Surrey)

1984          Charles Harrison (Middlesex)

1991-2       Edgar Illingworth (Yorkshire)

1993-4       Geoff Clarke (Yorkshire)

1996-8       Barry Wallman (Cambridgeshire)

Hon. Secretary

1926-8       Charles Otway (Kent)

1928-34     Thomas S. Grant (Middlesex) (acting 1928-9)

1934-7       Ben L.Acomb

1937-52     D.T.P.Pain (Surrey)

1952-60     P.S.Gale (Middlesex)

1960-84     Leslie F.Edwards (Suffolk)

1984-2011  Cliff Robinson (Derbyshire)

2011-13     Ray Morgan (Warwickshire) 

Hon. Treasurer

1926-9       E.O.Cheshire (Sussex)

1929-35     Wallace R.Hare (Buckinghamshire)

1935-51     E.A.Abbott (Bedfordshire)

1951-84     Eric T.Wheeler (Buckinghamshire)

1985-91     Geoff Clarke (Yorkshire)

1991-6       Ken R.Bray

1996-2008  Brian Hart (Essex)

2008-        Stephen Rooney (Buckinghamshire)

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Hon. Championships Secretary

1927         J.F.Wadmore (Kent)

1928         Thomas S. Grant (Middlesex)

1929-34     A.E. Waldegrave (Kent)

1935         P.S.Gale (Middlesex)

1936-7      D.T.P.Pain (Surrey)

1937-49     P.S.Gale (Middlesex)

1949-52     Antony J. ‘Pat’ Sage (Buckinghamshire)

1952          J.R.Lemon

1952-3       Antony J. ‘Pat’ Sage (Buckinghamshire)

1953-74     Leslie J.Cohen (Middlesex)

From 1974: Promotions Committee

Cliff Robinson (Derbyshire) organised entries etc. from 1977, Promotions Secretary.

Orien Young (Hampshire) Sec. T&F Committee 1993-

Sandra White from 2010

Howard Williams overseeing Road, Fell and Race Walking Championships – stood down in 2008.

Joe Mower – secretary CC sub-committee

Events held at first Inter-County Relay Event 22 Aug 1925, Stamford Bridge

4 x 100 yards (up and down the track), 4 x 120 yards hurdles (up and down the track), 4 x 440 yards, 4 x 880 yards, 4 x 1 mile

3 miles team race (4 to run, 3 to score), 3 miles team walking race (4 to run, 3 to score)


Long jump (aggregate of 3 jumpers), High jump (aggregate of 3 jumpers)

Putting the weight (aggregate of 3 throwers)

Admission 6d, schoolboys 3d, Enclosure 1/-, Centre stands 3/-


Discus and ’pole jump’ added in 1926

4x100y to 4x110y (round the track) in 1928

Javelin added 1931

Extension/revision of programme agreed for 1932.

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Historical notes from CAU Minutes

1928: Proposal for 20 Miles Road Walk – amended to 10 Miles to substitute

         for the 3 miles at Team & Relay Champs. Noted in 1929 that proposal

         had received very little support.

         Noted that County movement had not developed in the North – and

         encouragement was given to this in ensuing years.

1929: Sub committee set up to consider replacing the Inter-County Team

         and Relay Championships with alternative competition. Proposed

         division competitions (5) with top two teams progressing to a final in


         In 1930 – sub-committee proposed alternative change to 13

         individual events instead of team and relays.

1933: AAA had proposed Inter-County Championships be suspended and

         replaced by matches between counties financed by the AAA and this

         presentation made to joint meeting between AAA General Committee

         and CAU on 8 April 1933.. CAU AGM (13 May 1933) agreed that its

         competition had been valuable and urged AAA to consider ways and

         means of giving financial assistance.

13 Dec 1933: CAU Council meeting agreed that in 1934 Inter-County 

         Championships would be held with the following events:

         100y, 440y, 880y, 1M, 3M, 2M walk, 120yh, HJ, PV, LJ, JT, SP, DT,

         JT, Points in final: 6-5-4-3-2-1. Later changed to 7-6-5-4-3-2 plus 1

         for meeting standard,

         Jack Crump reported that a Road Walk between certain counties had

         been arranged from March 1934. Agreed that event had full support

         and approval of CAU.

October 1935: Proposal received and accepted from the News of the World

         re the Championships. These became incorporated in the “British

         Games” at the White City on Whit Monday from 1936.

1936: Agreed that in future the CC Championships should be held on the

         third Saturday in January.

         Four counties competed for the first time: Berkshire, Dorset,

         Northumberland & Durham, Yorkshire.

1937: Affiliated: Glamorgan & Monmouthshire (joint), Lancashire

1939: 2 miles steeplechase and 440y hurdles added to programme of     


1940: CC Championships due to be held on 20 Jan 1940 in the Midlands

         were cancelled due to the War.

         An AGM was held on 7 March 1940, but no more meetings were held

         until after the War, with a General Meeting on 5 Feb 1946. The

         question of having a Championships in 1946 was discussed and the

         meeting was strongly in favour of this. However, the AGM in April

         decided against doing so. They were eventually resumed on 4 Aug

         1947, after the CC Championships in January 1947.

         All trophies were removed from London during the War and stored in a

         Vault at Lloyds Bank, Dunstable.

1948: Membership reached 31 affiliated counties.

         A 10 miles Road Walking Championship was introduced, held in

         conjunction with the RWA Championships.

1949: Lord Aberdare awarded CBE in New Year’s Honours.

         Inaugural sponsorship of the Cross-Country Championships by the

         Daily Telegraph – continued to 1969,

         Don Pain both Secretary and Chairman 1949-50 (from resignation of

         I..Allcock in December 1948), and also acting Championships

         Secretary (in 1949).

1950: Championships extended to two days. Membership to 33.

1953: First race in Britain at 3000m steeplechase (instead of 2 miles)

1954: New feature of the CC Championships was the award of the Joe     

         Turner Trophy to the most improved performance and Leicestershire

         & Rutland were the inaugural winners.

         6 Miles added to the Championships programme (agreed for 1953, but

         could not be staged as the News of the World had arranged an

         attack on the 1 Hour record.)

1955: W.C.Jewell donated the Middlesex Surrey Trophy.

         Resolved to institute a 20 miles Team and Individual Road Running

         Championship (started in 1957).

1959: With the acceptance into membership of the West Wales District

         (three counties) all counties in England and Wales, with the

         exception of Breconshire are now affiliated. Breconshire was affiliated

         in 1964.

1961: Inter-county Tug-of-War Championship introduce (at Baddesley,

         organised by the Tug-of-War Association).

1962: F/Lt David Brown died in a flying accident a few days after his CAU

         440y victory.

1964: First Junior CC Championship held – 7 March 1964 Solihull at 5 miles.

         Proposal to hold an inter-counties decathlon was rejected as thought

         that insufficient counties held decathlon championships.

         Discussion held re introduction of a Youths Championship – agreed

         not advisable at the present time, but further investigations to be

         made – and a Youths race was staged from 1965.

1966: First official Youths CC Championship.

1968-9: T&F Championships held with first day at Crystal Palace, second at

         White City.

1970: Agreed that in future Senior, Juniors and Youths CC Champs should 

         be staged together.

         After being held in London from 1936, the T&F Championships moved

         to Leicester (Saffron Lane Sports Centre).

1973: After three years at Leicester, the track there was in poor condition,

         and the T&F Champs were held at Warley.

         The principal of just 16 teams taking part in 1973 was approved –

         with amalgamations of various counties. Subsequently those were

         agreed with Yorkshire, Lancashire, Middlesex, Surrey and Kent on

         their own.

1973: WAAA pentathlon included in T&F Champs programme (and again in


1974: Treasurer reported danger of insolvency.

1974-6: T&F Championships reverted to Crystal Palace (eight lane track


1974: New Metropolitan areas created, but South and Midland AAAs were

         ignoring them and keeping old counties, Northern were also not in

         favour, but had never accepted counties as part of their


1974/5: Changes to age groups made by the English Cross Country Union;

         CAU events would be run under the new rule.

24 Sep 1976: Golden Jubilee dinner dance held at the Grand Hotel,


1977: Much concern over lack of support of international athletes for their


1977: Return to Leicester with its new Olymprene all-weather surfaces.

         Reported that the new UK Championships held five days after CAU

         Champs and a League meeting the day before “played havoc with our


1978: Individual county representation re-introduced.

1979-Jan 1983: British Meat sponsored the CC and T&F Championships.

1980: Especial congratulations, gratitude and thanks to Leslie Edwards for

         his 20 years as Secretary.

         Noted that Colts and Boys CC races had been introduced and

         promoted by Derek Hayward at Shrewsbury – “no action to be

         taken”. Derek Hayward applied for their recognition in 1981 –

         recognised from 1983 and staged at Shrewsbury to 1993.

1981-: T&F Championships forced to move to August as UK Championships

         staged on Spring Bank Holiday weekend. WAAA events included in

         T&F programme.

1982: Women’s international (England v Netherlands v Belgium) held in

         conjunction with CAU T&F Champs

         John Stubbs retired after 22 years as Auditor.

1983/4: Congratulations to Sir Arthur Gold on his knighthood.

1984: Leslie Edwards retired after 24 years as Secretary and Eric Wheeler

         (on 31.12.84) after 33 years as Treasurer.

1985: Thurrock Council sponsored T&F Championships.

1986: Lancashire won all five CC Championships. CAU tie (green) agreed.

         Diamond Jubilee celebrated with a dinner at the Post House.

         Leicester; Roy Moor was guest of honour.

1987: Women’s match held in conjunction with T&F Champs.

1988: Much concern that BAAB’s World Trials held on same date as CAU CC

         Championships (after IAAF decision that only a full GB team would

         compete at World CC from 1988).

1991-4: Inter-area women’s competition included with T&F Championships

1992: Agreed that UK Inter-counties Championships for both genders be

         incorporated into the United Kingdom Cross Country Championships

         under the control of the UK Cross Country Commission. 20 May: CAU  

         disbanded and replaced by UK Counties Athletic Union.

         For the first time in 20 years the 20 miles Road Race was held in

         conjunction with T&F Championships.

1994: All age groups staged on same date and venue at CC Championships.

1995: Full range of women’s events introduced to T&F programme.

1996: AAA multi-events championships held with T&F Championships.

1997: Fell Running Championships inaugurated.

1998: CC Championships to be incorporated with British Championships and 

         World Trials – date moved from mid January to 1 March.

2001: First television of CC Championships by BSkyB

         Union decided to discontinue support of Tug of War Championships    

         due to decline in interest at county level.

2004: CC Championships moved to March to be closer to World CC dates.

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Deaths reported

1950: Founder member R.R.Thurlow had died.

1952: Joe Turner in February.

1957: Lord Aberdare and Arthur Turk

1965/6: A.B.Wignall, Jack Crump, also Joe Binks.

1966/7: P.S.Gale, E.F.Vowles

1969: V.Bratley.

1970: W.Pearson, F.Ireland

1971-2: J.E.Sandbrook, E.A.Abbott

1972: George Tolley and E.J. ‘Billy’ Holt

1972/3: W.J.Western

1973/4: E.H.L.Clynes OBE (VP from 1950)

1974/5: T.W.Davis & Ted Hopkins

1975/6: Fred Hulford, Bll Hillyard (Hon. Gen. Sec of Tug-of-War Association).

1976/7: R.M. ‘Bob’ Smith

1977/8: Sir William Carr. Harold Abrahams

1978/9: Sir Lancelot Royle

1980/1: Leslie Truelove, Douglas Lowe. 1981: J.C.McPhail

1982: Denis Smith, Marquess of Exeter, Geoff Dyson

1982/3: Lister Hay

1984/5: Les Cohen, Cyril Comber

1990: Len Beavan, George Adam, Arthur Joy (May)

1990/1: Ron Evans

1992: Pat Sage

1993: George Woodham

1996: Charles Harrison

1999: Charles Rice, Cedric Angrove

2001/02: Derek Shorrocks, Gerry Batty (d. 29 Aug 2001)

2002: Sir Arthur Gold, Ken Rickuss

2003: August: Les Edwards (age 94), Ron Bacchus

2004: Ken Finding, Edgar Illingworth

2009: Ernie Boot, Eric Wheeler (March)

2010: Olive Megit, Roy Rogers

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The object of the Union is to encourage, develop and promote Inter County Competition in the various UK Athletics disciplines of Athletics.

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Affiliated Members

Athletics Northern Ireland Essex Norfolk Surrey
Avon & Somerset East Wales North Eastern Counties Sussex
Bedfordshire Gloucestershire North Wales Counties Warwickshire
Berkshire  Greater Manchester Northamptonshire West Wales Region
Buckinghamshire Hampshire Nottinghamshire Wiltshire
Cambridgeshire Hertfordshire Oxfordshire Worcestershire
Cheshire Humberside Scotland East District Yorkshire
Cornwall Kent Scotland North District  
Cumbria Lancashire Scotland West District  


and Rutland

Devon Lincolnshire South Wales Region  
Dorset Merseyside Staffordshire  
East Wales Region Middlesex Suffolk  

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Jenny Meadows
Vice Presidents
W J Ferguson C Robinson G Clarke C Brunning
J How J Gebbels D J Hayward MBE K Bray
B W Hart J G R Mower E Bellamy M Hodges
  N Folwell    
Sandra White
Vice Chairman
Nick Folwell
Management Council
Peter Cassidy Roger Everton Graham Jessop Jean Simpson MBE
Christ Stott Fiona Lancaster John How Andy Watts

Cross Country Secretary/ Assistant

Joe Mower/ Arwel Williams


Track & Field Secretary

Sandra White

Officials Secretary
Sharon Herbert
Auditor Trustees

Frank Hovell FCCA

Geoff Clarke, Cliff Robinson & John How

Honorary Treasurer Honorary Secretary
Stephen Rooney Alyson Harvey

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Honorary Secretary Alyson Harvey
  7 Aspen Way
  MK45 4GF
  Tel: 01525861355
Officials Secretary Sharon Herbert
  1 Andrews Close
  Buckhurst Hill
  IG9 5BL
  Tel: 07539234086
Treasurer Stephen Rooney
  Martin Nye
  186 High Street
  MK18 3DQ
  Tel: 01296 715000
Cross Country Joe Mower
Championship 188 Hadleigh Road
Secretary  Ipswich
  IP2 0DH
  Tel: 01473 216289
Track & Field Sandra White
Championship 35 Maclntyre Road
Secretary Stocksbridge
  S36 1DG

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Sub Committees

(To be appointed, annually, by the Management Meeting)

Cross Country Chair Joe Mower 01473 216289
    Cliff Robinson  
    Sharon Herbert 07539234086
    Arwel Williams  
Track & Field Chair Sandra White 07752675805
    Alyson Harvey  
    Sharon Herbert 07539234086
    John How  


Organisation Representative
County Chair's / Fixtures Alyson Harvey
  Sandra White
Race Walking Joe Mower


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Copyright © 2007 UK Counties Athletic Union