PLUMSTEAD RUNNERS was formed in early 1987 at a meeting in the Woodman P.H. Plumstead involving 10 local runners who met up to travel to races or met up at race venues. Most of us had already been meeting on Winn's Common, Plumstead on Tuesdays and sometimes other days for training runs . Regular monthly meetings were held at Gallions Mount School. It was agreed that we would need a committe but that all members would share responsibilites and chores to maintain a balance among the membership that hopefully still exists today.
Meetings continued on the common sometimes in very bleak weather. Membership remained steady for a couple of years when it was proposed that we move to a sports club for training, meetings etc. Bexleyheath Sports club won. The area around Plumstead was considered but there was nowhere suitable unfortunately. Once into the new "Club" membership grew steadily and stays at around the 50-member mark.
During the early years many of the members running times were close which made training and races very competitive at times and we had moderate successes at races , Chatham 1/2 '88, Chelmsford 1/2 '88, St. Chad's 1/2 '86, '87, '88 ,and '89. The emphasis was on enjoying events and still is. We organise events but not all concerned with running , at various times on an informal basis we have done, white water rafting, dragon boat racing, canoe racing/sinking, go-karting, tennis, annual triathlons and other team events, in fact just about anything that comes along!
An annual disco, often fancy dress, is very well attended. We organise our own 10 mile and 10k Handicap races starting and finishing at the club and we take part in the Kent Fitness Cross Country League over 6-7 races through the winter months. We have had and continue to have members whose running successes have been outstanding and for many reasons.
It is hoped that members who have ideas for events, runs etc. will organise them and let the rest of the Club know it's not difficult. So please continue to turn up, organise, take part and an enjoyable past becomes an enjoyable future...
©Plumstead Runners 2000 (RM)
We're now into our 25th year of wearing trainers out (the soles!). Three things have remained constant in us in that time, Jack Burgoyne (former treasurer), Ray (still secretary) and the colour and design of our vests. It’s a long time since that first get together in The Woodman P.H on Plumstead Common Road, with a meeting place at Gallions Mount School in Purret Road. Vic Edwards was another founder and caretaker of the school which was very helpful. After a couple of years drifting along, we moved to Bexleyheath Sports Club, where we are still. It has always been a relaxed environment and I hope the Plums have many more happy times there. When we moved there, the changing rooms and showers were a weekly comedy, better than anything on the telly, and today not much has changed (you’d get bored with perfection).
The biggest change is the membership numbers, I never really saw the group getting any more than 20. It swelled ? to about 45ish, then after a couple more years got up to 60ish and has stayed around that number for 12 or more years now. We’ve had some characters come and go, but most stayed.
Some very funny outings to races or just away for the weekend were organised by various members for the benefit of all. Dragon Boat racing in the docks, white water rafting in Nottingham, Go Karting in the tracks of Lewis Hamilton, the Grizzly and Beast runs and of course the Berlin Marathon and the Walking Plums doing the Capital Ring stage by stage along with walks mostly in Kent. The same relaxed, humorous atmosphere prevails with them as with us quickies.
When we started there were no Twitter, Facebook, net, webs or mobiles to end the drinking sessions or after the Wednesday evening runs.
With a 25 year spread of time, quite a few of our members have left to join a better club and of course many new faces have come along to join us. In more recent times, The Beer Run has added to our adventures, which has bought much merriment whether you imbibe or not (we don’t judge). Cross country running leagues have always played a part in our calendar, first the Kent League, then Kent Fitness League came along about ‘96 (for us) and from ’97, we’ve organised a popular fixture at Shooters Hill each season, with support on the day of many of our happy band.
Membership will continue to fluctuate from time to time and new events, outings and socials will happen. Sport is made up of many facets, pain, hard-work (at times), competition, happiness, disappointments, amusement, and most importantly, fun! The latter sometimes not happening until a while after the event, when we get the humour.
Happy 25th and Onwards