A year into our quest to tell the story of a forgotten cycling club, we’ve got our hands on the oldest item of club memorabilia to date. Continue reading MEMORABILIA: Photograph of Balham Cycling Club from 1913
Cheryl Button, the daughter of former Balham Cycling Club (BCC) secretary Ken Smith, was in London in November and she had a surprise gift for the soon to be relaunched club. Ken was a member of the BCC between 1936 and 1957 and before his death in 2013, compiled a scrapbook of his most treasured club mementoes and photos. It also included his memoirs spanning 21 years of life as a South London cyclist. Continue reading 21 years of momentoes, photos and memoirs presented to Club by family of former secretary
In 1908 former Balham CC club amateur turned professional AE Wills broke the coveted motor-paced distance record of 60miles in an hour.
“I almost shudder when I think of my experience in that hour. I was like a man mesmerized, my actions being automatic. The vibration and rapid pedaling seemed to take all the life out of me”.
Here’s his story. Continue reading Wills on Fire: South Londoner smashes coveted 60-in-60 motor-paced world record
In the early 1890s Hyde Farm, Balham was set to become the premier cycling track in London. By 1896 it had closed with the land to be used for housing, a victim of construction to saturation point of cycling tracks in the good times, cycling’s sudden decline in popularity, and a champion cyclist’s determination to make Herne Hill the capital’s number one venue. Here’s the story of the greatest cycling venue London never had. Continue reading The greatest cycling venue London never had: The rise and fall of Balham Hyde Farm
The second part of the South London Diaries, an extraordinary account of over 1,600 miles spent on a bike in 1885. Continue reading The rides and times of a Victorian trailblazer (PART 2)
A 19th century South London cyclist has set a 21st century Strava challenge. He didn’t know it at the time, but when our Victorian trailblazer was writing about rides and times in his diary, he was chronicling some of the earliest ‘personal bests’ in London on record. 131 years on that means times to beat! Continue reading Cycle in South London like it’s 1885: the rides and times of a Victorian trailblazer (Part 1)
An engraving of the Balham Safety Bicycle as featured in the 21 February 1890 edition of The Engineer. Could you help in the quest to find further information on Henri Rey, his company, or The Balham Bicycle? Continue reading The Balham Bicycle and the Mister Rey Mystery
“We won’t get anywhere like this lads. We need a chairman to see there’s one speaker at a time. Does anyone object if I do the job?”
No one did. And from that moment on Leading Aircraftman and Balham Cycling Club champion Arthur Attwood, would be forever associated with the 1946 Royal Air Force mutiny – a series of strikes over conditions and slow mobilisation that would sweep through 60 RAF stations in India and Ceylon and involve 50,000 men. Continue reading The Club champ and the WWII RAF Mutiny
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. Continue reading Club night at the dairy dance hall marks 50th anniversary
A significant breakthrough in our quest to tell the story of a cycling club from one photo. A menu from the 1947 Balham Cycling Club Prize Presentation and Gala Dance shows that the club of the rider in the photo was formed in 1897. Continue reading Gala Dance menu unlocks past of the Fishmonger and the Dairyman