The History of Stratford Road Cycling Club
In the pre war years, the cycling was run under the auspices of the Stratford Amateur Athletic Club. George Richmond was the Starter, Timekeeper, Handicapper, and Judge. This was an example of the versatility of the Officials of that time. There are stories of George, a avid rugby fan also, starting the races in Regan Street and nipping over to the park to watch Rugby. He got that enthralled in the game, that he forgot about the bike race. No Bike Computers in those days to record the time.
The actual Road Club was formed in 1951. The first President was Ken Walker, Patron was Alan Follet, and the Secretary was Snow Adams. The racing would start mid April through to the end of October, the start time was 1 pm. Club fees were 1 pound for Seniors, and 10/- for Juniors. The Club colours were a white knitted jersey with a red S front and back.
Some names of families involved with the Club, you will see have carried on right through the years with the Club that is why it is such a family orientated sport.
The Ludlam family with 8 boys all of whom rode for the club would have been the strongest Club family in those days. Alex was Club President for years, Secretary, and West Coast (NI) President and Selector, also with his wife Ruth were Life Members. Stan was also Club President, and rode in the Dulux Six Day Races. Jim was a National Referee. Jack was also the Club Secretary with his wife Shirley for many years, they both were Life Members of the Club. Jack took a major role in club fund raising over the years, with great success. The Reed’s, with Father Clarrie as Timekeeper and Judge, Jim, Cecil, Owen, with younger son Cleeve riding in latter years. Kendall’s Larry senior and brother Bob, Larry junior, Steve, the late Dean, and Bob’s son Shane. Mason’s father Bob, followed by sons Rowan, and Keith(Mully). Kennedy’s, Jack the father was an Official, John, Gordy and Rae. Dye’s, Ron who was a great club character, a little man with such a large heart, and later his son Paul. Parkinson’s father Rae was a top club official , Ian( Bill) rode in the late 1950’s and 1960’s. Brian Robson(Randle) won the first two Mountain Races and then recorded Fastest time the following year, he also rode in the Dulux. Ewan’s family Paul, Reg, and Kevin with their parents who were great Club Officials. A name not many would have heard of, Johnny Dickson a Club handicapper of note , he was also Handicapper for the Mountain Race for many years. He was very skillful with his Handicapping using a mathematical
Method and making close finishes. Demchy’s, Jack was great Official with the Club and a great committee man, John then Glen were really great club riders. Glen held NZ, and WC(NI) records, and also was selected in NZ teams. Vincent’s Perce was an Official, Committee member, he also started our first Club Insurance. It was voluntary to join the insurance scheme, it covered bike damage in training or racing. It was run in conjunction with the Athletic Club, they went guarantors for 20 pounds a year each. The premiums for a year were 1 pound per rider. The Assessor was Snow Adams. Gary Vincent a past President, Secretary-Treasurer and Life Member , was Club Delegate to the West Coast Centre for 28 years. He was involved with the Club for just on 50 years. Kevin Vincent served on the Committee, was an Official and a rider. A real Club Stalwart was the late Fred Edgecombe, Fred fostered cycling with looking after the Novice riders. He would build up bikes and give them to new younger riders, and train them, and take them to races all over the North Island. He was Life Member of the Club and the West Coast Centre. He held all positions in the Club.
Eagar Family, Roy was an Official while his sons David, the late John , and Michael were prominent riders. David and John both rode in the Dulux Six Day Race. Jordan family, Norm was the Clubs First Aid man, Life Member, Committee man, Time Keeper, Delegate to the West Coast Centre. Sons Martin, Ian, Dennis and Barry all featured well with the Club, with Barry still a member. The Cox Family, Stephen, Blair and Greg, all these riders became world class riders and all represented, Stephen Commonwealth and Olympian, Blair Commonwealth Rep, Greg Tour of Tasmania. They all rode the Dulux for many years. Blair and Greg are still involved with the club, Greg a past President and Committee, Blair was a Committee person. Burnnand’s, Dave was an Official and committee man, Graeme was a rider, Secretary, Treasurer, and is a Club Life Member, Wayne also rode the road but track was his forte.
The Foley's were also a prominent cycling family in the Club for many years. The late Leo rode for the Club and was a great Official, the late Melva helped in the Kitchen with all the afternoon teas. Son Trevor was an outstanding Junior cyclist winning many WCNI Titles. Also in the Dulux Auckland to Wellington Classic he wore the Yellow Jersey for 4 days. Trevor is still competing and lives in Hamilton. Younger brother Kevin, also rode many years, winning many Club and Taranaki Titles.
Club rooms: In the earlier days the club rooms were at the back of the old County Hotel, with showers and changing rooms. The Club shifted to above Carryer’s Mens Wear in the centre of Broadway. In 1966 the Club shifted to the present Club Rooms, now the Masonic Hall. In the early 1990’s the Club raised money and built on new showers, which the Club still uses to this day.
FUND RAISING: In the 1950’s the main monies raised was by Raffles, Pig in the Barrow, and Rugby Sweepstakes, Also the Club had a Ladies Committee who raised money for the club, e.g a doll and clothes raffle with Wardrobe made by Jim Reed, it netted 66 pounds. The proceeds went to buying trophies for the Queens Birthday 25 Mile Open Race.
OPEN RACES: The open 25 was held at Queens Birthday Monday every year. Up to 100 riders took part, to Inglewood and return, then as the roads got busier we raced to Te Roti and return, later the Race went to Douglas and return. Sadly with the traffic problems and dwindling numbers the Queens Birthday racing stopped. The Club also held 2 day races, and the Toko Tavern 3 day tour which was popular with Taranaki and Waikato riders. A lot of help from all members saw big morning and afternoon teas supplied to all riders, officials, and supporters.
NUMBERS: In 1958 the Club voted to obtain 100 numbers. Roy Eagar supplied the vinyl, and an upholsterer cut out the numbers, then the members glued them onto the vinyl. These numbers have been used consistently right to the present day, they cost 2 pound 5/6 or $4-55 in total.
SOCIALS: These were held regularly and also to present the Club Trophies at the end of the season. The ladies brought a plate , and the Club had a lot of food donated from local businesses.
This also was great a fund raiser for the club. We had a Band and plenty of dancing and fellowship was provided the Club sold Beer and Juice. Sadly in the later years fights and gates crashes put paid to what had been decades of great success.
NUMBERS OF RIDERS: The Club has been through highs and lows number wise, but has carried on successfully even though for up to 8 years we only had 5 to 10 riders. It was the true
Club values that kept the Club going. Afternoon teas and a good chat after the racing, to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere, is what this club is all about.
NATIONAL EVENTS: In 1993 the Club held the National Week of Cycling. The AGM, The Time Trials, Criteriums, and the Road Races. With the help of the whole Town it was a roaring success.
In the past in the Hope Gibbon National Teams Time Trial event the club has finished 3rd Place.Greg & Blair Cox, Larry Kendall, Graham Hendry, and Bernie Fletcher were the team. Club riders have won numerous National Titles over the years.The Stratford Cycling Club can be justly proud of it’s contribution to the community and the sport of cycling. It continues to be strong in numbers and support, due to the Club values instilled by our past cycling fraternity, and the friendships developed through working together.
Last Updated (Wednesday, 12 May 2010 09:29)