The South Lakes Group
Your local off-
For cyclists who love off road leisure cycling in South Lakes and Yorkshire Dales
Part of the ‘Where the Brew Stop? The off-
Account of the Inaugural Meeting of the RSF by Bob Harrison
It seems like only yesterday, yet nearly 40 years have gone by since that Saturday of Whitsun 1955; how well I remember that day, a day that dawned fine, with the promise of many good things, in more ways than one.
By lunchtime I was in Shrewsbury, ready to be ‘Going to the Meet’. This was the title penned by Sir Hugh Rankin, almost the first of many routes that have appeared in this Journal of ours over the years.
By 2.30pm I was traversing the tops of the Long Mynd, this being after a visit to Condover to see the Elizabethan Hall and Leebotwood, to see the old drovers’ Inn of 1600 A.D. Hereabouts two cyclists -
Dropping down from the Long Mynd, the scence changes from one of open moor to delightful wooded pastures, quite a change from my native Lancashire of hedge-
Riding directly south now, passing Walcot Hall -
It was grand to sit back and listen to these ‘foreigners’ telling of wanderings in their native land, and it was also grand to be told that tea had paid for by a certain Mr Emrys Jones.
After tea our ways divided, they were bound for Radnor whilst I wanted to continue with Sir Hugh’s route, which I joined at Wigmore for the Norman and Mortimer stonghold, then on through Aymestry to the B4362, where stands a link with my home county -
Time was running out on that Whit Saturday of 1955 and I had a date with dinner at 8.30pm at the ‘Blue Boar’ in Leominster, so I folded my map and followed the sign-
Whit Sunday was much the same kind of day as Saturday, blue sky and scorching sun. I made the most of it, remembering that tea was arranged for 5.30pm at the ‘Black Swam’ back in Leominster. I rode through glorious black and white villages, having lunch with a cyclist from Bolton at New Radnor. I well remember having two helpings of home-
I was impatient to get back to Leominster to see what sort of group this Rough-
I soon found out all their thoughts and hearts were as one. Two names that stand out in my memory at that first meeting are Mr Chater and Mr Seymour. It was a couple of years before I discovered that ‘Chater’ was a pen-
Bill Paul Had still not arrived by 6 o’clock. However, a phone call put our minds at rest … he would be with us within the next hour. He had intended coming part way by train from Liverpool, but a rail strike that day forced him to do the journey all the way by cycle -
The cyclist I had dined with at lunchtime on that Whit Sunday of 1955 was voted in as Chairman -
Sir Hugh Rhys-
Bert Williams was also confirmed into the position of Editor of Publications, which job he had been doing unofficially from the first mention of the Fellowship in the cycling press. No one could have done a better job with the material he had during the eight years he held the post.
On Bill Paul’s recommendation, Joe Fell was given the task of seeing that we never ran short of cash. Joe had come down with Bill Paul to within ten miles of Leominster, then his legs just would not carry him any further, you see Joe was in his mid-
At this Meeting two Vice Presidents elect were confirmed, namely H.G. (Glen) Robson from the north-
We now had a working Committee so what about our Rules ? The Rules that had been put together and produced at this Inaugural Meeting were more or less adopted with slight alterations, and were subject of a re writing later in the history of the Fellowship. One Rule that caused much discussion was age limit. It was ended when D. Langhome proposed that 16 be lowest age non-
The Meeting closed at 9 pm and after last minute chats there were handshakes all round, then back to the ‘Blue Boar’ to find that our Chairman had booked in for the night. It was well past midnight when we departed from the lounge, thus started a friendship that only ended with Charlie’s so early death.
The above account, was first publish in issue 2 of Volume 10 of Rough-