10.30 a.m..on Tuesday, 29th January at Hull Chantlands Crematorium, Chantlands Avenue,
Hull. HU5 4EF
Grahame Brummitt, a Life Vice President of Humberside AA, joined East Hull Harriers in October 1954 initially as a cross country runner. One of his early races as an 18 year old was the East Hull 20 held on a very hot day. He succumbed to the heat a couple of miles from the finish and was taken to hospital. Next day he discharged himself, went to the point he had dropped out and proceeded to finish the race. This was typical of Grahame – once something was started he would see it through to the end.
He later changed to the track and competed, mainly at 440 and 880 yards. A serious Achilles tendon injury in the early 1960’s halted Grahame’s running career so he turned to coaching such athletes as Peter Moon, Les Wiles and Dennis Leveson. He then turned to administration becoming his club’s secretary and later, on two occasions its President. He was instrumental in raising funds for, and bringing to fruition, in 1976 the building of a new Clubhouse.
Grahame was the instigator of the Humberside Track & Field League and seeing the need for officials launched himself into track judging, field judging, timekeeping and starting. In the 60’s sport on Sunday’s was frowned upon so Grahame wrote to the House of Lords for permission for a meeting to be held on a Sunday; his request was redirected to the Lords Day Preservation Society who later approved the request.
Grahame’s administrative ability was soon recognised and he became secretary of the Northern Counties AA Number 10 District. This brought him on to various Northern committees. He then organised the 1980 Northern Cross Country championships held on Beverley Westwood. Recognising that there was a need for Road Race Course measurers he decided that he could be of assistance. He cycled everywhere and, needing only two or three hours sleep a night, did much of his course measuring during the early hours of the night when there was next to no traffic about and this over a radius of 50 miles or more.
Turning again to the track Grahame took to seeding. On one weekend the weather was so good at the Humberside Championships that the seeders decided to set up stall at a table on the home straight. Both seeders took off their blazers, putting them on the backs of their chairs and, in a lull, walked away from the table. The other seeder sat down on his return and put his hand into his blazer pocket only to find Grahame’s false teeth, having sat on the wrong chair.
The highlight of Grahame’s voluntary athletic career came when he was invited to represent athletics and meet the Queen at the Guildhall, Kingston upon Hull in 1999. Her Royal Highness asked how long he had been involved in the sport to which he answered, “I have been a member of East Hull Harriers since 1954, maam”; there was a pause to which Grahame could not resist adding “I thought that you were going to say that I looked too young, maam”. The Queen laughed much to the dismay of the Lord Mayor.
Some years ago Grahame went on a mystery tour, one weekend, which took him to the Lincolnshire coast. Whilst walking on the pavement another coach passed too close and its mirror struck him on the back of the head. Although he had continued working beyond retirement age, I think this injury later brought on a series of minor strokes. He knew something was wrong one Saturday morning, so caught the bus to the hospital to admit himself – he was always independent but this was the beginning of the end for Grahame. He was later badly scalded whilst having a bath and was only saved when his carer found him.
Life was not the same for Grahame – he no longer wished to mix and stayed at home. Throughout his life Grahame had had a phenomenal memory particularly about anything to do with sport – all sport not just athletics. He had a wicked sense of humour and enjoyed winding people up, however he was kind hearted, generous and would be the first to visit if you were in hospital. His presence will be sorely missed.
Ron Kemp & Edwin Bellamy
Photos Dave Gowans.