Lorna Lee-Price, 81
'1948 was the first year that the women's long jump competition took place. Back then, running wasn't seen as feminine — women weren't even allowed to run in the 400 metres. I'd never even done a long jump until I was 16. The gym mistress at Wycombe High School asked me to have a go so I ran up, took a jump and cleared the pit completely. The next year I was chosen
to compete at the Olympic Games. When I opened the letter telling me, I froze. I couldn't believe it, it was such a great honour. I was the baby of the athletics team: it was just a fortnight after my 17th birthday when the Olympic
Games took place.
'My father spent £10, which was a lot of money in those days, on a pair of customised long-jump spikes. They were beautiful black leather and made to measure. The fit was so good I couldn't feel that I was wearing them.
'Our uniform was a pair of plain satin shorts and a running vest, but we had to sew on red white and blue ribbons and a Union Jack ourselves. There were a lot of rules and regulations about the uniform: the shorts had
to be 4in off the ground when kneeling, meaning there wasn't much room for movement when jumping. I sneakily popped an inch and
a half slit between the white and red ribbons
on the shorts, and the team manager declared
me a "brazen hussy". I wonder what she would think if she were alive to see the outfits that the women run in now!'
THE PRESS OFFICER
Ralph Miller, 82
'The Wembley press department was based in the Empire Pool, now known as Wembley Arena, where the diving, swimming, water polo and boxing events took place. We were four press officers, two typists and an advertising manager. Hours were long: from 8am till about 11pm.
'The swimming pool had been damaged in the war. Although it was repaired, it still leaked a little so there was about 4in of water in the basement and pumps had to be installed to keep the electrical cabling dry.
'My job was to get the official results from the officers then reproduce them on a Roneo machine before distributing copies to the press. You typed the results onto a Roneo skin on a normal typewriter and the letters cut through. Then you put the skin onto an ink roller and transferred the details onto paper — you could then keep rolling off copies. Normally we did about 20-30 skins a week, but we did well into the hundreds over the two and a half weeks of the Olympic Games.
'After the copies were made we were supposed to teleprint the results to the main press office in the Civic Hall, a building between the stadium and the Empire Pool. As there were only a dozen teleprinters available and you had to queue, it was easier to make enough copies for the Press Centre and run the 200 yards to the Civic Hall to save time.
'At the 1936 Olympic Games in Berlin, the Germans said they had a huge amount of runners, but no teleprinters. They managed to get the results out on the day every day, so we had to do the same — if the Germans could do it, we could do it too.'