Historical Chronicle of Health and Strength Magazine

Malcom Whyatt and his lovely wife, Wendy
The following Historical Chronicle of Health and Strength Magazine is presented courtesy of Malcolm Whyatt, D.Phy. M.A.I.C. 

Mr. Whyatt is an Oscar Heidenstam's Biographer and the Founder of the Oscar Heidenstam Foundation.  He is also a NABBA Official Historian.

Seen left -Malcolm Whyatt and his Lovely Wife, Wendy - 2013



Health & Strength Proprietors/Publishers

1898 - 19..? Hopton Hadley Health & Strength Company 73 Farringdon St, Ludgate Circus London, EC
1901 Oct Hopton Hadley Health & Strength Company  29 Stone Cutter St, Ludgate Circus London, EC
1905 Hopton Hadley Health & Strength Company 27-28 Fetter Lane London, WC
1908 Health & Strength Co. Ltd. 12 Burleigh St. Strand London
1909 - 1920? Proprietors: Ewart, Seymour & Company (at times a Ltd Company)   London
1921 - 1924 Proprietors: Athletic Publications Ltd   London
1928 - 1941 Link House Publications 4-8 Grenville Street London EC1
1939 - 1941 Link House Publications 300-304 Grays Inn Road London WCl
1941 - 1942 Link House Publications  324 Grays Inn Road London WCl
1943 The Athletic Publications Ltd. (during the WWll blitz) H&S was printed in Hereford
1943 Feb -1955 Link House Publications Gregory Burt & F.H. Isaac 24 Store St. London WCl
1956 Oct -
May 1967
Link House Publications (Publisher of 16 other titles)
Proprietor Bill 'Dad' Pullham (Bill died 29/8/1960 aged 7O yrs.) MD
Mrs. Alice Pullham 
5 Church St. Camberwell London SE 5
1967 May H&S SOLD to Gordon Gross of Gordon Gross Ltd.  Halton House 20-23 Holbom London ECI
1969 July LIQUIDATION of Gordon Gross Ltd    
1969 Dec 15  H&S SOLD to Oscar Heidenstam & George Greenwood Halton House 20-23 Holbom London ECI
1974 Aug 23 Oscar Heidenstam sole proprietor George Greenwood resigned to publish 'Mans World' mag  
1977 July Oscar Heidenstam sole proprietor 30 Craven Street, Strand London WC2
1982 Aug 24 H&S SOLD by Oscar to Steven White of Planographics Ross On Wye Herefordshire  

He had conned Oscar by offering him a pension and that he owned several businesses and an aircraft and yacht in America.
I had warned Oscar not to sell to Steven White because I had asked our Hereford Printer Company of NABBA material, about Mr. White.  They said he was a crook!  Mr. White lived only 14 miles from my home and had promised Oscar to print the 1982 Universe programme on time and send them by courier.  However, I had to collect the programmes on the morning of the Universe Judging! and drive the 145 miles to London.  Fortunately we sold about 60%.  Steven White had actually printed H & S at 'Streets Printers' 1 Carden St. in Worcester.  This Company had ceased business.

1982 Oct 21 H & S and Steven White went into receivership this was undertaken by Touch Roche & Co. Birmingham.
I attended as Oscar's representative.
H & S was SOLD to Edward Hankey of Sunbury On Thames & Terry Phillips of Liverpool who resigned shortly afterwards.
1984 Jan to Sept Health & Strength Ltd individual monthly magazines by Edward Hankey
1984  Aug 31 Sport & Fitness (incorporating H &S ) by Edward Hankey & Geoff Williams Sunbury & Shepperton Middlesex
1989 Aug 30 LIQUIDATION of H & S and Sport & Fitness (Incorporating H & S) - Sport & Fitness then ceased to exist in UK
1990 June H&S SOLD to Alex McKenna of Millivers Ltd. then by a new company BCM Camera London WC1N 3XX
H&S re-launched as individual magazine by Alex McKenna (5 issues printed)  
1991 March Pumping Press (Incorporating H&S) by Alex McKenna (9 issues printed)
Published by Ann Byron, Firm Enterprises 1-2 Floors, 49 Mansfield Rd. Nottinghamshire NG5 6BB
1992 July Muscle News (Incorporating H&S) 1 issue by Health Watch Publishing, Suite 10, 29 Harper SI. London SE1 6AW then ceased.
1992 Oct H&S SOLD to Malcolm Whyatt, D.Phy. M.A.I.C 12 Nimrod Drive, Hereford, Herefordshire HR1 1UG
1998 Aug H&S SOLD to Roy Edwards FRSA., MCSD.,A TD.,NDD Austwick N. Yorkshire via Lancaster LA2 8BH
and who continues publishing as of 2014.

Timeline of Historical Events

1910 Tuesday 25th October

The Health & Strength magazine facilitated the inauguration meeting of the Amateur Weight Lifting Association i.e., A.W.L.A in the Venetian Hall, Holbourn Restaurant, London. The editor of H&S was voted Chairman of the A.W.L.A


The British Weight Lifting Association (B.W.L.A.) was formed by Ernest Gruhn, Walter House, Tom Pevier, H.C.Trump and four professional weightlifters, Edward Aston, Albert Attila, Thomas Inch and Monte Saldo. In its first year, the Association was referred to as (B.W.L.A) because at that time it included professional members.   B.W.L.A. was formed for the express purpose of bringing ALL amateur weightlifters into a united self governing body.


The first General Secretary of the B.A.W.L.A. was A. B. Gunnel, but the most prominent figure in the early history of B.A.W. L.A. was W. A. 'Dad' Pullum who was one of the first Technical Official's in Great Britain and the first British lifter to achieve a double bodyweight overhead lift, in the two hands anyhow technique. W.A. 'Dad' Pullum was coach for the 1924 and the 1948 Olympic Games and coached many top class lifters who were successful at these Games.

The earliest reported funding provided for weightlifting was for the preparation of the 1924 Olympic Games in which Alf Baxter placed seventh was coached by W. A. Pullum.


During the 1930's, British success was represented by Ronald Walker who won the European Championships in 1935) Ron snatched a World Record of 297.5 imperial pounds (135kg (kilogrammes). Ron Walker had great prospects, but his potential was never reached because of unknown cancer. He died 1948. (Oscar Heidenstam was inspired by Ron's physique in 1936) 

The first British Olympic Champion was Launceston Elliott. But when? After the Second World War, Oscar State became the General Secretary of the B.A.W.L.A. and attended the Carnegie Physical College in Leeds. He was instrumental in developing the B.A.W.L.A. Coaching Scheme. It was due to his efforts that the Association appointed its first full-time National Coach AI Murray who was followed by John Lear, its President.


The 1948 XIV Olympic Games were held at the Empire Stadium, Wembley London, on Thursday 29th July-14th August. At the Olympic Games, on Friday 13th August, the 9 man weightlifting team included the Bantamweight champion Julian Creus who won the silver medal and Lightweight Jim Halliday won the bronze medal. Great Britain won third place in the team event.

Also on Friday 13th August in salute of the 1948 Olympic Games and to raise funds for the British Empire Weightlifting team, David G. Johnson the editor of Health & Strength, arranged an International heavyweight weightlifting match Britain vs. Belgium, one man from each country, and staged together on the same day with the first Mr. Universe contest in the UK and both at the Scala Theatre, London.

 There were 37 Mr. Universe competitors from 13 countries. John Grimek USA 'The King of Bodybuilding' won the title and Steve Reeves USA 2nd. 

Special dispensation for H&S to stage the 1948 Mr. Universe contest was granted by the then World Ruling Body (France) the F.I.H.C Federation International Halterophile et Culturiste.

David G. Johnson, raised £800 for the  B.A.W.L.A Olympic Fund and later donated the entire profit of £422 of the 1948 Mr Universe contest to the same fund. Over £1.,200 ($1,800) approx. was a great deal of money in 1948; it could have purchased two three bedroom houses; men's wages were about £5 to £6 per week ($7 or $9).

The 1948 Mr. Universe was sponsored by the H&S & staged by its Health a Strength League (HSL) under the direction of David G. Johnson (H&S Editor) and Laurie Webb the (H&SL Organizer).

Oscar State Hon. Secretary of  B.A.W.L.A. was invited as the MC for this Mr. Universe contest. The judges were, George Hackenschmidt, George Walsh, Tromp Van Diggelen, Dr.G. Bankoff. Bob Hoffman of the AAU (Amateur Athletic Union) USA. was to be one of the judges but he sportingly withdrew. George Greenwood, staff member & H&S photographer, judged in place of American Bob Hoffman of the AAU which was founded in 1888. Capt. Oscar Heidenstam who was on leave from the army competed. (More about Oscar Heidenstam in a different publication by biographer, Malcolm Whyatt)  


Laurie Webb also arranged Summer Camps i.e., annual family holidays for H&S Leaguer's at Prestatin Holiday Camp in N. Wales and in particular the Sunshine Holiday Camp, in Hayling Island, Hampshire, S. England. These camps were well equipped for Open air activities, weight-training, gymnastics, hand-balancing, tumbling, tennis, swimming, Volley ball, etc.

Top coaches were available eg., Bob Woolger of Portsmouth , and former WWII PTI's AI Murray the Olympic coach, Laurie Webb & Reub Martin who were also supreme hand balancers. See 1948 Health & Strength No:15 July 15th issue:- Fabulous Group photo's of all the Leaguer's pages 521-524. And H&S 28/7/1949 center fold, two fabulous photos of all Leaguer's in the various events, and Laurie's report, pages 32 & 39. The Health & Strength League had over 250,000 registered members when it closed after 60 years i.e., 1906 to 1967.

Historical Chronicle of Health and Strength Magazine - Courtesy of Malcolm Whyatt, D.Phy. M.A.I.C 

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