The inaugural meeting of the Tricycle Association took place on 12th December 1928 at the then headquarters of the National Cyclists’ Union, but of course the idea of forming such an association had taken place on an earlier occasion.
The forerunner took place when a group of enthusiasts met at “The Crown”, Theale following a Western Roads CC 50. Tricycle entries in some of the Western Roads and other West London promotions had been encouraging and it was proposed by a great tricycling enthusiast named Alec Glass that an organisation be established to allow tricycles to be catered for both socially and competitively.
Twenty tricyclists attended the inaugural meeting, as follows:
E.S. Hall, W.C. Keen, H.C. Bateman, A.H. Stead, F.R. Fisher, S.H. Young, S.R.Baron, A.R.M. Harbour, A.G. Dymore, A.B. Howard, L.F. Dixon, L.E. Vasey, R.J.J. Coe, C.H. Cooper, M. Draisey, J.H. Wallace, H.H. Froud, H.A. Payne, Sammy Bartleet and A.H. Glass.
Following the reading of the notice convening the meeting Sammy Bartleet was elected unopposed to the Chair, a position he occupied until his sudden death in 1943.
The first AGM of the TA was held at the same venue on 26th January, 1929, and the constitution which the Committee had drawn up was ratified.
Thus, the Tricycle Association was established.
The first official run of the Association was the centre of much public interest, and received the interest of the National Press both in print and pictures. It took place on Sunday February 24th, 1929. Fourteen tricyclists set off from Hyde Park Corner and proceeded to the “Anchor Inn” at Ripley.
Over the years the Association continued to make steady progress and soon a Northern Contingent was established.
Unfortunately the outbreak of the war in 1939, just ten years after the formation of the Association made the future of the TA uncertain, but a skeleton programme was planned, and the Association was able to carry on during these difficult times. This was largely due to the enthusiasm of a certain Len Wishart, who worked untiringly and enabled the Association to advance from strength to strength, when it might easily have marked time.
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After the death of Sammy Bartleet, the role of Chairman was taken over by J. Dudley Daymond. This great rider joined the Association in 1933. He held the RRA London to Brighton and back Tricycle Record in 1906, with a time of 6 hours, 19 minutes and 48 seconds.
The office of President was created in 1944 and the first person to occupy this position was George Herbert Stancer, OBE, a former Editor of “Cycling” and Secretary of the Cyclists’ Touring Club for over a quarter of a century. A TA Member from the very early days, GHS, as he was affectionately known, was, together with L.S. Leake, the holder of the RRA London-Brighton and back record on tandem tricycle in 1910, with a time of 5 hours, 59 minutes, 51 seconds.
Nowadays our Association totals over 400, about 15 of these being Overseas. The Association is divided into eight Regions including one Overseas, each of which (except Overseas) has its own local officers. The overall running of the Association is vested in a National Executive Committee and, of course, National Officers.
Ever since 1944, when it was first published as “The Tricycle Bulletin” we have had the benefit of our own excellent quarterly magazine, “The Tricycle Association Gazette”.
In the early days the Association was involved mostly in touring activities, but nowadays the Association is also involved in promoting its own time trials. For the 1984 Season, the ‘Tricyclist’s League’ was introduced, in an effort to encourage members to enter Events in regions other than their own, and this has been helpful in achieving that end.
At first there was a separate Women’s’ Tricycle Association, and it was not until 1976 that the constitution was changed to merge the two Associations into the Tricycle Association as it is today.
Some of our great riders have been commemorated with Memorial Events named after them, in particular Bruce Kingsford, with the 50 mile championship, Stan Spelling, the 25 mile championship, Jenny Noad, the 10 mile championship, and most recently the Felicity Beard 100, following her shocking death in a time trial in 1989. The first ever Stan Spelling Memorial Event was a truly memorable occasion. In 1973, on the K16, as a tribute to Stan, an event was held which attracted a full field, with other entries having to be returned.
Probably two of the most colourful record breakers we have had in our Association are Albert Crimes and John Arnold. They established the
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following RRA records on Tandem Tricycle:
50 miles 1 hour, 49 minutes, 55 seconds
100 miles 3 hours, 46 minutes, 30 seconds
257.75 miles in 12 hours
466.25 miles in 24 hours
1000 miles in 2 days, 13 hours and 59 minutes.
In 1972 Eric Tremaine was recognised as having given the most outstanding and meritorious performance in cycling competition during the year, by the award of the Bidlake Plaque. This was in recognition of his brilliant performance in the North Road 24, when he achieved 457.895 miles, a record which still stands today.
The Annual Dinner of the Tricycle Association has been held at several different venues over the years, but in more recent years this happy event has been held in Warwickshire. It was here, in 1978 that we celebrated our Golden Jubilee at which six founder members were present (four others having been unable to attend).
1990, saw what could possibly be seen as the greatest record of all. Namely that of George Lawrie who celebrated 50 years as our Time Trials Secretary. But this is not the only record held by George. He holds a place in the RRA Honours List for his 1000 mile Tricycle Record in October of 1938, when he covered the distance in 4 days, 6 hours, 32 minutes.
In December, 1990, finally, the RTTC recognised Tandem Tricycle Competition Records. We had been trying for this for 40 years!
In 1998 the Association was involved in the first tricycle event on foreign soil with the first of a series of time trials associated with the annual village fete at St Marsault in France. Although not held every year, this happy association has continued over the years and has developed into an unofficial World Tricycle Championship. In 2006, during a break in the sequence at St Marsault an event was run at Asse in Belgium thus spreading the influence of the tricycling fraternity even further.
The number of tireless workers, and colourful characters, including amazing record breakers which our Association has been fortunate to boast over the years, are simply too many to mention, so perhaps the best thing would be to refer the reader to the list of records at the back of this Handbook, since each and every person listed there deserves a specific mention in this brief history of the Tricycle Association.
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