Origins of the club

Like many young clubs M.A.C. partly owes its existence to the jogging boom at the end of the 1970s, but its origins are also inseparable from the peak years of the now defunct Matlock College of Higher Education.

When I came to lecture at the College in 1967 it was an establishment of some 800 students with good sports facilities and a department which trained P.E. teachers. Amongst the various sports in which its teams competed was the occasional cross country race. The members of the cross country team were primarily rugby and soccer players, and guest runners from the staff, like myself were always welcomed on to the team.

A number of Derwent Valley Orienteers were also working at the adjacent County Offices at the time and they too often guested for the College. They were also welcome to use the Gymnasium on the Chatsworth Hall campus as a base for their lunchtime training runs.

Gradually a small but keen group of the above runners came to meet for training from the Gym on Thursday nights under the unofficial joking title of “Chatsworth Harriers”. For a number of years this augmented College team continued to run in inter-college matches and other events such as the Escafeld League, but with individuals still turning out as first claim runners for their own clubs such as D.V.0. or Derby and County A.C.