PART 5 – ACTS OF GENEROSITY AND COMMUNITY SPIRIT
A miner’s son, from the Ladybrook Estate in Mansfield, and an Olympic finalist who trained at Berry Hill Park; the Miners’ Park, which was purchased by and maintained by the financial contributions of Nottinghamshire’s miners.
John Whetton began running at school and at Manchester University, competing in the mile and 1500m races. He took part in the 1964 Tokyo Olympics and was a three-times gold medal winner of the 1500m at the European Indoor Games between 1966 and 1968. He made it to the final at the Mexico Olympics where he finished fifth.
It was the financial contributions of Nottinghamshire’s miners that made the Berry Hill sporting facilities possible, and it was their community spirit and vision that opened up those facilities to the wider Nottinghamshire community.
This 1954 ‘Coal News’ announces the first of five annual donations of £5,000 from the miners union, for the facilities at Berry Hill Park. This was to create an Eisteddfod and a –
“Miners Social Centre to be the best in Britain”
This Coal News article from July 1957 describes the outcome of further investment as creating a sports stadium which would be –
“the most ambitious in the country”
John can be seen training at Berry Hill Park for the 1968 Mexico Olympics in this YouTube /BFI video.