Heritage in the Community: Balham Cycling Club at The Cyclist Balham Pub

Over the past three years we’ve collected an array of Balham CC memorabilia that has helped us piece together the story of the club, the neighbourhood and the story of cycling in South London from the 1870s to present day.

Building up our historical collection we felt strongly that it should be shared with the neighbourhood, rather than stuck in a loft, a club house or borough archive as is so often the case.

This resonated with the guys at Urban Pubs & Bars who know a thing or two about community, heritage and cycling and so with the help of Inn Gear we’re proud to share some of our treasures with you at The Cyclist.

See if you can spot the following Balham CC memorabilia on the walls:

Harry Darby photo c1910

The photo that triggered the relaunch of Balham CC in 2017. Look hard enough and you can just make out the name of a club. The badge stitched into the jersey and the pin badge on the jacket both say Balham Cycling Club.

Club jersey from late 60s / early 70s

The black stripes were judiciously placed so track riders would recognise team mates while in the racing position.

Four medals: 2 from 1914 and 2 from 1921

Awarded to GT Bernard for his efforts in the 25miles, 50miles and 12 hour time trials.

A medal from 1931

Medal from 1931 for the ‘Balham 100’

Photo of Basil Bragg

Balham Cycling Club member Basil Bragg only took up cycling seriously in 1919, but within a year he had made the Great Britain road race squads for the 1920 Olympics and World Championships.

Photo of Billy Pett and AW Hunt and a certificate

In the 1900’s AW Hunt held the 25-mile tandem-paced record; the Southern Roads 50-mile tandem unpaced record and finished third in the NCU 50 Mile Championship. In Balham circles he was famed for winning the club’s 25-mile challenge cup outright after three consecutive victories (1902, 1903 & 1904).


Club Pin Badge

Club Pin Badge from c1920s manufactured by D George Collins Ltd based at 118 Newgate Street, London.

Poster from 1932

An original 87-year-old poster for a famous track meet promoted by Balham CC. The poster is advertising an evening’s racing at the Herne Hill Track which includes the top of the bill NCU (London Centre) 25 mile Tandem Paced Championship, the Open One-Mile Tandem Championship and the Balham CC Club Handicap and Club Championship.

Jubilee Dinner Menu from 1947

The date is 18th January 1947 and it’s the Balham Cycling Club Prize Presentation and Gala Dance. It not only marks the first big post-war get together of members but also forms part of the club’s 50th anniversary celebrations.

Balham Rough Stuff Entry Form including route map

In 1925 Balham Cycling Club organised a club run with a twist – it was off-road. A year later the Balham Rough Stuff was born. By the early 1930s it had become not only the traditional season opener but also one of the most prestigious races on the national calendar, attracting some of the biggest names in cycling.

The 1947 event, scheduled for Sunday February 23, was sold to riders as ‘your best training ride’ . It attracted 82 entrants from over 20 clubs from London and the Home Counties.

Alas, the weather got the better of it and it was cancelled, or as the Club Road Secretary Bob Rance wrote in the March 1947 Edition of the Club Newsletter, “The weather decided to enter the Rough Stuff and won the event hands down”.

Photo of club members 1939

Club members hanging out in Ramsden Road, Balham, early 1939

Two photos of Ken Smith riding the Balham Rough Stuff 1948

Photos taken during the Rough Riders 25, February 1948. The first photo is taken at the top of Titsey Hill, the other is decending Flinthouse.

 Photo of club champion AJ Gilry 1924

AJ Gilry pictured in late 1923 or 1924 with the Huntley Cup for overall champion (far left), The Club 12hr Championship Cup (below his right elbow and pictured below) and Murrell Cup (bottom right).

Photo of AE Wills

In 1908 former Balham CC club amateur turned professional AE Wills broke the coveted motor-paced distance record of 60 miles in an hour




3 thoughts on “Heritage in the Community: Balham Cycling Club at The Cyclist Balham Pub

  1. This site has prompted me to ask for help with my research into my father’s cycling history. I have two photos that I can not place to a particular club that I was hoping someone in your club may like to see. This post has been so well researched you obviously have keen cyclists and experienced researchers that may be interested.


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