However, in those days, membership of such clubs was known to be confined exclusively to ' Gentlemen Amateurs', although it seems that some members didn't always behave like gentlemen.It so happened that at a banquet in "The King's Head", Roehampton, following a prestigious cross country challenge match between Thames Hare & Hounds and "All Comers" at Roehampton on October 28th 1871, Ernest Smith approached the 25 year-old Uppingham School alumnus, Charles Henry Larrette (b. 9/5/1913), who had run well in the race for the "All-Comers" that afternoon. There was a similar Club close by in Peckham Rye, which was founded at "The King's Arms", as Peckham Hare & Hounds in October 1869, before soon changing its name to Peckham Amateur Athletic Club (PAAC). was formed on 27th December, 1871 at a meeting in the Vivian Hotel, at 34 Philip Road (now known as Philip Walk), Peckham Rye, SE15.However, it is almost certain that before around 1850, the sport of athletics was not practised as a recognised system, nor was there any authentic record of performances.Before that time, it is very doubtful whether times, distances and heights were taken and measured with sufficient accuracy to make reliable records.
It later moved to "The Rye House", and in July 1878 moved from the Peckham Rye area to become the Blackheath Harriers based at a former important staging post on the Dover Road, "The Green Man", 1 Dartmouth Row, Blackheath, SE10, which had been founded before 1629.However, the PAAC Committee felt that this was too egotistical and flamboyant for their fledgling club, and rejected his demands.Inevitably, Ernest Smith's temperament and his outlook on athletics would always lead to friction with associates and his endeavours usually ended in tears.To use this website, cookies must be enabled in your browser.To enable cookies, follow the instructions for your browser below.The mansion and the grounds (from 1965 called ' Belair' Park) were sited on the corner of Gallery Road, Dulwich, and Thurlow Park Road that forms part of what is now the A205 South Circular Road.