The 2012 Olympics now seem a distant memory but it’s worth remembering that Surrey has a strong historical link with the Olympics. In 1948 the Olympic Torch was carried through the county.
Through historic and modern pictures and oral histories we hope to re-create this event as an on-line exhibition. Visit our picture gallery.
Do you know any of the runners? Do you have any pictures of the run? If so contact us or visit our Flickr site and add your own images and comments. You can also add your own comments by clicking the link at the bottom of this page.
Read an extract from A History of Sport in Dorking edited by Celia Newbery (1985) which mentions the 1948 Olympic Torch run and the Dorking St Paul’s A.C.. 4,000 people lined Dorking’s High Street to see the hand over of the torch outside The White Horse.
This is an extract from an article that appeared in the Surrey Advertiser and County Times on July 24th, 1948 (the details of the section run by each torch bearer has been taken from the instructions issued to each runner by the Olympic Organising Committee):
“SURREY TORCH BEARERS
22 Stages Through County
The Olympic Torch enters Surrey at 6 oclock on Thursday morning at Westerham, and 5 hours later, after passing through Oxted, Redhill, Reigate, Dorking, Guildford, Worplesden, Knaphill, and Bagshot, leaves the county at Bagshot Park gates.”
Here is the full list of Surrey torch bearers in the order of their various stages:
|Runner and club||Section run|
|W. W. Humphreys (Oxted, Limpsfield and Tandridge S.C.)||County Boundary, Westerham to Junction of A25 and B2025, Limpsfield|
|A. D. Brown (ditto)||to Crowhurst crossroad, Oxted|
|J. W. R. Cowie (Surrey Beagles)||to Godstone Green|
|A. E. Young (Monotype A.C.)||to Nutfield Police Station|
|H. J. Bignall (Redhill and Reigate A.C.)||to Warwick Hotel, Redhill|
|F. C. Prevett (ditto)||to Priory Motors Ltd, Reigate|
|A. S. Pirie (South London Harriers)||to Buckland Post Office|
|H. A. Bishop (Belgrave Harriers)||to Betchworth Roadhouse|
|J. S. H. Williams (Dorking St Pauls A.C.)||to White Hart, Dorking|
|E. J. Henton (ditto)||to the Cricketers, Westcott|
|D. S. Vaughan (Herne Hill Harriers)||to Abinger-Effingham crossroads|
|C. S. D. Bailey (Surrey A.C.)||to Cottage Building Society offices, Gomshall|
|K. Roberts (Mitcham A.C.)||to Gravel pit, Guildford Hill|
|John Whaley (Epsom and Ewell Harriers)||to Horse and Groom, Merrow|
|Austin Playfoot (Godalming A.C.) (read Austin’s recollections of the run)||to Municipal Offices, Guildford|
|Frank Ede (Dennis A.C.)||to Emmanuel Church, Stoughton|
|V. P. Hancock (Ranelagh Harriers)||to Worpleden Post Office|
|E. C. Shepherd (Vickers-Armstrong A.C.)||to West Hill Golf Club House|
|P.C. K. W. Botting (Surrey Constabulary A.C.)||to Crossway Cottage, Bisley|
|R. J. Turner (Walton A.C.)||to crossroads, Gordon Boys’ School|
|T. Quirk (Weymanns A.C.)||to Weston House, Bagshot road|
|R. L. Wyatt (Old Woking A.C.)||to Bagshot Park Gates, Ascot road|