Essex Roads Cycling Club
The club was founded in 1903 and up to the First World War had some first class racing men. Most notable of many fastest times and team wins was the Bath Road Club 100 miles, the Beaumont 100 miles in 1913 and the Eastern Counties 100 miles in 1914. The club also won the team race in these events which were all first class events. Harold Peters was our leading rider at this period.
In 1909 Bert Harvey joined the Club. He performed successfully at all distances, up to and including 12 hours. With Alf West he held Eastern Counties records on a tandem. He continued racing until the middle 1920’s. He was president of the Club for 30 years, until he died in 1958. He was a first class time keeper, for both club and open events. He was affectionately known as Dad by all Eastern roads clubmen and women.
When the Club regrouped after the First World War it had many successes on single, tandem and tricycle. Two great performers were Fred Fisher and Bob Beckett. Both held national and local records.
A great performer on single bicycle was Stan Artaud, who many regard as the greatest stylist of all time. He had many open successes, mainly at 50 miles.
The Club’s membership was drawn mainly from north-east London but from 1927 had a strong contingent from the Chelmsford area. Two great riders from this area were the Rugman brothers, both of whom held the Club championship as well as winning open events.
The 1930’s were on the lean side from a racing point of view, but we won some open events and some good performances were put up.
In 1936 the club promoted an open 12 hour event and this continued annually until the outbreak of the war. The most famous of the winners were Stan Butler of the Norwood Paragon and Vic Gibbons of the Brentwood R.C. The Club was revived after the War was ended and we had an influx of members from the New Era C.C. which had disbanded. they also brought their trophies along.
To celebrate the Club’s 50th year a wooden bench and commemorative brass plaque were purchased. The plaque on a new bench can still be seen at The Green on the Epping Road in Woodford Green.
The Club was numerically strong in the 1950’s and had some useful performers, but in the early 1960’s, for various reasons, fell on bad times and there was little activity after 1964.
In 1968 an old members section was formed and this has been successful. They meet regularly and have quarterly luncheons to which all members are welcome to attend. A number of the members have over 40 years membership.
In 1972 racing activities were firmly re-established in the Billericay and Brentwood area, much of the work carried out by Bernie Davis. The new racing section had a healthy contingent of the young members. Three youngsters:- John Burrell, Mark Lincoln and Robert Hall all won the local heat of the National Juvenille 10 mile Championship.
In the late 1970’s the Club accepted members from the disbanded Brentwood Road Club, including Vic Gibbons who was British Best All Rounder in the early fifties. Vic continued to set National Veterans age records.
The Club went through a strong period in the early eighties. The most successful member was Sue Fenwick who in 1983 won the Ladies National 100 mile Championship and went on to finish second in the Ladies Best All Rounder competition.
In 1984 Reg Smith, together with Steve Cruse of the Maldon & District CC, set National Competition record in the newly established category of the 24 hour tandem bicycle. The following year Reg paired up with fellow Clubman Gordon Irons to set the National record at 12 hours tandem bicycle.
Gwen Cook and Lea Marshall still hold 2 of the 3 ladies British competition record distances on the tandem. They still hold the 25 and 100 mile records but sadly lost the 10 record 2 years ago to the paraolympian girls.
The club is going as strong as ever with over 300 members it continues to participate in all branches of the sport, club rides, racing, coaching, winter training, time tirals and much more. Come along and join us!