MEMORABILIA: 1949 Balham Cycling Club Handbook

The 1949 Club Handbook, part of the John Simcock collection, gives an insight into the club rides, members and the records they chased. A list of honorary life members also gives us a glimpse of Balham CC in its formative years.Handbook1949FC

The Headquarters

We know from club memorabilia that the club’s headquarters was The Regent in Balham from 1897 to 1926. By 1949 it had moved out of Balham altogether to the Duke of Cornwall, Blenheim Gardens, Brixton (pics here and here). The club also used Sunny Acres, Hookwood, Surrey.


The ‘Run’ List

All rides started from Ramsden Road at 9am and went via either Croydon Town Hall, Epsom Town Hall or Kingston Bridge. The first ride was April 3 and last October 30 although the Balham Rough Stuff was in late February / early March. There are some long rides in here!



The Trophies

The trophies are named after BCC glitterati except for three, one just called ‘Members Trophy’ and the other two named after a local MP and a Trophy company:

  • Denton & Down Cup – Silversmiths and medallists from the 1920’s up to the 40s based at 22 Ely Place, Holborn.


  • E.H. Stevens Cup – Club member most famous for setting up the National Veterans Time Trials Association in 1943
  • A Kerridge Cup – Currently unknown
  • Huntley Cup – Named after the club’s founder George R Huntley who ran the Balham Hotel and Wine and Beer Merchants in the area
  • Bill Shore Memorial Trophy (see below) – Named after club member who died of cancer in 1941. Back in the club’s possession via USA and Canada.
  • Sir Alfred Butt Cup – Theatre impresario, horse race owner and breeder. The Local MP for Balham & Tooting 1922-1936, knighted for services to The Ministry of Food in WW1 and work for war charities, forced to resign from the commons after financial scandal
  • Langton Memorial Cup – Named after ‘Pa’ Langton, past president and track secretary
  • Dave Turner Cup – Currently unknown

Vice Presidents and Honorary Life Members

*not mentioned above and where details are known

  • Frank Nott – Balham CC Honorary Secretary, Road Secretary SCCU, Assistant Secretary SRRA. And that’s just what we know of
  • Len Vanner – Former President, active member of the National Cyclist Union and key player in the organising of the 1948 Olympic Games
  • Basil Bragg – Took up cycling in 1919, within a year he made the GB road race squads for the 1920 Olympics and World Championships. A year later he was again in the squad for the ‘Worlds’
  • Arthur James ‘Son’ Gilry – Cyclist and cross country runner, born in Camberwell in 1903, son of a baker. He moved to Arundel where he had a bakery and catering business on the High Street. He died in 1967.
AJ Gilry with an impressive collection of trophies and even more impressive trouser management
  • RB ‘Bob’ Davey – Past president
  • Walter Pierotte – Former club secretary who kept the club going during and after WW1. The club rose to prominence after he promoted a series of 25 mile Time Trials


Members in Club Positions

We won’t go into detail here but it’s worth noting how few live in Balham (2 out of 17 including those on the club officers page above). We’re fortunate enough to have the cycling scrapbook of Ken Smith – seen here listed as General Secretary – in our archive which we’ve published in three instalments.


The 1948 Cup Winners

Jimmy Church and Jack Osborn take home all but three trophies between them.


The 1948 Event Winners Records

The podium places for the seven club events – the three 25mile rides; 30, 50 and 100miles and the 12hour ride.


The Standards

Standard medal times and distances for road and path; quarter of a mile to 50 miles and for one hour; singles, tandems and tricycles.

Club Records

Jack Osborn breaks two records in 1948 but Arthur Attwood’s 12-hour record from 1938 and Cyril Melhuish’s record from 1936 still stand. Melhuish would move to Norwood Paragon soon after.


Additional photos

Alfred Butt caricuture
Walter Pierotte
Basil Bragg
Frank Nott

Your Help

Have you or any family members got any club memorabilia from the Balham years? Can you shed any further light on the details in the handbook? Email me at or drop me a line in the comments box. I would love to hear from you.


Err…The handbook from the John Simcock collection

Duke of Devonshire pics from the Urban 75 website

Denton and Down advert from FindMyPast Archive

Gilry photo has been swiped from I’ve emailed the owner. Please contact me if that is you!

Alfred Butt photo from Vanity Fair December 1910 in the public domain

Frank Nott picture taken from a 1936 Claud Butler catalogue available on the website

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