South West London DA: Sou' Wester Archive
Profile of Bev Porter

Profile: Bev Porter - (May/Jun 1999)

The Treasurer for the DA is Bev Porter. His professional work as a busy Accountancy Consultant means that he is not able to ride every weekend. Few of the members of the Cheam & Morden Section with whom Bev rides will know the full story of his strong family cycling background now revealed in this short profile.

Bev Porter was born in Blackpool in the war year of 1941. The family moved to Macclesfield where he was fortunate as a 'war baby', to be given a tricycle with pneumatic tyres. He remembers his father, a lifelong member of the CTC, riding back on unofficial 'skives' from his RAF service camps to the family in Macclesfield and being taken on his father's bicycle secured with 'stirrups of durable silk parachute cords'.

Macclesfield provided the background to Bev's strength as a hill climber - he has for me an irritating habit of riding strongly past me with ease alongside the C&M group on a long hill climb! For at the bottom of the street in Macclesfield he was always aware of the hills in the Peak District beckoning in the distance. "I love hills. I have an affinity for hills." The family moved to Coventry, a birthplace of cycling manufacture and activity, which maintained this strong cycling background for the family.

His father was employed as a journalist with the Coventry Evening Telegraph and as a freelance journalist covered rides such as the famous record breaking ride in 1954 of the Coventry rider Eileen Sheridan on her Lands End to John O'Groats ride. Bev's father attended time trials as a reporting journalist and Bev as a young helper was aware of many of the top racing cyclists of the day including 24 hour events in the 1950s and was a spectator at tracks such as the Butts in Coventry and Fallowfield at Manchester.

He still has Reg Harris's autograph when Reg was in the Macclesfield Wheelers. Bev rode on tandem behind his father and has alarming memories still of rides to visit his grandmother in North Oxfordshire with a fast return to Coventry down Edge Hill with overheating rims.

As for many of us older members, the new affluence of the 1960s and the lure of the car meant that there was a gap in cycling activity. Bev married Fiona and, in the early 1970s, moved to New Malden. His son Andrew, born in 1975 grew up to provide a renewed contact with the bicycle. He started to take his son out for rides using his restored Ephgrave. Bev gradually started riding and contacted the Kingston Phoenix who suggested he ride with the CTC and recommended he purchase a new bike (his current Roberts) to replace his beloved Ephgrave.

At 58 years, Bev enjoys the challenge of riding Audax events. He rode the Brass Monkey event earlier this year and plans to do others in 1999.

He looks forward to a holiday on the traffic-free Isle of Skye in Scotland. This is the birthplace of his wife - he tells me that the Gaelic meaning of the name Fiona is 'the fair one'. She does not cycle, 'too many aches' she explains and this means that Bev will need to discuss the question of the Roberts bike on the roof rack on the journey to Isleornsay. Here he will escape from the Inland Revenue and enjoy the hills of the Isle of Skye.