797 miles

Tues Sept 1st 37 miles Went up to Gordon’s in the morning and then for a ride with Tony Standing, Roger Bingham and Len Chapman out through Harefield, along the North Orbital and home via Rickmansworth and Moor Park. Len’s front tyre blew out during an all-out burn-up along the main road!

In the afternoon we went swimming at the Aquadrome in Rickmansworth. On the way home Len and Roger had a pile-up! We held a committee meeting in the evening at Tom’s house. A very nice day despite the mishaps!

Thurs Sept 3rd 71 miles Over to Peckham S.E. 15 in the morning and early afternoon with Len and Tony. Came back via Battersea and Kensington. We went round to Alan’s in the afternoon and then met the club in the evening for a spot of training. We went out through Amersham, up the ‘25’ course, and back via Rickmansworth and our usual watering hole, Nell’s café. A very nice day.

Fri Sept 4th 12 miles Rain again in the morning, fine later. Went over to Alan’s in the morning. Len came round in the afternoon and we met Alan and Tony in Eastcote. Brian Major and Roger came round in the evening and we went over to Nell’s.

Sat Sept 5th 9 miles Did the usual things today. I paid Tom 3/6d for the forthcoming ‘50’. Stayed in for the evening for once. A nice hot and cloudless day – it might even be a good morning tomorrow like the one last year when Alan did his first 2.13. I am off number 7 with only a 2½ minute handicap as my ‘100’ time is fast compared with club standards.

Sun Sept 6th 116 miles Up at 6.00 a.m. and off number 5 at 7.40. I unshipped my chain at Amersham and also lost about a minute. Colin Turner caught me and I caught two. I finished with the disappointing time of 2.21.05 to come fourth. Hence I qualified for the Senior B.A.R. in current second place. Colin won the event with a 2.16.07 and Brian Major did 2.17.30. In the afternoon we went out to tea at ‘The Limes’ Princes Risborough, coming home through some delightful lanes.

Mon Sept 7th 25 miles Put bike back together in the morning. Went swimming in the afternoon at Rickmansworth. Club night in the evening.

Tues Sept 8th 17 miles Up to Gordon Prangley’s twice in the morning. Met Len Chapman and Roger Bingham at 2.30 p.m. and went swimming again at the Aquadrome. Over to Nell’s in the evening. There is to be a final Junior ‘10’ of the season tomorrow night. I have also entered for the last WLCA ‘25’ again.

Wed Sept 9th 40 miles I got my rear sprint wheel back from Gordon’s. Called for Len but he was out. Went round to see Bob Harvey with an article for the club magazine and then met Len at Prangley’s. We then went round to his house and spent the rest of the morning there. In the afternoon I got the Holdsworth ready for the final ‘10’ of the season and went for a short training spin.

I got up to the ‘10’ start at about 7.15 p.m. and was off number 3 soon after 7.30. It was a blustery night, but for the first time this year I did not stagger over the hills and I really thought that I had done a fast ride – but no, I am still in the 26 minute rut. [ At least I was consistent: 26.30, 26.10, 26.30, 26.28, 26.16, 26.26 and 26.19!]. Perhaps it was because we came back from the turn in the gathering dusk which gave one a sense of speed. Len Chapman won with a 26.14, Ernie Jeffs second with 26.17 and me third with 26.19. I beat Roger, however, by only 1 second. Brian Hamer improved to 26.35.

Thurs Sept 10th 31 miles I called for Len at 9.30 a.m. and we rode over to Bovingdon to order some of the grub for the weekend’s club camp. We stayed there for dinner and then in the afternoon put Len’s new Rotrax together. A cold and blustery day – and we both got the bonk! Brian came round in the afternoon and in the evening we went to Northwood.

Fri Sept 11th 10 miles I did a great deal of rushing about today, what with my sister’s wedding tomorrow closely followed by the camping weekend. Got all the weekend stuff ready and then went down to the café [Nell’s husband mended shoes] to collect my cycling shoes.

Sat Sept 12th 15 miles I ran a few ‘errands’ in the morning and then had the wedding at Pinner Church, and reception afterwards at West House. Brian Major and Alan Stratman were there and I had a chat with Len Thorpe. [I had arranged with Len Thorpe to take the ‘official’ wedding photographs, having met him as the photographer on several occasions at Bath Road time trials. Len was, in his time, no mean rider, having held competition record before the war for 50 miles, in about 2.3. The ‘official’ photographs came out fine – but thCamping at Bovingdon. Tom and Sheila are on the left; Bob Harvey (right) eats a sausage.e ‘unofficial’ photographs entrusted to me were a complete flop. I spent half the day posing various groups of guests, only to find that my film was not winding on in the camera. Needless to say, I was not the most popular son!].

We left West House at about 4.30 p.m. with at least three bottles of beer and countless drinks inside, to go off to camp at Bovingdon. We had even more to drink there, but had a jolly good time.

Sun Sept 13th 14 miles Had no sleep at all last night – and only spent about an hour and a half in the tent! Thus I had the weird sensation of a hang-over actually coming on! We had all our meals over a wood fire and eventually reached home about 6.00 p.m.. A very nice weekend.

Mon Sept 14th 18 miles Called for Len in the afternoon but he was out. I eventually met him near Wealdstone. We spent the evening at the club. Francis Thorne gave us another lecture on training.

Tues Sept 15th 31 miles Len and Roger called for me at 10.30 and we went to Pinner to buy some photographic paper. Roger has got an enlarger and we spent the afternoon at his place printing some negatives. We went training in the evening but it started to rain so we called it short at Gerrards Cross; came home via Harefield to Nell’s.

Wed Sept 16th 8 miles Did some [house] painting in the morning and went to the shops several times in the afternoon. I went up to Battle of Britain house with a gas cape [They held an exhibition of war-time memorabilia].

Thurs Sept 17th 25 miles I did not wake up until late so spent the morning doing some more painting. The rain stopped me going out until the evening although I went out for several short spins. In the evening I went training, down through Harrow, where I stopped at Vine’s; then back via Wealdstone and Harrow Weald to meet the club at Nell’s.

Fri Sept 18th 8 miles Went round to Alan Stratman’s and also met Mrs Huggins. Brian is now in Kiel! Len Chapman came round in the afternoon and then later we went round to his house and knocked around Northwood. Went to the pictures in the evening with the club (10 people!) and saw a ‘cracking’ film.

Sat Sept 19th 7 miles Called for Alan and went up to Gordon Prangley’s. Stayed half the morning with the Huggins’. Round to Alan’s again in the afternoon.

Sun Sept 20th 81 miles Got up at 4.15 a.m. and off number 9 in the club ‘30’. I could not get moving and then got the stitch. Brian Major caught me at Shardeloes and won the event with a 1.19. Len came second with 1.20.14 and I was third with 1.21.43. A rather disappointing morning.

Met the club in the afternoon to go out to Staines for tea. Took several photos. Came home via Wraysbury and Iver.

Mon Sept 21st 15 miles Very windy and wet at times during the day. Went to Eastcote in the morning and to Pinner twice. Club night. Took tea bookings for Sunday and paid for the ‘30’.

Tues Sept 22nd 4 miles Wet and windy again. I only went to the shops in the morning. Out to the pictures in the evening with Len Chapman and then spent the evening at Nell’s café. After that I ran home!

Wed Sept 23rd 23 miles Len came round for tea and we went training in the evening. We got as far as Rickmansworth when it started to rain, so we came back. It wasn’t raining when we got back to Northwood!

Thurs Sept 24th 17 miles Went up to Len’s and around Northwood in the morning. In the afternoon I went over to my sister’s flat in Wembley but got caught in the rain (again!).

Fri Sept 25th 10 miles Went up to Westminster (by train) in the afternoon. Met Brian Huggins in the evening and we went over to Harry Ford’s to see some movie films including the one he had taken of us at Whitsun.

Sat Sept 26th 12 miles Did usual things in the morning and in the afternoon went over to see Tom Simpson. We spent the evening at the Northwood Hills hotel.


Sun Sept 27th 85 miles The “Last Chance” ‘25’

The Start Sheet (Tom Simpson).

Thrice accursed mortals,

Ere the sun has travelled but a short distance across the firmament you will assemble at the holy place to perform the mystic rites of a time trial, in the manner set down in the scriptures by the Elders.

The “bonk” be upon him who disobeys the writings of the Elders, for verily he who follows not their council shall suffer the scorn of his fellows and his soul be cast into the everlasting flames.

In the cities and temples of the unbelievers which you will find along the route, are evil spirits and temptations waiting to snare the faint hearted.

In Amersham is the temple of the Great God Fred. Beware of its enchantments. Beyond lies the wilderness of Missenden, but he who is steadfast in his purpose shall return to find a land flowing with hot tea and Pepsi Cola.

ADVRT. Triple strength holy water on sale at Nell’s Café, Northwood.

Number Name Result

  1. Self Sacrifice Simpson 1.10.26

  2. Snogger P. Stratman 1.09.26

  3. Mr A. Standing (Late R.A.F.) D.N.S.

  4. Hot lips Henderson – serpent* (Northwood D.N.F.

  5. Jelly Roll Jeffs – clavichord Bop 1.07.57

  6. Sugarfoot Saunders – glockenspiel Trio) 1.07.48

  7. Hopalong Hatton 1.10.07

  8. Hobo Hamer 1.06.51

  9. Beelzebub Major 1.04.01

  10. Smuggler Smiff D.N.S.

  11. Old Nick (he’s back) 1.07.08

  12. Wonky Willment D.N.S.

  13. Old Bailey (R.) 1.12.32

  14. Taikun+ Turner 1.05.18

  15. Four Ale Farrell 1.09.07

  16. Cannon Turner (stout fella) D.N.S.

  17. Dustbin Dopson 1.09.43

  18. Bonk Bailey (M.) 1.16.07

  19. Barnacle Bridge D.N.S.

  20. Warbling Welham D.N.S.

  21. X X X – 1/4d per pint D.N.S.

  22. Cheeky Chapman 1.08.10

* Serpent – obsolete wind instrument

+ Taikun – (Japanese) Great Lord, Great One



The following failed to report to Filthy Richard (alias Dirty Dick): Mr A. Standing forgot he was demobbed and went back to camp. Wonky Willlment took a stiff whisky to pull himself together, and collapsed. Cannon Turner – just went off. Barnacle Bridge clung too tightly to the mattress. Warbling Welham – slightly off key. XXX (1/4d per pint) – bottled.

Hot lips Henderson got through a few bars and then had a blow back on his instrument, thus failing to finish.

Got up at 6.15 a.m. and off number 6 at 8.06 in the last club ‘25’ of the season. There was a thick wet mist and I could only manage 1.07.48. Len was also affected and did a 1.08.10. Brian Major won again with 1.04.01, Colin Turner second 1.05.18, and into a surprise third place came Brian Hamer with 1.06.51 – a 5 minute improvement! Stan Boyes (Old Nick) was fourth and I was fifth (out of 22 riders).

In the afternoon we went out to the Shanty at Bourne End for tea, coming home via Felden, Chipperfield and Croxley Green.

Mon Sept 28th 15 miles Club night. Gave out the new runs lists.

Tues Sept 29th 34 miles Went out in the morning with Tony Standing and Roger Bingham, and finally over to Colin Turner’s. Out in the evening to see “Quo Vadis?”

Wed Sept 30th 6 miles Out to the shops in the morning and over to my sister’s flat in Wembley in the afternoon. Brian Major phoned up to give details of our ‘digs’ this weekend for the WLCA ‘25’. We are not on the Bath Road this year, but on the H 10 course.