The Fern Hoppers - A Brief History
Many thanks to Ray Obas and Mike Chambers for providing the following brief history.
If you would like to add to, or correct any of the following, please contact Ian, any contributions gratefully accepted.
In 1989 the committee of the Brandon Community Association decided to organise a 10k run, as funds were required for a new day care centre in Brandon.
The first race took place on Bank Holiday Monday, May 29th 1989. The original race committee consisted of, Alan Norton, Eileen Jacobs, Mr Simon, (from the old Esso petrol station), Adrian, (from the hostel), & Ray Obas.
The course went from the Bowls Club by the Brandon Leisure Centre, towards Crown Street, and then uphill along an unsurfaced road towards Lakenheath Station, turning left around a field and returning behind Town Street.
After the race, Ray was invited to join a running club from Isleham. Running in this first race were two Americans, Martha Stanton, and John Sholine. When Ray mentioned about joining the club at Isleham, John and Martha suggested starting a club of their own.
A meeting was set up for the following Friday, 2nd June, with a room set aside at the hostel run by Adrian. Also at that first meeting was a lady named Celia Holmes and another American GI named Frank, both invited by Ray. John and Martha brought Mike Chambers with them, who was very instrumental in helping Ray setting up this new running group.
From that first meeting, running days of Thursdays and Sundays were agreed. On the second Sunday the group was joined Mary Johnson from Weeting, with Derek Haden joined on the third Sunday.
Mike was unable to join the newly formed group due to his connections with Bury Pacers, but did introduce Ray to someone from the Pacers, who advised on the affiliation procedures.