The Early 80’s

The 1980s

“The untimely death of Jeff Foster, after a short illness, has left us all with a deep sense of shock. Jeff joined the Lancashire Road Club around 1956 and, despite his running career with Bolton United Harriers, he remained a true ‘bikie’. In January he and Jean attended the Club Dinner as usual, and it really does seem incomprehensible that he is no longer with us. Our sympathies go out to Jean at this time and I hope it may be some small comfort for her to realise the high regard in which Jeff was held by all his clubmates”. 

So wrote Ian Marshall in March 1980. Foster Shoes, of Bolton, was the company from which the international sportswear company Reebok grew, and Jeff remained associated with the company until his untimely death. He had been a member of the Lancashire Road Club since 1956, winning the Club Novices Award in 1957.

New members to the Club in 1980 included 17 year-old Dave Walker, who made an early impression with a 2.13.48 in his first fifty. Tony Wilson had recaptured his old form in the early season with an under two hour ride and, together with Gordon Wyatt and Ken Marsden, had taken the team award in a Cheshire 25, but, “the keen competition from the West Pennine and Cleveleys has kept the cupboard relatively bare this season”.

The Club had, in the past, had close links with the C.T.C., having sprung from the loins of that club in 1923, and Ian Marshall, in July 1980, reported: “Speaking to Heather Evans recently has convinced me that we ought to pay much more attention to developing a closer relationship with the C.T.C. Despite our historic links, and the fact that most of us are C.T.C. members, we have tended to lose contact in the last few years. This is a pity as our interests are complementary and it is disturbing to find that C.T.C. members, with a developing interest in racing, are not turning to the Lancashire Road Club as an automatic first choice club. I am giving Heather some membership forms for distribution to C.T.C. members and she, in turn, reminds us that we are always welcome at the C.T.C. club-nights. Also, during the Summer months when we have no club runs of our own, why not join the C.T.C. on one of their ‘A’ or ‘B’ section runs?”

On the time trialling front, the Club 25 at the end of the season had no fewer than 27 L.R.C. members listed on the start sheet. On a good day, come-back man Frank Kerry turned in a P.B. 1.00.58, but this was not good enough to unsettle son Martin who, with 58.40, took the Club 25 Mile Championship. In close attendance were the ever-present Tony Wilson with 59.24 and Mark Astles with 59.31. Dave Walker continued to show his ability with a 1.02.23 and this, together with his other good performances during the year, was enough to give him the Club Novice Award for 1980. New member Ted Crook, a recruit from Bolton Clarion, showed promise with a 1.08.18 and evergreen Bill Parkinson “came back into the prizes after a long absence to pick up the first handicap award with a net 56.59”.

The August issue of the up-market magazine “Lancashire Life” had contained a feature on the Club’s Open Twelve Hour, but this had proved to be rather disappointing in its content. Still “any publicity is good publicity”.

In the Twelve Hour, Tony Wilson, after a day-long battle with Andrew Brierley (West Pennine R.C.) had to settle for second place with P.B. 252.375, a little over a mile in arrears. Ken Marsden won the Club 50 in 2.05.33, 24 years after first winning that event in 1957 (that year in 2.07.32), Tony took the Club 100 in 4.15.51 and new member Steve Rowland was the Road Race Champion. Martin Kerry showed his all-round ability by adding the Mountain Trial and Hill Climb Championships to his 25 title. Harold Robey repeated his win of the previous year by taking the Club Veterans title and Tony Wilson was, for the third time, the Club Champion.

Continuing the dialogue with the C.T.C., Ian Marshall and Roger Winstanley had attended their A.G.M. in September and had been asked to give their views on the development of a closer relationship between the two clubs. The C.T.C. was equally in favour of this and it was agreed that, for an experimental period during the autumn and winter months, a joint L.R.C./C.T.C. ‘A’ Section run would be held on one Sunday in each month.

In December Ian reported: “Now to return to the question of attracting younger members. There is already evidence that the re-establishment of regular contact with the Bolton C.T.C. will help enormously. On 9th November we had a most successful run which took us around Tosside and Slaidburn, during which any ideas of the C.T.C. ‘A’ Section as a group of more leisurely riders was quickly dispelled. Partly because of the success of this ride the Committee has decided that, rather than organise duplicate runs of our own, we would encourage participation with the ‘A’ Section on their Sunday outings. No doubt other groups of our members will, for good reasons of their own, prefer to make their own arrangements, but we would like as much support as possible for at least one joint ride with the C.T.C. each month. The next of these is fixed for 14th December to Glasson Dock. Meet Beehive 09.15. Our President has asked me to put paid to the malicious rumour that he will be buying everybody a Christmas drink on this run!!!”

From the Club Circular in March 1981: Tony Wilson and Denis (Danny) Lees were the victims of “cowboy car drivers”. Tony had a broken leg and Danny, not to be outdone, had both legs broken. Tony was recovering fast, but Danny’s injuries were quite severe and it would be some time before he was fully recovered.

“More sad news, this time of Des Pritchard. It is no secret that Des has had a problem with his eyesight, and this has now deteriorated to the extent that he feels that it is unwise to use his bike. Nothing daunted however, Des has bought a tandem and would like to know of anyone prepared to partner him occasionally.” One volunteer was Phil Rowley, and they teamed up on the tandem and were very successful in time trials, so much so that in 1985 they were the deserved winners of the Club Prestige Trophy. Des also rode in the 1993 Club Twelve Hour with Pete Jackson, Bury Tandem Club for the Visually Handicapped, and covered 228.797 miles. A true cyclist.

In December 1967 Malcolm Evans had written: “It’s 10 years since the Club Handbook was last published and it’s about time it was revised, so if anyone has any information that they think might be useful on any aspect of the Club can they please let me have it”.

In March 1981 it was now Ian Marshall’s turn: “Historians here is your chance – Jack Roughley is looking for a volunteer to bring the official history of the Club up to date”!!! 
Whatever happened to the Club History?  Doesn’t time fly?

The Club was enjoying some success on the time trialling scene, with a number of team wins in 25’s mainly through the efforts of the tireless Dave Walker, Gordon Wyatt, Martin Kerry and Tony Wilson.

Not to be outdone, the veterans of the Club were also showing good form, Jack Roughley, Gordon “Pancho” Holt and Dave Coffey recording 1.2’s, and, in the Club 12 Hour, Jim Dawson covered 216 miles to win the 12 Hour Novice award. Not only was this Jim’s first twelve, it was his first ever time trial!

The young Dave Walker won the Club 25 in 1.00.41 from Tony Wilson (1.00.59) and Martin Kerry (1.1.16). Tony Lowe, another youngster beginning to make his mark, took the first handicap with a net 57.51 despite riding the last two miles on a flat tyre. “It is arguable whether all those who braved the elements on such a desperate day deserve congratulations or certification. Thanks from everybody to the marshals and timekeepers for whom the day cannot have been a great deal of fun”.

One of the best rides of the year was Frank Loftus’s 7th place  (out of 183) in the gruelling Three Peaks Cyclo Cross Race. “As those hardy souls who rode the Club 25 on the same day can confirm, the conditions beggared description, yet iron man Frank managed to get right up amongst the professionals.”

Frank’s excellent performance was enough to convince the judges that he should be the worthy recipient of the newly instituted Prestige Trophy, which was to be awarded annually to the member who had made an outstanding contribution to the Club.
A “young and fit looking” Keith Tattersall took the twelve hour title with 223.793 miles, but it was the Kerry’s, father and son, who were leading the field in the Club Championship events, with Martin winning the 10, the 50, the Hill Climb and the Mountain Trial, and Frank taking the Club 100 in the North Lancs. V.T.T.A. event in a P.B. 4.30.48, a time good enough to give him his first ever win in an open event. This time, together with a P.B. 2.04.04 in the Harrogate 50, 241 miles in the Otley CC twelve hour, and some other fast times earned him his first wins in the Club Championship and Club Veterans’ Championship.

In 1980 two public relations events were held, the first at the British Aerospace Family Day at Lostock, where members of the Club manned a stand, which had as one of its centrepieces a pair of competition rollers kindly loaned by Mike and Kester Nortley of M.K. Cycles. This was a great attraction, particularly among the younger element, and the Club netted a handsome profit of £150. The other event was the Westhoughton High School Autumn Fair and again considerable interest was shown.
In October a £30 profit accrued from the very successful disco that was held at Westhoughton Cricket Club. Another was planned for February 1981 and “Rumour has it that plots are being hatched to form a Ladies’ Committee and that they will be taking over the catering arrangements. They do all the work anyway, and will no doubt be delighted to fire the male incompetents who almost forgot to consider the need for plates, cutlery etc.”  With the increasing number of younger members joining the Club, the discos were proving very popular and the February one was no exception, being well attended, well enjoyed and quite profitable. Other discos were planned for October ’82 and February ’83.
Closer links with the C.T.C. were being forged and a new competition for members of the two clubs was introduced:-

“THE OMNIUM TROPHY”
The “OMNIUM TROPHY” is to be awarded to the winner of an annual competition run jointly by the Bolton Section of the Cyclists’ Touring Club and the Lancashire Road Club. It will involve participation in nominated events organised by each of the sponsoring clubs, and it is hoped will consolidate the traditionally close links between them.
GENERAL RULES OF THE “OMNIUM” COMPETITION
1. Control of the competition will be vested in a Controlling Committee which will be formed from two nominated representatives of each of the sponsoring clubs. The Controlling Committee will administer the competition in accordance with the General Rules and their decision on the award winner will be final.
2. Entry to the competition will be restricted to individuals who are members of both the Cyclists’ Touring Club and the Lancashire Road Club.
3. Entry will be free of charge.
4. Those intending to enter the competition may do so by verbal or written notification to the Event Secretary by the published application closing date. A list of all the entrants will then be published.
5. The competition will be based on six events, three from each of the sponsoring clubs, which have been endorsed by the Controlling Committee. Participants must compete in at least two CTC and two LRC events.
6. A common points system, determined annually, will be used for all competitive events. A separate points system will be used for endurance events. In racing events the times of female competitors will be reduced by 10% prior to the awarding of points.
7. The Omnium Trophy will be awarded to the competitor with the highest aggregate number of points derived from:
7.1 His two best scoring CTC events, subject to the inclusion of any compulsory event.
7.2 His two best scoring LRC events subject to the inclusion of any compulsory event.
8. Competitors will be responsible for the normal entry procedures required by individual event promoters where these apply. (e.g. see RTTC Handbook for time trials)
The qualifying events for 1982 were:
L.R.C.
Club Mountain Trial, Holcombe Circuit.
Club Championship 25
Club Open Hill Climb
C.T.C.
24 Hour Reliability Trial, Yorkshire Dales
Freewheeling Competition, Smithills Dean Rd
Map Reading Competition, Rivington

Points System: 20 points for 1st place, 19 for 2nd, down to 5 points for 13th and all other finishers.

24 Hour Reliability Trial: 4 points for each of four designated sections plus four points for successful completion within the time limit.

The Event Secretary for the competition was Roger Winstanley. The competition started in 1982 and the winner was LRC’s Steve Rowland. In future years these qualifying events were amended, the L.R.C. Open 10 was added to the list and C.T.C. Club Runs replaced the 24 Hour Reliability Trial. The competition was run successfully for a number of years, but as the number of C.T.C. members declined it fell by the wayside, the last winner being Stuart Smith in 1988.

In March 1982 the Club manned a stand at another school Open Day, this time at Turton High School. A roller competition was organised using the M.K. Cycles’ rollers, and this proved to be a popular attraction. In August the Club was again in attendance at the British Aerospace Open Day with a stand and another roller competition. These fairs could only be good publicity for the Club, and new members, including the rising junior star Tony Lowe, were enrolled as a result of the Club’s participation.

That year the racing boys were doing themselves and the Club proud. As early as April the bionic Dave Walker had already clocked 57.27 to earn second place in the North Lancs. R.C event and, in a middle markers’ 25 in Yorkshire, Tony Lowe improved his P.B. by four minutes clocking 59.05 to take third place.  The Club’s 4-up team of Dave Walker, Derek Unsworth, Martin Kerry and Tony Wilson went down to Stoke on Trent and, in spite of a stop to replace Dave’s wheel, won the Lyme RC’s 50 mile event being timed at 1.58.55, which gave them a margin of 2 mins. 22 secs. over the second placed team. The team of Steve Rowland, Steve Heap, Dave Green and Tony Lowe won the Junior event in 2.16.53.

Dave Walker won his first open event in the Horwich CC 50 in 1.58.57 and, backed up by Tony Wilson (2.00.31) and Martin Kerry (2.01.06), the Club took yet another team award. A trip to Yorkshire to the Holme Valley Wheelers 50 on the “Borough” saw a number of P.B’s set on a near perfect morning. Dave Walker improved 10 minutes to 1.49.58 to set a new Club Record, and Gordon Wyatt (1.51.53), Martin Kerry (1.54.13), veteran Frank Kerry (a superb 1.55.26), Derek Unsworth (1.56.21) and Tony Wilson, who had been out of action with a stomach bug, (1.56.41) all did ‘flyers’. Gordon’s time also bettered Ken Marsden’s Club Record of 1.54.01. Martin Kerry’s time could well have been even faster, as this was his seventh event in eight days! The team prize was take by the Rockingham CC on the Bidlake System (fastest third rider), but had the award been on aggregate time the Club team of Walker, Wyatt and Kerry would have taken the prize with their Club Record team time of 5.36.04.

In the National Championship 100Km Team Time Trial, disaster struck the Club team of Walker, Kerry, Wilson and Unsworth. During a changeover Wilson and Kerry came down and Unsworth rode over the top of them. Wilson’s wheels and forks were smashed and he could take no further part, but Walker and Kerry continued, chased by Unsworth who had punctured in the pile up. The time they were credited with was Unsworth’s time of 2.24.33, but it was estimated that they were heading for a time in the region of 2.15 when they crashed.

The season had been the most successful for many years with a succession of team wins week after week. Pete Walkington, Ted Crook and Andrew Brown were also prominent on finishing sheets. The young ones were not having it all their own way, as the veterans were also usually out in force each weekend, and good times were recorded by Keith Tattersall, Jack Roughley, Gordon Holt and Harold Robey among others.

In Club Championship events Dave Walker took the 10 and 50, Martin Kerry the 25, the Mountain Trial and the Hill Climb, Derek Unsworth the 100, and 52 year-old Harold Robey the Twelve Hour, 26 years after winning that event for the first time. Brian Timms was the winner of the 12 Hour Novice Award, Dave Green the Club Novice Award and Tony Lowe, with his excellent and consistent riding, was the winner of the Prestige Trophy. Harold Robey was again the Club Veterans’ Champion and the Club Championship was still in the Kerry family but had changed hands, Martin replacing dad Frank as the winner.

Late in the season, Frank Loftus, Pete Walkington and Phil Rowley took part in the Three Peaks Cyclo Cross event, and Frank, who was a reserve for the Great Britain Team, surpassed his excellent performance of 1981 by taking fifth place, ahead of the third counting G.B. full team member.

In addition to their time trialling exploits, some club members were winning trophies in a different sport. The British Aerospace Apprentices team, most of them L.R.C. members and led by the indefatigable Dave Walker, were the victors in the 24 Hour Mini Le Mans pedal car race in Moss Bank Park, Bolton. The event is held on a circuit of 0.341 of a mile, and the B.Ae. team of six riders covered 1069 laps in the 24 hours, totalling 364 miles at an average speed of 15.167 mph, finishing 67 laps ahead of their nearest rivals. This was the third time that this annual event had been won by the B.Ae. team. The event is very popular with spectators, always attracting big crowds, with an estimated 5000 having watched the race during the 24-hour period. Through sponsorship, the Mini Le Mans race realised £6000 for the Guide Dogs for the Blind training centre in Bolton.

The pedal car had been built by the apprentices at B.Ae. and, after the triumph on their home ground, they went on to compete in the National Pedal Car Championship held at Milton Keynes. Despite being up against some of the powerful motor industry-backed teams from the Midlands, the B.Ae./L.R.C. team were again victorious.

Club runs were beginning to be established on a more organised footing, with two runs each Sunday; the “A” Run from the White Horse, Westhoughton for “…the rougher element, the comedians, the half wheelers, Tony Wilson and those unfortunates who just happen to live South of Bolton. However, an element of control is usually maintained by President Roughley, after all he’s the only one who knows how to navigate once off the A6. Mileage 60-80”, and the “B” run from The Royal Oak, Bradshaw, “A more refined sort of affair. A gentleman’s run, in fact half wheeling, and other aspects of gamesmanship are strongly discouraged by our Master of Ceremonies, Keith Tattersall. Stop for “elevenses” normally at establishments who provide saucers with the teacups. The considerate nature of the participants usually means a return home at 1300 -1400 out of respect for (or more likely, fear of) the good ladies left in the kitchen. Pace steady, Mileage 50 – 65.”

FRANK HART

In February 1983 members were saddened by the death of Frank Hart. Frank was a well-respected member of the Club and was the Club President from 1947 to 1954. In pre-war years he was an active member of L.R.C. teams and was Club Champion in 1935. He was the Club 50 mile Champion in 1933 and Club 100 mile and 12 Hour Champion in 1935. He ran a successful cycle shop in Horwich for many years and was one of the team supporting Frank Cowsill and Alec Denton in their successful attempt on the Land’s End to John O’ Groats tandem record. Condolences were sent to his widow Kathleen.

A note from the October circular read: “A NUMBER OF PEOPLE HAVEN’T PAID THEIR 1982 SUBS – PLEASE SEND TO ROGER WINSTANLEY“.

If 1982 had been a good year for the Club, 1983 was to be even better. It was the Club’s Golden Jubilee Year and the National Championship Twelve Hour was to be run in conjunction with the Club’s Open Twelve Hour, the first National Championship event ever to be promoted by the Club.

That year was, without doubt, the most successful year in the Club’s history. It would be almost impossible to detail all the awards won by members as, week after week, individual wins and places and team wins were the rule rather than the exception.
The two stars of the Club in 1983 were the “two Daves”, 20 year-old Walker, and 17 year-old Smith. Between them they had the short distance events on the local Brock course sewn up, as they amassed win after win and record after record. However, they were not alone, as Pete Walkington, Tony Lowe, Martin Kerry, Dave Green, Richard Whitfield, Mike Appleyard, Mark Astles, Ian Chadwick, Steve Rowland, Malc Richings, Frank Kerry, Tony Wilson, Ted Crook and Auriel Bu’lock, to name but a few, all improved on their personal bests by wide margins and featured prominently on result sheets and in team wins. This is not to say that others were not showing well. With a membership of well over 100, most of them very active, the red and gold colours were prominent in every event. The veterans, not to be outdone, were also recording some fast times, Harold Robey, Gordon Holt, Dave Coffey, Jack Roughley, Keith Tattersall and Derek Walsh all featuring high in the finishing lists of the North Lancs. V.T.T.A. events.

The season began with a number of wins and places in the traditional two-up events. Dave Walker and Dave Green recorded a win, Tony Lowe teamed up with Mike Appleyard, who at that time was a member of Leigh Premier R.C, to win two events and Martin and Frank Kerry took the award in an event where one rider must be a veteran.

The pattern was set in the opening 25 of the season, when L.R.C. riders took four out of the top five places in the N.L.T.T.A. Combined Clubs event. Dave Walker won in 58.22 with Tony Lowe second in 58.33, Martin Kerry fourth (1.00.22) and Dave Green fifth (1.1.08). Dave Walker clocked 22.43 in his first attempt for the year at ten miles and Dave Smith, who had started the year with a personal best 24 minute ten, returned 23.05 and 23.00 in his first two ten mile events of the season. In early April Pete Walkington took an excellent fifth individual place out of a 115 strong field, and led the Club to team victory, in the classic Circuit of the Dales. Pete, off number 12 led the field for a long time with his ride of 2.16.29. The day was a typical C of the D day with snow, rain and a strong wind making the going hard, evidenced by the fact that superman Dave Lloyd (Manchester Wheelers), in winning the event in 2.08.30, was seven minutes outside his own course record. The L.R.C. team was composed of Walkington, Martin Kerry (2.19.41) and Frank Kerry (2.36.48).

Dave Smith, in his first 25 of the season took 5 minutes off his P.B. in clocking 56.33 in the Conisbrough Ivanhoe event on the A1 and, with Dave Walker (57.14) and Martin Kerry (58.55), the Club took the team prize.

During the year the Club Record for 10 miles was broken on no fewer than seven occasions. D.S. started it with a 22.28, D.W. 21.57, D.S. 21.47, D.S. 21.28, which was a new N.L.T.T.A. Junior Record, then Pete Walkington, in riding to 7th place in the National Championship 10, upset D.S. and D.W. by taking the record with 21.25. D.W. took revenge with 21.24 and finally D.S. set the standard at 21.13.

In June, at the 25 mile distance, Dave Walker set a new mark with 54.17, which was also a new N.L.T.T.A. Competition Record, only to see Dave Smith better this 11 days later in the Meersbrook C.C. event on a course near Doncaster, with a very fast 54.04 and, with Dave Walker (54.21) and Martin Kerry (58.23) in support, a new Club 25 mile team record of 2.46.49 was set.

During the year Smith and Walker had a string of 55’s, 56’s and 57’s to their credit, and Tony Lowe, Martin Kerry, Mark Astles, Richard Whitfield, Mike Appleyard, Dave Green, Pete Walkington, Malc Richings, Steve Rowland and Frank Kerry, were all doing regular rides of 57, 58 and 59 week in, week out.

Dave Smith turned his attention to 50 miles and in his first 50 of the year knocked 15 minutes off his P.B. with a 2.02.50. He then went on to reduce the Club and N.L.T.T.A. Junior Records to 1.57.25, but Dave Walker was unable to reproduce his form of the previous season when he had set a new Club Record for the distance.

Auriel Bu’lock, a friend of Martin Kerry, had joined the Club from Archer Road Club and was setting new standards for women. She won a number of events and was placed in many more, reducing the current Club Records to 23.40 for 10 miles, 1.00.19 for 25, 2.06.33 for 50, and 4.30.24 for 100. In addition she set new a new N.L.T.T.A. 100 record with 4.30.43.

In the National Championship 10 won by Mandy Jones in 23.05, Auriel was 4th with 23.47, a mere two seconds behind third placed rider Beryl Burton, and 5th with 2.06.33 in the 50 won by Beryl Burton in 2.01.37, but finally her efforts were rewarded in the 100 when she took the silver medal behind Sue Fenwick (4.21.12) with her 4.30.24.

Dave Smith’s consistent riding had made him the favourite for the National Junior Championship 25, as he had defeated all the other entrants in the weeks prior to the event, but on the day he was to be disappointed, taking second place and the silver medal when he clocked 55.16, 12 seconds behind the winner. In this event held at Buckfastleigh, Devon, the Club had six entrants, Dave Smith, Ian Chadwick (still a juvenile) Richard Whitfield, Jonathan Purdy, Mike Appleyard and Mark Cafferky. The winning team came from Manchester Wheelers with the L.R.C. team of Smith (55.16) Chadwick (57.44) and Whitfield (58.25) in second place 42 seconds in arrears. A very good effort, with all the lads returning fast times.

The Club’s up-and-coming Juvenile Champion, Ian Chadwick (Chaddy) had taken second place in the North Lancashire final of the G.H.S. Juvenile 10 mile Championship, and this earned him a place in the National final. In the final he turned in a brilliant performance to finish in the Silver medal position sandwiched between two future professionals, Rob Holden and Harry Lodge.

Riding in the R.T.T.C. National Championship 100Km Team Time Trial, the Club team of Smith, Walker, Astles and Kerry clocked 2.15.00 to take seventh place and other noteworthy performances came from Pete Walkington who finished second in the N.L.T.T.A 100 with 4.10.51 and Malc Richings and Dave Walker who finished in first place in a Grand Prix de Gentlemen.

The magnificent riding of all the riders had brought well over 30 team wins during the season with scarcely a week when at least two wins were not recorded, an unprecedented performance, and everyone should take their share of the credit. The National Twelve Hour Championship, promoted by Jack Roughley on behalf of the Club, was an excellent event, with the result only decided in the last few minutes. 92 entered the event, 84 started and 63 finished. The day was hot and dry, perfect for spectators, marshals and helpers but a little too hot for the riders. The winner was John Woodburn (Manchester Wheelers) with 266.373 miles with Andrew Greenhalgh (Horwich CC), riding his first twelve, in second place with 266.028. In third place, 0.175 of a mile in arrears was the 1982 winner and ex-professional Danny Horton. Greenhalgh was in the lead with one lap of the finishing circuit to go, but Woodburn put on a spurt and overtook him with minutes to spare. Of the Lancashire Road Club riders, Harold Robey, three days after his 53rd birthday, was 14th with a personal best 253.855, and Martin Kerry 17th with 249.115. Other finishers were Ian Marshall, 231.278, Jim Dawson 218.452 and Brian Timms 213.835. The team award went to Manchester Wheelers with a gross 786.298 miles, a new course record. Congratulations were extended to Jack Roughley and his team of helpers for the impeccable organisation.

As he had done in 1982, Frank Loftus was to gain honours in a different branch of sporting activity when he scored a brilliant win in the first Lakeland Triathlon. The 52 competitors had to run two miles on the road, swim three quarters of a mile in Loweswater, cycle a total of 35 miles in two stages over some of Lakeland’s highest passes and run 12 miles over the fells. Frank was trailing badly after the swim, but his years of cycling experience stood him in good stead, and he was back with the leaders after the first cycling stage. On the fell running section he overhauled the favourite, Dick Eastman of the Cumberland Fell Runners, and set off on the final cycling section over Honister Pass with a clear lead. He arrived at the winning post at Loweswater with 10 minutes in hand over the second placed competitor, finishing in 3 hours 58 minutes. A brilliant performance for which he was presented with a magnificent trophy by the great fell runner Jos Naylor.

The Club Championships were shared out equally, with Dave Smith winning the 10, Dave Walker the 25 and 50, Tony Wilson the 100, Harold Robey the twelve for a record eighth time, Tony Lowe the Mountain Trial, Richard Whitfield the Hill Climb and Ian Chadwick the Novice Award. The Club Champion, repeating his win of the previous year, was Martin Kerry and the Club Veterans’ Champion was again Harold Robey. Repeating his win of the previous year, Steve Rowland again took the Omnium Trophy.

Once again the Club was represented at the British Aerospace Family Day at Lostock and the roller competition was a big attraction. On the social front there was a disco “…probably the best ever”, and the fortunate members who saw Geoff Newey’s slideshow “Northwards to Alaska” were stunned by the brilliance of the photography and presentation. Both of these social events attracted good attendances at Westhoughton Cricket Club. The ‘Lags’ continued to meet at Egerton Cricket Club on the first Friday of each month, and there was always a good attendance on these evenings. Most of the Lags were now back on their bikes and many of them had resumed their battles against the watch with varying degrees of success.

The Diamond Jubilee Club Dinner at Brookfield, Westhoughton, proved to be a memorable occasion, especially for Mark Haslam, Johnny McDermott and Cliff Baxter, who were each presented with a Dartington Crystal cut glass goblet, engraved by record breaker Eileen Sheriden, in recognition of 60 years service to the Lancashire Road Club. The Guest of Honour presenting the prizes was Ladies’ World Road Race Champion Mandy Jones, and there was a display of historical photographs in the foyer. Jack Roughley was presented with the Prestige Trophy for 1983 in recognition of his work as Club President and organiser of the Club’s Open Twelve Hour. An altogether memorable evening.

The sad news at the end of the year was that the Club’s star rider, Dave Smith, would no longer be riding in the red and gold of the Lancashire Road Club in 1984, as Jack Fletcher, the sponsor and leading light of the Manchester Wheelers, had enlisted him into the ranks of that club. The Manchester Wheelers could support Dave in ways that an unsponsored club such as the Lancashire Road Club could not, and the best wishes of the Club went with Dave in his new venture. He retained second claim membership of the Club. Dave, of course, went on to great things with the Manchester Wheelers, finishing in second place in the B.B.A.R. Competition and, in successive years, riding the fastest 50, the fastest 100 and the greatest distance in 12 hours in the country. Few would disagree that Dave was the best rider ever to appear in L.R.C. colours, and he is the product of the traditional way of starting out in cycling, having ridden with his father, Quintin, and the C.T.C. from an early age. He is now a non-racing member of the Club and his father was made an Honorary Life Member in 1997. Quintin passed away on 10th December 1999 after many years membership of the club. Dave became a veteran on 17th September 2005, and if he should decide to re-enter the fray on reaching that milestone, the veterans should watch out.      

– See more at: http://www.lancsroadclub.org.uk/Club-History/The-Early-80-s#sthash.zcEO8zqM.dpuf