Silver medals and Golden tears

Here’s a picture of a recently acquired Balham Cycling Club medal, won by Stan Harris of Addiscombe for his efforts at the 1937 Balham Rough Riders “25”.

The medal design includes two shields. The first has ‘BCC’ inscribed in silver on a red background, which can be assumed stand for Balham Cycling Club. This differs from the logo on the pin badge of our main photo but evidence suggests that both were used by the same Balham CC.

The second shield formed part of the Metropolitan Borough of Wandsworth coat of arms. The borough existed under the London County Council, from 1900 to 1965. The top section has chequered blue and gold squares which represent the arms of the first Earl of Surrey William de Warren. The gold squares bear teardrops that represent the tears of the French Huguenots, many of whom settled in Wandsworth from 1685. They’re not on the medal, probably due to the challenges of reproducing such intricate work on a small scale.

The five stars on the lower section on the medal and coat of arms represent the constituent former civil parishes – Clapham, Putney, Streatham, Tooting Graveney and Wandsworth (Balham was one of the 9 wards in the borough).

The divisional line between the two shield sections – which again has more detail on the actual coat of arms – represents the Rivers Wandle and Thames.

Rough Stuff

The Balham Rough Riders “25” – also called the Balham Rough Stuff “25”- was a mixed terrain time trial that in its pomp was a nationally recognised event attracting some of the best riders in the country.

Your Help

Do you remember the Balham Rough Ride / Rough Stuff? Did you ride in it? Do you have any pics of Balham CC medals you could share? Email me at or drop me a line in the comments box. I would love to hear from you.


The information on the coat of arms was taken from The Civic Heraldry website

The Balham Rough Stuff dates were gleaned from the history section of the Norwood Paragon CC website and newspaper reports


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