656 miles

Sat Sept 1st 1 mile Received my start sheet for tomorrow’s ‘25’ in the morning. I am first off! Colin Turner is 2 minutes behind he (he’ll catch me), Tony Tucker is 4 minutes behind me (he might catch me); Alan Stratman is 6 minutes behind me (he won’t!).

Sun Sept 2nd 75 miles Got up at about 5.15 a.m. and was out by 6.00 up to the start on the Western Avenue by 6.20. There was fog everywhere and going out I (first off) could not get the gear moving at all. I was so cold, and after the turn I felt so horrible that I packed it in! I think that I must have caught a slight cold and I nearly brought up my breakfast three times! I managed to do 1.15.53 even though I came back all the way on tops. Alan Stratman did a 1.3.56 and Tony Standing 1.4.02.

In the afternoon we went out to tea (ten of us) through Watford and St Albans to Cowper Cottage (Harpenden) for tea – lashings of it! After tea we came back through the lanes via Redbourne, Hemel Hempstead and then back through Watford and Northwood. A nice but disappointing day.

Mon Sept 3rd 10 miles It started off fine today but I was too busy to get out and by the time that I was ready to set off for the club it was pouring. I waited about a bit but it did not stop so I carried on. Took 6 tea bookings for Sunday and began to take numbers for Cleeve Hill [the annual youth hostel week-end in November].

Tues Sept 4th 15 miles Back to school today. In the evening we met at 8.00 at Nell’s café and went to the Herige Wheelers’ clubroom. Came home via Hatch End and Northwood. Had a ‘tear-up’ going there.

Thurs Sept 6th 25 miles Went training in the evening by myself down through Pinner, Hatch End, up the hill to Bushey and then down to the Watford by-pass. Here I turned left and continued to Hunton Bridge, left to Buckhill common and then home via Rickmansworth and Northwood, all in 1¾ hours. A very nice evening.

Sat Sept 8th 20 miles Mucked about in the morning and afternoon at Alan Stratman’s house. We went over to Knight’s [bike shop] to buy some stuff for Tony’s bike, and later again to buy myself s D’Allessandro Côte d’Azur tubular [a tubular made of bright blue rubber!]. In the evening we went over to see Brian. A nice day.

Sun Sept 9th 69 miles In the morning we went over to Southall to see the start of the BLRC “Tour of the Chilterns”. We then went out for a short ride before lunch. In the afternoon we went back to see the finish of the race (Ian Steel 1st, Dave Bedwell 2nd) and then at about 4.00 p.m. we left up the Oxford road through Gerrards Cross and Beaconsfield to Marlow for tea. Came back through Burnham Beeches and Fulmer. Another very nice day!

Mon Sept 10th 10 miles Club night. Took bookings for Sunday’s run to Basingstoke and Reading. Played and beat Brian at table tennis. Paid another 2/- towards the club dinner (5 tickets) – 18/- in all! Going out on Thursday as I will not be able to go out during the week.

Thurs Sept 13th 38 miles Went out through Pinner, Pinner Green and then round over the hills to Batchworth Heath and down to Northwood where I met Tony Tucker, Tony Standing and Alan Stratman at 8.00 p.m. at Nell’s café. We then went out (with lights on) through Rickmansworth and then left down the lanes to Sarratt and Chipperfield to Tower hill and then left down Chenies hill, very slowly to Chenies and then home via Rickmansworth. A very nice evening, moonlit but cold. We had quite a few thrilling experiences going down those hills in the pitch dark with only the rear light in front to guide you.

Sat Sept 15th 5 miles Went to Pinner in the morning and messed about generally. Tony Tucker came round in the evening but I went to the pictures with Ken and Mary. Saw a very good programme. We are going to Basingstoke tomorrow.

Sun Sept 16th 92 miles left Northwood at about 9.15 a.m. down through Ruislip, Ickenham and Uxbridge, through West Drayton to Staines for elevenses. The sun was out and quite warm by now so we stayed a while by the river before pushing off into a head wind through Egham, Sunningdale, Bagshot and Camberley to Basingstoke for dinner. Seven people had booked lunches but only two turned up – rotten dogs! After dinner the sun went in. We left up the Aldermaston road and then turned right to Bramley and then left on the A 33 to Reading for tea. After tea it started to rain and we tucked in behind a slow coach (literally, not metaphorically!) through Maidenhead to Slough (where we met Tony Standing, Brian and Tony Tucker who had been marshalling in the South Ruislip ‘50’). We then continued on home up the viaduct.

Mon Sept 17th 10 miles Club night. Took bookings for Sunday and money for Cleeve Hill. The committee meeting is at my house on Wednesday.

Wed Sept 19th Committee meeting. Tom Simpson brought round the tubular which I am going to ride on Sunday. I am 20th off (for a change – late) at nearly 7.00 a.m. We are going to organise an ‘open’ running race, and I am to organise a club Scavenger Hunt.

Thurs Sept 20th 48 miles In the evening I went for a ride out through Rickmansworth, Amersham, Chesham and then up entirely new lanes (to me) through Hawridge, Cholesbury, down White hill and out on to the main A 41 at Aston Clinton. Here I turned right and went home as quickly as possible as it was dark and cold, through Tring, Berkhampstead, Bourne End, Hemel Hempstead, Kings Langley and then to Watford and home via Moor Park and Northwood. In Moor Park I saved a hedgehog’s life by putting it on the grass verge when a car was coming! A very nice ride indeed and quite a good evenings mileage for this time of the year.

Sat Sept 22nd 12 miles Went up to Pinner and over to Knight’s in the morning to buy some tubular rim cement. Fitted tubs when I got in. Later on I went round to Brian’s to see if he had got his track bike yet, but he hadn’t. The boys were round there so we went out for a ride. Went to Brian’s again in the evening and then round to Ruislip Manor. Brian had his new bike by then – very nice.

Sun Sept 23rd 105 miles The ‘Last Chance’ ‘25’

The start sheet (composed by Tom Simpson; such a start sheet became a part of the club folklore for the next few years).

MISCREANTS! On the above date at your appointed hour you will report to the Honourable Inquisitor (Ricardo el Houstoni) to do penitence under the ruling of the Ancient Order of the R.T.T.C.

PUNISHMENT DETAILS: Each man, garbed in the robes of penitence, will mount his rack and, on the command “Five, four, three, two, one, OFF!” he will flog himself unmercifully over the following specially selected torture route:-

From the usual start you will grind your way through the olde worlde villages of Chalfont St Peter and Chalfont St Giles, thence through that cesspool of iniquity – Amersham (beware of that temptation to stop at Fred’s). On to the Mountains of Shardeloes and the Plains of Missenden.

One league further on, past that monument of vice – “Ye Olde Black Horse” – stands the High Priest, Leonardo Chapman who, with a word of comfort, will speed you on your return journey through Plains and Mountains and, as the strength departs from your weary limbs, gird up your loins for that last devastating sprint, and prostrate yourself before the Honourable Inquisitor to receive judgement (WOT! Outside Evens?).

Number Name Time off Time

1. Snoops Meredith of the Press 06.37

2. Signalman Harvey G.P.O. 06.38

3. Tojo Major 06.39

4. Sophie Tucker 06.40

5. Eileen Joyce Madgewick 06.41

6. Woofer Dopson 06.42

7. Clanger Stratman 06.43 1.04.47

8. The Boff 06.44

9. Simplex Simpson 06.45 1.07.09

10. Hairpin Huggins 06.46 1.08.45

11. Dumbo Speakman 06.47 1.07.45

12. Chipper Wood 06.48 1.06.48

13. Birdie Ford 06.49

14. Mockers Turner 06.50

15. Mikalhov Bramblebush 06.51 1.10.26

16. Casanova Turner 06.52 1.10.27

17. Dook Howard 06.53 1.04.21

18. Muscles Meredith 06.54 1.09.09

19. Gentleman Jim (Farrell) 06.55 1.09.00

20. Dimitriov Saunderovsky 06.56 1.10.58

21. A.C. 2 Standing 06.57 1.05.08

Snoops Meredith – Overwork (on to something big)(see below)

Signalman Harvey G.P.O. – Tyre trouble – we always thought that G.P.O. machines were useless

Tojo Major – Started, but fell by the wayside

Sophie Tucker – Stayed with his “Red Hot Mamma”

Eileen Joyce Madgewick – Still finishing the Unfinished Symphony

Woofer Dopson – One cream slice too many

The Boff – Safe in the arms of Morpheus

Birdie Ford – Still on the trail of the Lesser Spotted Grebe

Mockers Turner – Married life too much for him?

Roger the Lodger – Collapsed!

The High Priest was missing from his appointed position – he went to the wrong altar.

FLASH! By “Snoops” our overworked reporter:

Who was the mysterious intruder who broke into Boff’s residence via the lavatory roof and window, flashed a brilliant light in his face and hoarsely demanded “Where’s my ruddy wheel?” Is he in any way connected with the gentleman who appeared at the start disguised in a cloth cap and dark glasses?

From my diaries: I got up at 4.45 a.m. and out by 5.30 up to the ‘25’ course. I did a 1.10.58 – an improvement, but not as much as I had hoped. Tubs are super. Very hard coming back into a head wind – which may be judged by the fact that Alan Stratman only did a 1.4.47 (and came second). The event (handicap) was won by Dook Howard with 1.04.21 and a handicap time of 1.03.36. I came ninth with a handicap time of 1.04.58. A wet day.

In the afternoon we went out to tea with the club, through Rickmansworth, Chenies, Chesham, Chartridge to Wendover for tea. We came home via Great Missenden, Little Missenden, Holmer Green and Penn Street to Beaconsfild and then home down the A 40 through Gerrards Cross and Ickenham. A very nice day indeed and quite successful.

Mon Sept 24th 10 miles Club night, took bookings for Sunday’s run and played darts. Took final bookings for Cleeve Hill; will send them off on Tuesday with the new runs list.

Sat Sept 29th 38 miles I couldn’t get out on Thursday because of the weather conditions, so I made up for it today. After doing the usual things in the morning, and going over to Tony’s, in the afternoon we went out for a ride through Hatch End, Moor Park, Watford, Croxley Green, Chorleywood and Swillett, and then home through Harefield and Northwood. A very nice ride. Cleaned bike in the evening. I am going to watch the club’s hill climb tomorrow.

Sun Sept 30th 74 miles left Northwood at about 9.00 a.m. through Ickenham, Denham, Fulmer and Burnham to the ‘Southdown’ café at Taplow for elevenses. Roger Bingham had to go home from there because he had stripped his pedal, and Tony Tucker left us to go home for dinner. The rest of us turned left up through Hedsor to Beaconsfield, Amersham, Chesham and Berkhampstead to the ‘Shanty’ at Bourne End for dinner. We then went out to White hill to watch the hill climb. Jim Farrell won with 1min 5 sec, Roy Turner 1.9 and Tony Tucker 1.12. We left the vicinity by about 4.15 out through Berkhampstead, Hemel Hempstead and Redbourne and staggered into Cowper Cottage at Harpenden with the ‘hunger knock’. After that was cured by an enormous tea we came home through St. Albans and Watford. There were about 14 blokes out today!