White City (Hull) RRC was first formed in the summer of 1985. The club was originally started by a group of about 20 people with an interest in road running who began meeting at a shop called the City Runner which was on Anlaby Road near to Calvert Lane, Hull. The shop was owned by local athletics coach George Boughen and sold various running clothing and running shoes.
The original members were customers at the shop who sought advice from George about running and as a result of the interest shown he began opening his shop on Monday evenings so that they could meet each other and train together.
This became a regular place for the runners and it was decided that instead of just training from the shop they should form a proper running club.
A meeting was held and a committee was formed, the committee decided that the name of the running club should be 'The City Runner'. The new club applied to the Amateur Athletic Association for membership however they rejected the name. They stated that an amateur running club could not be named after a business as the name on the running vest could be classed as advertising for the shop.
Another meeting was held by the committee to discuss the naming of the newly formed club and the chairman at the time, John Farrer proposed that the club should be named White City, which was the name of the stadium which once stood on the site occupied across from the City Runners shop. This was unanimously agreed by the committee who also decided the word 'Hull' should be added to the clubs name to prevent any confusion with White City in London. The new application was sent to the AAA who accepted the new name and as a result 'White City (Hull) Road Running Club' was born.
In 1986 George Boughen decided to retire and as a result he sold the shop, for a while the club was homeless so the members used to meet at the Costello car park in Pickering Road. This was fine until the nights began to draw in and it got colder, the members were fortunate to be able to use a small wooden clubhouse used by the Tennis Club in the middle of Anlaby Park to change in However this was never going to be an ideal place for the club to run from. After a few weeks of meetings at the clubhouse it was decided that another venue should be found.
John Farrer, the club chairman, mentioned the plight of the club to his son in law who was a rugby league referee who, with other referees met at the Ideal Standard Sports and Social Club in County Road North. He was asked to speak to officials at the social club to see if they would allow the running club to be based there. The officials agreed and the club moved there in the winter of 1986.
In October 2005, having just celebrated its 20th Anniversary, the club was made aware that Ideal Sports and Social Club had been sold to Hull City Football Club and would become an academy for potential new professional footballers. Due to this the running club committee decided that it would have to consider looking for a new venue to run from. Before the committee was able to begin this search, however, the club received a kind invitation from the secretary of the Hull and East Riding Sports Club in Chanterlands Avenue, who had heard of the sale of Ideal Standard, to join their club and run from there. White City members were invited to go down to the club to see the facilities for themselves and, having done so, decided unanimously that the club should move to the new venue.
On Monday 14th November 2005, after almost 19 years at Ideal Standard Sports and Social Club, White City (Hull) R.R.C. commenced running from the Hull and East Riding Sports Club.
A pre-war City of Leisure - just over the border!
If you are interested in reading more about the White City Pleasure Grounds then click here to visit the Anlaby Road History website.
Hull can boast a wide range of recreational facilities- but the city also played host to one of the finest leisure complexes in the country over 80 years ago.
Or, rather, it didn't... because the impressive White City & Pleasure Grounds, which offered everything from circus acts to skating sessions, were created from parklands literally just over the West "border." White City may not have been part of Hull when it opened in spectacular fashion during Whitsuntide weekend in 1920 -but the grounds, bounded by Anlaby Road, Calvert Lane and East Ella Drive have now been within the city's boundaries for over 40 years. The complex had stately origins, for it was developed on the 17 - acre estate of the former East Ella House-an imposing building which boasted 15 bedrooms, three W.Cs and even three wine cellars. The entire estate was sold by auction in 1909, when the sales agents had no doubts, according to their promotional leaflets, about its potential.
"Its advantages are unrivalled.. it is in a most healthy district, with 400 yard frontage along Hull's most popular main road." Anlaby Road's popularity must have risen even further in 1920, the new owner Mr.Newbound, unveiled his "pleasure park" to the world. The opening weekend's programme alone offered delights like hot air ballooning and American jazz bands - as well as Dutchman Jaap Van Laren, billed as "the world's most amazing slack write artist." Hundreds attended the first evening dance in the new wooden pavilion - at the heart a pack which according to newspaper reports, was "stunningly illuminated" that night - whilst hundreds more forked out 25 shillings each to get a White City season ticket.
The White City's skating rink facility came complete with grandiose titles- advertisements in the thirties referring to the "Canadian Speed Roller & Ice Tracks" as well "The White City Skating Rink and Stadium."
The ravages of the Second World War, however meant there was a different priority - housing - for the White City grounds by 1946. Ninety-three prefabs were created that year, in a matter of months as Arcon Drive was born, with high-rise developments of 112 flats in neighbouring Lindsey Place completed in 1964.
It was farewell to the White City prefabs in 1977, with subsequent City Council developing 147 homes on the former "Pleasure Park".
Civic News October 1988