Gone, But Not Forgotten
Club Vice President Arthur Rayner sadly passed away on 24th March after a period of failing health. Although Arthur was never a member of the club he was an excellent supporter of the Paragon for a great many years and made generous donations to the club.
His great cycling love was time trialling, especially long distance events. He was one of the country’s leading timekeepers and until recently timed our Robin Buchan Open “25”. He was also one of 6 timekeepers involved when, in 2004 our centenary year, the Paragon promoted the Men’s National 25 Mile TT.
Arthur will be sadly missed.
Pete, who died on the 2 November 2005 aged 85, began cycling with the Welcome Wheelers in 1934 and then moved on to the Sydenham Wheelers before joining the Norwood Paragon in April 1942. Sixty-three years of unbroken membership with the Club but he only had five seasons of competition with the Paragon, which were at the highest level.
After serving with the Royal Navy during the war, his first season of racing with the Paragon was in 1947. Fifth place in an early season Medium Gear ‘25’ in 1.9.53 showed his potential: the season’s climax, a win in the SCCU 100. The 1948 Bath Road 100 saw Pete riding with Bernard Brown and Vin Callanan win the team race with a time just one minute outside competition record: they also rode the National Championship 12 hour and won the team race with an aggregate of 740.166 miles. This Paragon club record stood for 42 years!
The year 1948 also saw him gain his best placing in the BBAR competition with 10th.
For three years in succession (1948-1950) Pete, with Bernard Brown and Vin Callanan, won second team in the BBAR, the winners each year being the Medway Wheelers.
1951 was his last competitive season, but he did not stop riding. Pete enjoyed touring in France and a glass of beer or wine and good food. He was a stalwart of the club’s darts team for many years and could always be relied upon for the winning double. He was always available to marshal at club promotions and assist club members riding distance events. In many ways he was a true all rounder.
A photographer par excellence but it was a problem to make him show his work because he never thought his excellent photographs were good enough for public consumption. Pete was also a keen gardener and allotment holder. With his death the Paragon has lost another link to the past and especially the post-war golden era of the club’s time trial history.
His funeral took place on the 22 November at Eastbourne Crematorium and was attended by family, friends and members of the Norwood Paragon.
John Smart’s name first appears in the histories in a Junior “10” on the 2nd April 1950 when he finished 4th with a time of 28m.05s. He followed this with a 1.25.07 in the Dave London “30”. The next junior event was a “15” when he clocked 43.45 for 3rd place behind Brian Stocking on a foul morning. John improved his 10 time in the next junior event with a 27.50 taking second place and then took 3 minutes off his “15” time with a 40.11 for 3rd place on another nasty day. Finishing off his year John recorded a time of 1.9.20 in the final club event, The Mayne Cup “25”.
There was a 2 year gap whilst John did his National Service, although he never stopped riding his bike during this period and competed in a number of RAF events, both time trials and mass start. His next club event was to be the 1952 Mayne Cup where he recorded a time of 1.9.30. A feature of this event was a Team Competition between the Time Trial, Track and Road fraternities. John was counted as one of the Road team. We have no record of his performances in that branch of the sport, although it is known that he rode from time to time in mass start circuit races during the fifties at venues such as Matching Green and Willingale, where the Norwood Paragon often entered teams.
During 1953 John recorded a 1.12.49 in a medium gear “25”, 1.21.57 in the Dave London “30”, 2.27.18 in the Club “50”, and had a 3 minute improvement in the Fryco Cup “50”.
1954 saw John improve his “25” to 1.7.08 in the Portsmouth Road “25”, and another 4 minute improvement in his “50” time to 2.20.21. He also rode the Purley – Brighton TT that year and recorded a time of 1.43.50.
One of John’s most notable achievements was to come 4th in a medium gear “25” with a time of 1.14.15 and was just 3 minutes slower that the redoubtable Robin Buchan on a very hard morning. This earned him 2nd handicap. Once again he improved his “50” time to 2.19.30 in the Moon Trophy. He was 3rd best Paragon rider and once again won 2nd handicap.
1958 was to be John’s last racing year when he rode the Purley – Brighton and recorded a time of 1.55.17 behind Len Saunders. It was one of the slowest P-B recorded with rain and a strong SW wind. Len’s winning time was 14 minutes slower that that of the previous year. His last club event was the Mayne Cup where he recorded a 1.10.20.
While John was never a great rider he was a true Clubman. His job in the police force did not help his cycling career but he always retained his interest in the Paragon. He was present at most Paragon functions at Herne Hill, the OPA and Club Dinners. He also attended the Centenary Dinner in 2004. His jovial manner and booming voice will be missed on future occasions.
John was unlucky to have lost two wives to cancer, but only last September he took the plunge again and married for a third time at the age of 73. He was full of life and seemed so indestructible, that his sudden death on the 3 June 2006 from an aneurysm was a shock to those who knew him. The funeral was held at Hither Green Crematorium on the 16 June. His third wife Jean and his son Richard (from his second marriage) survive him.
Alan Large joined the Norwood Paragon in 1955 from the Redhill CC. He was interested in the track side of the sport and wanted to become part of our Team Pursuit Squad. He had always concentrated on short distance time trials and road races, winning many of them. Our first report of Alan in Paragon colours was in the Regent “25” were he did a 1.0.26 but no other facts have come to light. He was one of those in the winning teams in the Redmon “30”(1.13.41) and Farnborough “25”(1.0.10). This is all we have in the club records for this year.
The following year was to be Alan’s best year. He was in the winning Paragon team in the Bournemouth Arrow “25” (1.0.36), The Middlesex Clarion “25” (1.1.00), Redmon “30” (1.14.14) and he won the Club’s Ashdown Forest Road Race in appalling conditions but these were but a sideshow.
Alan reached his pinnacle when he was a member of the Norwood Paragon Team that won the National 4000m Team Pursuit Championship. The team of Robin Buchan, Don Ward, Wally Happy and Alan produced a time of 4m 52.4s. This was the 5th time that the Paragon had won the title and they did it in a time that we believe was the fastest ever done by a club team on an open track. This time would have qualified a team for the final rounds of the competition every year until the championships were run at the Manchester Velodrome such was its outstanding class. The same team won the London Centre Team Pursuit Championship. Alan was also a counter in the club team that finished 3rd in the London Cycle Racing League’s Team Championship based on a series of matches throughout the season at Herne Hill.
In 1957 Alan was in the team that won the London Centre 4000m Team Pursuit Championship for the 5th year in succession and was one of the team that ensured the Norwood Paragon won the LCRL Team Championship.
The result of the National Team pursuit was a disappointment. The team of Robin Buchan, Wally Happy, Pete Smith and Alan rode well but were narrowly beaten by the Polytechnic CC in the final.
That year Alan also won a road race at Lee-on-Solent and had many wins and places on the track and road. He tied with Keith Butler for the club’s Massed Start Championship. We know he won many races on the hard and grass tracks but typical of the trackmen of the day, they kept their results to themselves in case the Handicappers got wind of their excellent form or others got wind of the great prizes they won.
Shortly after this season Alan and his family moved to Canada where he remained. His love of cycle racing carried on and he became a National Commissaire and officiated at the Montreal Olympics and World Championships. He also organised many races in the Ottawa area and travelled with Canadian Teams to several games.
Alan’s racing career with the Paragon was short he remained a lifelong member of the club. He was a very fast rider and an excellent bike handler and great to watch on the track. His forte was as an excellent team man. He even rode the National Hill Climb to back Les Ingman but he could and did win on his own with some beautifully timed efforts.
His son John came over and rode with some success in the Surrey League races in 1983 and in 2004 Alan, John and their family came over especially to attend the Club’s Centenary Dinner.
Alan sadly passed away on the 29th March and many from British cycling clubs attended his funeral. His wife Joy, 4 children and grand children, survive him.
Bernard Brown was one of the many whose Cycling careers were curtailed by the War. It was to be seven years between him joining the Club and his first full season as a senior competitor. This gave him just 5 years at the top before family and career had to take first place in his life. In that short time Bernard, with Vin Callanan and Pete Kitchiner established themselves and re-established the Norwood Paragon as one of the fastest and competitive Clubs in the country. They won National Team Championships and Bernard the 12 hours Individual Championship and on three occasions were 2nd Team in the National BBAR behind the Medway Wheelers. As a measure of their class is that their 12 hour Team aggregate stood as a Club Record for 42 years!
Bernard Joined the Paragon in January 1940 but it is not until 1942 that his name appears in the Record books. In the early season ‘25’ he was the slowest of the 7 finishers with a 1.10.52 behind Ron Tugwell (1.5.28). Then followed the time in the Services so it was not until 1947 that Bernard’s name again appears in the results when he rode the inaugural Dave London Trophy, for first handicap in the club “30”, but with far better results! Bert Chapman was fastest in 1.17.45 but Bernard Brown, fitter, older and stronger and back from the Forces, was 2nd in 1.18.38. Later that year he won Team prizes for the Paragon in the SCCU and Redhill ‘50’s.
The following year on 2nd May was a great day for the Paragon when in the SCCU ‘50’ we took the first 3 places, 1st on handicap and the Team race. Vin Callanan came 1st in 2.11.16 beating Bernard Brown by just 16 seconds with Don Chamberlain in 3rd spot on 2.12.10. Bernard collected the 1st handicap with this ride. Further success came a week later in the Catford ‘50’with Vin Callanan taking 2nd place with a 2.9.40 ride. Bernard Brown was 3rd (2.10.19) and Pete Kitchiner 4th (2.10.33) and the Paragon won the Team race.
The first inklings to the outside world that the Paragon was going to be a force to be reckoned with came in the National ‘50’. It was one of the worst Championship days known with freezing cold rain and a strong southwesterly wind over the bleak, hedgeless roads of the Great North Road above Biggleswade. This was going to sort the men out from the boys! It was a day for the hard men. Pete Kitchiner provided the story of the day with a storming finish that covered the last 12½ miles just 4 seconds slower than the winner. With this ride he moved into 5th place with a 2.10.04. Vin came 11th in 2.11.15 while Bernard was 14th in 2.12.35. These excellent rides meant the Paragon were 2nd in the Team race behind the Medway Wheelers. Even the Cycling reporters were surprised at the high placing of the Paragon men but, to those in the Club, we knew that this was to be the first success of many.
The Club Open ‘50’ was held on yet another hard and windy morning. Pete Kitchiner found another fast finish to clock 2nd fastest time of the morning with a 2.9.05 ride. Bernard Brown was 3rd in 2.9.38 and Vin Callanan 7th in 2.10.56. Bernard won the Handicap with Pete in 2nd place and the Paragon took the Team prize as well. Later that month they did the same in the Belle Vue ‘50’.
August Bank Holiday was the Bath Road ‘100’ day. THE day for the Time Trialling world and Messrs Brown, Callanan and Kitchiner were there to fly the flag for the Norwood Paragon. Albert Derbyshire won in 4.18.19. Bernard finished with a time of 4.21.20, an improvement of some 20 minutes and the fastest time ever recorded by a Paragon rider. Vin came in 6th a 4.22.56 and Pete Kitchiner was in 16th place with 4.30.10. This meant that the Paragon WON THE TEAM RACE. This was even better than a National Championship win. The only fly in the ointment was that the lads missed Competition record by just 1m 03s. The Paragon had ARRIVED!
Needing good 12-hour distances for the BBAR the Team went north to ride the Midland C & AC event. The Result was a triumph for the Paragon. Bernard Brown won with 247.916 miles, Vin Callanan came 2nd with 247.414 miles and Pete Kitchiner was 3rd with 244.764 miles. They collected the Team race and COMPETITION RECORD with a total of 740.094 miles. This was a superb effort from Bernard who was riding only his second twelve hours event. An Editor of the ‘RAG’ hoped it would put the Competition Record on the shelf. Unfortunately it only lasted 3 years in National Competition but it stood for 42 years as a Club Record!
On the 26th September Vin Callanan and Bernard Brown took no less than 15 minutes of the SRRA Tandem ‘100’ Record with a tremendous ride of 3.53.08. The holders of the old Record were Ernie Mills and Bill Paul of the Addiscombe a pairing of International repute and holders of the World 1 Hour Record. In fact their World Hour Record that they set in 1938 was not beaten until the year 2000! One is left with niggling thoughts of what our lads could have done if they had chosen to ride the track?
By the end of the year Bernard with Pete Kitchiner and Vin Callanan were 2nd Team in the BBAR.
To start the 1949 season the fast men went north of Oxford on the 3rd April to the Banbury Star ‘25’. Bernard and the Paragon took home the Team race prize. In the Marlboro Tandem ‘50’ on the 15th May Vin Callanan and Bernard Brown whilst covering the distance in 1.50.52 (just over 27 mph) came 2nd.
In the Chichester ‘50’ on the 26th June Bernard Brown came home in 2.5.23 for 3rd place, Don Chamberlain was 4th in 2.5.41 then Vin Callanan, 2.7.07 for 6th, completed the winning Team. The National Championship ‘50’ was again held on the North Road. Don Chamberlain finished in a very creditable 5th place with a 2.5.32 ride. Vin Callanan was 11th in 2.9.15, Pete Kitchiner 13th in 2.9.26, Bernard Brown 14th in 2.9.45.
The Open ‘50’ was again run on the Bath Road and Vin Callanan was fastest all the way round to cross the line in 2.5.56. Pete Kitchiner was equal 5th in 2.8.13 and Bernard Brown completed the winning Team with a 2.10.01.
The BBAR Team’ rode the Belle Vue ‘50’ where Bernard was 6th in 2.7.49, Vin 9th in 2.8.30 and Pete 11th in 2.9.25. This was however good enough to win the Team race.
August 1st was Bank Holiday Monday and Bath Road ‘100’ day. Pete Kitchiner finished 8th with 4.22.27 and Bernard Brown put in the storming return to finish 9th in 4.22.59. Stan Butler came in more sedately in 4.32.58 for 40th place. We did not get the Team race, as the Medway Whs were 3rd, 4th and 5th. Next weekend the Team was riding the Dragon ‘50’ and Bernard Brown made 3rd place with a 2.6.09 ride and the Paragon won the Team race.
On the 14th August and the BBAR Team were riding the South Western RC 12 hours event and collecting another Team award. Bernard Brown was 2nd in the event just getting the better of Vin Callanan. Bernard with 1324 yards to add to his 247 miles while Vin ‘only’ covered 905 yards. Pete Kitchiner made up the Team with 241 miles 899 yards.
The Club had another team riding the Clifton ‘50’ up North. This was a huge success for Don Chamberlain, who won the race in 2.2.16 by over 2 minutes, and broke the Course Record. The rest of the team had not the same fortune. Ron Tugwell started 4 minutes late and Bernard Brown a whopping 13 minutes late. Ron finished in 2.12.46 for 40th place – without the late start he would have been 10th. Bernard finished 69th but without the penalty would have been 4th and maybe even 2nd as there were only seconds in it. The team race went to the Harrogate. Without the late penalties not only would the Team race have been ours it would have been Competition Record!
The National 12 Hours Championship was run in Yorkshire on the 4th September. Bernard ran out time with 250.605 miles to win the National Championship and set a new Club Record. Vin held his 3rd place with 247.21 whilst Stan Butler moved up to 10th with 238.855. This made the Norwood Paragon National Team Champions for 1949 with 736.481 miles.
The Old Portlians Tandem ‘30’ on the 18th September had three Paragon pairs and whilst they finished 5th, 8th and 11th they only claimed second Team award. However they did score on the Club Awards. They had all entered for Standard medals and the Club had to pay out for 6 Gold Centre Medals, as the Club Record was broken three times. Maurice Jeffries and Dan Hadfield were first to finish with 1.6.08. Ron and Maurice Tugwell crossed the line next in 1.5.42 and then Vin Callanan and Bernard Brown came in with the 1.5.26 ride to put everyone in their place. Quite a good morning!
At the end of 1949 Bernard held Club Records at 100 miles in 4.21.20,12 hours with 250.605 and the 50 miles and 100 miles Tandem Records with Vin Callanan with 1.50.52 and 3.53.08 respectively. Once again the Team were 2nd in the BBAR even though they had a higher average speed than the previous year!
The Marlboro Tandem ‘50’ of 1950 and once again Messrs Callanan and Brown teamed up. It was, indeed, a very good partnership as they finished 2nd with a time of 1.50.01 just 14 seconds too slow to win but with a new Club Record. The Tugwell brothers finished 9th in 1.54.55 to ensure the Paragon took the Team race.
The BBAR riders went to the Midlands for the Shirley ‘50’ and whilst being well beaten by Ken Joy (Medway Whs), who won in 2.3.44, the Paragon lads won the Team race. Vin Callanan came 2nd in 2.6.39; Bernard Brown was 4th in 2.8.28 and Pete Kitchiner 2.13.55
In the Highgate ‘100’, run on the North Road beyond Biggleswade, Vin was in scintillating form coming home with a new Club Record time of 4.20.26 and 2nd place in the race. Pete Kitchiner backed up this ride with a 4.28.15 and with Bernard Brown finishing in 4.38.18 the Paragon won the Team race by over 11 minutes.
On the 2nd July Vin Callanan won the Cheltenham ‘50’ in 2.4.44 with Bernard Brown 2nd fastest in 2.4.53 and with Pete Kitchiner not far down with 2.9.16. They collected the Team race by a meagre14 minutes!
Some excellent times were recorded in the Kentish Wheelers ‘100’ on the 9th July. Alf Hill (Kentish Whs) was flying and took control of the race from the start. In the second 50 miles only the Paragon riders gained time on Hill who won in 4.19.02. Bernard picked up nearly a minute to finish 2nd with 4.22.10, Vin was 4th with 4.23.01 and Pete Kitchiner 5th in 4.28.06. This ensured the Team race and a new Club 100 Team record.
It was National Championship ‘100’ day on the 23rd July in the New Forest. Ken Joy passed the Timekeeper in 4.18.22 to win Vin held onto 3rd place to finish in 4.26.54. Bernard was 5th in 4.30.38 and Pete Kitchiner finished 9th in 4.35.09 to ensure the Paragon were National Team Champions.
The Bank Holiday Monday was Bath Road ‘100’ day. Vin set a new Club record with his 4.18.06 for 7th place. Pete Kitchiner crossed the line in 15th place with 4.22. 54 whilst Bernard finished in 4.26.09 for 30th place.
Once again the Norwood Paragon team of Bernard Brown, Vin Callanan and Pete Kitchiner were 2nd to the Medway Whs in the Team BBAR.
Bernard’s last season was in 1951. During the year he had a close finish in the Dave London ‘30’ coming home with a 1.18.01 to win but just behind him were Peter Dixon with 1.18.34, Bert Chapman 1.18.50 and in fourth place Bob Shepherd with 1.19.00.
Five riders went for the Kingston Hilly 73 and it was Vin Callanan who produced the fastest ride of the day to win in 3.11.30 by just 25 seconds. Backing Vin was Bernard Brown in 5th place with 3.13.51. The Paragon collected the Team award.
Another Team race came our way in the Wessex ‘100’. Vin Callanan was our best rider in 4th place with a 4.26.09 ride that included a puncture! Bernard Brown was 7th with 4.29.23, Stan Butler 13th in 4.33.0 and Dick Hare 30th in 4.41.27.
According to the information we have in the Club Archives this is the last event that Bernard rode. He failed to start in some other events later in the season.
After hanging up his wheels Bernard moved to Fareham. He was elected as a Councillor and he later became Mayor. Even so he retained his membership of the Norwood Paragon.
A few years later Bernard came to the AGM and after the Meeting stood up and offered a Tankard for the first Norwood Paragon rider to beat 260 miles in 12 hours. Sitting in the back row was a young Junior called Keith Butler whose thoughts were more on road racing than time trialling but in 1962 he won Bernard’s Tankard. It now stands on his sideboard!
Bernard sadly died on 4th June of bronchial pneumonia and the funeral was on the 9th June.
Ching was a very modest man throughout his life and he’s not going to thank me today for standing up and telling you some of the things he did, but if he is listening up there then I would like him to think that we are doing it for the right reasons.
As most of you know Ching started his working life in his father’s business in 1929. Being a keen cyclist he joined Norwood Paragon in 1932 and at that time started to play bicycle polo. During the period 1932 to 1954 Norwood Paragon under his captainship went on to secure 15 national championships and at the same time Ching was asked to play for England. According to newspaper reports he made such an impact on his first game that his place on the England side was secured from there on in. He was without doubt one of the fastest and skilful players of his time representing England both in the UK and abroad. Indeed the photograph shows him with the bikes getting on an aeroplane at Croydon Airport to fly to Toulouse for a match against the French team, which incidentally we managed to win, which makes a change.
During the period that he was playing bicycle polo he was of course involved in the Second World War. At this stage Ching had been told that it was a good idea to go and volunteer because if you volunteered you could pick and choose a job you wanted to do. He went along to see the recruiting officer and secured a job as a bicycle mechanic with a comment for the recruiting officer that the army really needed bicycle mechanics and there were plenty of bikes to mend. As it was, Ching ended up as an armourer in Rhine. During his service overseas in Egypt and bearing in mind that he started off in Egypt and came right the way up through Europe with Montgomery and the 8th Army where he was mentioned in despatches. The reason that I believe he was mentioned in despatches, he hinted at it one night although he always said it was for making the tea, but the real reason was that as an armourer he used to have to work and service the guns and repair the guns of people such as Long Range Desert Group which meant that form time to time he was operating behind enemy lines. At this stage and to enable him to find these people or locate these people in the desert, the army gave him a motorbike which was fine, if all the bends were right handed he used to say, but as soon as he went round a left-handed bend the bike fell over and he fell off. Being the cycle mechanic that he was, he soon found the problem that the wheels were out of line, fixed that and then he was fine.
Mind you, after the war, there wasn’t any work in the cycle trade so he became a baker’s rounds man and whilst Ching did have an affinity for bikes the same cannot be said for the horse he used to pull his cart. For those of you that are not old enough to remember, in Ching’s time, this is now the 1945/46 era, the butcher, the baker, the coalman and the milkman all had horse drawn carts and Ching was one of them. As I have already mentioned, his affinity with horses wasn’t really good and he had a particular horse one day that just stopped in the middle of the road and lay down. Ching being Ching thought that he had overworked it and killed it. No matter how much he tried he could not get the horse to stand up, it just lay there panting. Along the road came the coalman who also had a horse so Ching went over and asked for his help to which the coalman came over, gave the horse one whacking great kick, it sprang up on all four feet and he had no more trouble with it what so ever.
During the time that this was going on, Ching met Gwen at a friends wedding. Being the smoothie that he was, and quick with the words, I think his first comments to Gwen when he met her was “are you standing in a hole?” but being the dapper person that he was in those days with a winning smile and a slick dresser, and I might add so I’m told, an excellent dancer particularly at the tango. He soon won her round and asked her out for a date. On their first date he was late and it was pouring with rain and when he met up with her he said “do you know 1 wouldn’t keep a dog waiting in the rain on a night like this”. Well, with those two winning comments, he managed to finally secure Gwen as his bride and they have been happily married for 52 years. In fact the day after he passed on they would have known one another for 56 years.
As well as his wife and family, the Norwood Paragon Cycling Club played a very important part in Ching’s life. There aren’t many people around today that can say they’ve represented their country in a particular sport but Ching was one of them.
Chris Marshall saw a cycling time-trial and it appeared to him as a good way of keeping fit as well as an excellent way of burning out the stress of his job. On sampling the wares he found that it did the job beautifully. If only Chris had come upon cycle racing at an early age – what a champion he could have been. He was fast, fearless and ready to ride hard all the time in his short racing career before he was compel to give it best when he found he had brittle bones – a great problem in the inevitable crash.
Over the next four seasons Chris was a member of many winning teams. The race he would always remember was held on Sunday 7th August 1988. It was the ECCA 12-hour event and turned out to be a scorcher of a day. The Paragon had Harry Featherstone and Gethin Butler, both top-class riders, with Chris Marshall to make up the team but it was Chris that did the ride. The scorching heat drained Harry and Gethin but Chris, who had been caught and passed by both riders recaught them and sailed off into the distance. Although he could not catch the two leaders he was placed 3rd with 256.111 miles. You can imagine the satisfaction this must have given Chris so often the third man. Today was ‘pay-back day’. All those occasions when he was the ‘3rd counter’ – this time HE was No.1. He had left the team leaders standing. A tremendous ride.
Sunday 18th June 1989 was another great day for Chris when he rode the ECRA ‘100’, this had an excellent morning and a top-class field. Although placed 15th (from150) he did the 100 miles in 4.4.53 – just under 25 mph. Then on the 24th September he rode the Viking 50 mile race. He covered the distance in 1.54.34 – over 26 mph. At the end of his racing career Chris Marshall’s name was on three Club Team Records. He was 106th in the British Best All-rounder Competition, he was Southern Counties Champion and Club Champion. Not a bad haul for someone who did not start racing until his late 30s.! He ended with times that are respectable today. His best times – 22.03 for 10 miles, 56.53 for a ‘25’, 1.56.34 for a ‘50’, 4.4.53 for 100 miles and 256.111 miles for 12 hours are impossible to achieve without serious training.
While performing at high level Chris also took part in the Social activities that are part and parcel of cycling cub life. We have photos of him and Joseph walking through the pouring rain on winter walks. He came on the ‘walking weekend’ when bikes were left at home. Staying at Youth Hostels and eating at the local hostelry.
To us Chris was a bike rider. It was not until one of our young members, Ian Tombleson, went for his college interview and mentioned that he had been riding with Chris Marshall who had recommended he applied for this particular course. ‘Do you know Professor Marshall well?’ Ian admitted that he had been training with Chris the previous weeks. That, Ian said, was the end of the interview. ‘I was in!’ The Club and Ian had no idea that this quiet, unassuming and talented bike rider was so well known all over the world for his work on cancer.
He was a great man and we are proud to be known as his friends.
The following was read by John Cleeve at John’s funeral held on the 22nd April 2016.
We are gathered here today to the memory of John Pocock. Many of us here have known him for a great many years. I personally first met John 63 years ago.
John was born in Thornton Heath on the 24th April, 1934.
His father was a railway station master which is obviously where John got his life long interest in all things to do with railways, particularly steam trains. His Grandfather too worked on the old Southern railway at Godstone, so railway life was certainly in John’s genes.
He had an excellent education at Selhurst Grammar School. He also showed promise at cross country running.
At 18 he did his National service in the RAF and was based in Stanmore. Like many racing cyclists he rode for the RAF in time trials and road racing, as well as the NPCC.
John had various jobs before starting in the timber trade and was for a time living in Ashbourne in Derbyshire.
After joining Parker Timber Company, in South Croydon, at a junior level he quickly learned a great deal about the trade. His Jewish boss whom he truly admired taught him how to do business and where and with whom to trade. John made his way up the ranks and eventually became MD.
Quite a guy!
Fast cars were a passion, in his early days he bought an upmarket MG which he looked after meticulously. The engine at one point, he rebuilt. In later years he had more comfortable but still fast cars, including Saabs, Jaguars and finally a Skoda Super which John very reluctantly gave up this year.
He was a Life Member of the CTC and the North Hants (Watercress) Railway Line.
He served for some years as Chairman of the Rail Users Group in Redhill.
He liked eating out in good restaurants, socialising with his cycling friends and enjoyed family gatherings with his nieces and nephews.
He loved going to the Albert Hall with friends, to hear concerts, especially at Christmas time. Also regular visits were made to the Fairfield Halls to hear the Mozart Players. Locally he enjoyed going to the Miller Centre Theatre. The annual walking weekend which in more recent years was extended to 4 or 5 days, held after the cycle racing season, was never missed, even in later years when he had to be content with driving to the lunch stops to meet up with the walkers, as his health deteriorated.
John’s careful stewardship of his own finances were forgotten on the first night of these walking weekends as he always bought all the wine for the evening meal.
He married Helen in 1962, and David came along much to John and Helen’s delight, in 1969.
I had the honour of being best man at their wedding.
Perhaps this was a reward for all the punishment received when John had half wheeled me over many miles and years? Mind you I am sure all the bike riders here today suffered similarly.
They lived for many years in West Kingsdown. John was very much hands on in the building of his house (see photo). I can remember in particular, the expensive fencing surrounding the property. Upon remarking on this John said with a smile on his face . . .provided by PTC!
John married again in December 1985, to Angela. They had a loving, happy relationship and lived in Nutfield. This then extended both John and Angela’s families to include David, John’s son, and Angela’s son Tim and Kathryn her daughter, and her children, Angela’s much loved grandchildren. Tragically Angela died suddenly in 2008.
John was buried next to Angela, early this afternoon, in a woodland setting, just up the road from here. Once the arrangements needed for today’s funeral were started it soon became clear what a large number of friends John had, as can be seen by the gathering here today to reflect on the life of John.
Later, this afternoon, we will have the opportunity to share happy memories of John at Bletchingley Golf Club.
During a busy period under John’s reign, an employee required the day off as his wife was going to have a baby. Reluctantly John agreed and granted the day off. When the individual came back to work John asked if the baby had been born. Oh no, it’s not due for another 9 months!
John’s first role as an official in the NPCC was in 1956 at the age of 23 when he took over as Gen Sec. and he has never since that time been off the committee, in one role or another.
Possibly John’s greatest contribution to the Paragon was his impeccable control of club finances. He first became Treasurer in 1960, then again from 1987-1990, and once more from 1994-2012 when ill-health forced him to retire. John also had two long periods as Gen. Sec. He was a very good president, certainly one of the best, involving himself in all aspects of club life.
He supported racing members in all parts of the country. On many occasions he travelled hundreds of miles in a weekend, with fellow club members, to run up and down the road handing drinks and food where needed, to Paragon riders in long distance events. This hazardous task was never easy and with the increasing amount of traffic on the roads it was downright dangerous at times, with riders mingling with not very understanding, impatient drivers. Marshalling very early on Sunday mornings was another task, which often meant getting up at 4.00 or 5.00, to stand on a sometimes cold and wet Sunday morning to marshal competitors, ensuring that they did not go off course. Or another important duty was helping in the kitchen at event HQ’s, serving thirsty and hungry riders, almost to the end of his life.
When he was not in an official position he retained his avid interest in the club as a committee member or Chairman. His dedication to the club was rewarded in 1980 when made vice president then becoming president in 1991-1993. John really made an impact on club life not least by his interest in club runs, encouraging younger members to enjoy the beauty of country roads and lanes and to show that cycling was not just one dimensional, i.e. racing and training on main roads. This helped to give them some of the skills needed in riding at close quarters in bunched road racing.
For his outstanding contribution to the club over many years he was made a Life Member.
He also ran the OPA which is an off-shoot of the club, for members of at least 10 years standing. The friendly gatherings would not have lasted without John’s dedication and organisational skills. This part of the club hold regular dinners where memories, drinking and banter are the order of the day.
His early years in the Paragon saw him enthusiastically competing in time trials and road racing. He also enjoyed pacing competitors on a tandem on the track. He won many medals over 20 years of competition. He won the club events championship in 1960. He was in the winning team in the prestigious Paragon Open 50 mile time trial in 1955. John finished in 7th place in the SCCU BAR in 1960. The competition in those days was keenly fought by 100s of cyclists who competed over 50 miles, 100 miles and 12 hours. And for the uninitiated the competitors in these events started at one minute intervals and were not allowed to be paced at any time.
The Paragon back in the good old days used to have a 100 miles in 6 hours reliability trial, with a compulsory half hour stop, that John used to compete in and qualify. This was run over a tough hilly course. John also used to play darts for the club as well.
He was in the winning team of the interclub map reading contest several times.
So you see that John was a really active and certainly a very popular clubman.
All this in spite of starting and running a very successful import and distribution timber business.
They were a real passion for John. He went on many of these “special day trips” with some of the members of the 40+ cycling club and other friends.
Amongst trips he enjoyed were to Sherborne, Ely, and Oxford for carol services at Christmas time; and summer trips to Weybridge, Swanage, Oxford, Bath and Exeter.
One particular rail journey made with Val Butler and John and my wife Viv and myself, was on the Ffestiniog railway in Wales. This is a quite recent treasured memory of John for us. There is a photo of the train taking a bend in the track from a rear compartment. Not a picture of John but he was on it! But there is a photo of John taken at that weekend where he had been bombed by a seagull!
He had been a member of this unique club for many years and was treasurer for 9 of them. He was made a Life Member very recently for services rendered.
And thank you to all members of this club who signed a card in memory of John for David and his family. This obviously goes to everyone here who also sent cards.
John was involved for many years with issues over the welfare of passengers travelling by train in the Redhill area. His knowledge on train travel and the needs of customers, was often superior to the professionally paid staff, who were often frustrated and in awe of John with his sharp, meticulous and methodical way of sorting out problems, usually of BR making!
John had an incredible memory for all things relating to train travel. And needless to say the most economical way to travel!
This also applied to road journeys. Any discussion in social circles, re touring or the best and quickest way to any destination, John was on the ball. So much so that unless you got your facts absolutely correct he would immediately correct you.
John was one of the main campaigners in getting the pedestrian crossing opened at Warnham Train station, which I am sure most of you bike riders here today would have used to cross the line instead of a frustrating and dangerous detour on the A264. The opening of this has encouraged many cyclists to get on their bikes to ride in safety and appreciate a more scenic route.
Upon arriving at his office John saw one of his employees out cold, lying across a doorway. As John was very busy at the time he just stepped over him and carried on as though there was nothing wrong!
John helped to organise, the annual walking weekend that has been held for over 20 years now. This is held at the end of the bike racing season when us “oldies” are made redundant until the next season when our services hopefully would be needed again.
John used to go with Pam and Val for a few days, to reconnoitre a chosen area beforehand, to book accommodation and sort out a suitable route. In fact he was hoping to accompany them this very weekend. These walks, fortunately got shorter and shorter as the years rolled by, they also got a lot more socially orientated with many excellent tea and pub lunch stops. He was involved with this right up to his passing.
These walks are not as they used to be when organised by Keith …(mumble mumble)!………then, they were route marches through the muddiest and hardest terrain imaginable, and we were not allowed into eating or drinking premises until foot ware was removed.
John Carter book
John was one of a select few that were honoured for invaluable services to the Paragon and he was asked to sign the John Carter Memorial Book, at the club dinner in 2000. The highest tribute to a member of the club. His citation starts: “Whose inherent wisdom and sound judgement have been powerful forces in the management of the Club for nearly 50 years”. At the time of John passing away he had been a member for over 63 years!
If there could have been a National Championship for half wheeling it would have been a one-horse race. He made a nuisance of himself to all and sundry in the club over many years. There was no backing down on reputations, whether it be a, National Champion, Olympic rider or other stars of the club, they all suffered this ignominy. No matter how hard they rode John’s front wheel was always just in front!
I can remember one ride that I had with John when we were due to meet Helen, his first wife at Green Street Green for tea. We had been away for the weekend and were on the Lambourn Downs when I realised on looking at the map I was carrying that we could take what looked like a White road route and save a few miles and get to our prearranged tea stop on time. Well we eventually came to a stop when the lane petered out. John was not amused and asked to see the map, it was one of my fathers, and was about 40 years old! Very out of date! John then made up time by half-wheeling me for the next 40 miles not saying a word, only to say at GSG that we had averaged 22 mph. I learnt a lesson that day!
National service saw him racing throughout his time in the RAF. The prestigious 5-day event, that John was selected to ride in 1953, had many, as it turned out, top riders competing including Fred Krebbs, who was later to ride in the T de F. John was in the team which finished second. He finished in 7th place overall which was an excellent ride.
Alec Morrison notes
On finishing National Service John met up with another member, Alec Morrison, who wanted to travel to Tangier on a 500cc BSA motor cycle. John was instantly interested. So began a 3,000 mile journey. No travel insurance, the princely sum of £25.00 each for the trip, the most that one was allowed to take out of the country in those days! They had setbacks in France, breakdowns in Spain but any suggestion of turning back, from Alec fell on deaf ears. Tangier was the target and that was it! They slept on the side of the road with a pannier bag as a pillow then buns for breakfast from any roadside stall. On reaching Gibraltar they discovered that there was a cable car to the top, but no, it was a race by foot to the summit! Probably where John’s half wheeling instincts were born? But they achieved their goal plus many mosquito bites!
He also learnt to dance to a high standard by having professional lessons, enabling him to win bronze, then silver medals over several disciplines. Very useful for chatting up the ladies, which John did, and he was always immaculately turned out for such and all occasions.
Good luck John, you have left us with many memories, and may your spirit roam!
So you see John was a really active and certainly very popular clubman who enjoyed the special bond, humour and camaraderie of club cyclists, not least the 40+ club which was very important to John. When he couldn’t ride his bike any more he still met up with them by car.
Maurice joined the Paragon in 1946 and rode in some of the Junior Time Trials but it soon became apparent that his forte was the track. In Junior event after Junior event Maurice’s name was to be found in the results often winning, but never out of the top three places. He was 2nd in the London Centre Junior Sprint Championship in 1948 and was picked for a Junior team to race against a Junior French team the same year.
In 1949 he started the season by coming 2nd in the Medium Gear ’25’ and the SCCU ’25’ before moving to the Track. Here he was 2nd in the NCU 10 mile Madison and was one of the team that won the London Centre Team Pursuit Championship with an unheard of club time of 4.58.8. He was also a record breaker in that he broke the Club Tandem 30 record but as two other tandem also did the same it cost the club 6 sets of medals for one race.
In 1950 he won the 50 mile Madison at Derby riding with Ron Stretton and winning most of his sprints at Herne Hill. He won or was paced in most races that he rode on the track over the next two years that was ‘blighted’ by having to do his 2 years National Service in the RAF. However, that did not stop him getting 3rd place in the RAF CA Sprint and 2nd in the 10 mile scratch race. He turned his hand to open road racing getting a 5th in Stage 1 of the RAF CA 5-day and coming 9th on General Classification. He then helped Ron to qualify for World Championship selection by being one of the 24 survivors in the London Centre Championship when Ron came 2nd. He also collected the Kingsbury Cup a huge trophy for the 5 mile race at Portsmouth Track.
In 1952 he was short-listed for the Olympics in Helsinki, but a crash in training ended this dream.
Highlight of the year though was the National Team Pursuit Championship where the Paragon won in a time of 4.59.4 with Ron Stretton, Pete Smith and Wally Happy.
In 1954 Maurice won the London Centre Sprint and the SCCU 5 mile, but neither he no Ron Stretton were asked to attend the selection races for the National Squad to ride the World Championships. As they had ridden in a team that was faster than the National Squad this really got up their noses therefore a decision was made that there was no place for them in the U.K. Thus, on the 25th July 1955 they set sail for a new career in Canada.
Maurice was a designer and draftsman and he found a job with Canadian Aviation Electronics in Montreal. While there he developed a passion for sailing and became Commodore of the Ile Perrot Yacht Club.
Maurice continued to be interested in Cycling and was appointed coach of the Canadian National track team and found success when they won the 1970 Team Pursuit at the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh.
In 1974 thanks to Maurice’s abilities the World Championships were awarded to Montreal and he left CAE to concentrate on the organisation of the Track Championships which included a track at University of Montreal and the velodrome for the 1976 Olympics (which at that time was a sketch on the back of an envelope).
After the Olympics Maurice returned to his old life at CAE as a Project Manager. Cycling was not forgotten and in 1978 he was Track Manager at the Edmonton Commonwealth Games and was a consultant for the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. He came back to Edinburgh in 1986 for the Commonwealth Games and in 1996 he was Track Manager at the Atlanta Olympics. In between times he worked at CAE and had duties as an International Official at World Cycling Championships!
In 2002 Maurice was diagnosed with a cancer on the tongue – never having smoke in his life! He pulled through this due to his incredible willpower and stamina. Many of us had no idea of the trauma he went through. Monetary riches were not important to him but he was rich in family and friends and he survived and lived.
He came over to England a year or two ago and had lunch with some of his old buddies at the Queens Head in Nutfield and many were the tales told and retold over that meal.
As Paragon members we have lost a man who never left the club after joining in 1946. Seventy years of Paragon membership. This is a tribute to him but a tribute also to the Club where he made his name. Let us hope that we too can keep our membership that long and be remembered for what we have done in the name of this Club.
Ray Runham was born July 1939 and lived in Norbury during his early years.
He joined the Fountain CC in 1957 which was based in Dulwich near to the famous Herne Hill cycle track. His first cycle race was in March 1958 being the classic Kentish Wheelers Novices 25 mile time trial winning it by a significant margin in a time of 1hr 3min 22sec.
He rode his first Tandem race, a 30 mile time trial with club mate Dave Adams and came 2nd with a time of 1hr 04m 15s. This was followed in October by achieving a major time trialling milestone, first time under the hour for 25 miles 59-20.
The following year Ray went to the Isle of Man and rode the prestigious 25 mile Time Trial and the 2 lap mountain race and came 5th in both events. He once again paired up with Dave to ride the Viking tandem 50 where they came 2nd. To close the year in October Ray broke the Fountain Club 25 mile time trial record with a time of 57min 17sec.
National Service followed in 1960/61 and he was stationed in Northern Ireland (pre the Troubles only pick axe handles on guard duty). He rode in Army Cycling Union colours and won many races on both the road and track.
On leaving the army in 1962 Ray raced once again for the Fountain CC and won the Bec CC Open 25 mile time trial. This must have been one of his favourite events as he won it on numerous occasions. He also rode the National 25 Championship at Chester making the long journey in Dave’s mini he came a very creditable 7th with a time of 57-20.
During his time with the Fountain Ray met June and married in 1964.
1965 sees Ray leaving the Fountain CC and joining the De Laune CC where he set a new 30 miles time trial club record.
Ray joined the Norwood Paragon Cycling Club in 1966 after being recruited by his friend Robin Buchan and was to remain a member of the club for 56 years.
Ray and Robin build up a formidable reputation winning tandem races and team time trials (note: 2, 3, or 4 riders ride together as a team). This culminated in 1969 with them equalling the national tandem 30 mile record, which still stands as a club record. Ray branched out into road racing where he won many races and gained a British Cycling first category racing licence (top level for amateurs).
He did not loose his love of tandem and team time trial events and with many different partners broke club tandem records and won team time trial events. Ray even had time to fit in some track racing and led the club team to winning the London Region Team Pursuit Championship in 1975, beating the 34th Nomads who were soon to become national champions in the final.
During 1989 – 90 seasons Ray paired up with a new tandem partner, Gethin Butler and proceeded to break numerous club tandem records from 10 to 100 miles. In 1989 they set a new national tandem record for 100miles with a phenomenal time of 3hrs 31mins 29secs.Ray was a natural team leader driven on by the ethos of train hard, race harder.
Ray was made a Vice President of the club in recognition of his achievements. He was also elected a club Trustee. Ray was also able to combine his carpentry skills with cycling by making custom boxes for many of the club’s trophies. To the end Ray loved nothing more than sitting astride his bike, latterly in the garage on his trainer and churning out the miles.
Club Records still standing:
1969 Tandem – 30 mile 1h 0m 48s with Robin Buchan
1973 Team 30 mile 3h 25m 35s with Rowan Vacher and Peter Ansell both of whom broke tandem records with Ray
1989 Tandem – 100 mile 3h 31m 29s national record with Gethin Butler,
1990 Tandem – 10 mile 19m.49s, 25 mile 51m 45s, 50 mile 1h 44m 37s with Gethin Butler
Joined the Fountain CC based in Dulwich.
Won by a significant margin the Kentish Wheelers Novices 25miles TT in a time of 1h 3m 55s
He rode his first Tandem race with club mate Dave Adams a 30mile TT coming 2nd 1h 4m15s.
In October went under the hour for 25 miles with a time of 59-20.
Made the long trip to the Isle of Man and rode the 25 mile TT and the 2 lap mountain race finishing 5th in both events.
Ray and Dave Rode the Viking RC Tandem 50miles and were 2nd.
In the October Ray set a new Fountain CC 25miles club record 57-17.
National Service and saw Ray stationed in N Ireland (pre the Troubles only pick axe handles on guard duty). He rode in Army CU colours and Won many races Road &Track.
Ray won the Bec CC Open 25miles. It must have been one of his favourite events as he won the event on numerous occasions.
Rode the National 25 Championship in Chester making the long trip in Dave Adams mini coming a creditable 7th with a time of 57-20.
Ray left the Fountain CC joined the De Laune CC setting a new 30miles club record in a time of 1hr 07min..
Extracts from the Norwood Paragon CC histories.
Joined the Norwood Paragon. It was mentioned in the previous year’s results but in the March Blah it was made official that Ray Runham had joined the Norwood Paragon and he has stayed with us ever since.
Ray Runham came 2nd in the De Laune ‘25’ with a 1.0.28, Robin Buchan was 4th in 1.1.40 and Terry Slattery made up the winning team with a 1.5.20.
At Easter Ray Runham won the Crawley Whs ‘25’ on Good Friday in 59.03. He was supported by John Jennings 1.7.05 and Barry Sturgess 1.10.21. Then on the Sunday Ray won again in the Fountain ‘25’. This time he was slightly slower with a 59.37. Best performances were produce by Barry Sturgess, 1.6.23, and John Jennings, 1.6.24 to enable the Paragon to win the Team race.
Ray Runham won his third event in 10 days when he made fastest time in the Bec ‘25’ with 1.2.33 on a very tough morning with a bitter north-east wind blowing that slowed everyone on the way back to Earlswood from Crawley. Ian Murray clocked 1.6.08 and Graham Bristow 1.12.53.
At Crystal Palace Ray Runham and John Sargeant rode the main race and broke clear. Unfortunately John had to drop back leaving Ray on his own. Try as he could Ray could not quite hold the bunch at bay and was caught on the run-in to finish 9th.
Robin Buchan’s Club Record for 25 miles was broken by Ray Runham in the Havering ‘25’. In this event held on the fast E3 or Southend Road he clocked 56.23. Richard Wilkins also rode well with a 1.0.20 – his fastest of the season.
The 29th May and Ray Runham was 3rd in the Farnham ‘25’ with 58.06 and Robin Buchan 5th in 59.50 but we had no third man so had to forfeit the team prize.
Robin Buchan and Ray Runham dominated the WLCA 10 miles Championship on the track. With two others they completely broke up the field leaving Robin to beat Ray for the Championship. Robin Buchan also won the 20 miles Points race with John Clarey at the De Laune Meeting.
Down in the New Forest Ray Runham came 2nd in the Rufus ‘30’ with a 1.10.04, Bob Corby put in a personal best of 1.15.28 and Terry Slattery made up the winning Team with a 1.18.05 that included a 40” late start.
Riding in the National Championship ‘25’ Ray Runham achieved the best ride of his career when he finished in 5th place with a 57.03.
Robinson (Polytechnic) won the 10 miles track event for the Harry Grant Cup from Ray Runham and Ron Keeble. Robin Buchan collected the Lap Prize and the race time was 20.43 that is a tad under 30 mph!
On the 12th June Ray Runham set a new course record for the Portsmouth Road when winning the BCF SW London and Surrey ‘25’ in 57.02. In the De Laune Junior ‘25’ Rowan Vacher was 7th with 1.5.46, Graham Bristow did a 1.6 and John Hoskins a 1.28. Robin Buchan came 4th in the Brentwood ‘50’ with a 2.1.39 ride. Harry Corby came in with a personal best time of 2.7.33 beating cousin Bob who could only manage 2.8.29.
Ray Runham won again in the Eastbourne Rovers ‘25’ with a 58.1.
It was only a 2nd place for Ray Runham in the Elite ‘25’ on the 26th June even though he completed the course in 56.30.
The Club had three teams entered in the South Eastern 2up time trials in the Cranleigh area. The ‘A’ team of Robin Buchan and Ray Runham finished 2nd in 1.18.26 missing first place by 26 sec. As Ray also had a puncture this was a superb effort.
On a Friday evening the Paragon Team Pursuit Team met the Colnbrook in the 1st round of the WLCA Championship and despite having to put up a scratch team won the tie. Ray Runham, Robin Buchan and Alan Sturgess were joined by Mick Burren (East Surrey) to represent SW London & Surrey Division in the National Divisional Pursuit Championship. They put up the fastest time in the qualifying round of 4.56.0 but eventually collected the Bronze Medal for 3rd place.
Ray Runham finished 2nd in the London St Christophers ‘25’ with a 58.25 and with Terry Slattery 1.0.48 and a personal best ride of 1.4.28 from John Jennings they won the Team race. Other riders were Tony Alford 1.4.37, Barry Sturgess 1.5.10 and Mick Marguerie 1.12.12
On the 1st August Ray Runham won the FW Southall ‘50’ and thankfully this year he was riding for the Paragon. He led all the way being the only man inside one hour at the 25 miles check with a 59.18. Sharp (Eastbourne) was in 2nd place, 1.1.09 and Robin Buchan in 3rd place on 1.2.00. Bob Corby recorded 1.2.37, Terry Slattery 1.4.13, John Jennings 1.5.22, Rowan Vacher 1.7.02, Keith Lomath 1.7.12, Ian Murray 1.8.40 and Barry Sturgess (off No.1 again) 1.8.42. At the end Ray had increased his lead to finish in 2.0.12. Sharp was 2nd in 2.2.48 with Robin Buchan 3rd in 2.3.40. Bob Corby came in 5th with a 2.6.42 (a personal best) then came Terry Slattery, 2.10.01, Keith Lomath 2.13.49 (with a much faster second 25 miles), Rowan Vacher 2.16.59 (personal best) and Barry Sturgess 2.20.51 (personal best). Both Ian Murray and John Jennings retired after bike problems. Not content with a win the Club also collected 2nd and 3rd on handicap by Rowan Vacher and Bob Corby and the Team race.
At the Belle Vue Track Meeting on the 10th August Ray Runham won the 4000m Individual Pursuit Championship of the SW London and Surrey Division. Then to follow, partnered by Robin Buchan, he took 2nd place in the 60 laps Madison.
Shades of the past at the Aldersley Stadium, Wolverhampton on the 20th August. The Club Team of Robin Buchan, Ray Runham, Alan Sturgess and John Sargeant took the Bronze Medals in the BCF Team Pursuit Championship. The lads qualified in 3rd place with a 5.0.4, met a very strong Solihull team in the semi-finals and lost with a 4.57.9 then had a comfortable win against the Old Kent in 5.2.0 in the ride-off for 3rd place. Next day the Club was out Ashdown Forest race for 3rd category and junior riders.
The two teams in the London Region Team Pursuit Championships had mixed success. The ‘A’ Team (Robin Buchan, Ray Runham, John Sargeant and Les Black) recorded the fastest time of the round with 5.17.4 but the ‘B’ team (Derek Hull, Bob Corby, Richard Wilkins and Terry Slattery) did 5.44.6 and were eliminated. Then on the Wednesday the ‘A’ team rode against the East Surrey RC and in a thrilling race, with both teams being given the same time, the judge’s verdict was that the East Surrey had won. Earlier in the Meeting Ray Runham had beaten Santry (Willesden) in the 2nd Round of the Individual Pursuit. Then immediately after the Team ride was asked to ride the 3rd round tie against Jackson (Basildon). You cannot do two Individual Pursuits and a Team ride in the one Meeting with any chance of success against fresh opponents and Ray was beaten by Jackson 5.27.8 to 5.32.1.
Ray Runham won the Crest ‘25’ in 58.19. Riding in support was Robin Buchan 4th, 59.04, John Sargeant 1.0.06 (personal best), Tony Alford 1.3.20 (personal best), Derek Hull 1.3.52 (personal best) and Keith Lomath 1.4.33.
Some idea of the weather can be gained from looking at the result of the 29th Whs ‘25’ held on the same day. Twenty-seven riders decided not to start from the 107 entrants. Ray Runham won the event with 1.0.52. Our other riders were Terry Slattery 1.6.21, Vin Callanan 1.7.28, Tony Alfold 1.7.53 and Mick Marguerie 1.9.50.
In the Harold Hill ‘25’ Robin Buchan was 5th in 58.03. Then in the Crest ‘25’ Ray Runham was 1st in 58.19 and Robin Buchan was 4th with a 59.04.
Robin Buchan and Ray Runham rode the Epsom Tandem ‘30’ and won it in 1.2.47 by nearly 4 minutes.
The Paragon Team of Robin Buchan, Ray Runham, Les Black and Alan Sturgess won the SW London and Surrey Team Pursuit Championship beating the East Surrey in the Final. In the Final of the WLCA Championship they lost narrowly to the Clarence Whs 5.8.3 to 5.9.0.
Ray Runham and Robin Buchan started the season as they hope to continue and that was with a win. They paired up to ride the Portsmouth Command event over 50 kms. With a time of 1.14.14 they won by over a minute.
On Good Friday Ray Runham came 2nd in the Crawley Whs ‘25’ with a 1.0.16. With Bob Corby 1.4.35 and Terry Slattery 1.4.38 they won the Team race. Other times recorded by Club riders were Derek Hull 1.4.55, Rowan Vacher 1.6.07, John Jennings 1.7.40 and Barry Sturgess 1.7.57.
Ray Runham and Robin Buchan struck again when they rode the Oval 2up time trial. On a cold, clear morning on a 26½-mile circuit they took 1.3.09 for the distance.
On the 8th April Ray Runham, Robin Buchan and John Sargeant rode the West Kent 3up team time trial. They went round the course in 59.51 to break the course record and win by over 3 minutes. As the course included Death Hill and Vigo Hill this was some achievement. Comment was made that they were so smooth they made it look easy!
The next morning there was a cold northeasterly wind blowing that slowed riders on both Portsmouth Road and Crawley courses. Terry Slattery finished the De Laune ‘25’ in 1.6.11 and Nick Gibson 1.8.30. Ray Runham had a deflation and failed to record a time.
There was a large Club entry for the Brian Wray Memorial ‘25’ and eight started the event. The result was one of the closest finishes seen in the area. When one considers that Robin Buchan was 13 seconds slower than the winner and came 4th in 1.1.29. Ray Runham was 5th with 1.1.49 and Ian Murray made up the winning team with a 1.6.49. This was a good effort as he managed to throw himself off swerving too violently to miss a stone.
The annual Paragon pilgrimage to the University Tandem ‘30’ was still in vogue and 1967 was no exception. Ray Runham and Robin Buchan were 2nd this year with
The Redhill ‘50’ was on a new course south of Buck Barn and it included the climb of Washington Hill. Now those generations of Paragon flyers that have ridden the Worthing Run will know all about this Hill. If you are going well it is a fast climb on the big ring but if you are not…..! It was, therefore, quite fitting that the winner of this event should be Robin Buchan with a 2.5.02. Ray Runham was suffering from the joys of moving house and ‘only’ managed 2.7.28 for 4th place. With Bob Corby finishing in 2.8.18 and Ian Murray in 2.9.20 the Team race was a formality.
A year out.
In spite of breaking a toe-strap at the Start and losing 30 seconds Robin Buchan won the Bromley Hilly event in 1.18.38. Ray Runham made up the two-man team and finished in 1.21.20 to enable the pair to take the team award.
On a very hard morning our three-man team of Robin Buchan, Ray Runham and Terry Slattery won the West Kent team time trial by just 4 seconds from the Hounslow. They did 1.6.06 for the 25 miles which gives one some idea of the conditions. The B Team of Derek Hull, Geoff Williams and Jon Jennings finished in 1.12.
Ray Runham came 2nd in the Bec ‘25’ with a 1.0.47 and led home the winning Team. Backing Ray were John Day, with his fastest ride of the year, 1.1.42 and 3rd man in the team was Rowan Vacher in 1.2.28. The previous day Ray and Rowan had ridden in the Basildon ‘25’ and finished with a 59.25 and 59.08 respectively.
University Tandem ‘30’ day was the 27th April and once again the Paragon were victorious. This time it was Robin Buchan partnered by Ray Runham that produced the winning 1.3.57.
Saturday 11th May saw our best tandem pair in action when Robin Buchan and Ray Runham won the Southgate Tandem ‘30’ in 1.5.16. The report says that conditions were atrocious with heavy rain, heavy traffic and tandem trikes!
Over the Whitsun weekend Robin Buchan took 4th place in the Fanham ‘25’ in 58.20. Ray Runham finished in 59.21, Pete Ansell 1.1.42 (a personal best), Terry Slattery 1.2.18, Barry Sturgess 1.8.01 and Alan MacKean 1.11.11. The Paragon won the Team race.
1st June and Robin Buchan strikes again! He won the Vegetarian ‘50’ with a 1.56.11 – just 28 seconds outside his Club Record. Ray Runham finished in 2.3.29 and Chris Swain rose to the occasion with a personal best ride of 2.6.11. This also enabled him to collect 3rd handicap and the Paragon won the Team race.
Another Club Record went on the 8th June. This time it was the Tandem ‘50’ when Robin Buchan and Ray Runham won the Archer event in 1.47.22 to beat the existing Record of 1.50.01 set by Bernard Brown and Vin Callanan in 1950.
Another weekend and another Record! This time it was the Tandem ‘30’ Record when Robin Buchan and Ray Runham equalled Competition Record of 1.0.48 when winning the Old Portlians event. Ian Murray and Pete Ansell also rode to finish 6th in 1.5.12 to enable the Paragon to take the Team race.
3 years out
On the 4th March was the East Surrey Hardriders some 33 miles around Dorking, Warnham and Rusper Hill before returning to Reigate Heath. Ray Runham started his year in fine form coming in with a 1.21.53 only those seconds behind the eventual winner, Sheehy (Hainault). Robin Buchan completed the course in 1.25.05, Peter Corry improved 3’ on his 1972 performance with a 1.29.22
The Catford Hilly followed and in this the Paragon were successful. Ray Runham led the team with a 1.26.21 for the 50 kms, Robin Buchan produced a 1.28.37 and Ian Murray a 1.32.37 for a pleasant Team race win.
April Fools Day saw two teams riding the Brighton Mitre 2-up. Robin Buchan teamed up with Ray Runham and they went round the course in 1.0.17 for 3rd place. Andy and Ian Murray also partook of this dish and returned a 1.4.29.
The following day saw four teams down for the South Eastern 2up time trial but only two teams managed to get to the Start. Ray Runham and Robin Buchan were on good form and they collected 2nd prize with a 1.21.48 to the winner’s 1.20.52. Peter Ansell and Peter Corry finished in 4th 1.26.09.
Ray Runham and Robin Buchan won the 34th Nomads 2up time trial with an event record time of 1.20.14 for the 34 miles plus a special prize for the fastest team over the first 5 miles of the race
Good Friday this year fell on the 20th April and we had eight riders down for the Crawley Wheelers ‘25’. Success did come our way with Ray Runham coming 3rd in 1.0.41. He was backed by Rowan Vacher, 1.1.45, and Ian Murray, 1.2.00, so the Paragon won the Team race in spite of Ian losing 12 seconds at the Start.
The Paragon had a team in the Bill Cox 2 day road race. The first stage was a 9 miles time trial held in pouring rain. Ray Runham came 2nd in 23.37 some 12 seconds slower than the winner John Clarey (Woolwich). Pete Ansell finished 7th in 24.13. The afternoon race had the same unrelenting rain to contend with and it proved the undoing of Pete Ansell who crashed. Ray Runham stayed upright to hold his position on General Classification. On the Final stage Ray came 9th but could not gain time on the leader so remained in 2nd place overall.
On the 29th April Robin Buchan and Ray Runham entered the Southend & County Tandem ‘30’ with thoughts of breaking their Club Record of 1.0.48 that, in 1969, exactly equalled Competition Record. However the weatherman decided otherwise. Heavy rain meant taking things very cautiously on the many roundabouts so they were somewhat adrift of their record. Their 1.3.09 was good enough though for 2nd place. Graham Bristow and Pete Corry went round in 1.8.30 to enable the Paragon to take the Team race.
Ray Runham was due to ride the Royal Navy Tandem ‘30’ with Robin Buchan but because of Robin’s indisposition this was impossible. In the end he went up to Crystal Palace for the Catford promotion ‘King of the Palace’. Ridden over 60 laps of the circuit Ray, as usual, got into the break that by the end had almost laps the bunch. In the final sprint Ray had to settle for 2nd place behind Ray Palin (Vulcan)
On the 27th May Ray Runham won the Glade ‘50’ on the E1 or ‘32nd’ Course with a fine 1.59.16.
The next Sunday we had a team in the Archer ‘50’ looking for fast times on the Bath Road. Unfortunately while the wind did blow from the best direction, southwest, it blew too hard so it was a struggle to get to the turn. The way back was extremely rapid but one can only pick up so much lost time. Even so Ray Runham almost produced the goods again having to be content with 2nd place with a 2.0.21 ride. With Pete Ansell finishing in 2.4.06 and Ian Murray 2.5.37 the Paragon collected the Team award.
At the Champagne Meeting first blood went to Pete Corry who qualified for the Final as fastest loser but beat his conqueror into 2nd place in the Final. Graham Bristow also reached the Final and was placed 3rd. Ray Runham went out to Dave Edlin (Poly) in the 10 minutes pursuit that had a tie for first place between Alf Engers (Luton Whs) and D Holliday (Gordano Valley).
On the 9th June Pete Ansell produced a personal best ‘25’ of 57.02 for 3rd place in the SECA ‘25’and that is the best time so far this year. Dan Hadfield finished the Worthing Excelsior ‘25’ in 1.4.53 then on the Sunday it was back to the E1 for the Wren Whs ‘50’. Ray Runham struck again with a 2.1.57 to win the Race. Unfortunately only Dave Worsfold, 2.5.23, rode with him so no Team prize was possible.
Ray Runham, Pete Corry and Pete Ansell rode the Bexley 2-day race this weekend. Ray Runham was 5th on Stage 1 after being dropped from the break and losing 3½ minutes over the last 10 miles to John Clarey (Woolwich). Pete Ansell broke away from the remnants of the bunch to finish 10th at 6’13” whilst Pete Corry suffered on this hot and windy afternoon to finish 27th. In the Sunday morning time trial Ray came 2nd to Clarey with 21.47 for the 9½ miles with Pete Ansell 6th in 22.07 and Pete Corry 26th in 24.08. That loss on Stage 1 was to prove decisive for Ray as while he won Stage 3 he only moved up to 4th on General Classification 2’7” behind Clarey. Ansell came 7th at 6.56 and Corry 18th at 25.49.
With a 3rd place in the Kingston Phoenix road race on the Newtons Hill Circuit Ray Runham regained his 1st category status. During this race he also collected the King of the Mountains award.
A very fast bunch of riders entered the CC Bexley event on the 7th July hoping to break the Club Team Record of 2.52.41. Our lads were up there with them but not quite fast enough. Ray Runham finished in 56.35, Pete Ansell 58.12, Rowan Vacher finishing on a flat front tyre 58.27, Pete Corry 1.0.28 and a personal best of 58.54 from Ian Murray.
On the Sunday, to celebrate his new 1st category status, Ray Runham rode the Ross Whs road race and, as customary, he was in the leading 8-man break. It was not quite a fairytale ending as he only came 5th in the final Sprint. Pete Ansell came 6th in the Westerly road race at Bradenham and Dave Worsfold was 9th.
We had a team in the Addiscombe ‘25’ and though Ray Runham got to within 5 seconds of his best ever with a 56.28, Rowan Vacher, 58.12 and Pete Corry, 1.3.25, rode well they were not amongst the prizewinners.
Ray Runham did 2.1.20 in the Glendene ‘50’ that was an excellent ride considering the strength of the wind against the riders on their way back from the far turn.
The Paragon Open ‘50’ was run on the 4th August and found the Hounslow & District Whs in glittering form. The Paragon set a new Club Record Ray Runham finishing 4th in 1.57.58 (a personal best), Rowan Vacher 7th in 1.59.34 and Dave Worsfold 2.0.58 to set new figures for the 50 miles Team record of 5.58.30. John Jennings also finished in 2.22.24. Rowan also took 3rd place on handicap.
Another excellent days’ racing was had on the 18th August in the VC Braintree ‘30’. Rowan Vacher finished in 1.7.16 to regain his ‘30’ record that he lost to Robin Buchan in 1971, break the existing Club Record by 1’10”. Then Ray Runham came in with a personal best of 1.8.04 and so did Pete Ansell with 1.10.15. This added up to 3.25.35 that gave the Paragon the Team Award and a new Club Team Record. The old record stood at 3.35.18 so that was quite a chunk taken off.
Ray Runham an unknown 2-day stage race. He won the Prologue and finished in the bunch in the evening Criterium to hold 2nd place on General Classification going into Sunday’s stage of 92 miles. With only 10 miles to go he ‘blew’ completely and retired! Pete Ansell finished 5th in the East Grinstead Carnival road race and so had sufficient points to be upgraded to 1st category
Ray Runham and Rowan Vacher teamed up for the Viking Tandem ‘50’ and what a good job they made of it. This was first place, a new event record and Club Record with a time of 1.44.12 – just 23 seconds short of Competition Record. This ride took 2’48” off the old Record).
Ray Runham found that ‘honesty pays’ at the end of the Folkestone to Bromley race when he crossed the line in about 20th place only to be placed 2nd. It happened thus – between Ashford and Maidstone Ray broke away with John Sargeant (Vulcan) and held a slender lead all the way to Badgers Mount. Then a set of lights turned red. They stopped and waited and still had some 30 seconds in hand when the lights turned green. The bunch happened upon these lights as they went from green to red but the riders swept straight through. Whilst agreeing with each other that the lights were on ‘orange’ it was not the opinion of the accompanying Commissaires (Referees). In the charge for the line into Orpington Ray and John were caught with John just staying near the front for 6th place. However the Commissaires awarded the race to John Sargeant with Ray in 2nd place. Not a satisfactory end to a race but a fair decision.
The following weekend saw Ray Runham collected another 2nd place in the Twickenham road race over 80 miles at Fifield. In a very fast race with 30 miles covered in the first hour, and the whole race dried and dusted in less than three, Ray was in every break. He eventual got clear with three others to sprint out the Finish. Pete Ansell and Pete Corry finished in the bunch.
The Jim Fox ‘25’ had only 5 starters and a very cold morning. Of the five riders Rowan Vacher was far and away the best. He was timed in with a 1.1.41. Dan Hadfield was 2nd in 1.6.57 and John McNee 3rd in 1.7.54.
Ray Runham had probably the finest win of his career when he took the Croydon Advertiser road race at the Crystal Palace. He broke away with 25 laps to go and held on to win by 1’25 from Dave Pitman (Lewisham) After his win in the Advertiser road race Ray Runham had high hopes of another win in the Bill Cox 2-day race. He won the opening stage by 2 minutes and came 2nd in the Monday morning time trial. However in the afternoon stage around Frant he spent too much effort chasing down attacks and missed the vital break. Of course no one would help (tactics you know!) so he lost some 3 minutes that relegated Ray to 5th overall. Pete Corry also rode getting 12th on Stage 1 and 10th on Stage 3 to finish in 12th place.
Ray Runham and Robin Buchan went north of the River to Princes Risborough for the Lester Young road race. This race was over 8 laps of 10 miles and to add some flavour had a mile long climb with stretches of 1 in 6 in it. Strange to relate the field broke into small pieces. Ray kept close to the action crossing the line in 5th place. Robin was detached towards the back end of the race so continued to ride round for training but still finished in 7th place albeit some 12 minutes behind the winner.
Ray Runham went west of Guildford for the Festival ‘Camel Filters’ road race over 90 miles of the Cutmill circuit. As per usual Ray broke away early on. This time he went with Bob Porter (Hounslow). They stayed away for nearly 70 miles before being caught by a chasing group consisting of Jeff Marshall and Martyn Roach (Hounslow) and John Sargeant (Vulcan). Roach went on to win with Ray finishing 4th behind Marshall and Sargeant. Dave Worsfold also finished but no placing has been recorded. He was at one time part of the chasing group.
The 11th May was a good day for the Paragon. Ray Runham won the SECA ‘25’ with a 58.03. Rowan Vacher followed him with a 59.32 but with only Graham Bristow of our other four riders managing to record a time his 1.6.06 was not quick enough for the Team race
Ray Runham qualified for the Quarter Finals of the London Region 4000m Individual Pursuit with a 4.36.2 ride. He then teamed up with Rowan Vacher, Pete Corry and Pete Ansell to ride the 4000m Team Pursuit Qualifying round. Their time of 5.11.7 was good enough to put them through. Not content with that Ray then had to ride his Quarter-final Individual. He did that well and won. He had then to face Tony James (De Laune) in the Semi final.
Bob Giles, Ray Puttick and Paul Lambeth finished in the bunch at Ellens Green. This was the pre-cursor to the Fred Cowley Senior road race in which we had messrs Buchan, Runham and Ansell entered. Constructor’s lights on the course did not make conditions conducive to fast racing and with one lap to go Robin Buchan said ‘enough is enough’ and pulled into the changing rooms. Runham and Ansell continued to the finish but we do not have their placings on record
Rowan Vacher and Ray Runham won the Glendene 2up ‘25’ with a 56.51.
The Team Pursuit squad of Ray Runham, Graham Bristow, Pete Corry and Pete Ansell won the SW London & Surrey Championship beating the Festival in the Final. The previous Wednesday with Rowan Vacher riding instead of Graham Bristow they had lost to the 34th Nomads 5.03.8 to 5.09.4 in the Final of the London Region Team Pursuit Championship.
On the Wednesday Ray Runham finished 2nd in the 25kms Points race at Herne Hill a ride that made up for the disappointment of being beaten by Tony James in the semi-Final of the London Region Individual Pursuit.
Out on the Archer ‘50’ course things were really going well. Ray Runham produced a personal best of 1.56.32 to take 2nd place whilst Robin Buchan came in with 2.1.42 for 3rd place. Rowan Vacher was then 4th with 2.1.50 and the Team race went rather comfortably to the Paragon on a no means fast morning. The Blah makes an interesting comparison between men and courses. The Archer was won with a team time of 6.00.04 and the SCCU by 6.46.42!
On the 9th June Ray Runham took part in the Tour of Mid Essex. He finished 3rd beating John Sargeant into 4th place after the five-man break had split during a sudden thunderstorm. Two men slipped away to finish just 200 yards in front of Ray. Steve Hackett won the SW London & Surrey Schoolboy Championship at Crystal Palace on the 11th and Ray Runham claimed 2nd place in the Senior event.
The Wren Whs ‘50’ on the 16th June was another Paragon benefit day. Ray Runham came 2nd with 2.0.03; Robin Buchan was 3rd with 2.1.29 and Rowan Vacher 4th in 2.2.30. Another Team race for the Paragon.
Ray Runham had a good evening in the SCCU Meeting on the 19th June by winning the Invitation Omnium. He won the Pursuit and Points race then came 2nd in the 2 laps sprint.
Three of our best 50 milers went north for the National Championship on the 30th June but failed to conquer. Ray Runham finished in 1.58.13, Rowan Vacher, 2.0.49 and Dave Worsfold 2.5.19 after puncturing Ray Runham took 4th place in the 20 miles scratch race at the Catford Meeting.
Ray Runham went to Herne Hill instead and came 3rd in the 20 miles events at the Redmon Meeting.He was our best rider in the Addiscombe ‘25’ with a 57.08 but Ian Murray improved too.
Pete Corry continued his good form when he won the Lee Circuit race over 50 miles and had another 2nd place this time in the De Laune road race over 70 miles around Frant. He has now gained his 1st category licence. Ray Runham finished 4th in the De Laune event.
The Croydon Advertiser had their Trophy races at Crystal Palace and in the main event Ray Runham was prominent. He managed to get away with 8 others. This group was gradually reduced to 6 by the end of the race where Ray was placed 5th.
Ray Runham and Pete Ansell tried the South Eastern 2up time trial and they got home successfully winning by just 2 seconds in 1.22.00
The Paragon had a team in the SW London and Surrey Division road race Championships held at Elstead on the Cutmill circuit. Pete Corry came in at the front of the bunch to take 4th with Ray Runham just behind in 6th place.
Ray Runham took 4th place in the Twickenham road race at Fifield. A very fast race in which 80 miles were covered in just 3 hours.
Whitsun followed with a flurry of action. On the Saturday in the Belle Vue ‘25’ Ray Runham finished inside the hour with a 59.15. Pete Corry and Pete Ansell both just missed this goal with rides of 1.0.39 and 1.0.18 respectively. Then on the Monday Peter Corry and Ray Runham came 2nd in the Glendene 2up ‘25’ with a 59.33 ride. Pete Ansell and Dave Worsfold were 4th with a 1.0.28
In the Reliance-Fernhall 100kms Grand Prix run off over 4 races of 25 kms each at Herne Hill Ray Runham came 5th in the 1st race whilst Pete Corry was leading the Points prize.
The Paragon Team Pursuit Team overstayed their welcome at the 34th Nomads Evening Meeting by beating the host club in the Final of the London Region Team Pursuit Championship. The team was Ray Runham, Pete Corry, Pete Ansell and George Clare.
Ray Runham tackled the Mid-Let 1st category road race in the Coventry area over 100 miles. In the hot and windy conditions he finished 9th in this top class event.
Ray Runham had his best road race placing for some time when he finished 2nd in the London Fire Brigade road race over 6 laps (90 miles) of the Lingfield circuit. Ray’s break was some 3 minutes clear at the Finish but in the chasing group of three was Pete Corry.
Ray Runham and Pete Corry rode the Circuit of Newton in Hampshire over 75 miles. Ray just failed to catch the break finishing 6th just 15 seconds behind whilst Pete won the bunch sprint for 7th some 3 minutes after Ray.
Saturday 5th July the Paragon had a benefit race at Lee-on-Solent in the Royal Navy CRC event. Ray Runham won the race with Pete Ansell 2nd about a minute clear of the bunch after riding in front for 16 of the 20 laps, 40 miles. Pete Corry came 2nd in that sprint to claim 4th place. Time for the race was 1.53.00 for the 50 miles.
Tuesday the 9th was the Inter-Club ‘10’ against the Addiscombe! The Addiscombe had won the last four encounters so the lads were out to prove themselves. Ray Runham was our fastest with a 22.33, George Clare was next with 22.41, Rowan Vacher came in with 22.50 then Andy Murray, 23.05, Pete Ansell, 23.06 and Pete Corry 23.26 completed the Team. It was a rout!
On Saturday 12th in the Addiscombe ‘25’ Ray Runham equalled his best ever with a 56.23, Rowan Vacher came in with a 57.30, Andy Murray put in his second best ride of 58.54 and Pete Ansell finished in 59.34
On the 19th July with the Paragon entered a team in the National 100kms Team Time Trial Championship. They finished 13th in 2.20.00 covering the first 50Km in 1.05.00. The Team was Ray Runham, Pete Corry, Pete Ansell and Dave Worsfold.
Ray Runham collected another 3rd place in the Surrey Road CC Summer road race on the Lingfield circuit over 60 miles
The Ashdown road races were run off on the 10th August. The Senior race went to Jerry Baker (Twickenham) from Colin Bateman (Festival) and Terry Leach (Beeston-Mansfield). Ray Runham finished in 6th place
On the 16th August Ray Runham won the VC Braintree ‘30’ with a 1.9.48. He was backed by Rowan Vacher, 1.11.37, and Pete Ansell, 1.14.34. The Paragon won the Team race. Ray and Rowan also collected prizes for 1st and 2nd on handicap.
Over the August Bank Holiday weekend Ray Runham rode the 3-day Tour of the Hopfields. He came 3rd in both Stage 1 and Stage 2 then 2nd in the Time Trial stage. Unfortunately he could not hold his place and on the 4th Stage at Paddock Wood he lost time and slipped to 2nd place at 20 seconds behind M Robinson (Hull Thursday).
Ray Runham took another 3rd place in the Old Kent and Rodney CC Meeting at Crystal Palace. He clipped off the front after 32 laps with some other adventurous souls and at the end of 45 laps lost by a couple of lengths
The Team Pursuit squad of Ray Runham, Pete Corry Pete Ansell, George Clare as London Region Champions went to Leicester for the National Championship. They qualified 5th fastest for the Quarter-finals with a 5.5.01 ride but then went out to Birmingham.
Ray Runham won the third of the series of races held on the Lee-on-Solent circuit. He broke away with 8 laps remaining and outsprinted his companion Jerry Baker (Twickenham) to take the race. He also won the prize for Lap Leaders. Pete Ansell only finished 14th on the day but collected 3rd place on the Lap Leaders competition due to his 2up break with Ray at the last event. Pete Corry was 9th at the Finish.
Peter Corry and Ray Runham paired up for the Epsom Tandem ‘30’ and completed the course in 1.4.21 for 4th place on the 7th September.
We had a team in the Redbridge ‘25’ on the 13th September. Robin Buchan was just our fastest rider in 7th place with 57.17 but Ray Runham was 8th with 57.21. Although Pete Ansell weighed in with a 1.0.52 we just failed to collect the team race.
Whilst not producing the goods in the Epsom event Ray Runham and Pete Corry showed their class on the 14th September when they won the Viking Tandem ‘50’ in 1.53.49. Just to keep things straight
Pete Corry and Ray Runham went out for the third weekend in a row on their tandem and collected a 2nd place by just one second in the Southend and County ‘30’ with a 1.1.03. They also missed Club record by just 13 seconds after being stopped by a traffic jam at one point. Very frustrating!
Ray Runham rode the Criterium des Vainqueurs at Colchester. You can only ride this event if you have won a race during the season. Kevin Apter, the National Champion won from a group of 4 riders. Ray Runham came 5th at about 1 minute whilst Pete Corry came 17th at 2½ minutes.
The Lea Valley and Crescent Tandem ‘30’ saw Messrs Corry and Runham in action again but it must have been a hard morning as they only managed a 1.6.55 but they were within a minute of the winners, Lack and Cole (Leo RC).
1977 – 1981
Ray took a break from racing to concentrate on family and work commitments.
Ray Runham and Pete Ansell returned to racing after a short lay-off with a ride in the South Bucks 2-up and were rewarded with 4th club team and 5th overall with their 1.0.14
Ray Runham and Pete Ansell did their smash and grab act in the Tooting Sporting where Pete took 1st prize with his 1.36.53 less 12 minutes and Ray came 2nd with a 1.37.04 also less 12 minutes.
Ray Runham and Pete Ansell essayed another 2-up event this time it was the Medway Velo ‘25’. Once again they finished in 4th place but improved their performance to clock 59.02.
Pete Ansell and Ray Runham rode the High Wycombe ‘25’ as singles with Pete doing his best time since 1978 with a 58.42 whilst Ray was a mite slower on 59.26.
Keith Butler and Ray Runham went to Stevenage for the Veterans road race over 60 miles. Keith punctured in the first mile and was assisted back to the bunch by Ray eventually finishing in 8th place. Ray was in the main bunch.
The 20th June was Frank Southall ‘50’ day and our hopes were centred on Howard Chadburn and Ray Runham with Howard producing a personal best of 2.4.15 for 6th place and to take 1st on handicap. Ray came 7th in 2.5.20, his best for some years, and he took 2nd on handicap.
Howard Chadburn, Rowan Vacher, Ray Runham and Keith Butler rode the Clarencourt 4-up taking 1.19.53 to cover the 50 kms.
The Inter-Club ‘10’ against the Addiscombe was held on Tuesday 21st July. Times for the best Paragon riders were Dave Lovell 24.17, Ray Runham 24.37, Pete Ansell 24.47, Howard Chadburn 24.50, Les Black 25.15 and Gordon Button 25.19.
Pete Ansell and Ray Runham rode the Southboro & District ‘10’ finishing in 22.49 and 22.48 respectively. In the Bec CC 25 Ray Runham did a 59.56, Jack Platts a 1.0.54 and Harry Featherstone 1.2.53.
In the Sydenham Whs ‘10’ Pete Ansell put up a personal best of 22.22, Ray Runham came in with a 23.19
The 6th September. In the Veterans section Ray Runham finished in 22.39. On the 7th
Dave Lovell and Ray Runham rode the Colchester Rovers ‘25’ and on a windy morning got round in 58 and 59 minutes respectively with the seconds not being known.
On the 13th September Ray Runham did his best ‘25’ since returning to the fray with a 57.02 in the Redbridge ‘25’. Also improving was Pete Ansell with a 57.05.
Another Club Record was broken in the Epsom Tandem ‘25’ when Ray Runham and Pete Ansell finished in 53.11 on a calm but cool morning.
The only recorded event in which Ray rode was a sponsored 10 mile TT promoted by the club in aid of Sport Aid/Bike Aid on the Crowhurst course. He rode a tandem partnered by Pete Corry and recorded a time of 23.27
Ray Runham made a welcome reappearance on the racing scene when he partnered new member Dave Adams in the Maldon & District Tandem ‘10’. They finished 7th with a 24.02 on not the best of mornings.
On tough, cold morning in 2nd place, making yet another come back, was Ray Runham on 1.6.32.
Kingston Phoenix ‘10’ on the 9th April was not a good morning for racing as snow was falling throughout the event, notwithstanding that Gethin Butler finished 4th of the 36 riders who had the courage/foolhardiness to ride. His time was 23.39. Ray Runham took 27.28.
The next morning Dave Adams and Ray Runham went over to Essex for the Clacton CC 2-up and were 4th with a 1.5.19.
On the 16th April SCCU ‘25’ Ray Runham 1.3.11
24th April Ray Runham made his road-racing debut for 1988 with an 8th place in the Surrey League race on the Lingfield circuit.
Ray Runham came 2nd in the Eastbourne Rovers Antiques Road Show Vets road race. 51 seconds behind the winner.
BCF Surrey Division Ray Runham punctured and retired from the senior event.
Sunday was the SCCU ‘25’ and Gethin Butler repeated his early season win with a 56.39. Just to assert our superiority the Paragon had 4 riders in the top six finishers and we won the Team race. After Gethin came Harry Featherstone in 2nd place 59.16, Chris Marshall 4th 1.1.13 and Ray Runham 5th 1.1.21.
Two Club Records went on the 17th September. In the Wandsworth & District ‘25’ on the A34 near Didcot in the Tandem event that Ray Runham and Dave Adams won. They took 52.21 to cover the 25 miles taking 50 seconds from the 1982 record held by Ray and Pete Ansell with a 53.11.
Ray Runham and Dave Adams decided on a change of scenery so went down to the Poole Whs ‘25’. Ray finished in 1.0.46 (10th) and Dave did a personal best of 1.4.13.
On the 16th October a team rode the ECCA (Clubs G-N) ‘25’. Chris Marshall was the fastest in 58.27, Ray Runham got down to a 59.00 but Dave Adams improved with a personal best of 1.2.30.
Easter Gethin Surrey League Ray Runham finished 7th on the Friday although he had to ride over two fallen riders to do it.
Ray Runham came 10th in the Surrey League road race promoted by the South Western CC
The Norwood Paragon entered a 4-man team in the Southend & County 50 kms Team Time Trial on the 15th April. The team was Dillon Adams, Gethin Butler, Chris Marshall and Ray Runham and they were up against professional and semi-professional teams. The Percy Bilton ‘Probables’ team (professionals) won in 1.6.00. Our lads finished in 11th place with 1.16.45
Ray Runham beat Gerry Horn in the Sydenham Whs ‘10’ with a 22.30 to Gerry’s 22.37.
Ray Runham and Dave Adams went north of the river for the Highgate 2-day race but while they finished with the bunch on Sunday they were destroyed on the Monday hilly stage and failed to finish.
On the Bank Holiday Monday Ray Runham and Chris Marshall rode the Gravesend 30kms 2up finishing with a 46.09.
On Wednesday Ray Runham and Dave Adams took their tandem to the Leo ‘10’ and managed a 20.09 in spite of having to stop and disentangle a chain!
Ray Runham took Dillon Adams as his tandem partner (Dave has to work on Saturdays) and they rode the Sydenham Whs ‘10’ in the morning and finished with a 21.24. In the afternoon they travelled over to the Hertfordshire Whs ‘30’ and got to within 23 seconds of Club Record with a 1.1.11. Ray, partnered by Robin Buchan, holds the Record with a 1.0.48.
The 6th of August was RTTC Competition Record day for Ray Runham and Gethin Butler in the Century event on the Great North Road course. With a 3.31.39 they beat the existing record by over 5 minutes and that record had stood for 24 years. The extraordinary thing is that this was Ray’s first ‘100’ EVER and the pair had only ridden the tandem they were racing on the day before to get the position right. They tried to ride an evening ‘10’ on another tandem but wrecked the gears within 2 miles of the start – it could stand the strain!
The other half of the Competition pairing preferred to ride the SCCU road race Championship. Ray Runham was in top form and tore the field apart. He reduced the 60 starters to a group of 12 and then again to a quartet. However in the run in to the line he had to give way to more youthful legs and finished 4th. So successful had Ray’s efforts been that there were only 16 finishers and Ray’s group were the biggest bunch at the end of the race!
On the 10th September in the ECCA (Clubs I-Z) ‘25’. Ray Runham 1.0.36,
Our Tandemists went over to Essex on the 10th March for the ECRA ‘10’ Gethin Butler and Ray Runham demolished the field with a 21.44 to win by 2.42.
The ECRA event in Essex Ray Runham and Gethin Butler won the Tandem event in 51.48 thus taking 33 seconds from the old 25 miles Record.
Another Record went on the Sunday morning, 10th June, when Ray Runham and Gethin Butler won the Oxford City ‘50’. in 1.44.37 taking 5 seconds from Ray’s old record that he
On Sunday 24th June Tandem Club Championship ‘25’ Ray Runham and Gethin Butler
The Inter-Club ‘10’ against the Addiscombe was held on the 10th July. Seventeen Paragon riders took the Start and the Addiscombe were beaten by over 6 minutes. Our six counters were Tony Garner 22.39, Ray Runham 23.26, Pete Danckwardt 23.29, Jon Jennings 23.33, Graham O’Sullivan 23.48 and Terry Slattery 24.01. Josh Ansell took 40 seconds from his personal best but more importantly took 10 seconds from Gethin Butler’s Schoolboy Record with a 24.35. Josh Ansell took the Handicap by 4 seconds.
Disaster struck Ray Runham and Gethin Butler in the Essex Roads Tandem ‘25’ when a pair that they were catching for 8 minutes after 18 miles got into difficulties on the wet road and crashed right in front of them. The resulting melee left nothing worse than the customary cuts and bruises to elbows, knees, hips and ankles but with both wheels smashed they could not continue. Those at the race reckoned they had a sporting chance of beating the competition record for the distance.
Dillon Adams and Ray Runham rode the Surrey Road CC ‘10’ on a tandem and finished 4th in 21.44.
Ray Runham and Dillon Adams came 4th in the Surrey Road CC Tandem ‘10’ with a 21.44.
Addiscombe ‘25’ Ray Runham 1.1.17,
Gethin Butler paired up with Ray Runham for the Tandem Club Championship ‘25’ and they came 7th in 52.46.
You will be sad to know that Past President and Life Member of the club John Dennis passed away peacefully at home on the 24th January at the age of 86 years. John had been in ill health for some time.
John joined the Paragon in 1946 and proved to be an outstanding track rider. The pinnacle of his cycling career was being selected to ride the Tandem Sprint in the 1948 London Olympics. Unfortunately, injuries sustained in a crash 2 weeks before the Games put him and partner Ivor Cox out of contention, their places being taken by no other than Reg Harris and Alan Bannister. In 1950, John set a new national record for the 1/4 Mile Human Paced Flying Start, the record was never beaten before all records became metric.
John’s racing career ended in 1951 after breaking his collarbone for a second time and turned his attention to fulltime promotion of track racing at Herne Hill. These promotions were world class events which packed Herne Hill every Saturday for a number of years.
John also found time to manage a number of British teams in overseas classic events before turning his hand to journalism working on “The Bicycle” and “Cycle Sport” for 9 years.
A spell in Japan whetted his appetite for Keirin racing and in 2004 promoted the National Keirin Championship on behalf of the club as part of its Centenary celebrations. John with support of his wife Shelagh rejuvenated the Reading Track League, which went on to be one of the country’s leading leagues.
John is having a private woodland burial on Monday 11th Feb and is being buried wearing his OPA tie and his club Life Member badge which was his proudest possession.
Forever the character he never accepted the norm, he will be missed by all in the club.
Our thoughts go out to Shelagh and his family
Keith Butler: 1938 – 2019
Keith Butler was a multiple national champion and GB squad member before going on to set up the Surrey Cycle Racing league. He died this morning in hospital near his home in Surrey
National champion, race organiser, British Cycling board member, clubman extraordinaire, team manager, father, grandfather and husband. Keith Butler had many hats to wear, and all of them cycling hats.
He was the first rider to win both the amateur and professional road race national titles, rode for Tom Simpson when he won the world title in 1965 and later in life set up and ran the Surrey Cycle Racing League – the most successful racing league in the country that is still going strong today.
His list of achievements in the sport both on and off the bike is unrivalled in British cycling history.
Keith Butler was born in London on September 2, 1938 and was always going to be a cyclist. His father Stan was a successful time triallist and competed in the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles. He was also joint owner of Allin Cycles in Whitehorse Road, Croydon. Cycling was in the Butler family’s genes. With more options open to him in the 1960s, Keith would go on to even greater international success than his father.
Having achieved good local results in 1959 and 1960 Keith broke on to the national scene in 1961, competing in the country’s biggest races and being selected for the southern regional team for the 1961 Milk Race where he finished a very credible ninth. That year he was also a member of the Norwood Paragon’s team pursuit National Championships winning team.
He also was fastest at the National 100 with a four-hour 11-minute ride, but was later disqualified for breach of regulation 44 that condemned ‘company riding.’ Keith had caught his minute man and race favourite Harry Middleton within 10 miles and couldn’t shake him off. As Middleton kept coming past him the pair caught the next rider on the road and couldn’t avoid each other. Keith eventually rode away from Middleton after 60 miles and although there were no judges out on the course, he was DQ’d. His appeal was later rejected, but he had his deposit returned on condition he didn’t talk to the press.
Keith Butler Norwood Paragon CC racing in a British time trial
In ’62, he rode for Great Britain in both the Peace Race and the amateur World Championships. That year also saw him crowned amateur national champion in Maccelsfield, a result that saw him selected for the Commonweatlh Games team travelling to Perth, Australia later in the year.
The following year he moved to Belgium where he started winning almost immediately. A tough rider, Keith was often in the break, and he had a powerful sprint which gained him many results. He was also tactically astute. On a practice lap at the 1963 worlds he noticed barriers at the side of the road on a narrow hill made for a pinch point in the course and spotted the danger. He got in to the early move in order to stay safe. True enough when the peloton tried to squeeze through there was a crash and half the bunch either came down or got caught behind, placing them immediately out of the contention.
The following year he took out a semi-professional contract to ride as an ‘independent’ meaning he could join pro teams for certain races. Always preferring the tough conditions, the Belgian Classics and Kermesses were ideal for his style of riding. He placed 10th in Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne and 35th in the Tour of Flanders. He returned to the UK in the summer to win the professional road race title, becoming the first man to win both amateur and pro titles.
1965 saw him riding for bigger teams in the service of others and therefore gain fewer results. The highlight from that year being part of the British team that helped Tom Simpson win the world road race title in San Sebastien. Keith’s job that day was to mark Jacques Anquetil, five time Tour de France winner and the greatest rider of that generation. This he did unfailingly, later saying, ‘it was like riding behind a bloody motorbike!’
Keith was back racing in the UK in 1967, retiring in 1968. He then travelled to South Africa with his wife Marylin where he worked as a teacher. The couple then moved back to Copthorne in Surrey to start a family as Keith carried on with his teaching career.
In 1983 Keith set up the Surrey Cycle Racing League. Keith could be very convincing and he talked his friend Glyn Durrant in to helping him. Keith’s vision along with his racing and route knowledge coupled with Glynn’s organizational skills meant they made for a formidable duo and quickly became the most prolific bike race organisers in the country.
By pooling the resources of the clubs in Surrey and the south east, the League put on over 170 races in it’s busiest years, and is still going today with Durrant at the helm; “I’ve known Keith since the late 70s. We worked at Holdsworthy together. He was the biggest influence on my life, I really looked up to him, he was my hero.’ Durrant said.
Keith was also an accomplished team manager, taking charge of the British team at the 1986 world championships in Colorado. He managed amateur teams too as the Surrey League’s reputation gained it invites to take a composite team to race abroad, especially in Ireland, a place Keith loved visiting.
The Surrey League flourished even as British Cycling was struggling to hold itself together in the mid 1990s. After the organization was effectively rescued by Brian Cookson and Peter King in 1996, Keith was invited to sit on the board which he did for many years. He was inducted in to British Cycling’s hall of fame in 2009.
Keith Butler wins a prime in the 1961 Milk Race
“Keith was a great rider but also put so much back into the sport he loved. As a race organiser he was responsible for giving many thousands of cyclists, at grass roots level and beyond, the chance to experience road racing.” Said former British Cycling and UCI President Brian Cookson.
“As a local and national official of British Cycling, especially as a Board Member for many years, he was always a sound and coherent contributor to the administration and governance of our sport. I am proud to have known and worked with him.”
His passion and energy for cycling simply never let up. Even in his 70s he did the odd fortnight’s work as a ride Guide in Majorca, taking out the slower groups and teaching them the art of group riding. He was known by many on these trips for his descending ability. This ability was put to good use every Christmas at the Norwood Paragon’s downhill competition. Keith was a regular winner of this coveted club prize.
Many of his closest friends will remember as him a clubman through-and-through. Joining the Norwood Paragon in 1953 he was still a member up until his death. As a younger rider he rode and won in every discipline going: Road races, time trials, cyclo-cross, hill climbs and track. After his retirement he even rode the 1970 local British Cycle Touring Competition where he finished fourth. He was awarded the ‘Novices’ award much to everyone’ s amusement, saying; ‘I’ll never make a tourist!’
Through his many club roles, general involvement and love of the sport he got thousands of cyclists in to racing. Including myself. I can still remember sitting on the start line of my first ever race, a Surrey League handicap in 1995. It was a warm and sunny Thursday evening in Charlwood, near Gatwick airport.
I was in the first group and didn’t really know what I was doing. ‘It’s this lad’s first race, so look after him!’ he announced to the group. After two laps it was just me and one other rider at the front. His daughter Alison.
For the Butlers, cycling had always been a family affair and his three children all rode bikes. They still do. Keith only stopped in recent years due to a knee injury. He celebrated his 80th birthday last year with friends and family and members of the local cycling community. He is survived by his wife Marylin, children Gethin, Alison and Megan and several grandchildren.
RON STRETTON 1930-2012
Ron joined the Paragon in January 1946, one month short of his sixteenth birthday; three months later Ron clocked 1.12.50 in the Kentish Wheelers Novice 25 to be part of the Club’s first team win of the year. He came to be become attracted to the track and was in the final of the NCU Junior Medal Competition and second in the Club Junior Championship. He continued to ride well winning two junior club time trial.
The following year 1947 was a sad one for Ron, when his brother Ed died after a collision with a car while riding on Box Hill. Ron rode more on the track winning at Slough, and closing the season by winning the Club’s hill climb.
1948 was not Ron’s year for the Olympics but was selected to represent England in a ride against France he had many other successes on the track both cement and grass, and once again won the club’s hill climb. In 1949 he won 8 track races and the Apollo M/M ‘s 25.
1950 was a good year; Ron was second in the National 25 mile Championship and second in the National 5 mile Grass Championship.
The National Team Pursuit Championship in those days was run over the whole season, riding against teams around the country, including grass tracks. The Paragon proved to be the 1950 Champions, with Ron a member of the team which beat the Rover team from Coventry at the Herne Hill Meeting of Champions, the Paragon also won the London Centre Team Pursuit Championship.
In 1951 Ron started his National Service in the Royal Air Force, he immediately won the RAF 10 mile Championship and was 2nd in the Individual pursuit. He won several other track events around the country
In 1952 Ron was selected to represent Great Britain at the Olympics in Helsinki. The Team Pursuit comprising Ron, Alan Newton, George Newberry and Don Burgess was beaten by Italy in the semi-final, but they came back to win the Bronze medal by beating France. Ron was awarded a page in the John Carter Memorial Book.
With road racing becoming more popular, in 1953 Ron won the first Paragon RR and was 3rd in the Woolwich RR. After his 2nd place finish in the London Centre RR he was put on the short list for the World’s Amateur RR Championship.
Tandem Paced races on the track were very popular in the 50’s, four to six tandems per competitor with a track rider on the front of the tandem and a road rider as stoker. Ron entered the National 50 mile Championship. At 25 miles Ron was in the lead, but he crashed after a tandem mix up. He lost two laps and was then in fourth position, at 42 miles he was back in second position behind George Fleming, who kept the lead, with Ron finishing second. What a ride by Ron!!!
The Paragon won the 1953 National Team Pursuit Championship against the Manchester Wheelers with Ron part of the team which included Wally Happy, Pete Smith and Maurice Jefferies.
Ron had another major win in 1954 when he won an International Road race which finished on the Herne Hill track.
Ron continued his winning ways until he immigrated to Canada with the writer in July 1955. He won a couple of Canadian track championships, and rode in an amateur six day.
He then became a successful property developer in Toronto.
Ron was an outstanding rider on the track and the road and was proud to be a member of the Norwood Paragon C.C. He was also a great friend; we travelled the tracks together, and had many cycling tours together in Europe.
Ron passed away on November 12th 2012, he is survived by his wife Jane and three daughters, Lesley, Jocelyn and Meredith and two grandchildren.
Maurice Jefferies (ref: Club History, Carter Memorial Book)