World CC Championships 1978


The World Cross-Country Championships in 1978 were held in Scotland – they were held in Glasgow’s Bellahouston Park but only after several stormy extraordinary general meetings and with what many regard as serious consequences for the sport in Scotland.   There had been an original bid to host them in Coatbridge which had successfully held National, District and County championships for a number of years.   The bid was apparently accepted in writing and Coatbridge prepared to hold the event but then for reasons unclear the SCCU decided to go for Glasgow.   The story is covered in Colin Shields’s centenary history of the Union, “Whatever the Weather” on pages 157  and 160-61.

We now have the story from the Coatbridge point of view, written by Monklands’ Tommy Callaghan who was at the heart of the action at this time.   There is some information that maybe should be made available to those who were not there at that time, or even just to refresh memories.   First of all, the principal SCCU officials for the four years were

1972-3:   Honorary President:   ES Murray.      Honorary Secretary:   RM Dalgleish.     Honorary Treasurer:   RL McSwein

1973-4:   Honorary President:   CM Meldrum.  Honorary Secretary:   RM Dalgleish.     Honorary Treasurer:   RL McSwein

1974-5:   Honorary President:   JR Scott.            Honorary Secretary:   RM Dalgleish.     Honorary Treasurer:   RL McSwein

1975-6:   Honorary President:   DM Duncan.      Honorary Secretary:   RM Dalgleish.     Honorary Treasurer:   RL McSwein

The other bit of information that might be useful is Monkland Harriers was one of the four or five clubs that joined together to form Clyde Valley AAC and this happened in 1974.

Monkland Harriers had been a long established club with a great history and one which produced many of Scotland’s best athletes with cross-country and track internationalists all gracing the club’s colours.   After several years which produced little success, they were in the late 1960’s and into the 70’s firing on all cylinders with teams winning championships again and some very good runners indeed.   They were also promoting top class races and there is information about some of these elsewhere on this website.   One of the key figures in this renaissance of the club was Tommy Callaghan.

Tommy,  a long-standing member of Monkland Harriers, was one of the key figures in the negotiations and all that ensued and he has written his own account of what took place over that period.

The tale can be read via this link.