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My teenage cycling years in the Bristol area

Posted: Friday 21st August 2020

Author: Martin Jubb

From 1952 to 1959 I was a boarder at Kingswood School in Bath, my parents being in Africa most of the time. The school is at the top of Lansdown on a long and steep hill, up which it was a point of honour to ride and not walk. I was first allowed a sit up and beg Raleigh tourer, a great disappointment when a more sporty ride was my dream. However, it soon lost chaincase and mudguards and I must have been the first cyclist in the world to have front facing handlebars, as I was unable get the bars out of the stem to get drops, so simply turned them round through 180 degrees, which gave me a satisfactory lower position! Seems there are a few bars of similar design in use today! In spite of much hilarity from schoolmates I was still able to ride in comfort from Bath to Dartmouth at the end of term with a load of books strapped to various places on my person and bike.

Image of Aids to Happy Cycling cover and below, 1954 page 18- the first year the Gran Sport appeared
Image of Aids to Happy Cycling cover and below, 1954 page 18- the first year the Gran Sport appeared

When I was parentally promoted to a Hercules Harlequin  with a derailleur I began to learn how bikes were put together and started saving for more interesting accessories than were provided by Messrs Hercules, and many hours were spent studying Holdsworth’s little catalogue of wonderfully engineered racing parts like the Campagnolo Gran Sport at 84/- . Also window shopping at Fred Baker’s in Gloucester Road, Ernie Brain’s in Lawrence Hill, a shop whose name I forget in Ashley Road, Thanet Cycles in Thanet Road, Bedminster, and George Brooks’ new shop in Downend.  Then there was Keith Body’s establishment and Jeff Smith’s shop next to Colston’ Girls’ School in Gloucester Road. I got to be quite friendly with Jeff over the years and sold him my last racing bike, a Jensen, for £25 in the 1960s. Jeff ended up living in Downend and I last heard of him scrambling motorbikes.

After the Harlequin broke its top tube on its way down Lansdown at speed with bags of books hanging from bars and from saddle, it was not long until I had saved or begged enough to afford a trip to London to discuss a new frame from Les Ephgrave. I had studied all the theories of frame angles for a person of my height and knew just what I wanted from the pokey little workshop full of fire and strange smells and noises. It was to be finished in light blue with Campag ends and half chromed front and rear forks, and cost me all of 15 guineas. When I had fitted my 10 speed Campags it felt like a real racer even though I did not yet own sprints and tubs and had only just started breaking in my Brooks to the shape of my teenage bottom. I said goodbye to cotter pins and bought a Gnutti cotterless crank set, a big mistake as the Gnut securing the taper kept coming loose.

Now I could study all aspects of time trials and massed starts from the pages of the BLRC “Racing Cyclist” magazine, and look forward to actually competing once I left school. In the meantime I and a couple of friends marked out a 10 mile stretch of the A420 from Cold Ashton to Chippenham and on free afternoons were to be found setting school records. I was adjudged best after I beat 20 minutes for the 10 miles. At least that is my memory, and the road IS downhill most of the way!

The first club I joined was the Volante RC, shortlived I think, but I still remember the wool jersey though not its colours. The secretary’s home and therefore club HQ was in Grittleton Road, Horfield, and I wish I could remember the names of club members. I do remember going to some events squashed into a Standard Eight car with about 100 degrees of play at the steering wheel.

A photograph of the Volanté Road Club kindly sent in by Tony Gill Left to right: Martin Jubb, Jerry Goodleff, Pete Davey, Ian Souter Clarence Tony Gill says: The team was very successful in the West country and set the standard for team racing even if it was a small group of riders. What Ian brought to the team was style no doubt picked up at Stowe School

However, as a Bristol University student it was not long before I was one quarter of the Bristol University CC, and I well recall the other three quarters! Our leader was a long and lanky dentist named Roger Sumner, number two was a real character named Gerry Goodleff, and hanging on was Brian Perkins, much older than us three. Gerry worked at the University Horticultural Research Station which involved a lot of outside work in the Long Ashton orchards. He was fired after the neighbours complained about him sunbathing stark naked on fine days, after that I only remember him as a kind of bum. Somehow or other we fell under the wing of an eccentric private school owner called Ian Souter Clarence. As our self-appointed Team Manager he dictated training and tactics, based on what experience I do not know, and took us to races in his Morris Oxford estate. He had a very glamorous wife who fed us beer during team conferences and was lusted after by all of us. When I last heard of him he was in the news for running a school on extremely right wing lines down south somewhere.

The sole successes I recall from this era are back-to-back wins by me in two Circuits of Halfpenny Down, races of fairly lowly status. More memorable was competing in 3 or 4 day Tour of the South West, in company with local stars like the Sandy brothers, Brian the short one and Peter the tall one. Somewhere in North Devon I reached down to clear wet tar from my rear wheel and promptly fell off. Borrowing a spare wheel from a friend I set off after the bunch, illegally aided by the sweeper van with the broom tied to the roof. Managing eventually to regain the bunch I was surprised to be told I was covered with blood from a cut to the eyebrow caused by my sunglasses, and at the stage finish in Minehead I was carted off to the local hospital for stitches.

As in all the best stories the doctor said I would not be riding the next day, but of course I was not to be denied my glory on the morrow and continued. I even got in a small break on the flat roads leading to Weston-super-Mare, and remember being vociferously urged on by Brian Sandy. I have no idea of my finishing position, but was surprised to receive an award of  £2 for “meritorious riding” in the results. Apparently the judges were impressed by my bearded and bloody appearance suddenly arriving in the bunch after my crash.

When not being driven to races by our manager we travelled in my newly acquired first car, a 1935 Morris Eight ex-GPO van. Its minimal 3-speed driven horse power had little chance faced by a load of four large men, bikes and stocks of bananas, drinks, liniment etc, and up anything steeper than 1 in ten, two had to exit the van and manually assist its progress. What fun we had! In my final year of study I spent 6 months in Germany and of course took my bike. There I joined a local club and unfortunately had to enter races as a 1st category rider – das ist in die Rules as a Foreigner! I did enter the local marathon race covering 190 miles, and after several punctures I finished with a couple of other ragtags when all spectators had long since gone home. My final two-wheeled impression on the roads of West Germany was a 1500 mile tour in 18 days using Youth Hostels and sending my professor postcards from every major architectural wonder I visited.

I fell off once in a tramline and seriously bent a crank. Finding a small garage I showed the offending article to the mechanic who put it on the bench and picked up a large sledgehammer. I protested but he said, “Das ist gutes Materiell!” gave it a massive wallop and bob was indeed my uncle! I believe it was a Stronglight alloy cotterless crank.  I lost ten pounds in the 18 days and then blithely consigned my precious steed into the hands of the Deutsche Eisenbahn and British Railways with no worries about it travelling and arriving safely at Dover, accompanied only by a label. Naturally, as it was 1962, it was waiting for me when I arrived on British soil, and I then found I had no money left and had to ride back to Bristol.

Well, motoring and vintage cars took over my life soon after, and the Jensen with all its goodies went to Jeff for a measly £25. Somewhere in a box I still have a large number of  old “Racing Cyclists” and an exercise book with details of all the races and TTs I entered. I haven’t seen them since moving to the USA but hope to find the right box one day. Meantime I insist on being in charge of the telly during Tour de France time and enjoy Phil Liggett’s accent every day for 3 weeks in July. I even have the family cheering Mark Cavendish!

Geoff Lonsdale of the Clevedon & District RC remembers several of the shops Martin mentioned above as he spent much of his teenage years in the sixties cycling around the shops in Bristol.

Fred Baker’s was actually in Cheltenham Road and  Ernie Brain’s in Lawrence Hill.  The shop Martin forgot was Overbury’s Cycles,

In 1941, Les Cassell rented a workshop in Hove, and registered the business name as “Thanet Cycles “. By about June 1945, his shop opened at 130, Wells Road, Bristol. In 1958, the business was sold to Keith Body, and soon moved to new premises at 180c Cheltenham Road, Bristol. In 1966, Keith Body sold the business to Geoff Smith; the shop finally closed in 1968 (Source:-“Ease with elegance – the story of Thanet Cycles”, Hilary Stone, 1986). I recall that at some stage in the later 1960’s, the shop moved in its entirety to the adjoining shop in the terrace.” George Brooks’ new shop was in Downend.

A Schoolboys Cycling Career Starts in 1958 – Martin Jubb

Fifty-two years after my first cycle race two discoveries flooded into my memories and enabled me to correct my previous reminiscences. Firstly I found the box containing my diary of every race in which I competed from 1958 to 1961, and secondly Tony Gill, a contemporary of mine in Bristol, sent an old photo of the Volante RC at the start of a race. I have no other photo of me and looking at it I can still feel that Ephgrave frame and its carefully selected components under me. It is hard to describe the emotions I feel, looking at that 19 year old youth, so fit and confident, from half a century on and now permanently attached to an oxygen concentrator.

Close study of the Volante RC photo and my diary tells me that the most likely venue was the start of the First Bourton Road Race promoted by the Bristol Achilles Road Club under BCF rules on May 24th 1959. The race was over 3 laps of a circuit between Bristol and Clevedon with several stiff climbs.

I can just make out my number which was 5 but Gerry Goodleff’s (2) and Pete Davey’s (3) are not visible. My bike was my Les Ephgrave in light blue with black head tube and panel and half chrome forks, my first racing frame built to order, I know I had all the dimensions carefully worked out but only the 24″ size remains in memory after 51 years. I was a bit of a techie and always insisted on twin handlebar end controls for my 10 speed Campagnolos, and my attention to detail shows in the little pieces of non-slip tape on the Mafac levers. My tubs would have been bought from Keith Body’s emporium at 180c Cheltenham Road and could have been D’Alessandros, whose range cost from 35/6 to 76/- according to weight, 7 to 16 ozs. as advertised in “The Racing Cyclist” by Holdsworthys. Or they could have been some inferior make as a schoolboy’s pocket money did not stretch very far for consumable items.

The road looks similar to the B3130 just after the start at All Saints lane, Clevedon. Team Manager Ian Clarence holds the bucket for use at the top of Rownham Hill and I noted that I got a welcome half bucket of water over my head on one climb!

Local star Tony Wills (Bath CC) and the Bristol University pair of Roger Sumner and Ray Minovi  were also riding, I was to join the latter club a year or two later.

My diary notes that the weather was hot and sunny, shadows and open zips confirm this, and I spent most of the race bouncing back and forth between small breaks and the bunch until the finish when Gerry won the bunch sprint for 5th place and the magnificent sum of 12/6 and Pete and I were classified 9th equal, some 7 minutes behind Wills, Minovi, Bas Hooper (Somerset CC) and Sumner. Volante were 3rd team.

By this time I was well absorbed into the local racing scene, but my diary starts on April 12th 1958 with my first race being a massed start event at Mallory Park motor racing circuit, one of several at the meeting promoted by Coventry CC. A school friend and I were entered as unattached to any club, and I was in a 25 mile race covering 18 3/4 laps. I wrote an exhaustive description but my first race ended ignominiously when I touched wheels and fell off on the 12th lap. I remounted but part of the gears had loosened, so borrowed my friend’s bike and carried on until I was lapped by the eventual winner and perforce retired.

The main event of the day was a 40-mile race, won by Eric Thompson from Nev Crane and Bill Holmes, but perhaps the most interesting part of the day was what the organisers believed was the first ever massed start race for tricycles! I only noted that Ray Booty won, and the only other name I recognise is David Duffield. Must have been great to watch, especially round the hairpin! Ray won a Cyclo gear mechanism and a TA plaque for his efforts, and the points prizes for the main event were a Dunlop No 2, a pair of s/f Bayliss hubs, a TDC 4-speed freewheel, mudguards, chain and a pump. The overall awards were monetary awards (shock horror) of £5, £2.10s, £1.10s and £1. Amateurs all. On the back of the programme (6d) was an advert that confidently stated ” Brian Robinson says – “The Litesome supporter is especially useful during a long stage race where every personal comfort is of great value and for everyday wear too.” I see from his entry in Wikipedia that Brian is 80 this year, I wonder if he is still wearing his Litesome? He was my hero in 1958.

"The finish at Weston-Super-Mare, the worst weather of the Tour."

My next foray was in the summer holidays, August 10th, and I had managed an entry in the Bath CC Open 50 time trial on a course up and down the A4. By this time I was a member of the Premier Olympic RC and had obviously been training hard, as I fooled the handicapper with 17th place out of 61 starters and won the handicap with a 2-13-67, handicap time 1-55-57. Fastest was Ian Rogers of Bath CC with 2-3-36. I see I had to provide a receipt for £2.10s worth of goods in order to get my cheque, and that was a lot of pocket money! That was also my first mention (very small) in the press, i.e. “Cycling and Mopeds”.

The word of my ability had obviously not reached Trowbridge CC, as there was no room for me in their event later in August, and Chard Wheelers had insufficient entries for their 50, but I managed an entry in the Severn RC 50 on the 7th September, up and around the Bridgewater flats. I started no 84 at 7.54am, having cycled down the previous evening and suffered a “rather uncomfortable night.” I must have been camping out in a field, but don’t remember any more details. I managed a 2-11-32, quite close to my schedule of 2-10-0.

That was it for 1958 and I was obviously training hard, as this was the year my sports master wanted me to run in a school 2-mile race, but I declined as it was the same date that a Tour of Britain stage was ending on the sea front at Weston-super-Mud. The weather was foul that day, and covered up in my yellow cape I duly cycled the 20 miles to Weston to see Ron Coe win the sprint. “Racing Cyclist” had a photo of the finish and I was surely one of the bedraggled spectators in the picture above.

1959 to follow

Martin reminds us of a not-so-well-known cycling publication from the late 1950’s

The Editor of the BLRC journal was somewhat worked up in January 1957, not at all happy at what had happened at the AGM. There were hopes that some kind of amalgamation of NCU and BLRC could take place, as problems with Independent and amateur categories were spoiling the sport for some. Future star Tommy Simpson had won the first two races in a Criterium Championship, but was unable to start the third as he had been warned by the NCU that he was liable for suspension for riding in mixed category events. Tommy did not want to endanger his amateur status because he could make more on the track.

The thinking rider could read a couple of articles about hypnosis, yoga and form, and there was news about Fausto Coppi’s schedule for the coming year. There was praise for the British riders in the 1956 Olympics, including the gold medal that got away from Billy Holmes “by a wink.” Meridian Cycles were about to form an Independent team, and if you had 67/- to spare you could buy a set of Mafac brakes from Ron Kitching, as used by all the winners in the 1956 Tour de France.

In February the formation of the British Independents’ Racing Association was announced. The confusing state of the sport was shown by the 40 Independents having their own association, the NCU catering for Independents and professionals at Herne Hill, the BLRC promoting track racing at Wolverhampton, and new rules proposed for the “Indes.”  Viking Cycles had adverts on every front page with action photos of their Inde team, Brian Haskell and Ted Penvose were prominent. A long article by E F Foster, surely the British Olympic team manager, told the road racer everything he ought to know about massed start racing. A smiling Brian Robinson was pictured in his new St Raphael team colours, having been asked to pick and lead the British half of the team for the Tour of Spain, in which he had come 7th in 1956. There was more advice on maintaining good form, and news that the BLRC team was going to be racing on Ovaltine and wearing Aertex.

In conclusion there was a story about the 1912 Giro d’Italia, when a missing direction arrow sent the whole field some 70 kms off course. After some deliberation they all decided to get back to the finish by train. This rather upset the many spectators who had been eagerly anticipating the stage finish in Rome, and the organisers were forced to refund the ticket money. They later found they had refunded more than they had received, and had to hastily put on an extra stage to make up for the disastrous one. So all ended happily with the Atala team the winners, it being a wholly team race that year.

March produced yet another organisation trying to sort out the mess, the British Cycle Racing Movement, with a detailed plan of action involving all parties. “Anonymous” bemoaned the lack of proper publicity to educate the public, and the Principal of the School of Yoga offered a great deal of advice on how to escape nervous tension. There was more news of Brian Robinson, he would be going all out for the £1800 first prize in the Tour of Spain. Coppi won the Grand Prix des Gentilhommes in Cannes, a kind of pro-am paced event. GB brakes were 8/- cheaper than Mafacs, and you could order a Lancier frame from Bill Beattie in Stockton-on-Tees, built only to your specification, sorry no catalogues, just put your faith in Bill!  Advice about team riding and managing was completed by a dramatic account of the first race of the season, the Alpha Road Race at Beverley.

April gave news of an invitation to the Youth Games in Moscow, stories of a scooter paced criterium in Ghent, the Tour of the RAF in 1953, and a glimpse of the 1937 Tour de France. You could buy a Johnny Kay frame that only weighed 6 3/4 lbs, and read all about curly Hetchins and their artistic lug designs, with a frame costing £14.10s.

1959 April to July

The year began for me on April 12th rather unexpectedly. Cycling to watch the start of the 3rd “Mendip Velo Road Race” at the Red Lion Inn, Odd Down, Bath, I was by now a member of the Volante R.C. having been taken under the wing of Ian Clarence. The Volante had entered Goodleff, Pearce, Davey, Perkins and Rumley in the 72-mile race of 4 laps through Norton St Philip and Radstock.  I quote my diary: “Cycled to start to watch the race, then Ian arrived and got me to ride instead of Pete Davey, who was feeling unwell. I found some clothes in a hurry and started as no. 15, very irregularly.”

The clothes must have been suitable for the BCF officials, as riders were warned that “any rider of untidy appearance will not be allowed to ride.” I guess I must have broken several rules, but no-one seems to have noticed as I finished 12th out of only 20 finishers and 49 starters. Gerry Goodleff said it was the hardest race he had ever ridden, and I was dropped on most of the climbs of Midford and Peasedown but was fit enough to regain the bunch on the drops and straights. Tony Wills (Bath CC) the local star, rode off the front early on but blew up and retired, A. Douglas (Hainault) won and Gerry was 6th. It was a hard race so early in the season, but I survived on a whole bottle of Ribena and orange squash. Sounds horrible, so it was a good job that “hot water will be available for washing after the race, and hot pies and drinks may be purchased at the Inn.” Bet those pies went down well, washed down with a pint of shandy!

A week later Volante were competing for the £2 first prize in the 52-mile Mid-Somerset Road Race over 4 laps of a circuit starting in Priddy Church Hall and touring the top of the Mendips. The previous week’s race had not improved my form, although I was trying hard at an early stage in the race. I quote again from my diary: “On the second lap a group of about four or five got away to about ½-minute lead and I and Gerry did most of the chasing, as Sumner and Wills and Rogers were doing slowing tactics and wouldn’t work. Most irritating it was too.” I was well behind at the finish and counted it as one of my failures.

May 17th saw us starting from the Police Grounds, Taunton, (made a change from pubs and church halls!) in the 49-mile Otter Vale Road Race. By now Goodleff, Davey and myself were the Volante first team and were put in the first race with the 1st category riders. It seems no breaks were successful until Brian Sandy and three others got away to finish five seconds clear of the peloton, in which I found I still had much to learn about a bunch sprint. I started mine 50-yards too early and was passed by everyone else. However my form was improving. The following weekend saw the Volante three in the Bourton Road race as described above and where the team photo was taken.

It was still warm and sunny on June 7th when 50 of the local coureurs started over three laps of the same circuit as the Bourton race, this time on the Clevedon and District’s race. Tony Wills and Ray Minovi disappeared on the second lap, Pete arrived too late to start, Gerry retired and I was second in the bunch sprint to finish 7th, obviously having learned something. I seemed to have enjoyed racing up Rownham Hill, a pretty fearsome incline that Bristolians all know about, perhaps my many climbs up Lansdown when I was late for school had some benefit! The organisers were grateful to the local police for their help, little did I know that four years later I would be joining their august ranks!

June 20th saw us starting our first stage race, only two stages it is true, but the Salisbury Road Club had amassed an impressive list of sponsors’ awards for their Tour of Salisbury Plain. Apart from some valuable goodies for each day’s classification and primes, the G.C. was headed by a £5 wrist watch and a (only small) cup. I would rather have won 2nd prize, a pair of s/f Campag hubs, or one of the Clement tubs offered for 5th and 6th place. The Lanterne Rouge award was a map of Salisbury Plain, could have been useful for him! The Saturday was very hot and I did a lot of work, but Wills did his stuff again to win the stage with me in 21st place. The second day was cooler and I seem to have been working hard all day to finish only 24th, with Gerry 13th on G.C. However I obviously enjoyed my 135 miles and it seems to have paid off because the next race on the 5th July went much better.

The Rebel Road Club promoted two Avon Valley Road Races and Volante were in the shorter race as we were all still 2nd category and had only two laps of the Lacock circuit to cover making a 40-mile race. The team was prominent in most of the action in what was a fairly easy race, and myself, Gerry and two others finished 70 seconds ahead of a small bunch. I worked the sprint right first time and won by inches with Gerry 3rd and Pete heading the bunch. That meant a successful day for the team with the team prize for 1st, 3rd and 5th places.

The next weekend proved that fame can be shortlived. The Les Adams Memorial round the Mendips on the 12th July saw me finishing outside the time limit, having completely blown up en route. I felt a little better towards the end but even taking a short cut when near the finish did not help me to catch the bunch. Gerry had a good day, beating Roger Sumner in the sprint for 6th place. I had a “runny tummy and awful pains” for the next week and felt very weak and run down.

However the week of the 25th July saw the Goram Fair Festival of Cycling, which was a series of interesting events run over seven days at the old Whitchurch airfield in south Bristol, organised by the Corporation with the help of various clubs. The first event was an Australian Pursuit over 33 miles, with several groups of riders sent off at 45 second intervals. Gerry and I were in the penultimate group with 5 scratch men 45 seconds behind us. After 12 laps of the small circuit the field had merged into one bunch and at the end a hectic blind saw  Brian Sandy alone just in front with his brother Pete, Miles and Hooper beating me in the sprint, with Gerry in 6th. I guess I had recovered from my encounter with the little man with the hammer, because the very next morning I was up early for a “25”!

July 26th 1959

This strenuous week continued on Sunday morning when I rode down to the Bridgwater Flats course for the Western RC “25”. Taking 1¼ hours to the start warmed me up well for my start at 7.33am and I finished 22nd out of 93 riders with a 1.4.18, 5 seconds faster than Gerry Goodleff. The next day I was at the Goram Fair Festival at 7 pm for a 2nds and Junior scratch race over 22 miles. Peter Sandy won the sprint with Gerry 3rd and me 6th, using a 96″ gear for the final yards which turned out to be too high against the wind.

A day’s rest followed and then it was up to the Fair again for a 13 miles Vespa paced race, in which I spent the first 5 laps warming up apparently, finishing second, winning a Thermos flask, and feeling fit for another 10 laps. Seems to have been an enjoyable race though I do not mention the part the Vespa(s) played, and Gerry won his race. A few days’ rest and it was back up to the old airfield for a 30 lap Criterium. This consisted of 1/4 mile up and down an old taxiway with a hairpin turn at each end and a sprint every time the old runway was crossed. There were points for each sprint winner and second. I won one sprint and got 3 seconds giving me 5 points and was 4th in the final sprint behind the other Sandy, Brian the shorter one. Two days later it was racing behind scooters again, machines provided by members of the Bristol Vespa Club and Bristol Lambretta Club.

I wonder if they were wearing their anoraks like they used to when populating the Broadmead shopping centre in the evenings and annoying the rockers in Brighton. I had a small problem with a misalignment of the gear cage from the block, making it very difficult to change from top to 4th. I later rectified this by letting the wheel down in its slot by about ½” and taking a link out of the chain. However I did manage 3rd place at the end of 12 laps, winning a set of apostle teaspoons in a case which I was proud to present to my mother, who had no doubt helped to finance my equipment and provided the quantities of bread and jam which seem to have been my main fuel at home. I still have the spoons somewhere, I am sure they have never been in a teacup.

With the Fair over it was back to the road on August 9th in the Thanet Trophy R.R. obviously sponsored by Keith Body over 75 miles atop the Mendips including Dundry, Burrington and Smitham hills. Volante finished 8th to 10th, great grouping for a team prize but just outclassed by RAF Locking who made 1st. 2nd and 7th. I remember the finish being just after Limeburn Hill on the top of Dundry and beating Gerry and Pete Davey in our sprint, then loading the bike into an Armstrong Siddeley Sapphire owned by a family friend who had brought my parents to the finish. This luxury car had a Cotal electric gearbox change and I was most impressed with the miniature gear selector. Interestingly I note that Ernie Scally rode part of the race as a training ride for the following week’s World Championships. At one stage I was trying to catch a break when Ernie came past me, I tried to get on his wheel but he just motored away and caught the leaders after a mile. I don’t have any memories of Scally in any international events, but he certainly made an impression on one young rider!

An evening “10” on August 26th provided the best time in 23.43 and was good training for the Western RC “25” on the 30th. 115 starters on the usual Bridgwater course were headed by the great Alf Engers who duly turned in a 56.34 to win his £3 voucher in front of Chris Holloway (Bristol South) and D Keen (Warrington). I managed 26th in 1.2.44, quite sure that the magic “hour” was well out of my reach.

My final race for 1959 was the annual Steve French Memorial on October 11th. This was over 4 laps of the Mangotsfield and Pucklechurch (what wonderful names!) circuit including the nasty little Hinton hill and open to Independents, 1st and 2nd categories. By now I was up to 1st and it was quite something to be in an event with the Elswick Hopper team of Blower, Coe, Geddes, Reynolds and Clements, and Rory O’Brien’s “Mighty Atom” Dave Bedwell. 43 starters produced only 21 finishers and I was 21 minutes down on the winner Blower in 19th place. Not surprising, but at least I finished. Even a quality race for Indies only awarded a £5 voucher to the winner.

The winter must have been good for training as I began 1960 with a bang on my birthday no less. Stories of an interesting year with races in Somerset and Germany will follow. And if anyone should find an old Ephgrave with No 2 lugs in light blue with black head and seat panel and half chrome forks, tucked away in a shed and covered in dust. it’s MINE and I want it back!!!

We received the following sad message from Martin’s family on 29 March 2011:

“The King is Dead.  Martin Richard Jubb aka King Cog aka Haldaman left this world on March 27, 2011 to join all those beloved family members that went on before.  He would want all his family and friends to celebrate his extraordinary life as he lived it through languages, travel, bicycle racing, motor cars and rallies and the Halda instruments he so dearly loved to restore.  They were perfection once he touched them as are the lives that he touched.    Please remember him as he would have liked you to.”

Thanks for reading

Posted: Friday 21st August 2020

Author: Martin Jubb

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