Well done to a community champ
Many years ago, the Sports and Leisure Activities Council was set up to provide financial assistance to lower level sports clubs.
One of the founder members was George Cubitt, who was secretary of the Camping Club of Great Britain (later to become the Camping and Caravanning Club). The Sports Council was spread across the country, and sub-divided into sports advisory councils.
At the time, I was public relations officer for the central counties region of the Camping Club, and because of George Cubitt’s involvement at the top, people such as me were asked to become involved at a local level.
Therefore, I was asked to become affiliated to the West Midlands, Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, West Bromwich and Dudley sports advisory councils. Walsall and West Bromwich declined my interest, but for many years, I had good relationships with the others.
As far as Birmingham and the West Midlands were concerned, I can remember such items being discussed as the building of the Indoor Arena and, to a certain extent, the NEC.
To a non-trained person, it was very difficult to envisage the track, and what it became, the NIA. How could they get a track to elevate at the bends?
Many years were spent attending the meetings at Dudley and Wolverhampton, and I remember some of the characters very well.
Ted Page and Reg Cooke used to be brilliant at debating subjects, and sometimes I used to fear that they would come to blows. But this never happened and their battles were sorted out with words.
Following them was the man who has been the mainstay of Wolverhampton Sports Advisory Council for many years – Peter Holmes. His sport was swimming and I recall the battles that he fought for the pools in the Wolverhampton area. He must have been very frustrated during the ‘Year of the disabled’, when his efforts to get aids such as steps and lifting aids for Heath Town Baths were frustrated by the disabled ‘because we do not need them’.
During my time with the WSAC I was instrumental in getting Wolverhampton Wheelers Cycling Club (aided by the late Alan Power) added to the list of Centenary Clubs in Wolverhampton and getting several club members’ presentation of the ‘Awards of Merit’.
Peter is getting older but may he go on for a long while yet. Thank you for all that you have done.
Peter Cole, Kingswinford