504 miles

Mon Sept 1st 17 miles Did the usual things in the morning - to Pinner and Eastcote. Club night.

Wed Sept 3rd 16 miles Cool, cloudy and with intermittent rain. Committee meeting at Alan's house in the evening.

Thurs Sept 4th 36 miles Out at about 9.45 a.m. through Hatch End, up Brookes Hill to Elstree, Radlett and Aldenham; home via Watford and the lower road. Fine but cool with cloudy spells.

Fri Sept 5th 21 miles Out for a short ride. Very cool.

Sat Sept 6th 19 miles Went to Pinner and to Gordon's via Ruislip Manor in the morning. Very cool. I bought a new chain and fitted it when I got in. It grinds a bit, but it should 'wear in'. In the afternoon I went over to Apex Corner to see the (BLRC) Tour of Britain riders on their last stage. Ken Russell had broken away with Les Scales and Bob Maitland and they finished the General Classification in that order. Ian Greenfield was fourth and Ian Steel, fifth.

Sun Sept 7th 10 miles Only got as far as Ickenham pump before the rain started. It then rained all day, some times very heavily. Spent the morning at Brian's and the afternoon at the pictures. Very disappointing.

Mon Sept 8th 25 miles Went for a ride in the afternoon through Eastcote to the Western Avenue and Northolt. Then left along through Perivale, and left again along the A 4005 and home via Harrow, Harrow Weald and Pinner. Club night in the evening.

Tues Sept 9th 5 miles Back to school today. Went for a short ride in the evening through Rayners Lane and North Harrow. Warmer.

Fri Sept 12th 31 miles Went training up the Oxford road and around the Beaconsfield round-about. Rain on the return journey but quite pleasant.

Sat Sept 13th 10 miles Did usual things. Went for a ride in the afternoon.

Sun Sept 14th 85 miles Cold and showery; bright periods. Met the club at 9.00 a,m. and rode down through Staines, Virginia Water and Ascot to Bracknell for elevenses. Brian's front brake twanged to bits in West Drayton. After elevenses (and a beer) we continued on through Wokingham and Arborfield Cross where Len's front wheel collapsed causing a pile-up. I was not in the pile-up thank goodness! We then continued on to Reading for dinner.

In the afternoon we helped in the Middlesex Road Club's 12 hour as 'runners-out'. Alan Stratman did 222 miles. Saw Jackson, Edwards and Randall etc. Had tea in Burghfield and then picked up a fast bunch of riders coming home. Got in at 10.00 p.m. only two hours after leaving tea. We averaged evens (20 m.p.h.) along the A 4. [Coming home from events on the Bath Road was often a 'hairy' experience with sometimes scores of riders sprinting for the '30' signs. There was so little traffic in those days that riders were sometimes sprinting in a bunch spreading almost from kerb to kerb!]. A nice day apart from the pile-up!

Mon Sept 15th 16 miles Club night. Paid 3/3d for the WLCA '25' on October 5th and 2/6d towards the club dinner. I will go round to Tom's on Saturday with the 2/6d for the club '25' on Sunday [the last club '25' of the season, dubbed the "Last Chance' "25'. Tom produced a start sheet for this event which revealed his substantial sense of humour; this is reproduced below].

Tues Sept 16th 23 miles Went out training on the "Green Flash', out through Northwood and Rickmansworth, along the Denham by-pass and home via Ickenham and Ruislip. A warm night. I adjusted my position [on my bike] and fitted a 76" fixed when I got in. Saw Len - I am going to sell him my front Dunlop rim, for 5/-, to replace his that collapsed.

Thurs Sept 18th 15 miles Roger called for me at 7.00 p.m. and we went over to Len's. I took the rim and got the 5/-. We then went over to Colin Turner's via Rickmansworth. Home via Bell Works hill and Harefield. A cold night, frosty.

Sat Sept 20th 14 miles Did usual things today. Went round to Tom's.

Sun Sept 21st 48 miles The 'Last Chance' '25' start sheet


25 mile Time Trial, 21st September 1952

Scurrilous Knaves,

As the knell of doom rings out you will present yourselves suitably mounted on your own appliances in readiness to start on that great trek across trackless wastes known as a '25'.

The following are the conditions and arrangements under which the expedition will be carried out.

  1. All appliances must carry a fire extinguisher, and be fitted with a cowcatcher and hat-stand.

  2. Competitors must be suitably garbed in Wellington boots, fur lined track shorts and gas capes. Head gear optional.

  3. At the start all competitors will receive a picnic lunch box containing a pair of kippers and a treacle sandwich. This will be supplemented at 6½ miles with a hot Gunk [a 1950s de-greaser] and lemon, cold rice pudding and jellied eels. Hot baths will be handed up at the turn and a sit-down feed is provided at 18 miles, menu as follows:

Potage du Barry

Fillet of Sole

Tornado Steaks

Hungarian Goulash

Bomb Alaska

Cheese and Biscuits


Toilet facilities available by kind permission of "Stink"Major.

Carrier pigeons will keep competitors informed as to their relative positions.

At the conclusion all concerned will repair to the 'Havelock' cafe where Mr Topsy Turner will hand round the finishing sheet for the benefit of those who can read.

Competitors will be carried to the starting line in the following order:

Time off

1. Man Mountain Kennedy 7.31

2. Hamish MacBoffin (Financier) 7.32

3. Slugger Ford 7.33

4. Clueless Cliff Brownutt 7.34

5. Stinks Major (Sanitary Expert) 7.35

6. Sherlock Meredith M.I.5 7.36

7. Pancho Cooke & 7.37

8. Mexican Pete Coe (Hired Assassins) 7.38

9. Arie van Huggins 7.39

10. Rev. Septimus Simpson 7.40

11. Unknown Evans (The Mystery Man) 7.41

12. Meredith K. (The Family Man) 7.42

13. Fausto Dopson 7.43

14. Threefinger Jack (Renegade) 7.44

15. Rocket Stratman (The Champion) 7.45

16. Fangio Harvey (Wanted for car theft) 7. 46

17. Slick Dick Houston (Confidence Man) 7.47

18. Poodle Chapman (A fishy customer) 7.48

19. Sourdough Saunders (Prospecting for a

Touring Section) 7.49

20. Hunchback Farrell (The Villain) 7.50

21. Boris Bingham 7.51

22. Gigolo Turner 7.52

From my diary: I got up at 5.45 a.m. and out by 6.30 to the 'Last Chance' '25' on the Amersham course [see start sheet, above!]. Another wet and windy morning. However, I got out to the turn in about 36 minutes after overtaking Bob Harvey and Dick Houston. Came back with the tailwind in 31 minutes to record 1.7.52 – a 27 sec improvement. I came 5th in the event and 1st [again!] in the handicap. Alan Stratman won with 1.3.14, Tom did 1.6.44, Brian Major 1.7.09, Ken Dopson 1.7.17 and Roger Bingham 1.7.54 [so I beat him!].Very wet and treacherous.

Mon Sept 22nd 11 miles Went up to club. McMeekin came up – we are going to have a track championship after all, on Sunday. I entered and am going to get Stan Boyes' 'hat' tomorrow night.

Tues Sept 23rd 18 miles Went round to Stan's to get the crash hat – but of course he had not put it out. I left a note for him and then came home via the lower road through Moor Park.

Wed Sept 24th Committee meeting at my place.

Thurs Sept 25th 22 miles Out for a ride with Roger, down through Ickenham, along the Western Avenue and home via the North Circular and Wembley. Cold.

Sat Sept 27th 15 miles Did usual things for a Saturday morning, and then went round to see Tom. I bought a 'monster' saddlebag from Gordon Prangley's and then got my bike ready for tomorrow's racing at Slough track.

Sun Sept 28th 43 miles Went over to Slough track in the morning. However it poured with rain in the afternoon so came home again without any racing. The track championship is cancelled until October 12th.

Mon Sept 29th 10 miles Club night. I paid another 5/- towards the club dinner. There is no news from Clook yet, so we will have to book digs on Saturday. [We are going down to the Bath Road for the WLCA '25' ].