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To TA East members and friends

From Ferg Muir

THE TA EAST LUNCH is this SUNDAY – 5th FEBRUARY, so if you have not already done so, please ring or email your booking to Martin Badham 01603 897738

I will repeat the full details near the end of this newsletter.

One or two things to add:- although it is not an official run, it is clear several of us will be parking at The Manger and riding to Lavenham in the morning. We intend leaving at 9.30am. Feel free to join us.

Although the Travelodge offers mentioned in TAEN have been taken up, another possibility is the B&B almost next door to Manger. Their website is Phone 01284 386333

Raffle Prizes – I am pretty sure these will be welcome on the day


I asked our member in Botesdale , William Sargeant, to write about the centenary of the Century Road Club, a club with a strong tricycle tradition. Almost by return he responded with the following article:-

Century Road Club Centenary Dinner
by William Sargeant

Last Saturday 14 January I put the trike on the car and headed for Hertfordshire for a weekend of nostalgia with the Century Road Club.

The background to how I have become a long term member of the Century is worth recalling. I was born in Hertford and moved to Hoddesdon before the end of the war, but in due course went to Hertford Grammar School. One Saturday in the summer of 1959 I was heading west toward Chalfont to collect a wheel that had been rebuilt as a result of a broken hub the week before, and passed a veteran club rider, who fought back on terms to engage me in conversation. My first meeting with Jack Spackman occurred at the age of 15, and before the end of the year he had persuaded me to join the Century Road Club, even though we were a bit on the edge of its normal client base, it being very much a north London club. I am not sure that my parents fully approved of Jack’s influence since I was preparing for “O” levels that year, and it may not be unconnected that we moved the following autumn to Botesdale, outwardly for Mum and Dad to adapt to country living in preparation for retirement.

I found that the Century had a great combination of tradition rooted in long distance road riding, active clubruns and a full racing programme, so although I rode second claim for Diss and District while in the sixth form at Diss Grammar, I was able to engage fully with the Century again when I went to London to University. I continued to meet up with and race for Century through the 1960’s and 70’s until I moved to Leicester and took up competition at road and fell running for the next 15 years. But back to the Dinner.

Century dinners in the 1960’s, always held at the Horseshoe Hotel on Tottenham Court Road, were all male preserves, an evening of cross toasting, formal speeches and presentations, and I was given the honour at the 50th dinner in 1962 of proposing the toast to the founder members, of whom there were still about 6 surviving. So I had to mug up on the history of the club and its foundation from a Cycling competition in 1911, where entrants recorded the number of 100 mile rides completed within the year. Some riders recorded double century rides, and before the end of the year of completion, won by Marcel Planes with 332, a group of riders decided they should continue to ride together, and the Century Road Club was formed in 1912 with George Herbert Stancer (GHS) as President, a post he held for over 50 years.

The club membership is dwindling, down to less than 30 members now, but it has established links with enough other clubs for over 70 cyclists to celebrate the centenary. A slide show of photographs ran continuously throughout the evening to remind us of the many facets of cycling that make up club life – club runs, map reading contests, the open events, the Easter trip to the Isle of Wight, the smoking concerts, the record attempts, the dinners and the prize presentations. The tradition of cross toasting thrived, and when I took wine with past and present members of the TA, there was an enthusiastic response, including Tom Morley from the Southgate CC, but I wasn’t able to note all the names.

I had arrived at the Roebuck in Ware in the early afternoon to give myself time to ride across to Amwell, St Margarets, Hoddesdon, the back lanes to Hertford, where a road widening scheme has demolished the house I was born in. That was a strange sensation to ride over the site in Hertingfordbury Road, mixing it with the busy traffic in the one-way system. Out of Hertford, up the hill to Bengeo and across to Wadesmill before heading south again to Ware, to share tea and memories before the dinner. On the Sunday morning I worked off the after-effects of the wine and Guinness with a ride through the back lanes to Buntingford, Cottered, Walkern and Sacombe, which only served to prove that I am not as fit as I thought I was.

Now I am back in Botesdale at the same address as 50 years ago, with a family of my own, as chairman of the Parish Council, working at Sizewell, leaving far less time for cycling than I used to devote in those hazy heydays of the 60’s. In 1965 I recorded 20,000 miles on bicycle and tricycle, just about the mileage I drive these days, but I noted that I still hold the club records for 100 miles, 12 hours and 24 hours tricycle. What memories.

William Sargeant – Century Road Club

William has sent me an pdf copy of the 8 page menu card with items on the history of the club and many photos, focussing on tandems – including one of Titch Morris and Mick Henighan. I can easily forward this on request.

Also available is an address which leads to a huge collection of Century RC-related snapshots.

Entering its second century the club now has its first website:


I was pleased to talk to Jim Elsegood recently. He and his wife Janine have ridden with us in more than one era of TA East history.

Jim tells me that he has decided to sell his Higgins ladyback tandem trike, having come to the conclusion that he he is not going to find time to restore it in the foreseeable future. He thinks it is 21 inch at the front and 20 at the back. The rear section is an X frame – like some Edwardian Raleigh bicycles. Sounds a sensible design for maintaining rigidity at the same time as offering a step-through facility. I haven’t seen it , but I get the impression the equipment is old…..or wonderfully original, according to your point of view.

Jim, who lives at Orford Cluny, near St Neots indicated that only a modest price will be expected. Talk to Jim on 01480 810539 or via


At our November meet the invitation was extended by members of the Lea Valley CC that a TA weekend could be held at their clubhut at Burton End near Bishops Stortford. Dates were offered and we settled for the WEEKEND Fri 2nd to Sun 4th March 2012

Thanks to energetic work by LVCC/TA members, Here is the basic plan:-

Friday 2nd March Arrive at hut. Someone will be there between 4 and 9pm.

Take-away meal (most likely fish & chips, or perhaps Indian) eaten at Hut. End of evening at adjoining pub, The Ash.

Saturday 3rd March Mike has planned (and tried out) a clubrun, 17 miles to Lunch, Elevenses at Green Tye, lunch at the Nags Head Little Hadham. Return to Burton End – Can be as little as 10 miles, more if weather is good. Evening – Frida will, perhaps with some help, put together a meal – was spaghetti mentioned? ?(my memory getting bad). Adjourn to Ash

Audax Alternative: The Shaftesbury 200km Audax starts nearby. Mile-eaters may prefer this. Chairman Martin has already entered.

Sunday 4th Help clear up and clubrun. Perhaps around Hatfield Forest.

More details to come – no doubt there are bednight fees, for instance.

The Grid ref of the Comet Hut is TL 512237. Yes, it is at the side of Stansted Airport. But the runway is a mile away and aircraft do not pass overhead.

By the way, I made a mistake in the Gazette, describing the hut as oil-lit. Lighting is by gas and candles.

Looking further ahead – the East 100 is to be based at Fakenham in North Norfolk on Sat 12th May. 

I know camping is available at Fakenham Racecourse and a clubrun to the coast on Sunday, in the spirit of the runs associated with the Bungay Criterium weekends of yore , is very much on the cards.

Many of you will remember RENNY STIRLING, who broke the Tricycle 25 miles Competition Record, doing 59:28 in 1975 and winning of the Stan Spelling Trophy in 1975 and 1977, all while riding for the immortal Gladys All-Stars, alias the Glade CC.

Renny was presented to the crowd at last month’s cyclo-cross National Championships at Ipswich, not as a winner, but in his role with Orbea the frame manufacturers, who are sponsoring the cyclo-cross European Championships for Juniors, Women etc in Ipswich on the first weekend in November this year.

Incidentally, one of the competitors at the Ipswich cyclo-cross National Championships was Mr Trykit, Geoff Booker, one of the relatively small number in the 60+ age group.

We had a good January Meet with Elevenses at Goodies Farm Shop and Billingford Horseshoes where eight of us enjoyed lunch.


I’m conscious that some parts of the Region that are on the fringes, or very thinly populated with TA members, or both, never see a TA East Meet. Indeed two Christmas cards from North Norfolk had notes saying “When will there be a run up here?”

TA East meets are planned with a close eye on a map showing the distribution of members – Keeping the meets near the members.

However, as an experiment, I rang up Cec Neale,and we agreed to meet at the Cross Keys at Dilham, in far NE Norfolk, and I rang up or emailed the other members in the area (not a big job!). The result was a pleasant lunchtime enjoyed by Cec, Martin, Russell Bryant and myself.

I think there could be scope to follow up this idea – it just needs two members to commit themselves to meet. This is probably more easily achieved at moderately short notice.

Finally, I repeat details of the
THE TA EAST LUNCH on Sunday 5th Feb – please book to Martin Badham 01603 897738 9 St Pauls Close, Horsford, NORWICH NR10 3HG Cost is a bargain £12 per person.

Venue : The Manger, Bradfield Combust.

Bradfield Combust is on the A134, 6 miles south of Bury St Edmunds.

OS Sheet 155. Grid ref TL893574. Postcode IP30 0LW

Chairman’s Appetiser Run: Meet for coffee at 10:30am in “Sweetmeats” Water Street, Lavenham

Looking forward to seeing a bumper turn-out for Martin Badham’s first TA Lunch as organiser.

Ferg Muir 01603 615000

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