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Discrete CollectionsThe Women's Library
TitleRuth Christmas Archive
Ref NoSC/36
LevelFile
Date1929-1934
Extent1 box
Custodial HistoryThe papers were donated to The Women's Library (August 2023) by Diana Smith, who notes: "Ruth Christmas-Paysant (as I knew her) was the wife of my late husband's paternal uncle (Charles Paysant). Her sister, Esther Christmas was also a runner. When I knew her, Ruth was a widow but close to Esther's son, Simon Raven, a highly successful author (Alms to Oblivion, Love in a Cold Climate, etc.). They died within a few weeks of each other in 2001."
DescriptionPapers of Ruth Lillian Christmas (1904-2001), a successful middle-distance runner during the 1930s.


The material is mainly pasted into a scrapbook, but there are loose items too. Includes:


* handwritten record of races run with times, 1929-33


* photographs of Ruth Christmas and other women athletes, most with captions (some of the photographs are pasted into the scrapbook, plus there are 28 loose photographs)


* press cuttings, including on (for example):
- Ruth's father Fred (also an athlete, who was injured in the Boer War), a few press cuttings only
- London Olympiades events, including various athletics meetings and cross country races
- London to Exeter motor trial, organised by the Women's Automobile and Sports Association, [October 1929]
- Women's Amateur Athletic Association Championships, Stamford Bridge, 16 August 1930
- Third Women's World Games, Prague, September 1930
- Various cross country events, such as the International Cross Country Championship (France, Belgium, England), Douai, 22 March 1931
- International Match, Germany v England, Hanover, 23 August 1931
- Ruth's sister, Esther Raven
- Rival athletes, including Gladys Lunn and Lillian Styles
- International Cross Country Race, France v England, Selsdon, 19 March 1932


* programmes for events, including:
- Frauenländerkampf England - Deutschland [Women's international match between England and Germany], Dusseldorf, 18 August 1929 (also includes other items from this event, including: 2 presentation ribbons; 2 small photographs of Marie Dollinger; menu for meal; press cuttings)
- Women's Amateur Athletic Association programmes for the 4th (1930), 6th (1932) and 7th (1933) Annual National Cross Country Championship (also includes press cuttings on these events)
- Women's Inter-City Contest, London v Berlin v Tokyo, 13 September 1930
- London Olympiades Club Meeting, 20 September 1930
- International Féminin d'Athlétisme [Women's International Athletics], 12th meeting, held in Schaerbeek, Belgium, August 1933


* a few telegrams offering congratulations/good wishes


* letter of congratulation [16 July 1933] from A Hiscock (Honorary Secretary, London Olympiades Athletic Club) on Ruth winning the 800m at the British Championships, White City, 15 July 1933


* Ruth Christmas' obituary in The Guardian, 16 May 2001.
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