In our quest to share the stories behind club memorabilia from an illustrious past, we’ve found some club trophies and individual medals but never a trophy for an individual – until now that is.
Here’s a remarkable 80-year-old trophy awarded to John Ford for his efforts in the 1938 ‘Balham 100’. His time of 5hrs 0mins 19seconds was good enough for second place. He was 22 at the time, living in Headington, Oxford and was member of Oxford Cycling Club.
The Balham 100 was an integral part of the cycling season from 1924 until well into the 1950s (exact date unknown). It was unique in that it was aimed at up-and-coming riders and those who had no chance of getting into one of the top Open 100s.
Terry Hill, who got in touch with the blog after searching out the old race told us: “My Uncle ‘Jack’ as he was known, was certainly a serious cyclist and my Mum [his sister] remembers him shaving his legs! He is fondly remembered in the family. He would die in active service just five years after this trophy was awarded, crashing in a Wellington Bomber in 1943.”
Have you or any family members got any club memorabilia from the Balham years? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or drop me a line in the comments box. I would love to hear from you.
Big thank you to Terry Hill for sharing the family memories and treasures with us