Wheelers' Highlights

A Brief Club History

1928 - 7 young men and one woman, met at the Blackbirds ‘PH’ in Hertford on 14th July and decided to form a cycling club, naming it the Blackbirds CC. - soon after becoming the Hertfordshire Wheelers. On Sun 29th July. 18 riders took part in the first club run from The Blackbirds PH at 7:30.

1938 - At a committee meeting on Aug 2, it was suggested that the club should amalgamate with the Herts & Essex Whs. Club rules required a SGM to decide this but it was never called.

1942 - During WW2 officials continue to carry out their duties for as long as possible, but no records were kept until a special GM at the Mayflower Hotel, Hertford in June 1946 when the club was formally restarted. Mrs Laurie Knights had kept things going when everyone else was enlisted, maintaining the club's existence.

1946 - Club runs restarted, leaving Hertford War Memorial at 2:45pm on a Saturday and 9:45am on Sundays. The secretary wrote to catering establishments to book teas.

1947 - Only six members attended the AGM; Committee meetings were held in Arthur Knight's premises in Fore St, Hertford (a dry cleaning business) where outside was a small glass fronted display box with the current runs list.

1948 – The AGM held at The Albion ‘PH’, Hertford agreed that the pub would be the club room from October to end of April and The Rose & Crown ‘PH’, Tylers Causeway, the H.Q. at other times of the year.

Dec- A team took park in the Jim Wood Walk. Entries 369, Finishers 233.

1949 - Membership stood at 35. The Clubmanship cup was instigated. A Loan was made to the Norlond Combine of £1 to be repaid by Oct 1952.

At a committee meeting it was agreed that the club run for Aug 15th should be to the 12hour course so that all members could assist in feeding etc.

1951 – Club room moved to the King George ’PH’ Gt Amwell.

Dec - Club colours decided; Foundation, Cambridge Blue, with 3” wide band across chest Gold, flanked with 2” wide band of Navy Blue on each side.

1952 - Club magazine ‘The Mudguardian‘ first published. - Roy Fairweather amassed what is probably a club record of 16,500 miles ridden in a year.

1953 - Silver Jubilee. - Arthur Knights resigned from the club and was elected the first honorary life member. New blue and yellow Club kit adopted. Previously, as in all other clubs, riders wore black.

1954 - Tea stop bookings. Deposit of one shilling (5p) to be paid by the Tuesday preceding the run because of poor attendance, (booking for 12 and only 3 or 4 turned up).

1958 - January, the club room moved to the Red Lion ‘PH’ Stanstead Abbotts. - Membership stood at 50.

1960 - At AGM, The Rule that the number of Vice Presidents for each year should not exceed 10% of the total membership was passed..

1963 – New blue and yellow Club kit adopted.

1970 - 90 - The club took part in County Day on Hartham Common.

1972 - AGM, Because of the small active membership, consideration was given to amalgamating with another local club. This was defeated by a large majority. Attended by 18 members.

1973 – Herts. sports council organised a festival of sport as part of the Synod 1300 year Anniversary celebrations. The Wheelers then promoted annual Hertford Criteriums in the town centre until 1989 (missing only twice for sewer works and gas main replacement). A 600 metre course was devised and marshalled for several races in categories from schoolboy through to professional. Phil Liggett was one of 4 commentators used and did most of the events from 1980 when the pros no longer came due to the PCA deciding the course was “too short”.

1977 - Membership 74. At the AGM a move to the Crown ‘PH’ St Margarets was decided.

1978 - Golden Jubilee – A founder member, Harry Barton, and one of our earliest racing men, Roy Ingrey were at the gathering. 38 rode to the Cosy Café Sawbridgeworth. 91 sat down to lunch. - Sponsorship by Hertford Equipment Hire started, lasting until 1985.

The French connection with Evron, Hertford’s Twin town, 1978/82. Official visits with local mayors involved and riders taking part in local events, in both towns.

1979 - With little choice of venues for lunch stops it was decided that picnic meals would be taken on club runs during the summer months. The closure of the Cosy Café at Sawbridgeworth was a great loss. - Membership 89. New blue and yellow “Hertfordshire Equipment Supplies” kit adopted.

1986 -Sponsorship by Dobsons of Cheshunt began and continued for 19 years. Blue and yellow “Dobsons” kit adopted.

1988 - Diamond Jubilee Reunion, 24 members in dismal weather rode from Blackbirds ‘PH’ to Datchworth Village Hall. Attended by approx. 50 including several pre-war members.

1990 - May, The club room moved to St Margaretsbury Sports and Social Club. Grey “Dobsons” Club kit adopted.

1994 – The club finished 3rd from 28 clubs in the ECCA Festival with 275 points.

1999 – Wheelers' website launched by Bruno Cartwright. “herts-wheelers.org.uk” domain name registered.

1991 Annual randonees were devised by Edgar Mascall and John Hession. Distances varied from 20 to 100 km and were routed through the quieter lanes of Herts and Essex. A small charge was made, proceeds going to local charities. Rides continued until 2004, the last 4 being known as Edgar Mascall Memorial rides.

2000 – New red and yellow Club kit adopted.

2001 - Edgar Mascall, the club’s well-loved President for over 25 years and the last of our pre-war active members, died on New Years Day.

2003 - 75th anniversary reunion took place at Woolmer Green village hall after a ride from Hertford. Arthur Knights, pre-war Club Secretary, was GoH and cut the celebration cake.

2004 – Weekly Club emails were introduced.

2005 – Wheelers' Audax rides introduced by John Cannon.

2008 – 80th anniversary ride from Blackbirds P.H. to Stanstead St Margarets. Medals presented to John Butcher, John Cannon, George Flunder, John Hession, Merv and Pat Player, Dave Rudkin, Bob Woodham who had at least 50 years continuous membership.

A new kit design was adopted – a return to blue and yellow.

2010 – Peter Walton organised the first Wheelers' May trip to northern France. 14 members took part. Pat Player retired as Racing Secretary after 23 years in the role. Wheelers' Facebook group launched.

2011 – Weekly “Easy Pace” club runs introduced to encourage new members. Weekly Wednesday evening club runs introduced in the summer. George Flunder died.

2012 – Bob Woodham died. Membership topped 100 (112).

2013 – Frank Dobson died. Club moved its base to Allenburys Sports and Social Club in Ware. Peter Walton organised the first Wheelers' Cycle Fair at ASSC. He also completed the London-Edinburgh-London audax in 112h 45m. John Farnham retired as Club Runs Secretary after 23 years in the role.

2015 – Peter Walton and Martin Wheeler completed the Paris-Brest-Paris event. John Pearson completed 20 years of organising the Club road race. Membership topped 150.

2016 – Pat Player died.

2017 – Pat Player Trophy introduced to be awarded to the member who has contributed most by volunteering their time. Bob Brown is the first winner.

2018 – The Club celebrated its 90th birthday with a reception at ASSC. There were special club runs, a display of vintage bikes and a display of photos and other material from the Club archive.