Cycle Club Sudbury was formed back in the late seventies when a couple of cyclists decided there should be a local club.
Now the club sits at a healthy 130’ish members. We hold a regular Time Trial series, an Open Time Trial, Audax events, an annual Hill Climb , a Road Race and even a Reliability Ride in January each year. We also have a growing Juniors section, with British Cycling trained coaches.
The club is open to all riders, young and old; no one is ever out of place on a bike!
This is a brief history of the Club, followed by a detailed account of the early days.
The Club was formed in 1979 by two of our Life members, Harold Raymond and the late Len Finch, by placing an advert in the Free Press inviting anyone interested to an inaugural meeting on 27 August. A previous Sudbury club had disbanded some years earlier. A number of people responded, and a committee was formed with Pat Raymond as Secretary, Len as Treasurer, and Gordon Richards, the first member, as Chairman. Other early members included the Webber family, Pete and Marlene Broomfield, Tony Hall, and second claim member Colin Dales. Brian Webber is still actively involved with the Club.
Clubroom meetings were held at Great Cornard Upper School, and annual subscriptions were £4 for seniors, £6 for families, and £2 for juniors.
During the first year, Sunday club runs were established (up to 16 riders), Len started the Spindle newsletter, and a Boxing Day fancy dress time trial was held, with a reliability trial in January. By June 1980 there were 33 members.
Early time trials were held on two courses, with Harold timekeeping with a wristwatch with a sweep second hand. The first course ran from Great Cornard Sports Centre to Bures, across to Assington, and back to Cornard via the A134, Joes Road and Sheepshead Hill. A 10 mile course was then established from Cramphorns (Sudbury Garden Centre) along the A134 to Leavenheath and back, with a U-turn at Leavenheath!
The ‘80s saw a number of younger riders in the Club, including Harold’s son Kevin, and current member Viv Marsh; there was frequent weekend racing for them at the Eastway circuit, now the Olympic Velodrome site, and circuit training organised by Harold at Cornard Sports Centre.
In the early ‘90s, Scott Jones established a strong hold on the Club’s time trial records – he held them all, from 10 miles to 100 miles, until the 2010 season, when his time over 25 miles was bettered by Rob Davies, and in 2012, James Rush taking his 30 mile record, and Rob Davies his 50 mile record. In 2014, all records except the 100 mile were held by the late and much missed Jonathan Weatherley; in 2015, all except the 100 mile record were held by Jody Downs. In 2016, Mandy Bunn took a clean sweep of the ladies 10, 25, 30 and 50 mile TT records. In 2019, Leon West holds the 10, 25, 30 and 50 mile records.
Stalwarts of the Club over the last two decades and longer have been Geoff Morse, now our president, who has served as chairman, secretary, treasurer and timekeeper, Alan Wiseman, Harold Raymond, Len Finch, and Brian Webber as chairman, time trial organiser and timekeeper.
The Club currently has a healthy 135 members, and with our British Cycling qualified coaches is equipping young riders with riding skills for the future.
As well as riding in our own Club time trials, a committed and growing group of Club members take part in open time trials in East Anglia and beyond, riding in both individual and team events. Circuit and road racing is also growing in popularity, some riders specialise in off-roading, and grass track racing has one or two followers.
Over recent years, other members have taken to Audax long distance riding – CCS members often ride as a group. Most years, groups of riders visit France and other countries for multiday rides, and there’s a regular summer trip to Dieppe. The club kit of orange and black is therefore increasingly recognised not only on the roads of East Anglia but beyond.
Below is a quick run down of the club inception right up to the dizzy heights of 25 members. This article was orginially published in the club newsletter; The Spindle in September 2004 and written by life time member Leonard Finch.
In the beginning there was young Harold who with Len decided that we should form a new Cycling Club in Sudbury, there had been one some years back but it was now defunct and had been disbanded some years earlier. So Harold placed an advert in the Free Press to the effect that any body interested were welcome to attend a meeting, and on the 28th August 1979 an inaugural meeting was held and a number of people turned up.
And Bingo! the following week we were on our way. So on the 4th September 1979 The Committee was formed with Pat Raymond as Secretary, Len as Treasurer and Gordon Richards as Chairman and people paid their Subscriptions of £4 for Seniors, £6 for Family and a £1 for Junior membership.
The first person to pay and therefore our first Member was Gordon Richards, our 2nd was Harold and family which included Kevin and Christiana then 3rd was Brian Nixon who alas died in 2002, in all 12 people joined on the first night. The clubroom meetings were held in the 6th Form common room at the G.C. Upper school. Clubroom subscriptions were 10p and 5p for under 14’s, this included a cup of tea which was usually made by Christiana.
Amongst some of the early members during our 1st year were Brian and Pat Webber and family, Pete and Marlene Broomfield and Tony Hall and 2nd claim member Colin Dales who we only charged £2. Colin lived at Nedging Tye and was a member of the Wolsey Road Club, he is now a second claim member of the Wolsey.
At a committee meeting it was after a long discussion we decided on the name of Cycle Club Sudbury, suggested by Brian Nixon having gone through the normal run of Road Club, Wheelers, Cycle Club etc and it was decided to have orange being our main colour for our jersey’s as the only other club in orange was the Great Yarmouth C.C.
During the 1st year we had regular club runs on Sunday’s leaving Market Hill led by various run leaders who’s delight was to take us through fords such as the one at Assington and Hawkedon and up unmade grotty roads, one such ride in November ’79 there was 16 riders. The newsletter states that there was a complaint of Mudsplatitosomush.
Len had started a newsletter and named it the Spindle. Why? Because his old club had a newsletter called the Hub and it was said that everything revolved around the Hub. So now everything revolved around the Spindle to keep everybody informed of what was going on.
Boxing Day 1979 we had a 10 mile fancy dress Time Trial with 9 riders, Harold was in a ballerina outfit and rode in a tu-tu and Len had an apes mask and a sunshade fitted to his handlebars, the winner of the event was Paul Kelling who got mearest to the mystery time set by Gordon. Afterwards it was off to Harold’s house for mince pies, baked potatoes and wine. Harold was then living at Kings Hill.
By June 1980 we had 33 members and had £101.80 in funds.
During 1980 we had a Reliability Trial which was more of a map reading contest and a number of riders got lost, we also had a treasure hunt, which was quite popular.
Time Trials were held from the G.C. Sports Centre to Bures, Cuckoo Hill, Assington along the A134 through Newton to Joes Road down Sheepshead Hill to the Sports Centre. Harold was the time keeper and used a wristwatch with a sweep second hand for timing, then we held 10 mile Time Trials from Cramphorns, now Wyevale Garden Centre to do a U turn at High Road Leavenheath, the traffic was probably a quart then of what it is to-day.
The ‘80s saw a number of younger riders in the Club, including Harold’s son Kevin, and current member Viv Marsh; there was frequent weekend racing for them at the Eastway circuit, now the Olympic Velodrome site.
In the early ‘90s, Scott Jones established a strong hold on the Club’s time trial records – he held them all, from 10 miles to 100 miles, until the 2010 season, when his time over 25 miles was bettered by Rob Davies.
Stalwarts of the Club over the last two decades and longer have been Harold Raymond, Len Finch, Geoff Morse, now our president, who has served as chairman, secretary, treasurer and timekeeper, Alan Wiseman, and Brian Webber as time trial organiser and timekeeper.