To TA East members & friends

From Ferg Muir


Do be aware that our next TA EAST MEET is not this coming Saturday (as given in the TA Gazette) but 10 days hence on:


When we have our now almost traditional autumn meet at:


Coffee at Lordship Tearooms Writtle Grid ref TL678068.

The tearooms are just off Lordship Road, Writtle – postcode is CM1 4RS and the grid ref is TL678069 – I suggest we will be found there approximately from 10.30 – 11.00 am.

Lordship Road runs roughly north from Preston’s Garage until it meets the A1060 at a mini roundabout.

Lunch The Viper, Mill Green, near Ingatestone. CM4 0PT, Grid Ref TL640018

THE VIPER is about 6 miles south west of Chelmsford and 2 miles NNW of Ingatestone . The postcode is CM4 0PT and the Grid Ref TL640018.

From Writtle we will have a clubrun through the woods- which should be in their finest autumn colours – to the Viper, that cyclist-friendly pub-in-the-forest.


Apology of absence from Nik Beavins

I am afraid I have already had an apology from Nik, who hoped to be with us, but has rather abruptly joined the fellowship of those who know that trikes have a habit of catching you out when you least expect it.  He dropped a wheel into a crack in the surface of the Bunnywalks cyclepath in Chelmsford.


Allan Austin – Paul W called at Allan’s home in Barham and passes on the sad news that Allan is seriously ill with pancreatic cancer. However I have not been able to track down any further information.



Our run from Abberton Reservoir to Witham Lakeside was very windy.

A pleasant surprise at the Visitors Centre was finding Kim Harding (formerly Tweddle, sister of Trudi) looking for us. The sisters were I think particularly moving

 in TA circles in the 1980’s – Doc Coleby was mentioned.

(I later learnt that Paul Wilshere arrived at Elevenses ….at one pm, his alarm not having gone off.  His 50 miles into the wind cannot have been easy. He tells me he made a three-course lunch out of the food available ….and rode home – a round trip of 100 miles).


With a local pilot, we successfully negotiated Tiptree by a surprisingly rural route and reached the fishery cafe where we enjoyed a good lunch.

The captain was pretty exhausted by this time and was glad to hear there was a cyclepath all the way back to Marks Tey and the old road to Colchester. To assist, Alan Baird – just back from cycling in South America and no doubt well accustomed to dealing with local directions – grabbed a napkin and drew a map thereon. This proved to be most useful. Finding the A12 might seem straightforward enough, but with a gale of wind dead behind and constant stream of traffic augmenting the draught it was difficult NOT to do 20 mph plus and for an old man on a short, narrow trike this early warning of the first squiggles on the rather cobbled together cyclepath was very welcome.


Having mentioned Dick Coleby, I thought I would find out how the Doc was – and phoned and found him sounding cheerful, 70 years young, revelling in retirement and contemplating going on a Park Run.





So said the headline of one of eight items in column “The World of Wheels” in the magazine “CYCLING” dated 21st December 1928.


I have before me the page – one of a large collection from the year 1928 which I purchased from former TA member Albert Gravenor at his stall at a King’s Lynn CC time trial HQ earlier this year.


“Twenty tricycle enthusiasts decided last week to form themselves into a body to be known as the “Tricycle Association”, with Mr A H Glass, who called the meeting, as hon. secretary.  The association’s objects were explained to be the fostering on interest in three-wheeled cycling travel, the organization of races confined to tricyclists and the holding of occasional social meets. A committee was ……..”


“The World of Wheels” was a regular round-up of assorted items related to cycling.


As I look at the fragile browning paper of the page the words of the heading are in a box with various Christmas icons entwined around the border – a Christmas pudding, a beer bottle, a steaming glass of mulled wine and a long clay pipe. The rest of the wide heading is a signed Patterson drawing of a winter scene  – field gate, distant church tower, bare trees, snow…and a bicycle, leaning against what can only be meant to be a tree-trunk, but is crudely drawn, out of character with the rest of the sketch, and really looks as if it is growing out of the middle of the lane. Perhaps a later addition and certainly not intended to be examined closely.


And what of the other seven items?  Centre top is “Lighting-up Times” … “Lamps should be lit at…….” I’m trying to think if we still say “lit” now.  Then – judging by other articles – most lights would indeed have been “lit” – with matches.


And notice the plural “Times”…. this is before the age of time standardisation – the times vary from “Edinburgh 4.9” to “Cardiff 4.36.


Then there is “The Father of a Champion” . “We regret to record the death, at the age of 89, of Mr W D Mills, father of the famous champion Col. G P Mills, and himself a grand old man of cycling”

(The son was a famous and prolific RRA tricycle record-holder – he set, for instance, the first RRA trike 12 hour record at 147 miles in 1888.)


The item headed “S A Autaud” is news of recovery from an accident.

“The New York “Six Days” “” is about the forty-fifth International at Madison Square Gardens.

“Towards Better Promotion” is an account of a meeting of club representatives to discuss sharing printing arrangements for evening track-meets.


Finally – and illustrated by the sole photograph is

“A New Variable Gear”

“Messrs. Perry and Co., Ltd., of Tyseley, Birmingham, are inviting inquiries for their new two and three speed gear chain, which is on the French derailleur principle”


The illustration shows the gear on a solo bike – as opposed to a tandem – and looking remarkably neat and modern, although the gear works on a “pull-through” rather than a parallelogram principle.


The editorial comment is:

“…it will be interesting to see what response is evoked by this device, which is quite a new departure for English makers, although widely used on the Continent.”


Well, the Perry two-and three speed chain gear did not survive, but the Tricycle Association is still going and debating how to celebrate its 90th birthday.


Finally, thanks to eagle-eyed members, here is a corrected  version of the details of our next-but-one TA East Meet:


Meet for coffee at Cafe Cola Como Street Farm, The Street, Brent Eleigh, CO10 9NU.( Not 0NU)

Grid Ref  is TL 943478


Best Wishes to you all and hope to see you on Saturday WEEK, the 18th November at Writtle

Ferg Muir 01603 615000, fergusmuir@btinternet.com


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