Alder, Jim (Part 1 of 3). An Oral History of British Athletics
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Athletics: Road events
Interviewee's home, Morpeth
Alder, James, 1940- (speaker, male)
Cutler, Rachel (speaker, female)
Part 1: Childhood. Born - Glasgow. Left Scotland aged seven. Description - life as orphan. Fostered with younger sister Pat and younger brother Terry- Inverness then Edinburgh then Morpeth. Describes getting rid of Scottish accent. Memories of Mother and Scotland - home - football pitch near home (Partick Thistle) - trams. Breaking arm under five. Story- Mother reads telegram of father's death in war 1945. 1947 - Mother died of TB. Real name Dene - Irish and Scottish heritage. Two other children - one stillborn, one died after few months. Describes Mother and Father - stories of Father - Spanish Civil War, Africa, Rodeo. Further detail - fostering in Morpeth. Story - adoption, no birth certificate missing. Describes Mother's life after father's death. Mother's illness. Story - TB clinic for children. Story - as orphan, discrimination, being different. Scottish orphanage cold winter of 1947. Discussion - affect of childhood on character. [00:10:48] Describes - character, impetuous, gambler, determined, not wanting to be different. "Running was the making of me" - became patient, less reckless. Story - brother Terry's character. [00:14:34] Discussion - temperament for long distance training and running. [00:16:45] Description - foster homes in detail, first home - farm, Doctor Barnados, stigma of homes. Comments -fitting in, changing accent, getting into football to fit in, in England. [00:19:00]Story - bankruptcy, major effect on life. [00:20:31] Description - the Alder family, Mother disciplinarian. Story - made to eat tripe, lot of criticism no praise, no love. [00:23:00] Description - 16yrs - success in middle distance at school, compares youngster trains today. Story-inspired by Morpeth to Newcastle race. Mentions - Jim Peters, Jack Holgan. [00:29:35] Description - attitude to training and racing. Story - winning races, but not best runner. [00:33:00] Story - injury just before Tokyo Olympic Games. Comments - Japanese silver medallist committed suicide. [00:34:00] Description - how to be the best marathon runner. Story - becoming world number one, only eight/nine good marathons in you, racing on the day. [00:35:30] Discussion - why choose Marathon, further detail-changes in body during race, marathon dangerous and bad for body. Compares - marathon with other athletic events. Comments - athletics as a character-building activity, training programmes. Story-not one of fellow athletes had a coach. [00:39:40] Description - being a successful coach today, training diaries, support for young athletes, honesty between coach and athletes. Story - Ron Hill's scientific approach to running, graphs etc., different approach. [00:42:11] Description - Jamaica Commonwealth Games, (looking at scrap book) letter from Queen, pictures of Morpeth race New Years Day, Edinburgh Games Description - marathon in Jamaica. Comment - choosing to run for Scotland over England.
Interview with distance runner Jim Alder MBE