‘The Balham’ rides again on 120th anniversary

Balham Cycling Club rides again! The club that formed in 1897 but closed in 1979, has reformed and today headed out on its first club ride in 38 years.

On an early Sunday morning, 16 hardy South London cycling enthusiasts left the glamorous surroundings of Balham Sainsbury’s Car Park for Richmond Park trying to ascertain which pillock decided to launch a club in a January cold snap.

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200 yards down the road the group cycled passed The Regent Pub where landlord George Huntley formed the original club 120 years ago.

40 minutes later the group were enjoying the very picturesque surroundings of Richmond Park, looking stunning in the winter frost.

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The ride marks a key moment in the reformed club’s history. Back in November 2015 I found a photograph in a battered old suitcase of my Great Uncle Harry in his Balham Cycling garb. I started to look into the old club and thought it would be fun to reform it. And here we are 13 months later!

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From photo in an old suitcase to reformed cycling club

The club has a rich heritage which includes a cycling manufacturing icon in Claud Butler, a world record holder in Albert Wills, Team GB star Basil Bragg and a legendary race in The Balham Rough Stuff. The town’s cycling heritage actually goes back to 1878.

The new cycling club is founded on a love of the sport, keeping fit, friendship and having some fun. And pubs and cafés. Lots of pubs and cafés. If this sounds like you we’d love to here from you. Contact us at balhamcyclingclub@btinternet.com

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7 thoughts on “‘The Balham’ rides again on 120th anniversary

  1. Paul,

    Love the post. I wish you had joined us and I know you wanted to – if only to hear the enthusiasm for this project and people’s gratitude for your the work you have put into this to get it off the ground. Everyone is inspired by the history and tradition of BCC that you have discovered and I honestly don’t think the response to the ride (especially in sub zero temperatures) would have been anything like what turned up today without it. The club would not be a club without it.

    We now have a cycling club! We actually got out riding….and despite the cold I think everyone enjoyed it and is keen for more.

    I took the opportunity to speak to a lot of people about their thoughts and what they might want from this and why they have joined up….lots to discuss.

    A few extra photos….not many taken today because fingers did not want to come out of gloves – absolutely bloody freezing today!!!!

    Well done Paul, great work. See you soon.

    Stu

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Liked by 2 people

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