As our active members look to plan their season ahead, here is an extract from 1937
and our club history – superbly compiled by the late Keith Butler. Worth noting that
a ‘bit’ of cold weather was no deterrent to our racers.
The club history section on our website is exhaustive, so please do take a look.
The racing season started with a Bang! On a cold day that turned to heavy snow for
the later starters Fred Willett won the Balham Rough-stuff ’25’ in 1.43.45 and Stan
Butler was 2nd only 24” behind. Unfortunately, our only other finisher was Frank
Cleeve who got round in 2.4.14 allowing the Addiscombe, of all Clubs, to win the
Team race. Only 75 of the 100 entries started and 57 made it to the finish to underline
the severity of the morning. In the Archives is a picture of a snow covered Stan
Butler in this event. We also have a copy of the course. Try this some day when you
have nothing better to do.
Balham Rough-stuff ’25’ course details:
Start at Little Farleigh Green and head south-eastwards. At the T-junction turn left to
pass Chelsham Church. Turn right at the T-junction and go straight on down and then
up through Beddlestead. Turn right at the main road to Botley Hill. Turn left down
Titsey Hill and at the bottom of the hill turn left at the Church. (We kid thee not!).
Go along the Pilgrims Way to Westerham Hill. Turn left and climb the hill then turn
right and take the right fork by the Spinning Wheel restaurant (Hawleys Corner).
Continue to Scotts Lodge and turn left to Cudham. Opposite the Church drop left
down the hill, taking the right fork on the bend, to Downe. In Downe turn left to
Single Street. At the T-junction turn left, descend the hill and take the 1st right and
return to Hawleys Corner. Go straight over all junctions to ‘The Ship’ at Tatsfield.
Bear right past the pub onto a rough path that descends rapidly. Bear left at the
bottom and then turn right up Polesteeple Hill. (Today one would have to walk as it is
a One-Way street but then so did most of the Competitors). Over the top turn sharp
left and drop back into the valley. Take the rough track (Crown Ash) to the junction
with Saltbox Hill. Turn left down Saltbox and up the other side and straight on at the
crossroads through New Addington to Addington Church. (New Addington was not
there in 1937 but the through roads were). Turn left at the Tram and Bus Station over
the roundabout at the bottom of Gravel Hill and up the drag to Selsdon. Turn left at
the traffic lights towards Farleigh then left back to Little Farleigh Green. Piece of cake!
More details here. Photo credit: Cycling Weekly archive