After the floods of last year which temporarily closed the Mill at Elstead, over 50 of us were able to return to this venue in February for the 3rd annual dinner since its reintroduction in 2013.
This year, our President, Chris Juden, kindly agreed to talk on cycling related matters. His wealth of experience and expertise gave him so much material from which to work, and he skilfully tailored his delivery to suit the nature of the occasion. Hence, he talked of the CTC and the key functions of the organisation, his work there, and made some interesting comparisons with how cycling, and national cycling bodies, differ between countries. However, as befitted the purely social gathering, he avoided any mention of his most recent experiences at CTC!
Chris’ talk on the “Tourist” element of the Cyclists Touring Club (now CTC) linked with the achievements and plans of so many of our members, with John Child and Chris Williamson cycling from Lands End to John O’ Groats later this year, and John Weatherburn all lined up for an unsupported camping ride across America which (provided the U.S. authorities allow John to stay in the country!) will be an epic trip. As was mentioned at the dinner, John is raising money for Cancer Research UK for very personal and understandable reasons, and I would urge you to have a look at his JustGiving page
and give him, and his chosen charity, the support they so richly deserve. Please also disseminate as widely as possible on social media, I am sure the story will strike a chord with so many people, and in that way the fundraising will reach out so much further than John’s immediate circle of friends.
The formal part of the evening closed with a celebration of West Surrey Group and its members, with specific recognition of the great work done by so many cycle leaders, who have enabled a full range of rides to take place over the past year.
The following awards were also presented:-
Bert Bartholomew Trophy – oldest rider to complete 100 reliability ride
– Bob McLeod
Keith Parfitt Pot – event organisation
– Roger Philo
George Aylesbury Tankard – best Wednesday attendance
– John Findlay
Bill Inder Trophy – best Sunday attendance
– Clive Richardson
Wooden Crank – most amusing blunder of the year
– Bob McLeod
The final award was new, when it was agreed at the AGM that a “Golden Crank” should be presented annually to the member who had contributed most to the Club and the wider cycling community; our thanks to William Lowries for crafting this new award so beautifully. The committee decided that the first recipient should be Paul Gillingham, for actually doing something about the block of concrete that had blighted the A3 cycle path for so long. That “something” was to attack it with a lump hammer, and the clearance will have benefitted so many as a result.
Finally, there was a celebration of a milestone birthday; Ron Richardson turned 90 a few days before the dinner, and after mention was made of how cycling has always been part of his life (and probably more important than turning up on time during his working life) an appropriately decorated cake was presented to Ron, and enjoyed by all present; congratulations Ron, you remain an inspiration to us all.
I hope that the evening was enjoyed by all, and my thanks to all those who supported the occasion.