The History of Sherwood Cycling Club
The Sherwood Cycling Club was formed by a group of keen cyclists on 22 May 1931 and was based in the Sherwood area of Nottingham. We no longer have specific links to this area but draw our membership from a much wider area around Nottingham.
Photo of Sherwood CC 1933
(Earliest known photo of Sherwood CC 1933 -- Ed is 2nd left on the back row!!)
In the early days of the Club motor traffic was rare and cyclists had empty roads to enjoy. The programme of club runs for 1933 included a night ride to Chester meeting at 11 p.m. at Wollaton Park Gates.
The first Sherwood 100-mile Open Time Trial was in 1938 and won by A. Cross of Nottingham Wheelers C. C. in 4:46:28
Members were asked to "Support your Club by supporting your Programme, assisting your Honorary Officials, being enthusiastic, and making sure you get full value from your glorious pastime and remember – it is an honour to be a member of the Sherwood C. C."
With the Second World War activities were interrupted but the Club was revived in 1946 and was booming by 1948 with new members joining every week. The first Acorn News was published. At this time racing was mainly in time trials, track and "Massed Start" races at such places as the Forest Recreation Ground. Time trialling was the only racing on the open road and this had to be on the quiet. The rules were that riders must wear inconspicuous clothing i.e. dark coloured shorts and jersey/alpaca, no "track vests". And a bell must be carried. Start sheets for time trial were always marked "Private and Confidential". Courses had code numbers so only cyclists knew where time trials were being held.
(Above: Frank Beale winning!!)In 1948 Frank Beale became "Notts Centre Massed Start" (road race) Champion and did a club record 22:57 for a 10-mile TT in 1949.
The fifties were golden years for cycling with quiet roads and cycling offered the freedom of the countryside. Touring and club runs were prominent. In 1958 the average attendance on Sunday club runs was calculated at 17.38. It was common for club runs to be interrupted for a game of football. Racing was not neglected. Time trialling was the mainstay of the Club, but road racing was taking off and Frank Beale rode for England in the Manx international in 1950.
(Above: Sherwood CC - Winners of the Lighthouse Trophy 1953)
There were a few lean years in the sixties but the Club regained strength in the second half of the decade. We promoted Open time trials from 25 to 100 miles, road races and a cyclo-cross. In 1969 we ran the National Championship 50-mile time trial won by Martyn Roach. Riders were amazed to receive a card with their recorded time before they could dismount!
Above: National Championship 50-mile time trial report (click to enlarge)
Above: Sherwood CC Racing Cyclists
In the seventies the Club thrived and continued with our event promotions. We had a strong junior contingent – at times half the field in the Evening Tens were juniors. Jon Kettell, went on to be National Junior Sprint Champion and won the Peter Buckley RR Series.
Longer distance riding was still popular with members riding in events up to 12 hours. Club time trials at 50 miles had good fields. Full day Club Runs were still held in the winter, although an alternative Sunday morning run and a Saturday morning run (later to become infamous as "The Parrot Bash"!) were also introduced.
The Club celebrated its Golden Jubilee in 1981 with a 1000-mile sponsored ride. This was run as a relay with teams of two over a 21-mile circuit completing the distance in 46:21:22. We also had a floral display at Nottingham Castle and shop window displays. However, interest in long distance riding was decreasing and regular Club Runs became shorter morning runs in 1986.
The last Sherwood 100 was held in 1993 with increasing difficulties in finding a course and a general swing of preference towards shorter events. Following this trend the Club racing programme was revamped to include more short distance events and prior entry was dropped. Saturday Club Runs became so popular that two separate groups were introduced for a while.
The Club website was introduced in 1998 and this sparked an increase in membership.
Our new Club kit was introduced in 2001 and has proved very popular.
Membership continues to grow and with many keen riders and in 2003 we won the Lighthouse 25 Team Trophy for the first time since 1955!
Above: Winners of the Lighthouse trophy 2003
Above: Winners of the Lighthouse trophy 2005
Above: Winners of the Lighthouse trophy 2007
In 2004 the first steps were taken to become a "Go-Ride" club to encourage youngsters in cycling.
That brings us to the present day and further opportunities to grow and progress in the future.
Additional Club Kit designs were introduced to differentiate the club's racing heritage from the social side and the TT design kit then a decision was taken to filter the new kit down to the social riders.
Membership is stable and is becoming more diverse.
All members are encouraged to take part in club runs and improve their physical and mental wellbeing by making two wheels a healthy lifestyle choice.