Club member’s collection shines light on Balham’s cycling past

A former club member has got in touch to share some fantastic mementoes from his time with Balham CC. John Simcock (pictured below), a club member in the 40s and 50s, has sent the BCC Blog some scrapbook highlights that include a Diamond Jubilee Dinner menu with the history of the club from 1897 to 1957; 7 copies of the club newsletter The Balham CC Gazette from 1949; the 1949 club handbook and some great photos.

SimcockCherryTree
John Simcock cycling the SCCU 25 mile race on the Cherry Tree Course

The blog will focus on these exciting finds over time but as a taster here’s our top 6 new facts gleaned from John’s treasure trove.

  • Balham CC was founded in 1897 by distinguished sportsman of the time George R. Huntley, who later became the licensee of the Balham Hotel (now The Regent Pub)
BalhamHotelRegent
The Balham Hotel now The Regent: Our first Headquarters
  • The same Balham Hotel / The Regent was the Headquarters of the club from its formation in 1897 to 1926
BCC History cropped
The 1958 Diamond Jubilee Dinner menu includes a history of the club
  • By 1949, Headquarters was the Duke of Cornwall, Blenheim Gardens, Brixton SW (pics here and here) and Sunny Acres, Hookwood , Surrey
Handbook1949FC
Front Cover of the 1949 Member’s Handbook
Coventry-Transport-Museum-002
AE Wills beat the world record on this 1908 BSA. Pic from a 1908 newspaper cutting shows him riding in the slipstream of a motorbike.
  • The club were pioneers in the promotion of several types of events, most notably The Balham Rough Riders 25, The Second Class Open 100, and the 25 miles Tandem-Paced NCU Championship. The first Club Rough Stuff was held in 1925 and was promoted as an Open event the following year. It would be a staple of the national racing calendar up until the 60s

GazetteOlympics1 (1)

GazetteOlympic2 (1)
A 1948 Olympics Games Maker looks back on the road race in the April 1949 edition of the club magazine from an organisational standpoint

Your Help

Has John’s collection jogged the memory? Email me at balhamcyclingclub@btinternet.com or drop me a line in the comments box. I would love to hear from you.


Sources

With thanks to John Simcock. More on John’s collection in future articles. I also hope to interview him soon.

Photographs of AE Wills and his bike are from the Coventry Transport Museum collection

Photo of the Balham Hotel from The Regent website

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7 thoughts on “Club member’s collection shines light on Balham’s cycling past

  1. Considering the history it seems sensible to suggest The Regent as the clubs headquarters again! Can’t wait for the re-launch of the club.

    Like

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