11th October. Forty one souls attended the inaugural meeting at the Hawbush Community Centre. Roy Archer was the chairman and they began the lengthy process of setting up a new club. It could have been Stourbridge Wheelers or even the Stourbridge Wheelers Bicycle Club but “Stourbridge Cycling Club” won the day. The club colours were decided upon as tangerine with black lettering and the subscriptions were 30 shillings for senior men (this is at least £25 at 1999 prices). The ladies paid 15 shillings. Club night was to be Friday night. Among those present were members who are still actively involved today, namely: Bruce and Roger Mantom, Brian Homer, Jo and Barry Roberts, Bryan Hedges, Roy and Leslie Archer, Gordon Walters, Trevor Newman and Malcolm Oxborrow.
6th November. Another lengthy general meeting. Gerry Tromans was elected as president. His nomination said that he carried out his duties with the North Worcestershire Roads Club with “vigour, wisdom and dignity”. Gordon Gould was elected as secretary and the Mantom brothers each had two club posts. A very busy programme of races was planned, including 10 mile time trials every evening from May until August with a season long points competition based on these events. The entry fee for each race was 6d. (2½p).
4th December. Bruce Mantom reported that he was “doing very well” on club nights with the sale of coffee and chocolates.
26th February. Another important meeting. Club Championships, Best All Rounder competitions and place to place records were discussed and decided upon. Stourbridge to Worcester and back, Stourbridge to Ludlow and back and Stourbridge to Kington and back were the place to place routes. (Road conditions were so different 30 odd years ago, we have now decided to abandon these competitions). The other important decision was that the building fund accumulated by the North Worcestershire Roads Club was donated to the club as a special fund, with any expenditure of this fund to be agreed by 75% of voters at a general meeting. Cautious fellows.
19th March. Club run attendances were poor due to lots of members going on training runs, only to be expected at this time of year was the only comment. Gordon Gould was asking for a road racecourse to finish along High Park Avenue in Wollaston.
12th April. There were reports of trouble in the club hilly time trial. There were allegations of pacing and many riders not stopping at the halt sign in Bridgnorth. The committee took action and the offenders to appear before them at the next committee meeting.
10th May. Arising from the hilly time trial complaints, two riders were disqualified unanimously.
5th July. One of the riders disqualified at the May meeting was reinstated unanimously what was happening? Some careful reading of the minutes of the 21st June may help.
17th October. The club has survived the first year. There were 59 members including 7 ladies. Racing was going well with 17 individual and team wins. The club 10’s were very popular but there was some concern about how to improve the organisation. Preparations were in hand to hold the first dinner at “The Talbot”, Stourbridge. Tickets were 25/-. We agreed to resign from the South Staffs Cycling Association.
1st November. It was reported that Brotherton Cycles still had 12 unclaimed club racing vests so the club agreed to pay for them and pursue the offenders. No one wanted to ride the club hill climb so it was cancelled.
10th January. The club dinner was a great success. Roy Archer was involved in discussions with the Hawbush Centre Management Committee and Brierley Hill UDC about plans to fund an extension to the Hawbush Centre for use as a permanent clubroom.
14th February. The Beacon Roads Cycling Club were soundly defeated in a challenge darts match.
4th March. A special general meeting was called to approve the donation of £600 to the Hawbush Community Centre building fund to facilitate the building of an extension to the centre. When built this would become the new clubroom as well as providing extra income for the centre by leasing it to other groups. In exchange for this donation a rent-free clubroom would be provided by the centre until the lease between the Community Association and the Borough Council expired. (This proved to be an excellent investment and we enjoyed a rent-free holiday for nearly 30 years).
16th May. A report on the club’s 2-day road race organised by Gordon Gould. It was a great success and was won by Alan Lloyd of the Saracen Road Club. The entry fee for club events went up to 1/- (5p).
13th June. There was a request for a club first aid kit. Roger Mantom stated that he could obtain one at cost price.
11th July. The committee severely dealt with a Walsall Roads rider who had failed to notify an improvement so won a handicap event in the clubs open 25. He was disqualified from the event.
23rd October. The 2nd Annual General Meeting. Mr Mel Gapper was elected “best club member of the year” for his sterling efforts in promoting club and open events. Mr Tromans said that more help was needed with the club 10’s, the same few were doing everything. P. Bayton became assistant racing secretary. (Much later he was placed 4th in the Olympic games road race and followed this with a long professional career).
14th November. It was decided not to rejoin the South Staffs CA, we could not meet our marshalling obligations.
13th February. A letter was read out from the Worcs. CA asking to borrow our numbers for the association events. The committee was upset by this and was keen to send a strong reply. After much debate they relented and agreed to co-operate.
14th March. A new club team record for 25 mile events was approved. E Field 57-50, G Gould 58-13 and M Stocker 58-20 for a time of 2 hours, 54 minutes, 23 seconds. 1st May. There was concern over the dangerous start of the club 10’s in that it was the narrowest part of the road. It was agreed to move the start to the bus lay-by opposite the Woodman Inn.
18th August. A problem over the open 25. A rider entered trike time on his entry form but rode a bicycle in the event winning the handicap prize. The committee deliberated. Disqualified.
18th September. There was much discussion over the club dinner. It was decided to invite Mr David Duffield to make a speech. Mrs A Embrey claimed a new ladies 10 record with a 26-34 ride. Three riders entered the club championship 25 late. The committee considered the matter. Disqualified.
15th October. The third Annual General Meeting was held. There were only 40 members but we had £300 in the bank. Club subscriptions were now down to 15/-.
11th December. It was agreed to purchase a rebuilt Gestetner duplicating machine for £57. There was much discussion about buying a quantity of ball point pens bearing the club’s name for publicity. This was to be investigated.
8th January. The price of ballpoint pens had gone up to 40/- a gross. More enquiries were needed.
12th February. A variety of ballpoint pens were examined. Mr Wankowski was authorised to purchase one gross an “to exercised his discretion as to quality and price”.
11th March. The annual darts match with the Beacon Roads was lost. The trophy had to be engraved and handed over.
13th May. The president Mr G Tromans was ill in hospital. It was agreed to send a basket of fruit. Mr L Archer visited the hospital before this was done and apparently he and the patient agreed that as recovery was proceeding well there was no need for the fruit. The committee expressed its thanks to Mr Tromans for saving the club money by his speedy recovery.
12th August. The committee considered an allegation of pacing by a competitor on the ladies open 25. All of the evidence was listened to and the verdict was – disqualified.
16th September. The membership was “static”. There were no new members and “this could not be regarded as satisfactory”. The championship 25 was held in foul weather. The senior champion was Eddy Field and the junior champion David (Fred) Folkes. The 10 miles points competition was won by Mick Lay, who was to go on and become a very successful rider and club official for many years. It was reported that the Worcester CA was likely to fold.
14th October. The clubs tender to run the National Junior Road Race Championship had been accepted. Mr L. Archer raised the matter of purchasing a set of touring maps for the most popular areas. (I believe that the majority of these maps, nearly 30 years old are still in existence. Please own up).
20th October. The fourth AGM. There was a more optimistic feeling. Membership was up to 58, with 18 juniors and schoolboys. Roy Archer became a life member. He reported on the 10-mile events mentioning concern over the need for marshals and timekeepers.
16th December. The club members arranged to decorate the club room themselves. Bruce Mantom was appointed to supervise all arrangements.
20th January. Bruce Mantom reported that he had not yet been able to obtain paint at an economic price. There was concern over misuse of the table tennis table. (What did they mean?)
21st July. Gordon Gould reported upon a very successful National Junior Road Race. The event was held in the Stourport – Hartlebury area. Barry Roberts was machine examiner and performed his duties with his customary robustness sand vigour. He managed to snap the seat pillar of one of the competitor’s bikes and the unfortunate owner was quite upset. After some confusion, a replacement was procured and fitted and the youth, Alan Upcroft of the Polhill CC, promptly won the event and title. (Barry later turned his attention to pushing off at time trials. His exploits here belong in the world of Helms cartoons.)
18th August. The committee sat in judgement of a Shirley RC member who failed to notify an improvement and who won a handicap prize in the open 25. Disqualified.
15th September. A report was received about an accident to a former member, Dave Griffiths, in Devon. He lay incarcerated in Torbay Hospital. The committee agreed to send a get well letter. No basket of fruit was mentioned.
26th October. Unfortunately the get well letter had not been sent. Was it too late? (A wise decision about the basket of fruit though).
23rd November. The fifth AGM. A generally upbeat feeling prevailed. Membership was at a record level, with over 1/3rd being schoolboys. Barry Roberts reported on club runs “deploring the tendency of certain members to break up club runs with over enthusiastic riding.” (This does not sound like Barry). Some discussion followed about how to conduct club runs. The darts match against the Beacon was lost again.