In Memory of
Page 2
This information was added 9/5/2019
We are sad to inform you of the sad passing of Vice President John Williams. No other details are known at the moment

Keith Butler:
1938 – 2019
Simon Richardson
Keith Butler was a multiple national champion and GB squad member before going on to set up the Surrey Cycle Racing league. He died this morning in hospital near his home in Surrey
National champion, race organiser, British Cycling board member, clubman extraordinaire, team manager, father, grandfather and husband. Keith Butler had many hats to wear, and all of them cycling hats.
He was the first rider to win both the amateur and professional road race national titles, rode for Tom Simpson when he won the world title in 1965 and later in life set up and ran the Surrey Cycle Racing League – the most successful racing league in the country that is still going strong today.
His list of achievements in the sport both on and off the bike is unrivalled in British cycling history.
Keith Butler was born in London on September 2, 1938 and was always going to be a cyclist. His father Stan was a successful time triallist and competed in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. He was also joint owner of Allin Cycles in Whitehorse Road, Croydon. Cycling was in the Butler family’s genes. With more options open to him in the 1960s, Keith would go on to even greater international success than his father.
Having achieved good local results in 1959 and 1960 Keith broke on to the national scene in 1961, competing in the country’s biggest races and being selected for the southern regional team for the 1961 Milk Race where he finished a very credible ninth. That year he was also a member of the Norwood Paragon’s team pursuit National Championships winning team.
He also was fastest at the National 100 with a four-hour 11-minute ride, but was later disqualified for breach of regulation 44 that condemned ‘company riding.’ Keith had caught his minute man and race favourite Harry Middleton within 10 miles and couldn’t shake him off. As Middleton kept coming past him the pair caught the next rider on the road and couldn’t avoid each other. Keith eventually rode away from Middleton after 60 miles and although there were no judges out on the course, he was DQ’d. His appeal was later rejected, but he had his deposit returned on condition he didn’t talk to the press
In ’62, he rode for Great Britain in both the Peace Race and the amateur World Championships. That year also saw him crowned  amateur national champion in Maccelsfield, a result that saw him selected for the Commonweatlh Games team travelling to Perth, Australia later in the year.
The following year he moved to Belgium where he started winning almost immediately. A tough rider, Keith was often in the break, and he had a powerful sprint which gained him many results. He was also tactically astute. On a practice lap at the 1963 worlds he noticed barriers at the side of the road on a narrow hill made for a pinch point in the course and spotted the danger. He got in to the early move in order to stay safe. True enough when the peloton tried to squeeze through there was a crash and half the bunch either came down or got caught behind, placing them immediately out of the contention.
The following year he took out a semi-professional contract to ride as an ‘independent’ meaning he could join pro teams for certain races. Always preferring the tough conditions, the Belgian Classics and Kermesses were ideal for his style of riding. He placed 10th in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and 35th in the Tour of Flanders. He returned to the UK in the summer to win the professional road race title, becoming the first man to win both amateur and pro titles.
1965 saw him riding for bigger teams in the service of others and therefore gain fewer results. The highlight from that year being part of the British team that helped Tom Simpson win the world road race title in San Sebastien. Keith’s job that day was to mark Jacques Anquetil, five time Tour de France winner and the greatest rider of that generation. This he did unfailingly, later saying, ‘it was like riding behind a bloody motorbike!’
Keith was back racing in the UK in 1967, retiring in 1968. He then travelled to South Africa with his wife Marylin where he worked as a teacher. The couple then moved back to Copthorne in Surrey to start a family as Keith carried on with his teaching career.
In 1983 Keith set up the Surrey Cycle Racing League. Keith could be very convincing and he talked his friend Glyn Durrant in to helping him. Keith’s vision along with his racing and route knowledge coupled with Glynn’s organizational skills meant they made for a formidable duo and quickly became the most prolific bike race organisers in the country.
By pooling the resources of the clubs in Surrey and the south east, the League put on over 170 races in it’s busiest years, and is still going today with Durrant at the helm; “I’ve known Keith since the late 70s. We worked at Holdsworthy together. He was the biggest influence on my life, I really looked up to him, he was my hero.’ Durrant said.
Keith was also an accomplished team manager, taking charge of the British team at the 1986 world championships in Colorado. He managed amateur teams too as the Surrey League’s reputation gained it invites to take a composite team to race abroad, especially in Ireland, a place Keith loved visiting.
The Surrey League flourished even as British Cycling was struggling to hold itself together in the mid 1990s. After the organization was effectively rescued by Brian Cookson and Peter King in 1996, Keith was invited to sit on the board which he did for many years.
He was inducted in to British Cycling’s hall of fame in 2009
“Keith was a great rider but also put so much back into the sport he loved. As a race organiser he was responsible for giving many thousands of cyclists, at grass roots level and beyond, the chance to experience road racing.” Said former British Cycling and UCI President Brian Cookson.
“As a local and national official of British Cycling, especially as a Board Member for many years, he was always a sound and coherent contributor to the administration and governance of our sport. I am proud to have known and worked with him.”
His passion and energy for cycling simply never let up. Even in his 70s he did the odd fortnight’s work as a ride Guide in Majorca, taking out the slower groups and teaching them the art of group riding. He was known by many on these trips for his descending ability. This ability was put to good use every Christmas at the Norwood Paragon’s downhill competition. Keith was a regular winner of this coveted club prize.
Many of his closest friends will remember as him a clubman through-and-through. Joining the Norwood Paragon in 1953 he was still a member up until his death. As a younger rider he rode and won in every discipline going: Road races, time trials, cyclo-cross, hill climbs and track. After his retirement he even rode the 1970 local British Cycle Touring Competition where he finished fourth. He was awarded the ‘Novices’ award much to everyone’ s amusement, saying; ‘I’ll never make a tourist!’
Through his many club roles, general involvement and love of the sport he got thousands of cyclists in to racing. Including myself. I can still remember sitting on the start line of my first ever race, a Surrey League handicap in 1995. It was a warm and sunny Thursday evening in Charlwood, near Gatwick airport.
I was in the first group and didn’t really know what I was doing. ‘It’s this lad’s first race, so look after him!’ he announced to the group. After two laps it was just me and one other rider at the front. His daughter Alison.
For the Butlers, cycling had always been a family affair and his three children all rode bikes. They still do. Keith only stopped in recent years due to a knee injury. He celebrated his 80th birthday last year with friends and family and members of the local cycling community. He is survived by his wife Marylin, children Gethin, Alison and Megan and several grandchildren.

This information was added 27/2/2019
Roy Cook (12 May 1932 - 18 October 2018)

Roy Cook joined the North Road CC in 1951 and was a life long member and was made an honorary member in recognition of his work for the club.    His wife, Mary, was also an honorary member in recognition of her contributions to the club, and together they were involved in every aspect of club life.   They supported club and open time  trials, ladies' nights in the days when the club was male only, refreshments at events, marshalling and the many and varied tasks which keep a club flourishing.    Roy was a member of the RTTC London North District Council for many years, but many of their activities had to cease from the summer of1988 when they were involved in a horrific cycling accident near Markyate.   Mary was injured but recovered but Roy was severely injured so much so that many despaired for his life.    He slowly recovered but the accident left its mark on Roy for the rest of his life.   He did resume travelling abroad and cycling again but his final years were a struggle against forms of parkinsons and dementia.
After completing national service in the Royal Air Force as an aircraft fitter, Roy embarked on a long and successful career in the plastics injection moulding business in North London and also setting up home in Potters Bar after marriage in the mid 1950s.   He continued his racing life but the RRA will remember him for breaking the London to York record on a tandem tricycle with his club mate, the late Alan Fowler, in 1953.    The North Road was a founder member of the association and its members had a long history of setting records so it was only natural that Roy and Alan should follow in its members' wheel marks.   The new standard was set at 9 hours 9 minutes taking over half an hour off the previous record.    Their time prevailed until 1976.   The North Road awards a gold badge to members who break national records and each retained  their gold badges for the rest of their lives, proudly wearing them at formal occasions.
Roy had several rides in the North Road 24 hour and rides in a club classic called the Donkey Ride.   This is a record ride from Barnet to Doncaster and back along the A1. but it has fallen into abeyance due to much of the old route having been turned in to a motorway, the A1M), and increased traffic.    Roy with several club colleagues successfully completed the Paris to Brest and back  Audax ride in the 1980s, having negotiated all the necessary qualifying rides.    He was instrumental in his club providing a group of riders to complete the sponsored ride from John O'Groats to Waresley near Cambridge to raise funds for the restoration of the village church spire which had been gravely damaged in the great storm of 1986.   This ride took five days
with overnight stops near Culloden, Bannockburn, Hexham and Lincoln with a mere 90 miles to ride on the final day to Waresley to enjoy the reception and fete arranged by the villagers.    A successful outing was completed in the old tradition of long distance riding on the Great North Road and Other Roads.
Roy's Thanksgiving Service at Potters Bar was attended by family, friends, club mates and cyclists.   A family member, a work colleague and a North Road member (first meeting him in 1957) paid tribute to his life and many qualities which so endeared him to all whom he befriended.    

Graham Thompson
North Road CC

This information was added on 5th December 2018

A Sporting Tribute to Frank Minto

On November 18th we heard that Frank had passed away in hospital after a series of strokes, his wife Christine and son Philip were with him.
Frank was a revered RTTC/CTT official and spent many hours at committee meetings. As a timekeeper along with Christine, he gave up many hours of his life to time not only high profile Championship and open events at all distances and duration, but also local club events in the Yorkshire area. Frank was heavily involved with record breaking, both at RRA and NRRA level. Along with Christine he was happy to Observe or Time record attempts and as such gave great help and advice during those attempts especially between Land’s End and John o’Groats.
Frank was a metallurgist by profession, which required having an eye for numbers, he was also a stickler for detail, which also impacted on his ability as a timekeeper, so when Tommy Barlow retired from office as co-ordinator of the British Best All Round competition in 1976, Frank took on the role for the RTTC as caretaker of statistics for the four season-long competitions, including the Junior competition for girls and boys. He processed in excess of 2,000 competitors results each season from 25 to 100 miles for women, and from 50-miles to 12hrs for the men, so a total of some 12,000 rides per year. With the BAR competition being very hotly contested these numbers increased every year, but Frank coped. He also found time to help Christine during her many time-trials, most notably her three competition record rides in the Mersey Roads 24hr.
Frank and Christine complimented each other as a couple, Frank calculated rider’s times and positions in the BAR and Christine with her skills and talent as a calligrapher wrote those details for all riders receiving certificates as well as competition records, a valuable service not only for the RTTC but also for the 24 Hour Fellowship, of which they’ve been ardent members, along with son Philip, himself a fully qualified timekeeper. I spoke to Frank in July 2018 at the annual Mersey Roads 24-hour time-trial with Christine and Philip after they’d both spent many hours either marshalling, or time-checking riders at Prees a very busy road island, doing a job they’d done for many years. Liz, Lynne and myself remember the days and hours we spent in their company as they helped, observed and timed during Lynne’s lengthy record rides at the start of the new millennium. Nothing was too much trouble for Frank, and he even went to the extent of copying the 24 Hour Fellowship’s 55-year old history electronically, with help from Philip. 
In 1998 Frank and Christine received the RTTC/CTT Badge of Honour for outstanding service to the sport; a sport they’d helped nurture in the Yorkshire area since the 1960’s.

A sporting Tribute to Roy Cook -by John Taylor
Having a good knowledge of the RRA handbook and the record rides listed, I knew Roy had broken one RRA record, the London -York on a tandem-trike in 9 hours-09 minutes with Alan Fowler in 1953. Both were North Road CC riders, and a report in Cycling said “the riders came close to retiring near Retford in their attack on the RRA London-York on the last Sunday in July when a change in road direction brought the wind against them. They decided to continue and beat the existing record by 33-minutes in a time of 9hrs 09-mins for the 196-mile ride. Earlier in the attempt the wind had been favourable putting the riders well ahead of schedule, resulting in missed feeds. An Army gun trailer passing closely, also forced them onto the grass verge”.
Looking at a North Road history of that early 1950’s era I noticed Roy was also speedy on a bike at the shorter distances in club events, his fastest times being 1-01-48 at 25m, 2-06-30 for 50m, 4-41-42 for a 100m and 235.2m in 12hrs.

A Sporting Tribute to Cliff Sandham -by John Taylor (a stoker for Pat Kenny).
Much of Cliff’s road record breaking was as a stoker for Ed Tweddell on a tandem-trike in the late 1950’s, but prior to that Cliff had gained experience at long distance racing by riding 12’s and 24’s. Cliff came 10th in the 1951 Mersey 24hr with 411.49m, and four years later went on to win the Wessex 24hr with 443.57m in 1955. These were the heady days when hardly a week went by without at least one RRA record being broken on a bike, trike, tandem or tandem trike at any distances from 50-miles to 1,000-miles, and all place to place records including Land’s End to John o’Groats. The ultimate preparation for the distance records was riding 24hr time-trials, of which there were four at that time. Tweddell and Sandham added to these road record totals in 1956 by first breaking the York to Edinburgh tandem trike record in 9hrs-38mins, shortly followed by the London-Edinburgh in 21hrs-16mins on September 30th that same year.
    Cliff also took the Northern Road Record Association (NRRA) York to Berwick-on-Tweed in 7hrs-25mins, and the NRRA 50-mile record in 1hr-54mins-58secs with Ed in 1956, both on a tandem-trike. On a solo bicycle Cliff broke the NRRA York to Berwick on Tweed record in July 1956 with 7hrs-26mins, and the tandem-trike record with Ed in September with a time of 7hrs-25mins. They also set the York to Berwick-on-Tweed record on a tandem with 6hrs-58mins in 1957 and broke the Scottish RRA (RRAS) End to End (Gretna to John o’Groats) tandem-trike record in 20hrs-52mins-52secs, and in 1958 they broke another RRAS record, the 50-miles in 1hr-54m-58s.
    Anecdotes show how the intrepid pair respected the sport of record breaking when attempting the York-Edinburgh in 1956. At the half-way point they were well up on schedule and Cliff ventured to suggest they should get cracking and put the record on the shelf. To Cliff’s surprise Ed told him to ease off, as they were riding just fast enough to break the record, and by doing so it would give someone else a chance to put their names on the record book.  On the RRAS 24hr tandem record going into Stirling Ed called for some salt tablets to stave off cramp, at which one of the marshalls dashed to the chemists in order to hand them up when they returned. Sure enough on the return trip Cliff took the hand-up and put them in Ed’s back pocket. On a quieter stretch of road Cliff went to open the packet and noticed they were Epsom Salts! Needless to say Ed didn’t take any, otherwise the attempt may well have ended a few miles up the road. Cliff said he had fond memories of the Scottish End to End riding through the Grampians as sunrise lit the Bens, filling the sky with colour, and Ed commenting -“Take a good look at that Cliff, -you will never see a finer sight in your life, -I haven’t!”

This information was added on 27th November 2018


Cliff Sandham sadly passed away in April, he was over 100 years old. Together with E.G.E. Tweddell he held the London-Edinburgh Tandem Trike record in 21.16.00 and York-Edinburgh in 9.38.00, both in 1956.

Roy Cook, North Road CC, sadly passed away on the 19th  October after a long illness. Together with Alan Fowler they held the London to York tandem trike record in 1953 with a time of 9hrs 9mins.

Frank Minto passed away on the 20th November, he was a Timekeeper & Observer. 

This information was added on 31st August 2017

John Charles Read: 17th April 1941 - 24th July 2017
In his cycling, time-trialling and road-record breaking life John had been a member of a few cycling clubs. He started his early time-trial days in the Lichfield CC, but his Record breaking days were with either the Mercia CC, or the Brereton Whls.
He was fast on a bike, but equally as good on a trike, tandem and tandem trike. His MRRA records start in 1972, with a 25m bike record of 50-58, which he lost to Alan Richards and regained in 1984 with 45-08.  He later broke Alan’s trike 25m by 4secs with a 51-45. In 1978 he broke the tandem 25m record with John Furniss in 42-49.
In 1977 he teamed up with Pat Kenny on a tandem-trike for 50 miles in 1-52-02 and in that same year they broke the 100-mile record in 3-58-54. He was slightly faster at 50m on his own with a trike record of 1-51-10 in 1978, then in 1979 John steered the tandem for Liz Price for a mixed tandem record of 47-54 for 25m, and a 50m record of 1-57-35. In 1980, also with Liz he broke the mixed tandem trike 25m with a 49-26.
John was equally as competitive at place-to-place records, and in 1979 he took my B’ham to Derby and back bike record with 2hrs-58m-34s. John lost it the following year to John Furniss in 2-41-05, and then retook it in 1982 with a current record of 2-35-55. In 1982, he broke the B’ham to Derby and back on a trike in 2-49-43, also a current record. In 1979 on a tandem with family member J.M.Read, he took that same place-to-place record from Pat Kenny and myself in 2hrs-42m-31s.
On a bike in 1983 John ventured further by breaking Tony Shardlow’s Llandudno to Birmingham record with a current time of 4-59-46.
The early 1980’s were John’s best years for trike records of a different nature. In 1982 he broke Dave Pitt’s RTTC Competition10-mile trike record by 36 seconds for a time of 22-04. In 1983 he broke Dave Worsfold’s 30m trike time for a new Competition record of 1-10-21, and in 1984 John broke the 100-mile trike Competition record with 4-15-47.
John was probably the fastest Midlands rider I knew between the 1960’s to the mid-80’s. Always competitive and eager to regain any record he had lost.
Another good rider gone, having already lost RRA record breakers Alan Richards and John Woodburn this year.    

        John Taylor

This information was added on 31st August 2017

Alan 'Nipper' Richards 1945-2017 a Sporting Tribute  by John Taylor.
RRA and MRRA Record Breaker Alan Richards died on 25th April 2017, at his home in Normandy where he had lived for many years. His thatched cottage caught fire during the evening and, although the village neighbours called the fire brigade, nothing could be done to save Alan.
My first recollection of Alan was in the early 1960’s, seeing him at the front of a bunch of riders on the Solihull ‘Bash,’ a 40 mile evening training ride, which terminated in a sprint finish across the main Warwick road at Chadwick End just south of Knowle. The large group of riders would end up en-masse at the ‘Cat in the Window Café.’ The ‘bash’ not only contained club riders, but also top amateurs from other clubs, and Independents who
were sponsored and got paid for their efforts; men who were older than Alan.  At that time he was still a junior (hence his nickname 'Nipper'), but he certainly knew how to handle a bike and hold his own in a fast bunch. B’ham St. Christophers CCC also had a regular ‘bash’ to the café, and that’s how Pat Kenny and I got onto nodding terms with Alan. When busy, it was the sort of café where cyclists helped themselves to a cup of tea or orange juice, then gave a hand to the sole proprietor with any sandwich making, serving, and washing up.
On the death of his father, Alan took over the daily business at Tower Cycles in Erdington, and ran the shop along with his mother Nell, but despite the hard work and long hours, Alan still found time to ride his bike and race. At that time there were long distance riders and MRRA road record breakers in Alan’s club the Solihull CC, mainly Cyril Lovegrove, Stan Bray, and trike rider Howard Bailey, and I’m guessing that’s how Alan first heard about road records, then went on to break some of his own, starting in the mid-1970’s. I only remember Alan’s time-trialing and road record success and acumen, but I’m sure he also did well in road races, known then as ‘massed-start’ events. I followed his rise on the time-trial spectrum via the Cycling magazine and from hearsay amongst club riders. When they converted the A38 Lichfield-Derby Road into dual carriageway, it became Alan’s favourite time-trial course the K16, on which he did many sub-hour 25’s. He also rode other fast courses in the UK, but frame-building and the bike-shop started to take up more and more of his time.
With his time-trialling and frame-building skills Alan became a pioneer in custom-built bikes for speed, testing many designs himself on his favourite courses. He always looked for ways of reducing drag from wind resistance, and that was in the 1970’s-80’s, quite a long time before tri-bars and all the other electronic gadgets that riders now rely on for speed; but he also knew how to physically push, and punish himself in training and competition, often going beyond his limits to get those results, and even when he wasn’t completely fit, his fast times showed this flair he had. In his quest for more speed in 1976 Alan went to Plynlimmon looking for a fast course to attempt the National RRA straight-out 25 mile record, but found it too twisting to go fast on. Instead he and Tony Shardlow took the Welsh RRA 25 Record on the Heads of the Valleys course in 53-03. In 1977 he was finally successful at National level on the A38 between Canwell and Willington with a 46-23 minute ride; in that same year and on the same course he broke the trike record in 51-49, then took Tony with him on a tandem in 44-07, and Harold Harvey on a tandem trike with a time of 48-57. Four records in all, the most amazing being with pensioner Harold Harvey, 41 years after Harold’s 100-mile trike record in 1932.
Alan was a generous man, both with his time and support for riders, and I remember him saying to his mom -“I’m off for a few hours Nell,’ and those few hours could turn into a few days, but then he did have Louis looking after the shop as well. Tony Shardlow said Alan gave him great support taking teams to three Student World  Championships in Belgium, Canada & Russia; Alan as a mechanic and driver was full of enthusiasm, and that’s probably what gave him his zest for a continental way of life. Alan’s record breaking wasn’t restricted to just 25 miles; in 1978 he rode 50 miles on a tandem with Tony Shardlow in 1-42-46, riding south along the A38 from the M1 junction north of Derby to the outskirts of Birmingham, including the climb up Moneymore Hill. He also started tackling longer place-to-place records with Tony, first in 1979 the Birmingham to Llandudno on tandem in 4-49-20, then on the tandem-trike with 6-44-24.
Making use of the A38 dual carriageway at Tyburn Island to Bassetts Pole, then the drop down Moneymore Hill from Canwell to the Lichfield and Burton by-passes to Derby gave a good Birmingham to Derby and back record route; also by starting at Canwell, a good straight-out 25, and 50-mile route. All became available in the 1970’s enabling Alan to break various ‘25’s, and then the Derby and back with 3-35-14 on a bike, and the tandem-trike record with Tony Shardlow in 3-00-31. Alan then broke the B’ham to Hereford and back trike record with 5-51-13, and on tandem with Tony in 4-28-32; all bar the last records subsequently broken. He finished off his MRRA record breaking in 1984 on the B’ham to Shrewsbury and back route, firstly on his trike with 5-21-48, then on a tandem with Tony in 4-22-20, and again with Tony on a Tandem-trike in 4-40-20.
During the same period, Alan was having successful rides in CTT (then RTTC) events, regularly 'under the hour' for 25 miles on a bike, winning Trike events and breaking 10 mile Competition Record twice in 1978, and winning Tandem 50 mile events with Tony.
Pat Kenny and I were breaking RRA and MRRA records during those same years as Alan and Tony; Pat was also a fully fledged RTTC and RRA timekeeper by that time, and spent many hours supporting and timing record attempts, time-trials, even organising local events on occasions. Alan was also an avid stamp collector, as was Pat; spending many hours at stamp fairs, then poring over sheets of stamps looking for printing errors, doing swaps etc, both earning ‘bragging rights’ as to who’d got the rarest stamps! Pat’s road record breaking had started on a trike, way back in 1965, and I think he went to Alan’s shop for repairs etc, and that’s another way Alan eased his way into trike riding and record breaking, repairing and making trike frames.
When Pat and I turned up at Alan’s shop on the tandem trike, he always commented on Pat’s machine being a mish-mash of parts; well it was really, and already over 40 years old; made by a frame builder called Rensch. It had a narrow 24” width conversion-set brazed onto a short wheel-base pre-WW2 Claud Butler racing tandem frame with a curved rear seat tube. Despite having two full length diagonal strengthening tubes it was still very light. It handled surprisingly well, equally as good as a more modern machine like Alan’s, with a much wider rear axle. By 1979 Pat and I were ready to tackle the Land’s End to John o’Groats record held by Crimes & Arnold; we knew it was a very tight, tough record to beat, and so did Alan, but knowing our previous years of long-distance time-trials, and what our fitness levels were, and even though our chances were slim, he and Tony were very supportive of us.
When Pat and I turned up at Alan’s shop on the tandem trike, he always commented on Pat’s machine being a mish-mash of parts; well it was really, and already over 40 years old; made by a frame builder called Rensch. It had a narrow 24” width conversion-set brazed onto a short wheel-base pre-WW2 Claud Butler racing tandem frame with a curved rear seat tube. Despite having two full length diagonal strengthening tubes it was still very light. It handled surprisingly well, equally as good as a more modern machine like Alan’s, with a much wider rear axle. By 1979 Pat and I were ready to tackle the Land’s End to John o’Groats record held by Crimes & Arnold; we knew it was a very tight, tough record to beat, and so did Alan, but knowing our previous years of long-distance time-trials, and what our fitness levels were, and even though our chances were slim, he and Tony were very supportive of us.
Nothing was too much for our helpers who went all the way to Bonar Bridge, where the wind turned against us on the north-east coast with just over 80 miles to go. Prior to the attempt everyone, including John Arnold thought we could just about do it, but when we abandoned, Alan and Tony were the first to suggest we make another attempt once we had recovered. During that attempt, and seeing the state of my knee, which by Edinburgh had swelled to double it’s size during the attempt, Alan used all his skills to alleviate the cause of the swelling; first by raising the saddle, then lowering it, then altering angles; he even contacted a garage workshop owner in the Highlands and asked if he could borrow a welding torch to raise the height of one pedal; all this at around midnight during the second night, after supporting us for over 40 hours on the road!
In the Highlands, Alan and Tony made us sandwiches, soup, and provided Pat and I with clean dry racing kit, albeit displaying VC Toutourien club logos, but we knew we were on a ‘wing and a prayer.’ On our journey home with a night’s sleep at Dinwoodie, the full support crew and timekeeper Roy Moss said we had to try again. So two months later we were at Land’s End once more, but time restrictions due to my being self-employed, meant we had to go as soon as the weather looked about right; but in our haste we read the weather forecast wrongly, and started in 80 degrees F, with very little wind.
In the Highlands, Alan and Tony made us sandwiches, soup, and provided Pat and I with clean dry racing kit, albeit displaying VC Toutourien club logos, but we knew we were on a ‘wing and a prayer.’ On our journey home with a night’s sleep at Dinwoodie, the full support crew and timekeeper Roy Moss said we had to try again. So two months later we were at Land’s End once more, but time restrictions due to my being self-employed, meant we had to go as soon as the weather looked about right; but in our haste we read the weather forecast wrongly, and started in 80 degrees F, with very little wind.
That attempt was doomed almost from the start; even at 8am it felt as though we were breathing the contents of a hot oven; by midday the heat was unbearable and we were riding well behind schedule. We carried on in the hope of picking up a helpful wind, or even a breeze on the Bridgwater ‘flats,’ but instead, Pat noticed the top-tube was splitting and fracturing at the frame lug. ‘That’s it’ I thought, ‘now we can all go home;’ but no, Alan wasted no time in putting Pat and myself on his own tandem trike to carry on; again in the hope of picking up a cool tidal breeze from the south-west as we approached Bristol. With Graham Dayman, Alan drove our stricken machine back to his shop, and brazed a new top tube into the frame, by which time Pat and I had ridden up through Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester, Wolverhampton and into the evening where we swapped back to our own repaired tandem trike at Gailey Island.
All this had taken less than 10 hours to carry out, but the wind still hadn’t materialised. We were amazed to think that Alan had done all that in such a short space of time, and when he asked us how it felt, Pat with a dead-pan expression said it was okay, but the colour of the new tube didn’t match the rest of it. You can imagine Al’s reaction - “you cheeky b- - - - r” (or many words to that effect); but then he saw the funny side of it all, and everyone had a laugh. It lightened the mood and the fact that we were still way behind schedule; we continued on the A34 towards Stoke, but a decision was finally made for us to abandon at Trentham Gardens.
That still didn’t blunt Pat’s, and even more-so Alan’s enthusiasm; the consensus of our helpers was that we try again. Like Pat, Alan was always looking at new ways of doing things, and the previous year had suggested we look at the west coast route from Carlisle, through Glasgow to reach Inverness instead of Edinburgh and the Grampians, this new route being less hilly. We did explore the new route, and despite it being a little longer, it also seemed flatter, so for our third attempt in as many months we set out from Land’s End to take the new route through Scotland.  To cut a long story short, we still didn’t pick up a decent wind, and as we crossed the border we were behind schedule, but were still in with a chance. On reaching Glasgow it started to rain, and by the time we reached Loch Lomond it was torrential;  we were soaked through, and getting colder.
We continued through the evening, and as darkness fell we had a choice to make, either to carry on towards Rannoch Moor and Glen Coe, or abandon and find somewhere to stay for the night. We’d covered just over 600 miles by this time, and again, we left the decision making to our helpers and officials; it was after 10pm, and we felt they were the better judges of our destiny. We’d reached the far end of Loch Lomond and found a small hotel at Ardlui, and felt it made sense to stop. Alan and Tony had driven and helped us for nearly 40 hours, and so had the RRA officials. From outside, the small hotel looked warm, comfortable and inviting, but being so cold and wet I would have slept on hay in a dry barn. We booked rooms, and had a quick look around the bar-cum-restaurant, but it was too late to get food.  Tony reminded me that I was so tired and , it was suggested I got into bed, without even a wash. Pat was shivering, and we were advised to sleep close together to get warm.cold
Whether it was hypothermia, sleep deprivation or the fact that I’d seen nothing but a grey, wet Loch and Pat’s back pockets for many hours I’m not sure, but the restaurant and lounge seemed colourfully decorated, with large flowery lampshades dotted around. Tony and Alan were enjoying a drink or two at the bar as I staggered off to find our room. Perhaps the heavy fire-doors held open by fire extinguishers in the corridor should have given me a clue as it just about registered into my sub-conscious state; I found the room, and closed the curtains before collapsing into bed.
It did seem cold in the room, but I was so glad not to be out on Rannoch Moor, and soon shivered myself to sleep. My recollection of the next few hours is hazy, I don’t remember Pat being there, but I do remember hearing a ‘colourful’ but muttered description of how cold it was, and Alan checking to see if the windows were shut; I remember no more until being woken again and told to hurry, otherwise I’d miss breakfast. My legs were feeling very stiff, still cramping up after riding 600 miles, the last few hours of it in the rain.  I went to have a peek out of the curtains to see where we were, and I suppose the curtains billowing should have given me an inkling as to why it was so cold. On drawing them a little wider, I was amazed, then very amused; first of all at the magnificent view down Loch Lomond, and secondly that there was no glass at all in two of the windows, letting wind straight in from the end of the Loch.  A Fawlty Towers situation sprang to mind!
Alan’s ribald remarks about the missing windows were - “what the - bleep, - no wonder it was - bleep - cold!  Did you know there wasn’t any - bleep - glass in the - bleep - windows?”  Alan took a lot longer than me to see the funny side of it, and on sitting down to breakfast I noticed things didn’t seem so bright and colourful as they had the previous night; on studying the room more closely I saw that some of the heavy flock wallpaper was held onto the wall by sellotape, and the lamp shades had been similarly repaired, with some of them tipped at a crazy angle! Perhaps I’d been hallucinating the night before, seeing such bright colours, I don’t know, but the team thought the missing glass, the decor, and poor fire precaution was hilarious. I’m not too sure what Alan thought about it all, and on mention of it at odd times since then, he’s always laughed a little, then muttered something about never being so- beep cold! 
Those funny moments made it all worthwhile for me, and helped to take away some of the disappointment of failure, but as everyone said, ‘record breaking isn’t always about being extremely fit and ready, it’s often down to luck, especially with the wind.’ I got my taste of achievement and enjoyment a year later, by seeing and helping Pat Kenny break the solo trike End to End record by driving the following car for over two days. It also made me realise the camaraderie of those times, and Alan and Tony’s dedication when helping Pat and myself. I mentioned being self-employed at the time of our attempts, as a crypton engine-tuner and vehicle tester at Moseley; with Al’s interest in kit cars and sports-cars in general, and him driving and restoring a Lotus Europa,’ I realised we did have other things in common.
My hectic road record breaking days being over, coincided with starting up a small cycle retail business at Bridgtown in Cannock, and I didn’t see much of Alan, but when I did he was curious as to why I wanted a bike-shop (offering me his shop for a knock-down price). I told him I was pretty skint’ but it had been my life-time’s ambition to either work in a bike-shop, or to own one. Until composing my memories of Alan for this Tribute, I hadn’t realised he’d inherited Tower Cycles from his father, and at the time of his inheritance, I was still at the stage of gazing into cycle-shop windows, mainly at racing bikes and lightweight equipment. I’d done so since the age of 12; Priory Cycles being my nearest, with Geoff and Brian, then Wilsons of Aston, with Dave and ‘Big Jim’ the mechanic. Alan to me was just a young rider, younger and better than me, and whereas I dreamt about bikes, time-trials and gazing in bike-shop windows, Alan had been thrust into the bike business at the deep end, probably without any choice in the matter. In the late 1970’s I did buy my best bike, a Viking Severn Valley, which I raced on for many years, and two 24”-wheel Viking Warlord junior racers for Lynne and Mike, all from Al’s shop.
Owning and running my shop from 1983 onwards took away my enjoyment of bikes and racing; that magic I felt as a teenager had gone, so I can understand Alan’s eventual disinterest in the U.K cycle trade, and whereas my daughter Lynne works in the shop and time-trials successfully, and my son Michael took over from me in 2005, Alan had no-one to pass his onto. Al and I did talk on the phone a couple of times a year, and he was always after news of Lynne’s racing and End to Ends around the new millennium, as he’d known her from the age of 10, I also kept in touch with Tony on various aspects of cycling; RRA, MRRA. Occasionally we’d meet up with Al and talk about bikes, racing, the old days, and record breaking, but generally he seemed settled with his life in France. In fact it was there he phoned Tony from at 4am, just as Lynne was dropping from the Cairngorms on her final solo bike record in 2002, and we were able to tell him she’d picked up a following wind, and it looked promising for the End to End  He was pleased, and continued to keep in touch to the end of her E2E and 1000 miles records, which Tony had the great pleasure of timing.
When Harold Harvey died in the 1990’s his will requested that his ashes be scattered the length of the RRA/MRRA 25-mile course on the A38, from Canwell to Mickleover, and that Tony and Alan carry out his wishes on a tandem. So they did just that, on Tandem Trike, in full racing kit, with a proper send off, scattering Harold's ashes as they rode along. Mary his widow, Liz his stepdaughter, and many of Harold’s cycling friends from different clubs were there, as well as my wife Liz, Lynne and myself; Then we were all invited back to Harold’s house on the A38 at Barton-u-Needwood for a cup tea etc. It was a time of very mixed emotions; obvious sadness, but smiles at the method Tony and Alan used to scatter his ashes; probably another unique first for record-breakers!
As far as I’m aware, Alan was (and remains) the only RRA rider ever to break and hold the same record on all four machines at the same time; the 25-miles on a bike, trike, tandem, and tandem-trike, all in 1977. His tandem record was with Tony Shardlow, and the tandem-trike with Harold Harvey.
The last time I chatted face to face with Alan was at Pat Kenny’s funeral in 2011, and like me, he was very moved by his passing, and the fact that the driver got off so lightly, without even a jail sentence. Alan was a great help to Pat’s widow Hazel in assessing and advising on Pat’s huge book collection, and also his stamps.
Alan was a great Francophile and had become fluent in the language through his own immersion in the country, its history and its culture. After many years visiting and travelling through France, he decided to settle in the small village of Trouville-la-Haule, in the Normandy countryside not far from Le Havre, and just 1Km from the River Seine. There he was adopted by the locals as (almost!) one of their own, although he did object when he was once accused of speaking fluently, though with a Birmingham accent!
Alan was a fan of cars and especially vintage sports cars. He had a small fleet of these, very well maintained. He became a well known figure in the MG Car Club of France, regularly taking part in their gatherings and even organising events. The memories and salutations of their members have been much appreciated.
Alan also had a fine record collection, especially of Jazz and Blues, but also including Classical and even Gregorian Chant. Some people may think that his favourite could have been Sinatra's "I Did It My Way", but in fact it was Dylan's "The Times They Are A'changing'. Well, they certainly have now.
Sadly, apart from Tony Shardlow, Pete Swinden, Graham Dayman and myself, many of our old friends who continued to break RRA & MRRA records and helped on our attempts, or kept in touch from the 1960’s onwards. are now deceased.

Thanks Al, for being just you; your support and encouragement will never be forgotten.

John Taylor (with additional information from Tony Shardlow)

The following information was added on 22/5/2017

John Woodburn 1937-2017
John passed away in April at the age of 80. His life from the early 1950’s was crammed with cycle racing, winning time trials from 1956 onwards. During his long racing career he’d been a member of various clubs, and like many talented riders from the 1960’s he wasn’t afraid to ‘mix it’ in road races, and was chosen to ride the Peace Race.  He rode and won time trials at every distance and duration from 10 miles to 24hrs and was also a prolific RRA record breaker. His Championship wins were: 25m in 1961 with 56-01; 12hrs in 1979 with 285.5m; again in 1981 with 269.4m and 266.3m in 1983. He won the North Road Championship 24hr with 505.47m in 1980; the Mersey Roads 24hr Championship with 488.4m in 1981, and came 2nd to Ian Dow in the 1986 NMCF 24hr with 482.8m.
After picking up a suspension from the RTTC, John decided to spend time attacking Road Records, some of them on a small-wheeled Moulton. He then stoked a tandem with John Patston in 1976 and took the Pembroke-London in 9h-59m-31s; the Cardiff-London in 5h-56m-20s; London-Bath and back in 8h-40m-57s; London-Brighton and back in 4h-07m-26s and the London-Portsmouth and back in 5h-43m-59s.
John’s solo record breaking also started in 1976. The London-Portsmouth and back in 6h-04m-40s; London-Bath and back in 9h-03m-07s in 1981. He then pushed the straight out 24hr record up to 494.25m in 1982 as part of a successful Land’s End to John o’Groats record of 1day-21hrs-3mins.   John had previously made an attempt on the End to End record in 1981 after picking up a mystery virus.  With pressure from his backers and against the advice of a local doctor, John started with a temperature.  Despite feeling unwell, he held record pace for much of the way. Graham Dayman, Pete Swinden and I helped to marshal him through Wellington, Shropshire, where he freewheeled down a long hill, looking as though he had lost all interest.  We were very surprised next day to find he reached Blair Atholl in the Highlands, before abandoning the attempt! 
In August 1987 John attempted the 1000-mile record on an inland course similar to that used in the North Road 24hr, centred in and around the A1, but going as far north as Blyth just south of Doncaster.  At Oxford (180m) he had a 20-minute deficit, and at Stamford (343m) he still hadn’t recovered any of his losses.  On the long stretch northwards on the A1 in the dark, he stopped for a sleep, then after nearly 23hrs of riding he finally climbed off at Newark with 434m ridden. He’d lacked his usual rhythm and tenacity, saying to the timekeeper, Joe Summerlin -“I’ve had enough,” but later confessed that he may have been pushing his luck to tackle such a tough record at 50 years of age.
Along with Pete Swinden, John Withers and Pat Kenny I was involved with RRA and MRRA record breaking at that time, both as an Observer, helper and Record Breaker. Pat went on to break the End to End on his trike in 1980, he also timed Mick Coupe’s End to End in 1982, and observed on John Woodburn’s record in 1982.  Old film footage of John’s End to End was found by Pete Dansie, and in collaboration with Ray Pascoe they pieced it together to make a short film of his racing.  After Lynne and Gethins’ successful solo End to End and 1000 mile Records, the film “2 Days and 2 Nights” was shown to a large audience at the Hammersmith Riverside Theatre.  Many past End to End record breakers were present along with more recent ones, Andy Wilkinson, Gethin Butler and Lynne Taylor, and an informative Q&A session took place with the audience.
I last saw John picking up a clutch of age-related medals at the CTT awards a couple of years ago, and it is sad to think that another tough, indestructible rider has gone, after having probably the longest uninterrupted racing career of all time.  I estimate it to have lasted 64 years!

The following information was added 18th September 2016

Christine Watts
A Sporting Tribute  by John Taylor
Christine passed away on Tuesday 31st May, after enduring poor health for a number of years. She had been a staunch member of the Addiscombe CC, from her teenage years, breaking her first WRRA road record at the age of 20 in 1951 when she teamed up on a tandem with Daphne Stratford. They broke the 50 mile record in 1hr-58mins-33s, pushing a 96”single fixed gear.  In 1953 Chris led the Addiscombe ladies to a 100 mile competition record team win, and during the next three years they also won the 50 and 100 mile team championships. In 1954 Chris added 0.3m onto Eileen Sheridan’s 12hr time-trial competition record with 237.91m, and that same year she married John Watts.   He was a member of the  Addiscombe CC team with Gus Andrews and Stan Harvey, and between them they pushed the 24hr team competition record to 1351.92m in 1951.
In 1955 Chris teamed up again with Daphne Grist (nee Stratford), to improve their own 50mile tandem record with 1hr-55mins-34s, they also broke Marguerite Wilson and Flossie Wren’s 100mile  record in a time of 3hrs-57mins-11secs that same year. They also clipped 30 minutes off the London-Brighton and back record with a time of 4hrs-36mins-06secs; just 10mins slower than Ken Joy’s then current professional record! Christine’s time-trialing and record successes in the 1950’s took place around the same time as Eileen Sheridan’s WRRA record breaking spree, and they kept in touch with each other since that time. 
Chris supported the WRRA/RRA well over the years and was made a Vice President in 2001. She commissioned an engraved Crystal glass vase as a trophy for the Women’s Land’s End to John o’Groats record, the glass engraving was done by Eileen Sheridan, and I’m proud to say that Lynne Biddulph nee Taylor became the current holder in 2001 & 2002 after Pauline Strong’s record in 1990. Chris also gave me a lot of information on the WRRA when I compiled the latest RRA history in 2013.
Much advice and support with her racing came from another famous Addiscombe CC rider Charlie Davey, and in later years she helped compile a book on his career, and the club’s history. Chris and John played a huge organising role in the RTTC London South District, for which Chris was awarded the ‘Badge of Honour’ in 1998

Thank you Chris for your support of organised cycle racing, especially the WRRA.

1940 – 2016
A lifelong time trialist who set national trike records, Kingston Phoenix’s Frank Cubis died earlier this month aged 75.
Cubis was involved in a road traffic accident on May 25th  and after six weeks in intensive care he passed away on July 5th.
Having started cycling aged 13, Frank joined the Kingston Phoenix three years later and went on to break and then set several club records; he still holds the club 12 hour record of 256.92 miles.
He also set club trike records and held two RRA place to place records; in 1972 he rode the 149 miles from Cardiff to London in 7hrs 00min 37 secs beating the previous record by 20 minutes; two years later he rode the 291 miles from Land’s End to London in 14hrs 48 mins 22 secs, an improvement of 38 minutes.
His log, kept since 1966, showed he had ridden a total of 440,000 miles. He still rode 200 miles a week up until his accident. Frank, who also broke club tandem records with Iain Margery, stopped racing in 2004 and turned his attention to timekeeping, becoming one of eight CTT London South timekeepers who timed over 40 events per year.
“The lure of the open road and the ability to go wherever you wanted was born in Frank and the bicycle was his tool,” Brian Powney, Kingston Phoenix President, said. “He was a legend”
(With thanks to Cycling Weekly for permission to re-print this)

The following information was added 2nd March 2016

A Sporting Tribute to David Duffield  by John Taylor
David Duffield died on the 20th of February 2016 from head injuries after falling. He was 84yrs old. Known mainly for his amazing tricycle racing, David was up there with all the big names in the world of long distance racing.  He became the one and only rider to successfully break the Land’s End to John o’Groats record from both directions, and took a total of 12 RRA records all on a trike, his first being at 12hrs in 1955 and his last the Cardiff-London in 1971. David also broke 5 Midland RRA records during those same years, and in 1956, also on a course based mainly in the Midlands he broke the RRA 1000 miles record.
In 1957 due to petrol rationing caused by the Suez crisis, he took a train to John o’Groats and started in cold conditions. He rode through deteriorating weather in the Highlands and pushed on to Perth where he met up with helpers including John Arnold in a car, which then followed him.  David continued south to take Bert Parkes record with 2days-20hrs-9mins. Two months later he lost his record to Albert Crimes, and in 1960 he regained that record, going from the south in a time of 2days-10hrs-58mins, and since that day he’s had an affinity with record breaking, especially on the End to End route. David became an observer many years ago and went on various attempts, the last he observed being Walters & Cracknell’s End to End in 2011, which took him all the way to Golspie. I also observed that attempt, and shared a somewhat cramped sleeping accommodation after they abandoned.  Due to his superior age and height, I thought it wise to let him choose the bottom bunk bed!
Aside from his record-breaking activities David rode time-trials at all distances; one of his best rides being 414 miles, the fastest trike rider in the 1955 Mersey Roads 24 hour.  He was a life-long member of the Beacon Roads CC, and rode many long reliability trials, including the Birmingham to Llangollen & back, and his own club’s promotion,  B’ham to Weston-Super-Mare & back, a 200 mile ride in the depths of winter. David spoke well; loudly and clearly, especially when cheering a rider on in an event, or record attempt, and that ability stood him in good stead for public speaking at club dinners, and as a sales manager for Raleigh Cycles, where he quickly climbed the ladder to become Sales Director. He was also on the committee overseeing teams for TI-Raleigh racing squads, eventually working alongside Peter Post in continental races. David was also instrumental in bringing Reg Harris back for his last Professional Sprint title race at the Leicester track in 1974.
Reg Harris asked David if he could ride his old original Raleigh which had brought him so many successes, and David set to and made it happen.  54yr-old Harris went on to beat Nigel Dean in the semi-finals, and Trevor Bull in the final.
David’s connection with the continental scene made him a good choice for his next career as a commentator for Eurosport, where his unique and informative style of race reporting made him very popular with many viewers. He not only described Classics, Tours, and the various riders as the race unfolded, he also gave an interesting and informative view of the towns and countryside as the race passed through, whether it be in France, Spain, or Italy.  He continued this job into his late 70’s, but never lost contact with his roots in cycling club life and his friends in time-trialing or record breaking. David attended as many RRA functions as possible, and always had enlightening opinions and ideas. He also kept in touch with Eileen Sheridan on a regular basis until his death.
The funeral will be private. It is intended that a celebration of David’s life will be held later, possibly in May. This will be announced in the cycling press.
The funeral will be private. It is intended that a celebration of David's life will be held later, possibly in May. This will be announced in the cycling press.

This information was added on 12 July 2015

A Sporting Tribute to Mike Bloom
by John Taylor
On Monday the 6th July came the sad news that Mike had died following a collision with a mixer lorry on the A361 at the Aston-le-Walls cross-roads on June 30th. He was taken by Air Ambulance to the Coventry University Hospital at Walsgrave, where he spent his last few days.
On Monday the 6th July came the sad news that Mike had died following a collision with a mixer lorry on the A361 at the Aston-le-Walls cross-roads on June 30th. He was taken by Air Ambulance to the Coventry University Hospital at Walsgrave, where he spent his last few days.
Time trials at most distances were Mike’s forte, but on the longer distance ‘12hr’ and 24hour events and road record breaking scene he was better known as a devoted helper to Marina. Whatever the event, or RRA road record, Mike was so positive, always there driving the following vehicle with boundless stamina, nothing was too much trouble for him. 
With Mike’s passing, the CTT and the Road Records Association have lost a valuable official course measurer, and a most enthusiastic supporter.

The following information was added on 23rd December 2014

Mike Johnson
1941 to 2014

A Sporting Tribute to a good friend:
by John Taylor
With Mike Johnson’s passing on the 21st of December, long distance road record breaking and time-trialing lost one of it’s staunchest supporters, at the age of 73.
It was about a year ago that Mike told me he wouldn’t make it to another RRA committee meeting in London, and I realised then just how serious his breathing and heart problems had become, causing him to pause and rest a few times on the short walk back to Euston Station.   We sat and had a cup of coffee while waiting for his train and he told me the doctors had also discovered he’d got terminal prostate cancer, and were doing tests to see if the cancer had spread into his bones.  A few weeks later came the bad news that it had spread, and he’d got between six and nine months to live.
Liz and I met up with Mike and Yvonne at Stone, after he’d motored there in his 1930’s vintage Riley with his two dogs in the ‘dicky’ seat.   He looked tired and drawn from the effects of his medication and treatment, but at least we were able to have a chat and something to eat.   That proved to be one of Mike’s last outings, and our final visit with Lynne was to his cottage at Wrenbury, knowing that it would be for the last time.   I had a couple of short conversations on the phone with him after that, but by December he’d faded badly enough to enter a hospice at Winslow where he ended his days.
     I know nothing much of Mike’s earlier life, except for the fact that living on the A49 at Newton-le-Willows meant he was able to see all of the Land’s End to John o’Groats record breakers and their helpers, as they stopped at his father’s house for rest and sustenance on their long way north.   Mike sometimes had to sleep on the settee so that a tired rider could have his bed, and those images and memories must have captured his imagination, as he missed only three ‘End to Enders,’ going through in all his days.  His father Phil’s love of tandems inspired Mike to commission a trophy in his memory, which is presented to the fastest tandem pair in the Mersey Roads 24Hour every year.  After finding his boater hat on the shelf, Yvonne reminded me that Mike had been invited to join the famous ‘Pickwick Club’ in later years, his character being ‘Bill Stumps’, she continued by saying that Mike’s father would have been so proud of him.
     With his partner Yvonne, Mike played a huge supporting role for many years during the Mersey Roads 24hr time trial, keeping the riders and helpers fed and watered from dusk to dawn, and then helping them again on the finishing circuit. Mike’s ribald quips to riders as they overstayed their time at the sit-down feed, or as they wearily rode past him, were legendary. “On your way now, this isn’t a hotel” and “you’re riding like a pregnant kangaroo!” were two favourite sayings, and Lynne laughs every time she remembers him shouting - “Come on lass, I’ll let the dogs loose if you don’t go a bit faster!”
    Trike and tandem trike riding was Mike’s passion, racing at all distances, but preferring the longer events, and in 1992 with Richard Hills, who went on to be a life-long friend, he rode 376.8m in the Mersey Roads ‘24.’   RRA official duties as an Observer and a committee member also kept Mike busy from the year 2000 onwards, with many records attempted and broken.  As well as observing, he was also a great help and support to me during Lynne’s two ‘End to Ends’ and 1,000mile record, guiding us through various towns and cities on route, he even ran alongside Lynne on Berriedale, something I was too tired to do, and  he also showed amazing stamina during the 1000m, probably a legacy of his lorry driving skills.
     In 2006 he took the job of Chairman on the RRA committee, a post he served well, and held until a few months ago.
     Mike had a varied and busy working life, spending many years at sea with the Merchant Navy.  He then turned his hand to driving lorries, taking his trike in the cab on his longer trips so that he could keep fit.   He was a strong Trade Union man for many years, and that is where he honed his committee and chairmanship skills, making him a useful member of the many associations and societies he belonged to and served in later life.  Another of his passions was canals, turning that passion into a living by working first of all as a lock-keeper, a water bailiff, and then moving barges and boats for their owners, up and down the country’s waterways and canals.
     He was interested in most forms of transport, the history in particular, and the engines and motors that propelled trains, heavy vehicles and machinery.  Steam, diesel and old petrol engines were his favourites, and when I first knew him he had a massive steam-roller parked on the drive at his home in Burland.
Mike had a tough, brusque outward appearance, but then he was an ex-rugger player, with many scars to prove it. Road record breakers Andy Wilkinson, Ralph Dadswell, and Lynne Biddulph nee Taylor all benefited from Mikes support and words of wisdom over the years, and Lynne said you soon get to realise that under his tough exterior lay a soft heart of gold.  She built a good rapport with Mike and Yvonne during her many 24 hour races, and with his large, bushy white beard, she nicknamed him Teddy Bear during her first solo ‘End to End’ record in 2001.
     He shunned the limelight and formal functions whenever he could, but he was always the first to heap praise and congratulations on those who had given their all to break a long distance record. During an RRA Triennial luncheon at Hatfield, Mike admitted to Eileen Sheridan that as a lad, he’d paid more attention to the huge Pickfords low-loader lorry transporting her caravan, than to cheering her on.  The lorry was parked outside his house while the helpers took a rest break and a meal during her ‘End to End’ in 1954. At that same function he also met up with Syd Parker, the ‘stoker’ on the first tandem trike ‘End to End’ in 1949.  As a young lad, Mike had been turfed out of his bed for Syd to have a sleep.
    Mike was a most generous man, who gave many hours of his time for a cause, often supplying his car full of fuel for a record attempt.  He lived long enough to follow Jane Moore’s successful trike ‘End to End’ by phone contact, and even got to meet her a few days later when she called in to see him.  In recent weeks and months Mike’s had regular contact and company with his many friends, especially his old tandem trike partner Richard Hills who devoted many long hours to sit with him, and to support Yvonne.
Mike had been a widower for seventeen years since the death of his wife Janet. He leaves a son Morgan, and Yvonne, a loving partner and companion who has looked after and cared for Mike, whilst not forgetting his faithful dogs Paddy and Roamer.
Thank you Mike for all your help and support over the years, you will be greatly missed by all of us.
Funeral Arrangements
2pm Monday 5th January 2015
Crewe Crematorium
Afterwards at the Cotton Arms

The following information was added on 12th October 2014

Alan Fowler died in September. 

Alan Fowler joined the North Road C.C. in 1950.  He embraced all aspects of Club life, touring, racing and organising,  but his main interest was tricycles.  In the 1953 North Road 24, he claimed the fastest tricycle award with a ride of 392 miles.   Together with Roy Cook, his Club mate, they broke the Tandem Trike record, London to York in July 1953.   Their time of 9 hours 9 minutes stood until it was broken again in 1976.  Sadly Alan suffered a massive stroke in 2009 which left him severely disabled.
Nikki Hunt

The following information was added on 3rd August 2014

Dave Keeler 1928 - 2014

A Sporting Tribute by John Taylor

With Dave's passing in July we lost another great rider of the 1950's. Not only was he one of the last remaining links to men's long distance record breaking, he was also a great all-rounder of that decade. His rise to prominence as a time-trialist and track pursuit rider came in 1951 when he not only won the 4000m pursuit at the Butts Stadium in Coventry, but also established himself as one of the country's top 25mile race winners, by breaking Competition Record twice, with rides of 57-15, and 57-11. In the mid 1950's Dave lived in Letchworth and worked in Baldock.  His work as a scientist took him to Paris where he settled and married a French girl, which slightly restricted his racing in the UK.  Dave was a member of the Vegetarian C&AC, a fairly large organisation at that time, and it's probably those links that led to his interest in long distance events and road record breaking. His first 24hr race was the Wessex RC event of 1956, when he completed a winning Vegetarian C&AC team of Jim Hanning and Peter Duncan, Dave's mileage of 439.5 put him in 6th place. On one of his infrequent visits to the UK in 1957 he took 4th place in the Mersey Roads Championship 24hr with 453.12m, and just over a month later he returned again to win the North Road '24' with 480.7miles; only the second time in history that the 480 mile 'evens' barrier had been beaten.
With these tough races behind him he returned in 1958, and on the 30th of May he started from Land's End on an attempt to break Sid Ferriss' 21yr-old 'End to End' record.  It was an unusually early month to attack such a record, but he had to utilise the scarce time he had for racing. At Bristol he dropped behind a 'sub two-day' schedule by 10 minutes, and he rode 242 miles in his first 12hrs.  By Lancaster he'd lost nearly an hour after suffering with a bad back climbing Shap Fell, and at Carlisle he lost more time, due to traffic diversions caused by the Tour of Britain passing through.  He lost all contact with his helpers-(Charlie Davey, Eddie Mundy and his wife, and timekeeper Frank Armond) as he crossed the Border into Scotland, and he continued slowly on. Despite this setback  he was still nearly four hours ahead of Ferriss' time, but he also realised as he climbed into the Highlands, that his hopes of beating two days were gone. He found it easier to walk or 'trot' on some of the major climbs en-route, but he had such a long stride, his helpers couldn't keep up with him!  In the third 12hrs of his ride he covered just 113 miles, but in the last 12hrs his speed returned  and he reached John o'Groats in 2days-3hrs-9mins, taking 3hrs 24 mins off the old record. After a short break Dave continued for the '1000', he had 13 hours in which to cover the extra 130 miles, but the heat of the afternoon sun caused him to feel very sleepy in the saddle, and after only 50 miles, he abandoned the attempt.
29yr-old Dave Keeler, at 6ft 2" and 13 stone, was taller and heavier than any of his predecessors, and his record ride brought the two day barrier closer than ever before. He was the first man to ride the End to End in racing shorts and a club vest as opposed to black tights and Alpaca jacket, and the first amateur solo bike rider to break the record, which had been held by professionals for 50 years. The experience gained from riding 24hr races prior to his record attempt stood him in good stead, although his training immediately beforehand had been minimal due to work commitments. Three months later he returned to win the classic North Road 24hr with 490.3 miles, the highest mileage ever recorded, but he'd ridden seven of those miles off-course after being mis-directed during the night. Despite this, the mileage was allowed to stand for his overall win, but could not be recognised by the RTTC as a Competition Record. Keeler's winning ride done in a crouched aero-style and with a first 50 miles of 2hrs 8mins had shaken some of the pundits, but there were also those who recognised the arrival of a new generation of 24hour men who were to make speed the basis of some superlative long distance rides.
Dave made a three year 'comeback' in the mid-1970's at 40yrs of age, and got to within seconds of his '25' and 50mile times of  1951, and in 1975 he also took 4mins off his best '100’ mile time with 4hrs-11mins. On retirement in later life, he raced regularly as a 'Vet', preferring the longer distances.  I saw him riding a '100' at Prees, and he just looked happy to be racing on quiet roads. I last spoke to him at the RRA Triennial Luncheon in 2012, and his eyes lit up when I mentioned his 'End to End' record. Dave said he remembered it as if it were yesterday, and that he'd only got John o'Groats in his sights, as his ultimate goal. He only stopped for a short while before reluctantly carrying on for the '1000', because he felt his legs would seize up if he stayed any longer.

We are sorry to announce that Dave Keeler passed away on 25 July 2014.
He started his racing amongst a group of friends at school in Letchworth in 1946 and in 1949 he represented England in the World Student Games in Budapest both on the track and the road events.
In 1951 he lowered the RTTC 25-mile time trial record twice as well as taking the 30 mile record. He was the first rider to beat the hour in Wales and was Scottish 25 mile champion breaking the competition record at the same time. Another Celtic foray resulted in him breaking the Welsh 50 mile competition record. On the track he took the National (NCU) 4000 metres Pursuit Title at the Butts Stadium, Coventry.
As was the fashion in those days Dave trained by doing very high mileages which included several very long tours around the UK and on the Continent.  Having got such distances under his belt, by the mid-50s he moved up to compete at 100 miles and 12 hours culminating in his first of five 24 hour events, the 1956 Wessex 24 when he was in the winning V C & AC team. In 1957 he would win the first of his two consecutive victories in the North Road 24-hour event. This was obviously boy’s stuff for Dave as in 1958 he started to think about the Land’s End to John o’ Groats record, which had stood for some 20 years and was held by Sid Ferris (also a vegetarian). In April of that year Dave had moved to live in Paris where he was working for a French high-tech company: he was to stay there until 1963 working on an international defence project. During this time he was commuting by air from Paris to London to compete in events in the UK.  Between April and the start of his attempt on the End-to-End he did two week-end rides of about 200 miles and also attacked the standard time for the 300 mile SRRA London-Southampton-Dover-London, setting a time of 15 hours 38 minutes which stands until this day. During his Christmas break in 1957 Dave decided to reconnoitre some of the End-to-End route so he rode from Land’s End to Gloucester where he met a friendly lorry driver who took him with his bike up to Penrith, so giving him some idea of what was in store.  He then rode home from Penrith to Letchworth.

Subsequently the attack on the ultimate record started from Land’s End on May 29th and Dave was still using his Mercian equipped with the trusty Paris/Roubaix gear with a 52 tooth Chater ring and 15-17-19-21-23 sprockets giving a range of gears from 61” to 94”.  He had two machines built to the same specification with one as a spare on the following car.  Another unusual feature of this record-breaking ride was that Dave never slept at all throughout the attempt. Most previous holders had opted to have a few short naps during the two days plus of the ride but Dave ploughed on for the whole of the 869 miles to beat the record by 3 hours 24 minutes, a total of 2 days 3 hours and 9 minutes. I am sure that this must be the only time that anyone dared to use the Paris/Roubaix gear for such a ride.
This Tribute is courtesy of Peter Underwood and has been taken from an article on his Classic Lightweights website:

The following information was added on 15th April 2014

Renny Stirling  (7th February 1953 to 31st March 2014)

Renny grew up in east London and joined the local Glade Cycling Club at the age of 17. It was a club that enjoyed all forms of cycling and Renny never missed anything – youth hostel weekends, touring holidays, straight-out record attempts, racing on road and track - bicycles, tricycles and tandems.
Renny soon established himself as a key member and frequent leader of the Glade’s successful timetrial squad.  Like so many of the Glade, Renny acquired a tricycle and a tandem. He rose to national  in 1975 with both tandem and tricycle competition records. His 59:28 to win the Tricycle Association championship not only set a new individual record, but led a team whose time has since been improved by less than a minute in the ensuing 38 years. Further tandem and tricycle team competition records followed in 1976.
Renny always thrived in good teams. In 1977 he moved from the Glade to the Unity CC, where he was a member of their BBAR-winning team in 1978. He subsequently rode for Edgware RC and Redbridge CC.
Renny always thrived in good teams. In 1977 he moved from the Glade to the Unity CC, where he was a member of their BBAR-winning team in 1978. He subsequently rode for Edgware RC and Redbridge CC.
In 1986, he moved to a rejuvenated Leo Road Club, where he was instrumental in their choice of racing strip with plenty of stars!  Here, he achieved most of his personal bests, especially in 1987 when he finished 7th in the BBAR. In 1989 he and Antony Stapleton set the current RRA straight out tandem record of 41:04.
After moving to Suffolk, Renny joined the Stowmarket & District CC, enjoying occasional timetrials until he was 50. He was a regular on clubruns and always ensured the pace was high. He rode 100 miles in the weekend before he died.
Renny’s passion for cycling took him into the cycle trade, firstly as a representative then national sales manager for Dawes Cycles. He subsequently worked for Saracen Cycles, Schwinn/GT and East Coast Distribution before working with Spanish manufacturer Orbea. He and Christine were responsible for successfully developing their presence in the UK market.  
Renny was at home, working on the computer, when he suffered a heart attack. Christine found him shortly afterwards, but it was too late.
In 1976 Renny married Christine Goddard, herself a budding time triallist whose athletic sporting background had been influenced and stimulated by her uncle, Sir Alf Ramsey, who successful managed Ipswich Town Football Club and the England football team that won the World Cup in 1966 at Wembley.  In the beginning Renny and Christine used their commute bike ride to work as basic training and fitted in time trial events where possible. Subsequently Renny and Christine bought a couple of almost derelict farmworkers cottages near Chelmsford and spent 16 years turning them into a comfortable home. Christine did much of the planning and Renny developed all manner of construction skills in carrying out their plans.  When Frogs Hall was complete they moved to Suffolk and embarked on an even more challenging project, not realizing the scale of the task to restore a 16th century farmhouse and barn. This construction project was also lovingly executed, although after 18 years it was still work-in-progress at the time of Renny’s death.
Renny’s passion for cycling took him into the cycle trade in 1983, firstly as a representative then National Sales Manager for Dawes Cycles. He subsequently served as sales manager at Saracen Cycles, Schwinn/GT and East Coast Distribution before working with Spanish manufacturer Orbea. He and Christine were responsible for successfully developing their presence in the UK market. They have both always been competitive and conscientious. They worked incredibly hard as a team, both in the business and, in their spare time, on their Suffolk home.
Renny was at home, working on the computer, when he suffered a heart attack on Monday, 31st March 2014. Christine found him shortly afterwards. She and the paramedics that soon attended were unable to resuscitate him. They expressed the possibility that Renny’s death may have been instantaneous.
The Whiteoaks of Jalna was a series of 16 novels, written in the 1920s and 1930s by Canadian authoress Mazo de la Roche. One of the characters was Renny Whiteoak.

Victor Knibbs
Victor Knibbs sadly passed away on 25 March aged 79, from a heart attack. He was a Life Member and Record  Holder.  In 1955, along with R. Lake, on a tandem trike, he set a time of 6.36.43 for London to Portsmouth and Back

The following information was added on 15th December 2013


David joined the Oxonian Cycling Club in1951, at the age of eighteen, while still at Abingdon School and living in nearby Longworth. His first appearance with the club was on a Sunday afternoon club run, when as steersman on an ancient tandem, with a school friend on the back; he made a memorable entrance into club life. The club group were descending the very steep and, long hill down into Streatley. There was loud cry from David " Coming through, brakes are not working", whereupon the tandem pair swept past, accelerating as they approached the cross roads at the hill foot, went straight and safely over the main road, through the village, over the Thames Bridge, coming to halt in  Goring Village. Thus we got to know David.
David was soon into time trialling, riding in a two or three club events in what remained of the season. On leaving school he entered Reading University, where he continued what was to be very long racing career, spanning almost sixty years. Whilst at Reading he started the University's own cycling club but always remained a first claim Oxonian. David preferred the longer distance events, 100mls.,12hrs. and 24hrs. In 1954, while still at University he rode his first 100ml. and 12 hr. events; amassing 241  miles in the Middlesex R.C.12 hr.  event, beating the coveted "evens"(20 mph.) Target. During 1956 and 1957, National Service with the army (Berkshire Regt.) including a spell in Cyprus, limited his racing. In 1958 he was back with a vengeance. Returning to Reading University he rode three 100s. a 12hr. and the club Cheltenham and back  preparing for the Wessex R.C. 24 hr. in which he produced his best ever total of 447, setting a new club record. In 1959 he was teaching in Yorkshire and rode mainly shorter distances. He did not complete another 24 until 1965 when he had a regular helper, his beloved Linda. He rode several Wessex 24s thereafter. In the 1967 event he was knocked off his bike, winding up in hospital. In 1964 the really important event was his marriage to Linda in April of that year. Sadly they did not quite make the 50 year anniversary. They were blest with a son, Andrew, and two granddaughters.
In his long career he completed more than 100 time trials at 100 mls. and became a member of the 300,000 mile club.He was awarded Honorary Life Membership of the Oxonian Cycling Club. Such honours have to be earned. David certainly deserved his.
David did a considerable amount of touring in U.K. and on the Continent, often with Linda and sometimes with club mates; thus he was a complete cyclist. He was a lifelong Y.H.A. member.
He took on offices within the club, promoting club open events and later acting as club Press Secretary. He represented the club on various governing bodies. There were of course family commitments, house and garden, David loved the garden. David moved from teaching to The Civil Service, doing work which must have given him pleasure, since he able to cycle about ( he never drove) visiting claimants. He once mentioned that he often needed to help the less able, and older people, with benefit claims, which must have been satisfying. He had a keen and active interest in the local Railway.
He rode his last 12 hr. in 1993 and gave up 100s. in 1998. His last events, at the short distances, were in 2010, when  he had been diagnosed as having prostate cancer. He set about writing the Oxonian C.C. history but his illness precluded this and the task has been handed on.
His illness did not stop him riding entirely, we would continue to see him on the Thursday coffee runs for a while, but later on he would come by car, with Linda.
He was nursed and looked after lovingly by his devoted Linda who got help in David's final days from Marie Curie nurses.
So! After more than sixty years in Cycling, David, sadly has left us and reported to  "The final timekeeper". A large number of family, friends and club folk attended his funeral service which in accordance with David's wishes was non religious. Appropriately some mourners arrived on bikes in cycling garb.
Barry Thornton, Oxonian C.C

The following information was added on 15th December 2013

Les Lowe: 1931-2013  A man for all seasons:

A Sporting Tribute by John Taylor.

I’m sad to say that I’d actually envisaged writing these very words of tribute to Les so many times in the last decade, as I’d seen his health gradually deteriorate during that time, and I’m not sure in what order his illnesses occurred. I remember him observing on road record attempts around the new Millennium, and never missing his marshalling and checking duties in the Mersey ‘24’, despite him taking a day or two to get there on his trike in more recent years with an overnight stop, his last stint of duty being in 2009. His breathing during those years became gradually more laboured and he told me he had a faulty valve in his heart. He lived alone at Stretton near Burton on Trent, but there were many other keen club cyclists living locally who knew him, phoned him, called in to keep their eye on him, and made sure he was okay.
It was this vigilance by neighbours and cycling friends that helped him to stay alive, as he’d been found on two or three occasions in a very poor state, and taken to hospital for treatment, re-hydration and recovery, and on one of those occasions during the winter of 2010-2011 he had a cardiac ‘pace-maker’ fitted. Les was the VTTA records secretary during his latter years and this took up much of his time, but apart from a touch of deafness he had a very active brain and a good memory. Over the years he’d gradually succumbed to a form of curvature of the spine, and I often wondered whether it was triggered off by a particularly painful ride he’d had on the back of a tandem in the Mersey ‘24’ back in 1982, when he’d ridden for many hours with a stiff neck, and strained back muscles from leaning to one side to see past the steersman Pat Kenny. Les and Pat put up a new competition record of 430.52m that weekend, and as one of their helpers, I wince every time I recall trying to help him to dismount at the end, where he sat on the grass bank, his upper body twisted and his face contorted with pain.
As the title of this tribute suggests, Les rode all the year round, and when the time-trialing season finished he rode Audax UK events, in fact he was one of the founder members of AUK in 1976 when he rode the inaugural Paris-Brest-Paris. His time-trials weren’t restricted just to the UK either, as Jim Hopper recalled, they both went over to Switzerland on a couple of occasions to ride a 12hr time-trial at Zurich. In the late 1980’s Les topped the 300,000 Mile Club’s total mileage competition with over 600,000m, and it’s about this time that he took up racing on a trike for a new lease of life. I used to read the Audax UK magazine, and during one Windsor-Chester-Windsor randonee ridden in atrocious conditions, Les was said to have slept inside a telephone box for a couple of hours during the night! I think it’s safe to say that he was an inspiration to many of the tough, rugged AUK riders and long distance time-trialists at that time, but by 2009 at 78yrs of age Les had dropped to 4th in the mileage competition with 787,213m, old age having taken it’s severe toll on him.
He started life on the Isle of Man, and being a keen rider from an early age he soon became well known in cycling circles. Later he came over to England to study, and further his education, which resulted in him gaining a degree in Engineering. He then joined the RAF, and flew to various parts of the world in a Shackleton as a Flight Engineer. On returning to civilian life he took a job with Rolls-Royce Aero Engines at Derby, and it must have been about this time that he continued seriously with his cycling career and interests, which were time-trials (the longer the better) and in road records, mainly with the MRRA. For relaxation Les used to ‘tour’ extensively on his bike, here and in Europe. He originally started club-life and racing with the Long Eaton Paragon CC, and Jim Hopper said the reason why he switched to the Speedwell BC was to become a member of their ‘24hr’ team.  In later life he also became a member of his local club the Mercia CC.
I first met Les in the early 1960’s whilst helping my team-mates Pete Swinden, John Withers and Pat Kenny in the Mersey ‘24’ and Les was one of the first to join the 24Hr Fellowship in 1960, taking many active roles on the committee during the 53 years since then. He wrote articles and race reports for the Journal, and I’ve since used many of his event descriptions in my book ‘The 24Hr Story’. His enthusiasm for the ‘24hr’ scene was infectious, which resulted in us St Christopher’s lads regularly riding the Mersey and North Road events. Road record breaking with the MRRA was also one of Les’ interests, probably after seeing Pete & John’s tandem 24hr record of 449m in 1961, and Pat’s record ‘24’ of 430.5m on a bike in 1964, and I will now list a few of Les’ road records.
His first was the 24hr bike record of 438m in 1965, which he still holds, his 2nd  record was the B’ham to Llandudno in 5hrs 10mins 16secs on a tandem with Ian Shaw in 1966, and then the B’ham to York & back with Ian that same year in 11hrs 50mins 38secs, (a record they still hold). In 1967 Les put up the current bike record of 17hrs 39mins 07secs for ‘The Circuit of the MRRA’, visiting the Midland towns and cities of Warwick, Worcester, Gloucester, Shrewsbury, Stafford, Leicester, Northampton, Nottingham, Oxford and Derby. 1981 saw him stoking the tandem for Pat Kenny and putting up the current RRA B’ham to London record of 4hrs 29mins 52secs, (you may recall me mentioning in a recent Journal, how ‘hairy’ that attempt was, when Pat and Les came close to getting squashed between two buses as they entered the suburbs of London!)
On a trike in 1982 he took the B’ham to York & back with the current record time of 14hrs 20 mins 11secs; and in 1985, one of his last records was over the B’ham to Llandudno route with Jim Ithell on a tandem trike in 5hrs 27mins 36s.  Of course there were many more records, including some ‘mixed’ ones, but I felt those that I’ve mentioned were a good cross-section to portray Les’ strengths, and stamina.  Over a period of 36 years he rode a vast amount of ‘24’s, at least 35, and to my knowledge, only George Berwick and Jack Spackman have ridden more.  Les had a few good placings in ‘24’s during those years with rides over 440m, and rather than list them all, I’ve chosen just a few of his performances. His first was the Catford in 1959 with 424.3 miles, progressing to probably his best mileage the following year with 446.7m in the North Road ‘24’. In the 1966 Wessex RC Championship with 444m he led Speedwell BC’s Ian Shaw and Ken Smith to a 2nd team mileage of 1,278m.
In 1973 he came 2nd in the North Road with 439.7m. In 1982 he won the medal for the ‘fastest trike’ in the North Road event with 393.2m, and in the 1985 Mersey he put up a new tandem trike Competition Record of 419.15m with Jim Hopper.  In 1985 he rode 403.4m on his bike in the North Midlands CA ‘24’, and one of his last North Road events on a bike was in 1988 with 398.9m. At the beginning of this tribute I mentioned Les checking, marshalling, and helping riders during events, he was also an official observer and roadside checker on RRA road record attempts, and over the last 60 years he’s done more than his fair share for the sport.
Les leaves an older brother who still resides in the Isle of Man, and his niece Christine. We sadly learned of his death from Tony Shardlow who said that ‘Les had passed the timekeeper for the last time!’ 
My thanks go to Jim Hopper for some of the details of Les Lowe’s life.

The following information was added on 13th May 2013

Ken Joy, (1932-2013):

  A sporting tribute to a top RRA road record breaker, roadman, and multiple ‘BBAR’ winner from the 1950’s. 
By John Taylor.

Ken first came to prominence with his riding and time-trialing in 1947, just after the Second World War. His 2hr 5min 44secs for ‘50m’; 4hr 30min ‘100m’, and 238.09m ‘12hr’ took the Medway Whls CC to a 2nd place ‘BBAR’ team win, and with his fellow team-mate Peter Beardsmore, Ken also broke the 100mile tandem competition record that same year with a time of 3hrs 49mins 35secs. He came 3rd in the ‘BBAR’ in 1948, and from 1949 to 1952 he won the British-Best-All-Rounder Competition four years in succession. His BBAR win in 1952 was with a new record average speed of 23.830mph.
Ken reduced the 100mile competition record to 4hrs 14mins 30secs in 1950, and in 1951 he took the ‘12hr’ record up to 260m. In 1952, after winning the Classic ‘Anfield 100’ in a new event record time of 4hrs 15mins 57secs, he went on to reduce the 100mile competition record again, to 4hrs 6mins 52secs, and raised the 12hour record to 264.87m. These performances helped him to round off a fantastic time-trialing career in 1952, and in that same year Ken went on to marry Janet Gregory, a top event winner herself at 25m, and a competition record breaker and winner at 50 miles.
After breaking the ‘Blue-Riband’ of RRA road records, the London-Brighton-and back in 1949 with a time of 4hrs 34mins 13secs as an amateur, and then rising to the top of his game at time-trialing, Ken returned to road record breaking in 1953 when he turned professional and joined the ‘Hercules Cycles’ team, along with Eileen Sheridan. He broke eight RRA records in 1953, the 100mile in 3hrs 45mins 12secs; the York-Edinburgh in 8hrs 32mins; the Liverpool-Edinburgh in 9hrs 20mins; the Pembroke-London in 10hrs 22mins; the London-Bath-and back in 9hrs 36mins 23secs; the London-Brighton-and back in 4hrs 25mins 33secs; the London-Portsmouth-and back in 6hrs 12mins, and the Land’s End-London in 12hrs 54mins. (These records are listed in random order).
After his ‘Tour of Britain’ duties in 1954, Ken had three more record successes, taking the Liverpool-London in 7hrs 56mins in mid-July, and then at the end of July he broke the ‘24hr’ record with 475.75 miles whilst on route from Land’s End to John o’Groats, but suffered set-backs during his ride with a heavy fall on wet roads at Launceston, and then adverse winds and heavy rain in Cumbria left him very cold and wet. Despite this, and also suffering with sickness, Ken carried on for many hours, but his ‘End to End’ attempt was finally abandoned near Stirling.
Finally, Ken re-captured his Liverpool-Edinburgh record from his ‘BSA’ rival Bob Maitland with a time of 9hrs 6mins. The battles he’d had with Bob during his record breaking years made life very exciting, both to see on the road, and to read about, with records being broken and re-broken almost on a weekly basis between the two men. In the ‘Cycling’ dated the 23rd September 1954 there are two pages opposite each other, the first page has a headline –‘Maitland’s 20min. off Land’s End-London’ (from Joy), that was on the Friday, and the next page carries the headline – ‘Joy 10min. off Liverpool-Edinburgh record’ (from Maitland), and that was on the Sunday!  A living testimony to Ken’s speed and stamina is the fact that his Pembroke-London of 1953, and his Liverpool-London of 1954 both remain unbroken to this day.  Many top riders have tried to break Ken’s records over the years, but none of them have succeeded.
Many of these race and record details were courtesy of ‘Cycling’, and from the archives of the RRA.

The following information was added on 10th May 2013

John Arnold

The passing of a record-breaking legend and a true gentleman
John Arnold lost his battle against cancer and pneumonia during the weekend of 20/21 April 2013, and with his passing we lost a true legend of our time. I say ‘our time,’ but if we equate a generation to be approximately 30 years, then John and Albert Crimes’ unbroken road records took place two generations ago, and are testament to their speed and strength. The two men and their records are still revered by other road record breakers, the 24 hr time-trial fraternity and Tricycle Association members to this day. I was probably made aware of John Arnold’s name being linked with Albert Crimes’ in my teenage years when they became the fastest record-breakers on any type of machine over the End to End and 1000 mile route in 1954 on a tandem-trike, which is definitely the heaviest and most cumbersome of machines to ride, especially on the hills, even if it was a Higgins. They arrived at
John o’Groats just an hour or two after Eileen Sheridan had completed her famous End to End and 1000m records, so it really was a landmark in our history, and Eileen kept in touch with John ever since that day.
Their unbroken End to End record of 2 days 4 hrs 26 mins, and 2 days 13 hrs 59 mins for the 1000m beat Sid Ferris’ solo bike time by over 2hrs for the End to End, and nearly 9hrs for his 1,000m. John also broke records on the tandem-trike with Albert at 50 miles and 100 miles, and their 12hr, London-Liverpool and Liverpool-Edinburgh remain unbroken to this day. Crimes & Arnold formed this formidable partnership in 1953, and to me their names are synonymous with each other, like Marks & Spencer, Morecambe & Wise and Fortnum & Mason, but John was equally adept on his own, on a trike or a bike, having honed his trike riding skills in time-trials against Albert from 1949 onwards. Between them they pushed the trike 24hr competition record up during those years, from Albert’s 411m in 1949, to John’s 457.3m in 1953, exactly 60 years ago.
At that time there was a ‘gentleman’s agreement’ amongst most amateur, club road record-breakers not to attack a fellow clubman or friend’s record, and along with his ailing feet, it’s thought to be the main reason why John never attacked Bert Parkes’ or Albert Crimes’ trike End to End records, with Bert having introduced John to cycling club life after seeing him ‘scorching’ home from work one night, and Albert being his tandem-trike partner.  John joined the Middleton CC* in his early years, and stayed with the club all of his life, he was also a solo record breaker in his own right on a trike, taking the ‘24hr’ and London-Liverpool records in 1952, and the York-Edinburgh in 1963.  John was a skilled cabinet-maker and carpenter by trade.
* (Many of the Middleton CC were at John’s funeral and had helped with the preparations.)
Albert always reckoned that John could have put the trike End to End record inside two days, but John suffered very badly with his feet during the 1950/60’s, and indeed for many years after that, and eventually he was diagnosed as having a form of gout which attacks the joints. There were times when John could barely stand or walk, and he resorted to riding and racing in wooden clogs, the sort favoured by Lancashire mill workers at that time. John proved to be a champion, not only on a trike with his 457.3mile competition record ride in the Mersey Roads championship‘24hr’ in 1953*, but also on a bike, taking 4th place with 460m in the North Road ‘24hr’ in 1960, then winning that same event two years later with 462.98 miles. *(John should have received a silver medal for his 2nd place in this championship, but the RTTC rules only allowed riders of bicycles to take championship honours at that time.)
I remember seeing John at events in later years, riding with metal or wooden supports bolted to his pedals, and I also had the pleasure of riding alongside him in his last Mersey ‘24hr’ as darkness fell. n fact it was the last time the race used the Chester to Prestatyn coast road, and that was probably his reason for riding, for nostalgia’s sake, although he retired in the night with a bad back as I recall. Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of his company at various prize awards and dinners, mainly with the TA and the RRA, where many tales were told! John rarely missed seeing an RRA End to End attempt as it passed Winwick Church, always taking the opportunity to hand up a small drinking bottle containing an ‘elixir’ of hot peppermint cordial, molasses, and possibly a secret ingredient?  Alas we will never know what the secret ingredient was, but Pat and I benefited from it when attacking John and Albert’s End to End in 1979, but unfortunately its’ magic powers ran out at Bonar Bridge!
John and Albert received lots of help, guidance and support from Tommy and Peter Barlow, John’s brother Alf, and Pat Sirett during those exciting years of time-trialling and record-breaking, with both men returning that help to other riders in later years by marshalling events, being part of various support crews on attempts, and offering advice to prospective aspirants on how their records could be broken. In fact one of the record breakers to benefit from that help was Dave Duffield who rang me shortly after John died, and mentioned that whilst attacking the trike End to End record from the north (the only record breaker ever to successfully do so), he suffered very badly with the cold as he started to enter the Highlands. Dave also had bouts of sickness, which lost him a lot of time before the 200mile point, but luckily, who should he see on the side of that cold, lonely road so far north, none other than John Arnold who gave him lots of hot tea and peppermint to help him on his way.
John was a knowledgeable man, certainly from an historical perspective, witty with a dry sense of humour, and very compassionate, always asking if I knew about the health of other riders, especially old record-breakers, but if you asked him about his own health, his reply, (always said with a chuckle) would be-“Well I’m still breathing!” Like many old racing men, John continued to use all of his old bikes and trikes till they fell apart, and I’ve heard many people say they could hear him coming during an event, due to having spanners loosely strapped to his top-tube and rattling over rough surfaces. But despite him using machines of a by-gone age, John was quick to embrace other new innovations as they evolved, and I was amazed when he rang me many years ago to say he’d got a mobile phone, and that he’d been learning to use the internet at the library! He had no use for the age of ‘carbon,’ but he was good with anything ‘digital’. When I was writing my ‘End to End History’ book he sent me a lot of information about GP Mills, and much of it was to do with Mills’ extensive military career and life, all gleaned from a computer.
John’s compassion showed through in a number of ways, one being when he and Harry Wilkinson were helping Lynne on her first solo End to End in 2001, setting up ‘comfort-breaks’ for her in Harry’s van, mainly so that she could eat and get changed in the dry at four or five locations between the Midlands and John o’Groats. It was at the foot of Shap where John stood with Andy Wilkinson, Pete Swinden and myself and expressed his genuine concern over how pale and tired Lynne looked, (compared to her appearance during the Mersey 24hr events) and her poor physical state, pressing on in such dire wet weather conditions, and knowing what lay ahead of her. But as we know, John was there to see her arrive at John o’Groats and break the record against all odds, and when it was announced that she wouldn’t continue for the 1,000 miles, John and Harry returned south to the Highlands, to witness Gethin Butler’s amazing records, so concluding a wonderful few days for them and everyone else involved with the attempts, especially for John to get photos (one of his main hobbies). In hindsight I think that journey was probably the last long ‘road-record excursion’ for John, and certainly for Harry, as he passed away in 2004.
Back in 1985, just before Albert Crimes died, John Arnold promised him he would try and locate the grave of one of their supporters, John ‘Mac’ Macdonald who collapsed and died of a heart attack on the road in 1954 whilst riding ahead to marshall the record breaking duo in the Wick area. John had one or two fruitless, lengthy trips north to try and find ‘Mac’s’ grave, but finally in 2006, with his own health failing, he was successful in finding the grave, and getting a properly inscribed headstone erected for ‘Mac’ in Wick cemetery, so fulfilling Albert’s dying wishes.  As he got older, John would say- “I hope someone will come along and break our records before I die.” So, in 2007 when Dadswell & Johnson announced their intention of attacking John and Albert’s two longest records, John lived in hope of seeing his own wishes come true, but as we know, it proved too much for Ralph and Dave, who had to admit defeat in the Beattock area. John always said that his and Albert’s records were there to be broken, and I know from the phone conversation I had with him, that he shared Ralph and Dave’s disappointment that day.
The last event I saw John attend was the Johnny Helms Memorial time-trial in 2011, Lynne was riding with ‘End to Ender’ Pauline Strong, and with it being a ‘Gentleman’s two-up’ there were many famous old riders taking part, and he stood chatting to Brian Robinson, and many more ‘old stars,’ which made John’s day. He was taking medication then, but I didn’t realise how bad he was until I found out from Mike Johnson in 2012 that he’d had one or two falls, in fact John had phoned me in a bit of a panic, asking if I could pinpoint a few of his 24hr race details, hurriedly saying that he was trying to sort out his history, but he still didn’t mention just how ill he was. He got married in hospital to his lady-friend of many years, during those final days, and his Middleton CC club-mates and members of the TA visited him and kept the cycling-world informed of his worsening condition. His twin sister, Rene, also visited John in those final days. On hearing various snippets of conversation from people who visited him, it seems as though John and his wife Shelagh shared a similar sense of humour when John said—“I don’t know what she sees in me,” to which Shelagh replied—“No, I don’t know either, after all he’s no Brad Pitt is he?”
Cheerful to the end, a true cycling legend, God bless you John, thanks for doing the fantastic rides we’ve enjoyed reading about, and for your help and inspiration over the years.
John Taylor.

If I may add a short postscript to his obituary, we found out a little more about his daily life in Chadderton, shortly after the funeral service when we called into the local corner shop to buy a soft drink for the journey home. We didn’t realise at the time, that the shop was just a few hundred yards from John’s home, and when Liz, Pete and I walked in wearing our obvious funeral garb (black ties etc), the chap behind the counter said it must have been a big important funeral, judging by the amount of parked cars, and the crowds at the church, and we told him it was for a very famous cyclist, but before we could utter John’s name, he said-“ not John Arnold? -- I visited him in the nursing home not long ago, oh I am sorry to hear that. He’s been buying his provisions in here every day for years, and always had a hot meat pie.
He was a nice old chap, -- he spoke his mind though. He campaigned for many years to stop the council from selling off a plot of land the local children used as a recreation ground, and eventually he was successful.” (John’s campaigning for fairness, and ‘standing-up’ for the ordinary man against large organisations started in the late 1960’s, and continued through to the 1990’s, where he would send articles to the ‘readers letters’ page of the Cycling magazine, airing his views and pointing out various anomalies that needed attention, and being the famous man he was, he usually got them printed.)
John and Irene who ran the shop knew he was a keen old cyclist in his day, but were amazed when I told them just how good he was, and that he still held many records, including the End to End and 1000 miles with Albert Crimes. I said—“Forget about the pampered millionaire-status sporting ‘Legends’ you read of in the papers today, this man was, and is, a true legend, and will be forever more, in our eyes!” Needless to say, Pete and I just had to have a hot meat pie each, knowing what was good enough for John Arnold was certainly good enough for us.

The following information was added on 18th April 2013

The life of Geoff Lonsdale

Geoff Lonsdale was born in Bristol on 27th September 1949; he lived there all his life.
From his early teens, Geoff had a passionate interest in cycling, which he never lost, even during his final illness. He and his brother took cycling holidays together, staying at youth hostels. At the age of 18, Geoff rode to Cleeve Hill Youth Hostel, near Cheltenham, where he met a like-minded young lady from Coventry. Sue moved to Bristol in 1970; they were married a year later.
Geoff and Sue were active members of the Cyclists’ Touring Club in Bristol; but once the children, Claire and Alan arrived, club life took second place to the needs of a young family. The purchase of a small caravan enabled them all to enjoy cycling holidays in lovely countryside, at no great expense.
Geoff worked as a draughtsman for the Guided Weapons Division of British Aerospace. He later transferred to the Aircraft Division, later Airbus UK. Drawing boards gave way to Computer Aided Design, and Geoff adapted to the new system. His speciality was the design of electrical connectors.
Geoff also enjoyed time trialling. He joined the Clevedon & District Road Club, and rode many events, most of them on a tricycle. He reluctantly gave up racing after a fall from his trike, but he still devoted a lot of time to the sport; marshalling for time trials, and serving on the time trials district committee. This involved long tricycle journeys to venues, in all weathers.
All those riders attempting the End-to-End record during the last 40 years or so have passed the end of Geoff’s street. Naturally, Geoff always made a point of being on the spot to make sure they took the left turn from Southmead road onto the A38 at Filton. He also organised a reliable band of fellow cyclists to man other crucial points along the way through Bristol, ensuring that no rider ever took a wrong turn on the busy city roads.
In June 2009, Geoff and Sue and realised their retirement ambition to cycle to Woking in Surrey, where their daughter Claire lives. Over the next eighteen months, holiday destinations ranged from Wiltshire and west Wales, to the Scottish highlands, and even to Berlin.
All too soon, however, serious illness intervened. For two years, Geoff suffered the effects of an aggressive brain tumour and the subsequent treatments. For a while, he was able to take gentle rides in the local park on a recumbent tricycle. During a brief period of remission last year, he even got back on two wheels. However, by late summer the tumour had returned; it defied all subsequent treatment and Geoff fell into a swift decline. He passed away peacefully at the Bristol Royal Infirmary on 22nd January.
The funeral took place at the local crematorium, followed by a lunchtime gathering at the Aerospace sports facility, on February 6th. On that freezing cold day, over 100 friends, relatives and fellow cyclists attended. Donations to MacMillan Cancer Support and St Peter’s Hospice were requested, and over £700 was raised.

The following information was added on 31st January 2013

Bob Kynaston

It is with great sadness that I have to pass on the news that RRA Private Member Bob Kynaston died during the night of Friday 18th January.
Many of you will know that Bob was diagnosed with mesothelioma in the earlier part of 2012.  He remained as cheerful as could be expected through the initial treatment but it got the better of him towards the end of the year.
Bob was a member of the Westerley R.C. since 1959 and has been a fine example of sportsmanship to all.  On four occasions between 1972 and 1977 he achieved the fastest 25 of the year, including ‘getting under’ and he produced many ‘0’s on the Amersham Road; not an easy task back then on a slower course with slower bikes, but he was always modest about his achievements.
Bob will be remembered by all who knew him as a very decent man; a true gentleman.  He was a very popular President and he will be sorely missed.
Bob was happily married to Wendy for over 50 years and we send our heartfelt condolences to her and their children, Duncan, Lorna and all the family.
Bob has requested that flowers should not be sent (although cards would be welcome), but any money that would have been spent can instead be made as a donation to either Macmillan-cancer-nursing, or Cancer UK, or the Peace Hospice in Watford.  We do not have a date for his funeral at the moment, but we will update the website when we have more information.
Bob's woodland burial will be for family and friends at 11am on Thursday the 7th of February at the Woodcock Hill Cemetery, Rickmansworth WD3 1PD.
The humanist celebration of Bob's life will take place at the Grim's Dyke Golf Club, Oxhey Lane, Hatch End Pinner, HA5 4AL‎ from 11.30. Bob's wishes were for no dark clothing - but yes to full colour cycling kit, and arrival by bike. Tea and coffee will be available on arrival, and after the eulogy, food and soup will be served. Please email to confirm names and numbers so they have an idea of how many to cater for.
When the weather improves later this year, we will run a memorial ride in the Chiltern lanes that he so loved.
The Westerley committee, on behalf of the Westerley Cycling Club

The following information was added on 27th January 2013

Norman Bird

It is with deep regret that we inform you of the death of Norman Bird. Norman died last Friday morning (12/01/2013) at Grantham Hospital. He was admitted with a chest infection, but unknown to anyone, he also had an aggressive lung cancer.
Norman had been N&WHCRRA and RRA Chairman, N&WHCRRA Record Secretary and a Timekeeper for many years. He held the following N&WHCRRA tandem/trike records:- Barnet to Peterborough, 1958; 50 miles,1958, both with J. L. Howland. He held the RRA London to York tandem trike record with G. H. Cox in 1952.

The following information was added on 8th January 2013

REG RANDALL 1926 -2012

Reg Randall – former End to End record breaker– died 17th December 2012. Reg Randall broke the Lands End – John o’Groats record in 1958 taking over an hour off Dave Keeler’s record set only two months earlier. Most of that advantage was gained in the final miles, no surprise to those who knew of Reg’s extraordinary courage and staying power. Two years later Reg took the 1,000 mile record in a time that stood for 41 years. Added to several more place-place records, two winning rides in the Catford ‘24’ and a number of other individual and team awards at 12 and 24 hours Reg’s place among the best long distance time trialists of his era is assured. Of modest character Reg himself seemed never to really appreciate how much he had achieved and in what high esteem he was held.
Naturally Reg’s achievements have been of lasting pride to his club and many Harlequins have been privileged not only to have helped Reg on the road but also to have raced with Reg, ridden with him on many a club run, toured near and far alongside him, revelled in his company at many a club dinner, tussled with his determinedly held views at many a committee meeting. ( You don’t get to take distance records without being a little bit stubborn although he would often raise his hand shoulder high with that all-innocent pixie like smile on his face, to vote against the very point he had been arguing!) During his busy racing career he would almost always meet the club on the
Sunday ride, perhaps only at tea if he’d been riding a ‘24’! Even at the peak of his relentless training schedule he would still get back to the club’s West London HQ - before closing time - with remarks like “There’s fog in the Bristol Channel”. Lesser men were simply awestruck. In life Reg was a champion, a dedicated club man and a steadfast friend. His death is a terrible blow and a great sadness.
The funeral for close family only was on January 2nd. A gathering to celebrate Reg’s life and achievements, open to all, will be arranged in March. It will assist with the arrangements if those wishing to attend register their contact details by email to or by telephoning the club secretary on 01753 885 508.

The following information was added on 24th October 2012

Leslie Victor Reason 4-10-1919 to 5-8-2012

It was with deep regret I learned of the passing of Les Reason, one of the strongest personalities of my club, the South Bucks DA and the  South Bucks RC.  When I first joined in 1952, we were regularly referred to as Les Reason's Mob and to my novice eyes he had obviously been everywhere and done everything cycling.
In fact he was born in Middlesex of Wiltshire stock and became an architect and surveyor and finally a draughtsman with the Gas Board at Watford.  He first took up serious cycling in 1935 when already interested in maps and the countryside.  He first joined the CTC in 1937, the South Bucks in 1938 as well as the YHA.  He was also a member of the Hemel Hempstead CC and the Watford RCC in the war years and the Dragon RC for another five years.  He was also a member of the Vegetarian C&AC, the TA, where he proposed the formation of the Thames Valley TA in 1954 and the Ramblers Assn.  Later he joined the FCOT and was very proud to become  President and Chairman.
His organising abilities were well used by the South Bucks, as clubroom organiser for the Central Section from 1945, runs secretary for both Centrals and Aylesbury sections and DA Committee member for some 13 years as well as organising every possible kind of event. As founder in 1947 and later President of the South Bucks RC Les was instrumental in expanding its outlook to cover events from 25 miles to 12 Hours to give members a chance to be able to put their rides on an entry form in order to qualify for a place in an open event. The 12 Hour became a Semi-open to give the opportunity to ride a "12" to assorted riders from "local clubs", a fairly elastic definition, which led to a hard day's marshalling the 70+ points on our complex course.  He himself rode most distances with moderate success, but was particularly proud of his trike club record of 200 miles and a long standing bike record of 1.2.47 for a "25".  One of his strongest opinions was that the club should be purely for Time Trials which led to some dismay amongst young riders who had tasted the forbidden fruits of the BLRC.
Les was an adventurous long distance rider in his youth, leaving Saturday rides after tea with a hard riding group to head for distant Youth Hostels, for example tea at Waddesdon, bed at Warwick.  During the war he organised night rides for those Aylesburys who worked on Saturdays, as well as hostel weekends.  His interest in maps and in the countryside made him an ideal rides leader.
Another strong interest was railways.  He would cycle long distances to see a famous engine pass by and, being of a persuasive nature, organised consecutive club rides in the appropriate direction to bring home a very heavy engine number plate.  It had to be hidden in ditches to await the next collection party and ended up in pride of place at home in Croxley Green. He also owned beautifully laid out model railway system in his shed at Holt.
He married Faith in 1946 and they continued to ride regularly on solos and tandem until the arrival of Heather and later Jenny, both of whom were brought up with a love of cycling and eventually married cyclists.  After Faith's death he decided to move to Norfolk in 1983, where he lived  with his second wife, Win, keeping in touch with things South Bucks as well as enjoying some cycling in Norfolk and life in a different community. Les was a man of strong opinions, an active life and varied interests, hobbies including photography, gardening, bird watching, reading, poetry, listening to music (and wishing he could play) as well as cycling.  He disliked the exploitation of wild creatures, arterial roads, the drift from the land and , I suppose, the BLRC.  To my mind he was a one off, a rarity and an honour and a pleasure to have known.
Audrey Hughes

The following information was added on 20th October 2012

Leonard C. Young 18-11-1926 to 17-9-2012

Len Young, RRA Life Member and current holder of the RRA London to York tandem bicycle record with Ray Needle since 1950, died peacefully in hospital on 17th September at the age of 85. His wife predeceased him and he is survived by his two sons and five grandchildren.
Len joined the Peterborough CC in 1948, after three years National Service with the Royal Navy. He was awarded life membership of the club in 1975. He won the Club Championship for the best all-round performance at 25, 50, 100 miles and 12 hours in 1951 and 1952. He held the club 100 mile record in 1951 and the 12 hour record in 1951/52. He served as Press Secretary, Time Trials Secretary, Timekeeper, Treasurer and Auditor (both 7 years), and President  (9 years); and maintained a close association with the club until his death.
Ray Needle.

The following information was added on 10th September 2012

Ray Booty 1932/3 to 25 August 2012

Ray Booty (Ericsson Wheelers) passed away in his sleep after a long battle with cancer.
He broke the RTTC 100 mile record in the 1956 national championship with 4h 1m 52s. The next event was the Bath Road '100' on Bank Holiday Monday 6 August 1956. The course was west of Reading, through Theale, Pangbourne, Wallingford, Shillingford, Abingdon and back down the A4 to finish near where it started. Booty rode a Raleigh bicycle with an 84-inch fixed gear to 3h 58m 28s. Second was Stan Brittain, who would finish second in the famous international stage race, the Peace Race in Eastern Europe the following year. Double Milk Race winner Bill Bradley was fifth fastest, while Alan Jackson, the Olympic bronze medallist at Melbourne was sixth; with future Giro d'Italia stage winner Vin Denson fourteenth.
Ray had ridden from Nottingham to the start the day before - 100 miles. For his race he was awarded a medal by Cycling and a certificate from the RTTC.
Ray Booty won the season-long British Best All-Rounder competition three times from 1955 to 1957. The BBAR is based on averaged speeds over 50,100 miles and 12 hours. He was 100-mile champion from 1955 to 1959 and 12-hour champion from 1954 to 1958.
He first broke the 100 miles record in 1955, lowering it to 4:04:30. He broke it three times. He twice broke the 12-hour record: 265.66 miles in 1956 and 266.00 miles the following year. And in 1958, he became Commonwealth Games road race champion at Cardiff.
In September 1956 he broke the RRA 100-mile record with 3h 28m 40s. The record stood for 34 years. He won the gold medal in the 1958 British Empire and Commonwealth Games road race in Cardiff. He won a bronze medal in the national championship road race in the same year. He also won the Manx International road race.
He was awarded the F. T. Bidlake Memorial Prize in 1956. The citation read:
Raymond Charles Booty For his superlative ride of 3 hrs. 58 mins. 28 secs. in the Bath Road Hundred of 1956, this being the first time one hundred miles had ever been ridden on a bicycle, out and home, inside four hours

The following information was added on 9th September 2012
I am very sad to inform you that Ken Sheridan, Eileen's husband passed away last Tuesday 4th September.
Ken had been unwell for several months with Eileen looking after him. They had been married for 70 years.
There will be no funeral.  There will, however, be a celebration of Ken's life at All Saints Church on Saturday 13th October at 2pm. The Church is in Church Street, Old Isleworth, TW7 6BG and is on the corner of the bend with Park Road.

The following information was added on 9th September 2012
Alec Owen Wingrave  25th March 1920 - 4th July 2012.  The funeral of Alec Owen Wingrave took place July 24th with the Chapel filled with family and many friends from the cycling world. The Submariners’ Association mounted a Guard of Honour and two of Alec’s great grandsons carried his Wartime Medals. Everyone present felt proud to have known “chef” – a great cycling character. Alec began cycling as a teenager in Hampshire, signing up for the Royal Navy at the outbreak of WW2 becoming a chef aboard submarines. He saw active service, the most perilous being supporting the Arctic Convoys where many lives were lost. The survivors were given the elite status of wearing the coveted “white beret” and Alec was proud to wear his on the many occasions he marched at the Cenotaph. He made light of his exploits, however, preferring to talk about his favourite class of submarine with a hatch large enough to take a 26” wheel so that he could dismantle his bike and stow it aboard. In 1942 Alec married Agnes, a young Scottish girl who was in the WRENs. After the war they made their home in Carshalton and celebrated their 70th Wedding Anniversary this year with their son and daughter, six grandchildren and sixteen great grandchildren.  Alec kept fit by cycling to work at Odhams Press in London where he became a Union representative. However, his main interest was the Redmon Cycling Club where he held all posts up to President in his sixty years as a member. An active racing man, a time-keeper as well as serving on many local and national committees, he was also elected to the exclusive “Pedal Club”. He held all of the Club Vet’s records, two Southern R.R.A. records and the R.R.A. Brighton/London on a Tandem-trike, and also acted as Publicity Officer of the R.R.A. from 1976 to 1991. In addition he found time to become an accredited Football Association Junior Referee and also a Registered Toastmaster. Alec helped to bring the continental style Grand Prix des Gentlemen into the UK and the Redmon C.C. continues to promote this as an annual event. In 2003 it was won by Sean Yates paced by a young Bradley Wiggins.  Alec’s eventful life made him popular as an after-dinner speaker at Cycling Clubs and Naval Clubs. Even the Imperial War Museum recorded Alec’s war experiences for posterity. He was, indeed, a special character in the cycling world who will be sadly missed.

The following information was added on 14th July 2012
Rocco Richardson, sadly passed away on the 11th June 2012, after a long battle with illness. Rocco was a Life Member of the Willesden C.C. He had been a member for 39 years. He was also Vice Chairman. He was elected President of the Fellowship of West London Cyclists a year ago. I am not too sure which posts he held in Audax UK. I believe he did the Paris/Brest'/Paris ride 4 times. I am afraid at the moment I don't have an obit. written fir him. I am trying to find some one able to undertake the task. He was responsible for organizing the Annual Luncheon for the VTTA and ran their October 25 mile time trial for many years. He had been a private Member of the RRA for many years. The funeral was on the 22nd June 2012 at Breakspear Crematorium, Ruislip

The following information was added on 29th September 2011
The following checkers passed away this year. They had given years of loyal service to the RRA and will be greatly missed. Herbert Lee in January, Mark Nixon in May, Mary Harvey 21st August after a long illness and Chris Whitlock suddenly in August

The Following information was added on 14th May 2011
Syd Parker 1916-2011
On Tuesday 10th May, one of our oldest Road Record Breakers, Syd Parker, Ealing Paragon CC, passed away aged 95. Syd took his first two tricycle records, the London-York and 12 Hour in 1938, and the London–Bath and back in 1939. He set his last two records, the End to End and the 1,000 miles, on a tandem trike with Jim Letts, in 1947, just after the war. His other love was time trialling, being particularly good at the longer distances of the 12 hour and 24 hour, and gained the trike 24 hour Competition Record with 391 miles in 1948. Syd attended many RRA and T.A. functions over the years and his last big outing was the T.A. dinner in 2008 where he was feted alongside John Arnold. After being unwell and hospitalised with breathing problems for the last few months, Syd seemed to be recovering well but succumbed to MRSA in his final weeks. With Syd’s passing we have lost a very valuable link with our past cycling history. Our thoughts go to his family at this time.
John Taylor

The Following information was added on 22nd January 2011
Tragically Pat Kenny was killed, whilst out on his bike on Friday 21st January.

PAT KENNY 1939 – 2011
An Extraordinary Man
Pat was born in Poona, India in 1939, where his father was serving in the British Army. On returning to England Pat spent the formative part of his life at the family home in Kingstanding, North Birmingham. In 1957 he spotted an invitation to join St Christopher’s Catholic Cycling Club on his church notice-board, and he jumped at the chance to pursue his love of cycling along with fellow Catholics from the area. 
I first met Pat in 1958 and he was already showing promise at time-trialling and road racing, whilst still playing an active role in club activities such as Sunday club runs and touring holidays, sometimes as far away as Switzerland. In his younger years he had a crop of sandy red hair and occasionally a stubborn streak to go with it that drove him on. Pat was probably the first in the club to have a ‘go-faster’ crew-cut and it certainly seemed to work for soon he was beating the hour for 25 miles on local Midland courses. Pete Swinden and John Withers, in the early 1960’s, took to riding 24 hour races and soon got Pat and myself involved. They also discovered road record breaking at Regional and National level, and Pat threw himself into any form of long distance racing from then onwards. He also gained his Civil Engineering qualifications at Technical College around that time and worked with those skills in the construction industry until taking retirement in his late 60’s. Pat was a strong Catholic all of his life but never forced his views on others. In his cycling life he was a member of many organisations such as The National Road Records Association, Midland Road Records Association, The Tricycle Association, The 24 Hour Fellowship, Audax UK and The 300,000 mile club, being just some of them, but Birmingham St Christopher’s CCC remained his lifelong club. Pats membership of these organisations greatly enhanced the quality of them for the advice and support he gave, either as an Event Organiser, Timekeeper, Observer, Committee member, rider or helper. By the mid 1960’s Pat had already organised and driven the support vehicle on Pete Swinden and John Withers’ tandem 1,000 mile Record, and a year later Pat set off from Edinburgh on his trike to break his first major National Road Record by reaching London some 20 hours 48 minutes later. Pat carried on towards the South coast and at the 24 hour point he’d covered 431.5 miles, enough to beat the great John Arnold’s record by 3 miles. This was the start of Pat’s prolific record breaking career that spanned over 20 years. In that same 20 year period Pat met and married Hazel in 1969 and set up home in Whittington, near Lichfield, and helped bring three daughters into the world. Alison, Helen and Jane. Pat’s job as a Civil Engineer took him to various locations all over the Midlands and whenever possible he rode to his job no matter how far it was, sometimes a round trip of 100 miles a day.  In the mid 1970’s Pat purchased a racing tandem-trike and that was the start of another episode of his record-breaking days. I was lucky enough to be invited along to ride as his ‘stoker’ and share the punishment whilst staring at his back pockets for up to two days, and with Pat’s inspiration, advice, encouragement and indoctrination of self-belief instilled in me, we went on to break more road records at both levels. By the late 1970’s Pat’s main aim in cycling was to break the Land’s End to John o’Groats record, possibly on the tandem trike with me, and then maybe follow it up with an attempt on Dave Duffield’s solo trike record, not forgetting that the legendary Albert Crimes had previously held the record before Duffield.  Pat was 40 by this time and knew that his ‘End to End’ years were limited. We tried three times in 1979 to break the classic Crimes and Arnold tandem trike ‘End to End’ record, but didn’t quite have the luck with the wind and weather required, to break such an iconic record, which still stands to this day over 55 years later.  By 1980 I could see the look of determination and sometimes desperation on Pat’s face to tackle that long journey north again and as most of you are probably aware, Pat achieved his dreams and broke the trike ‘End to End’ record by 21 minutes with a new time of 2 days 10 hours 36 minutes for the 870 mile journey. I am so glad I helped Pat on that journey as it brought ‘closure’ to use a modern word, not only for Pat and Hazel, but also for me. Pat’s victory was also the result of a culmination of support over those last few attempts from Alan Richards, Tony Shardlow, Graham Dayman and Pete Swinden. In the space of 28 years, Pat broke no less that nine National RRA records from 25 miles to the Land’s End to John o’Groat’s record and he still holds the Birmingham to London tandem record with Les Lowe. Out of a total of 30 Midland Road Records ranging from 25 miles to 24 hours that Pat broke, he still holds 13 of them and his tandem partners at both levels included Kath Akoslovski, John Gills, John Read, Harold Harvey and myself. He was a regular RTTC timekeeper and also kept very busy for the RRA, and amongst his many successes were Mick Coupe’s and John Woodburn’s End to Ends in 1982, Jim Hopper’s Pembroke to Great Yarmouth in 1996, my daughter Lynne Taylor’s tandem End to End with Andy Wilkinson in 2000, plus her solo record in 2001, to name but a few.  By the mid 90’s Pat had accrued a vast mileage somewhere in the region of 600,000 miles and was vying on a weekly basis with Les Lowe as to who had got the highest total, but when Les’s health deteriorated Pat was left to ‘plough the lonely furrow’ with only Chris Davies down in the south to catch and overhaul. This eventually became Pat’s lifelong goal (although he wouldn’t admit to it) to be the first cyclist to reach a million miles.  Over the last few years he has been a great help to me by allowing me to plunder his record archives for research whilst writing my cycling history books, and his source of knowledge and inspiration has been invaluable. I last saw Pat just after New Year 2011, he had got a bike packed in a bag ready for a flight and holiday in Tunisia with Hazel. I asked Pat whether he had managed to reach his goal of 910,000 miles by the New Year and he said yes but by just a whisker, and he was looking forward to riding in warm sunshine in North Africa. I bade him farewell and wished him a good holiday but wasn’t surprised to find a few days later that the trip had been cancelled due to the political unrest in the Country. I’d worked it out that if he kept on riding at roughly the same rate of 20,000 miles a year as he had done almost every year I had known him, then he would probably be the first cyclist to reach the million by the time he was 78. It still sounded an impossible task for a normal fit 72 year old man to keep turning out over 60 miles a day, 365 days a year, but of course Pat wasn’t just an ordinary man. Sadly just before 2pm on Friday 21st January the hand of fate intervened, and Pat was involved in a fatal collision with a motor vehicle in broad daylight. Words cannot describe how we all felt when we received the tragic news of Pat’s death within hours of it happening. Our thoughts go to his wife Hazel, daughters, Alison, Helen and Jane, their husbands Lee, Drew and John, and grandsons, Jack, Scott and James, and also Pat’s brother John in their very sad loss.
God Bless you Pat, and thanks for all you have done for trike riders, Road Record Breakers, time triallists and cyclists everywhere.
John Taylor

The Following information was added on 21st November 2010
Mary Harvey: Mary passed away in August. Mary was a checker on the Lands End to John o’Groats route

The Following information was added on 4th October 2010
Irene Southart: Irene passed away on 13th June 2010 aged 82. She held the WRRA Manchester - Carlisle record in 1961 with 5h 38m 3s.

The Following information was added on 4th October 2010
Bob Maitland: Bob passed away on August 26th in hospital in Metz, France, he was 86. He was placed sixth in the 1948 Olympic Road Race, leading the the British team to the Silver Medal position. He held the RRA Edinburgh - Liverpool, Pembroke - London and Lands End - London twice.The funeral was held at Sutton Crematorium on September 23rd

The Following information was added on 10th January 2008
The Road Records Association deeply regret to announce the passing of Eddie Mundy earlier today.
Eddie had been a member of the RRA Committee since 1976. He was president from 1994 to 2001. He was Records Secretary from 1999 to 2003, and from 2004 to the present. Always an enthusiast for record attempts, Eddie had been associated with numerous attempts over the past 30 years.

The Following information was added on 30th May 2007
The Road Records Association regret to announce the passing of Will Townsend OBE in hospital on May 29, 2007 on his 102nd birthday.
Will had been Secretary from 1945 to 1978, and was president from 1978 to 1994. Upon retiring from the Committee as President, Will became President Emeritus. He had served and supported the Association as a club delegate, Secretary, President and President Emeritus for 78 years.

The Following information was added on 17th December 2001
Ron Kitching
We are very sorry to report the death of a Private Member, a very successful rider and businessman, a great supporter of the Association and indeed, just about every branch of cycling. For example, he made sure when he sponsored a professional team, that Bob Addy attempted (successfully) the London-York record in 1972. It was also well known that he was part of the Beryl Burton story, including her attempts on the WRRA 25 record, when she finally took the out and home ride under the hour in 1966. Less well known is the fact that Ron generously underwrote the cost of producing the book covering our first hundred years history at our centenary. He was 'a mover and a shaker' in the cycling world for nearly 70 years and will be sadly mourned.

The Following information was added on 17th December 2001
George Hunton, Vice-President
Anyone in contact with the Association over the past 40 or so years will have known of George personally, by name or by reputation as a timekeeper, course-measurer and Secretary from 1978-86. With great sadness, we report his passing on 1st December. He was 85 and had been ill for only a short time. Retirement from the Committee just a few years ago did not mean slowing down his active life in 'cycling, and he was out timing Club events during the summer. George was the man who brought many riders into the record-breaking arena - the names of Cottington, Noad, Pitt and Dadswell are just some who responded to his gentle persuasion and expert guidance.