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Remembering ‘Ivor’ Broadis

The recent death of footballer Ivor Broadis made the news in a number of ways, although always associated with the north he was actually born on the 18th December 1922 in the Isle of Dogs.

When I was reading his obituaries, it became obvious he was a remarkable character who lived most of life in the North of England but never lost his Cockney accent. Although he was known as ‘Ivor’, his name was actually Ivan Arthur Broadis and he developed his considerable football skills at Glengall Road School in the Isle of Dogs and St. Paul’s Way School, Coopers Company School, in Bow. He began to play amateur football for Finchley in north London, Northfleet in Kent and then Finchley again before joining Spurs.

He became known as ‘Ivor’ after an administrative error while playing as an amateur for Tottenham Hotspur during the war, he also played for Millwall on an amateur basis.

After the family home was bombed out in the Blitz, Broadis joined the RAF as a navigator and did his training in America near to New York. He became a Flight Lieutenant and completed 500 flying hours on Lancasters and Wellingtons. After the war he was posted to Crosby-on-Eden, near Carlisle, where he met his future wife.

The local team, Carlisle United asked Broadis if wanted to manage the team although he was only 23 and that was how he became the youngest player-manager in Football League history. What he did not know at the time was the club was having financial difficulties, but Broadis came up with a novel solution.

In 1949, Broadis became the only manager in Football League history to sell himself, joining Sunderland for £18,000. This large amount of money at the time saved Carlisle and Broadis joined a club who were nicknamed the ‘Bank of England Club’ because of their high spending. Carlisle appointed another manager by the name of Bill Shankly who would later become a legend at Liverpool.

Sunderland nearly won the First Division championship in 1950, but the talents of Broadis were noticed by England when he was picked for the match against Austria in 1951. His international career would bring 14 caps and eight goals and he became famous as the first man to score twice in a World Cup game for England in the 1954 World Cup.

Broadis was sold to Manchester City for a fee of £25,000, then moved to the north east with a move to Newcastle. Towards the end of his playing career he returned to Carlisle as player-coach before finally finishing his playing days with Queen of the South in Scotland.

When he finally finished his football career, he began another one with a career in journalism, reporting for the Carlisle Evening News and Star and the Observer for over 40 years. Broadis had a flair for the written word and was very popular amongst ex footballers and journalists in his long career in journalism.

Just before his death in April, Broadis had the distinction at the age of 96 years of being England’s oldest living player.

The Isle of Dogs and Poplar have produced a number of footballers and sports people, however few have had a career as remarkable as Ivor Broadis.

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Race Day : The London Marathon 2018 on the Isle of Dogs – 22nd April 2018

The Isle of Dogs is thrust into the national and international spotlight once a year with the arrival of the London Marathon. In the week before the race, new boardings appear on the roadside and metal barriers arrive to be placed along the route. 

On the morning of the race, volunteers and charities take their spots along the route in eager anticipation of yet another carnival of running. People were enticed outside with the wonderful warm weather and began to take their positions along the route . The spectators on the west of the Island have the benefit of watching the runners going down Westferry Road and returning via Marsh Wall before the runners head into Canary Wharf.

The elite wheelchair races are the first to start and finish and they raced around the Island at great speed, in an exciting finish Britain’s David Weir won his eighth London Marathon in the men’s wheelchair race.

Australia’s Madison de Rozario won her first-ever London Marathon to take victory in the women’s wheelchair race.

Kenyan Vivian Cheruiyot won her first London Marathon with Kenya’s Brigid Kosgei second, Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele third and Great Britain’s Lily Partridge finished a creditable eighth place.

The men’s race was another win for Kenya with Eliud Kipchoge , Ethiopa’s Tola Shura Kitata was second and Britain’s Mo Farah finished third in a new British record.

After the elite races, the crowds on the Island get bigger with family and friends of the runners of the mass race taking their places along the route, other spectators come out in large numbers to offer support to the runners who face their own particular challenges, it is the mix of serious runners, celebrities, fancy dress runners and fun runners make the marathon the great success it is. Many of the runners run for their favourite charity and since 1981, competitors in the race have raised nearly 60 million pounds for various charities.

Eventually the large mass of runners dwindle down to smaller groups and spectators begin to drift away, the noise and excitement of the big day is replaced by quietness with the occasional lorry appearing on the course to take down various structures and the cleaning department picking up the tons of litter.

Congratulations to all those who took part and all the volunteers who make the London Marathon, the special event  it  is.

A Guide to the London Marathon 2018 on the Isle of Dogs

It is safe to say that although Canary Wharf is often in the news, the rest of the Isle of Dogs is seldom the focus of national and international interest. However this always changes on the day of the London Marathon when the normally quiet streets are filled by thousands of runners and thousands of spectators.

The race tends to attract the world’s greatest men and women marathon runners and this year is no exception.

Daniel Wanjiru will defend his London Marathon title against three of the greatest distance runners ever. Ethiopian track legend Kenenisa Bekele and Olympic gold medallist Eliud Kipchoge will both be on the start line alongside Britain’s multiple world and Olympic track champion Mo Farah. Other runners include Stanley Biwott, Abel Kirui, Bedan Karoki , Ghirmay Ghebreslassie and Britons  Tsegai Tewelde and Jonny Mellor.

The women’s elite race is just as competitive, Mary Keitany will attempt to smash Paula Radcliffe’s outright marathon world record, set 15 years ago but faces strong challenges from Tirunesh Dibaba, Gladys Cherono, Vivian Cheruiyot, Brigid Kosgei, Mare Dibaba and world champion, Rose Chelimo of Bahrain. Charlotte Purdue, Tracy Barlow and Lily Partridge will be the main British hopes.

However, for many people the race is a personal challenge and an opportunity to raise considerable amounts for their particular charities. The large number of fancy dress runners add to the carnival aspect of the race.

Due to the fact that many people may be unfamiliar with the Isle of Dogs I thought I would do a mini guide to the Isle of Dogs.

The race enters the Island at Mile 15 when it comes onto Westferry Road , this is a long road down the side of the west side of the Island. Lots of shops and a few pubs here and most of the spectators will be locals.

Just before Mile 16 you will pass the Docklands Sailing and Watersports Centre  which leads into the Millwall Docks and is often filled with small yachts overlooked by the old cranes standing next to the dock.

The sweep around the bottom of the Island takes you near Island Gardens which has wonderful views of Greenwich and the river. Here is also the entrance and exit of the Greenwich foot tunnel.

Going up the East Ferry Road to mile 17 you will see the greenery of Millwall Park on the right and the Mudchute DLR on the left.

Just past Mudchute DLR you will see the entrance to Mudchute Farm and Park , one of the  biggest inner city farms in Europe.

A little further on you have Asda on the right and Crossharbour DLR on the left, then the route takes you further up to Limeharbour adjacent to Millwall Dock  and then onto Marsh Wall.

A short run down along Marsh Wall to South Quay DLR, is followed by a run past the International Hotel and Novotel to mile 18, there is a quick switchback into the Canary Wharf estate for Mile 19.

Canary Wharf has become a popular watching base for many spectators due to its proximity to the transport system and over 200 shops, bars and restaurants.

The race then goes out to Poplar to begin the long stretch home.

Some of the benefits of watching the Marathon on the Isle of Dogs is that you can actually watch in comfort rather than being part of the massive crowds in Greenwich and Tower Bridge. You also have easy access to the transport system and access to many pubs, bars and restaurants. To make sure you do not miss any excitement, here is the time guide. 

 

Good luck to everyone taking part in the race and everyone who contributes to one of London’s greatest sporting events. 

 

The Big Half in Canary Wharf – 4th March 2018

 

Every year, thousands of marathon runners make their way around Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs in the London Marathon. The marathon is an event with global interest and the organisers of The Big Half  are hoping their brand new event will become as popular.

The route for The Big Half started by Tower Bridge by the Tower of London and went east to Canary Wharf before doubling back to cross Tower Bridge and follow the river to finish in Greenwich.

Remarkably after the considerable snow and bad weather, it was bright sunshine as the runners made their way around Canary Wharf. There was real doubts whether the event would go ahead after the terrible weather and the small crowds perhaps reflected some of the uncertainty.

Amongst the elite runners were multi gold medal winner, Sir Mo Farah, Callum Hawkins and Daniel Wanjiru from Kenya.

The elite women included Alyson Dixon , Sonia Samuels, Charlotte Purdue and Lily Partridge.

Unlike the London Marathon, the club and fun runners in the Big Half arrived in Canary Wharf quite early in the race and were in good spirits and full of energy.

The organisers behind the Big Half, hope the event will become a brand-new world-class mass participation event, featuring the half marathon (13.1 miles) and other events. They hope the event will show how sport and community can come together to improve health and wellbeing.

The Big Relay part of the event is exclusively open to community groups from the host boroughs of Southwark, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich  whose runners will run in teams of four, each person will run one leg of The Big Relay – over distances ranging from one mile to five miles.

The Little Half: a fun, family friendly mass participation event that was due to take place over a 2.4 mile course was unfortunately cancelled this year because of the weather.

However, The Big Festival in Greenwich with a huge range of food, music and entertainment is due to go ahead. 

Due the weather, the Big Half was quite low key but with normal weather conditions in the future, the event will hopefully go from strength to strength and showcase some of the delights of  Southwark, Lewisham, Tower Hamlets and Greenwich .

London Marathon Day on the Isle of Dogs

It was expected over 40,000 runners were to attempt the London Marathon and from early morning, thousands descended on the Isle of Dogs to get in place to support their runners in the field.

Marathon day is quite a surreal occasion with lots of people visiting the Island for the first time and generally getting lost in the often confusing layout. This is especially the case around Canary Wharf with the massive building works complicating the matters considerably.

The Marathon on the Isle of Dogs begins with the arrival of the Male wheelchair races, the closely packed field raced around the Island with Britain’s David Weir and reigning champion Marcel Hug in the leading pack. Weir managed to win the race beating Hug and Rafael Botello Jimenez in third.

Next was the Women wheelchair race with Swiss Manuela Schar eventually beating American’s Amanda McGrory and Susannah Scaroni .

One of the most remarkable races was the Elite women’s race with Kenya’s Mary Keitany having a long lead when she reached the Island and finishing with a World Record of 02:17:01, Tirunesh Dibaba and Aselefech Mergia of Ethiopia finished second and third.

There was a surprise in the men’s elite race with Kenyan Daniel Wanjiru beating track legend Kenenisa Bekele of Ethiopia with fellow Kenyan Bedan Karoki finishing his first marathon in third.

The elite races are just one part of the marathon day with  thousands of club athletes, fun runners, charity fundraisers, celebrities, politicians and fancy dress costume wearers pounding their way around the Island.

Coming between the 15 and 18 mile points, the Island is not a popular spot for many marathon runners who begin to struggle at these particular points. However because the crowds are not quite so big, this section is popular for families and friends to congregate to shout encouragement to their particular runners.

In 2016, the London Marathon raised £59.4 million for charity and many of the runners will have personal reasons for facing the gruelling distance. Local Islanders have supported the Marathon since its beginning and still turn out in numbers to cheer on the runners on their way.

Congratulations to all those involved in putting on and taking part in one of London’s premier events which is watched live by millions and has a massive global audience.

Reflections on the London Marathon 2016 by Dawn Wedajo

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I was delighted to receive a piece about the London Marathon by contributor, Dawn Wedajo which helps to explain why the event is so special. In many ways it brings people together to offer encouragement to the thousands who are running for a variety of reasons and causes. Runners enter the Island at around 15 miles and depart at around 19 miles, for many runners this can be a time of real struggle and they tend to need some encouragement. This post also gives me the opportunity to feature some of these runners who are an inspiration for the many thousands that watch the race each year.

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Sunday morning, the temperature was fairly cool although better than what had been forecast. I managed to bag myself a great vantage point along with many others on the East Ferry road. I could hear the rumble of trains in the background  even amongst the lively chatter in the crowd.

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 More and more people began to arrive and the atmosphere began to build. Families, couples and friends. Some of the younger children held plastic batons and as the athletes came into view the batons were used to make as much noise as possible to spur the runners on their way. Others  munched on burgers and ice cream as they watched even though it wasn’t a particularly warm day.

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I often feel humbled and inspired after watching the London Marathon 2016. It was fantastic to see so many individuals of all ages and abilities running, for me that’s the beauty of witnessing this incredible event up close and personal. Seeing amazing elite athletes as well as fun runners just makes this day a bit more special and memorable.

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Another important aspect of the event is that it brings out a sense of community. The crowds yell their support for athletes with enthusiasm, encouraging words, loud applause and rapturous cheers.

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From time to time the sun made brief appearances from behind thick grey clouds. Still, the runners kept coming, many tired, some slowed their pace considerably others were exhilarated but collectively all were focused on completing all twenty-six gruelling miles to reach the finish line.

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I’m not much of a runner myself but I was inspired never the less. Who knows next year It could be my turn.

Many thanks to Dawn for her contribution and congratulations to all who took part in the London Marathon.

Race Day : The London Marathon 2016 on the Isle of Dogs – 24th April 2016

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The Isle of Dogs is thrust into the national and international spotlight once a year with the arrival of the London Marathon. In the week before the race, new boardings appear on the roadside and metal barriers arrive to be placed along the route.

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On the morning of the race, volunteers and charities take their spots along the route in eager anticipation of yet another carnival of running. People were not deterred by the icy cold blasts and the threat of snow and began to take their positions along the route . The spectators on the west of the Island have the benefit of watching the runners going down Westferry Road and returning via Marsh Wall before the runners head into Canary Wharf.

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A Choir on Marsh Wall

The elite wheelchair races are the first to start and finish and when they raced around the  Island,  the eventual winner Marcel Hug from Switzerland, Australian Kurt Fearnley who was second and six-time London winner and local favourite David Weir who finished third were all in close contention.

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America’s Tatyana McFadden continued her domination in the women’s elite wheelchair race winning the race for a fourth consecutive year. McFadden beat Manuela Schar of Switzerland with Wakako Tsuchida of Japan third.

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The drama continued with Kenyan Jemima Sumgong winning the race after earlier suffering a fall at a drink station. Sumgong pulled clear of last years winner Ethiopia’s Tigist Tufa of Ethiopia with Florence Kiplagat of Kenya third.

The men’s race was another win for Kenya with Eliud Kipchoge racing to a new course record of two hours, three minutes and four seconds which was only about seven seconds outside the world record. Stanley Biwott of Kenya was second and Kenenisa Bekele third in one of the quickest London Marathons ever.

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After the elite races, the crowds on the Island get bigger with family and friends of the runners of the mass race taking their places along the route, other spectators come out in large numbers to offer support to the runners who face their own particular challenges, it is the mix of serious runners, celebrities, fancy dress runners and fun runners make the marathon the great success it is. Many of the runners run for their favourite charity and since 1981, competitors in the race have raised nearly 58 million pounds for various charities.

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Eventually the large mass of runners dwindle down to smaller groups and spectators begin to drift away, the noise and excitement of the big day is replaced by quietness with the occasional lorry appearing on the course to take down various structures and the cleaning department picking up the tons of litter.

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Congratulations to all those who took part and all the volunteers who make  the London Marathon, the special event  it  is.