South West London DA: Sou' Wester Archive
Sou'Wester May/June 2006

Originally devised by the Pollards Hill Cyclists group to mark the end of the successful 'Re:Cycle' project in which youngsters were taught how to repair, upgrade and maintain bikes that had been donated or abandoned, it was named for the then forthcoming St. Valentine's Day. Organiser, Mark Dawson, was very pleased with the success of the event. "Nearly 250 cyclists from all over London descended on Pollards Hill on 11th February and enjoyed getting together to take part in our full programme". Clive Oxx took the Sutton CC Starters in the morning. "They enjoyed themselves so much it was hard to get them to leave", he said. The Beginners, led by Norman Goody, visited the event in its final stages in the afternoon and were able to enjoy afternoon tea. "The free food was the biggest hit of the event", said Mark. A re-run will take place in Bike Week.


The first Summer Ride of the year is an annual opportunity to promote the Beginners Section. The guest of honour for the ride on 1st April this year, was Councillor Helyn Clack, Executive Member - Transport, of Surrey County Council. Alan Fordham, Surrey County Council's Cycling Development Officer, who rides with and leads our Beginners escorted Mrs Clack on the ride. Lynda Barrow led a group of twenty riders to Ashtead whilst a further 16 went to Leatherhead. The Ashtead group included two young families: eight year old George and big sister Carly completed the ten miles and arrived back at Nonsuch Mansion wanting to start again. Evie, also aged eight rode with her baby sister Poppy and their Mum and Dad. They enjoyed the ride over the Commons with Poppy gurgling with delight from her trailer as they rode through woodlands. Appropriately, the ride from Nonsuch Mansion was through parks and crossed major roads using toucan crossings provided by Surrey County Council. It was a successful start to the season.
We have been pleased to hear reports from Christine that Godfrey Potter has recovered and is now mobile and well at home following the heart attack which he suffered recently during a ride.

Cheam and Morden
The programme of rides introduced by Simon Legg under the banner of the Cheam & Morden Section had a cold start in March but we can now look forward to warmer spring time weather for the series of 'First Friday Fun Rides' and 'Friday Night/Saturday Morning Coast Rides'. For the dates of Simon's rides, see the "What's on" page. You can learn more by e-mailing Simon or phoning him.

Midweek Wayfarers
Wayfarer Mark Roy is featured in the Health Editorial article on page 42 of the current issue of Cycle. He tells the story of how "Cycling Saved My Life". Mark's tribute to the benefits of cycling supports the CTC's link with the British Heart Foundation promotion 'Help a Heart Week' which will run from 3rd to 11th June. You can help more sufferers like Mark Roy by riding one of the BHF Charity Cycle Rides listed on page 43 of Cycle.
The planned Wayfarers' visits to Littlehampton in June and September has hit a wobbly, reports Brian. See the Midweek Wayfarers' Blog news for update.
The Blog also has a report from Allan: "Harold and I simultaneously spotted a young woman emerging from her front door in a revealing dressing gown - this also stirred youthful memories".
You can sign up for a free account with Blogger on the DA website - "but don't forget your username and password" says Webmaster Lisa, "email me for an invite to allow you to contribute to the Blog news".

No report this issue.

Heard on our Rides:
From Brian Starey: Arriving late at our Okewood Hill lunch stop, she exclaimed, "I thought we were headed for Rowhook". "I thought that too", replied her father-in-law, who also happened to be the leader!

Clive Oxx eavesdropping on two women gossips outside the village shop. "The trouble is, she's so ugly, yes she's so, so ugly, really ugly." He hopes not to meet this unfortunate lady.

At the end of a Downlands ride: New member says "a most enjoyable ride, but it was just an excuse to get out for Sunday lunch, wasn't it?"

Ed Sharp has found a cutting of an advertisement in Cycling of 1945 inviting readers to apply for membership of the CTC. It contained the following ditty:

There was a young lady named Ella
Who went for a ride with a fella,
And during the ride,
Her eyes opened wide
At the things he started to tella.
"A girl like you needs protection" he said.
And she said "Oo-er".

Ed, who was an innocent of only 9 years 8 months at that time, now asks your Editor: "Does this have sexual undertones?"

Brompton Factory Tour
On a Thursday in March, Colin and Shirley Quemby and Robert Fox were able to join a small group of Engineers to visit the Brompton factory at Kew. In the introductory talk, we were told the founder, Andrew, had begun work with Bickerton which led him to ponder a better design for a folder. Rejection from all the firms he approached delayed manufacture until friends backed him with enough to make 500 bicycles in 1975. He continued to improve his ideas for 15 years before meeting a business man who could support setting up a factory. Perfection and accuracy have created an enviable reputation and Bromptons are now sold all over the world, fourteen thousand last year. Brompton make and own all the tools and jigs to make the thousand plus components for each bike, each part identifiable to its maker. Tolerances are no more than 0.1mm and every part sits on three points to ensure rigidity. A shortage of skilled brazers is currently preventing meeting demand. Only titanium frames are welded. It was a fascinating hour culminating in the realisation that Colin's red Brompton is one of the original 500 and could be required for their museum!

Hilly 50 km
Simon Legg reports on the 50 km held on 18th February in dreadful weather, "an outstanding success when 92 entrants descended to and ascended from Rykas at the foot of Box Hill. The event had been in decline but, with help from the Mitchell dynasty and congratulations to Ed Sharp, it is back to its former glory" (and to Simon Legg for the hard work and creativity he put into publicity. Ed.)
For full story, go to - February 19th. Simon ended his account, "My three Clarencourt CC mates averaged 55 miles at 12.5 mph with 1,350 m of climbing and still managed our City Tour on Sunday in similar dreadful weather."

Reigate and Banstead Cycle Forum The new leaflet listing rides in the Forum area is now available in Libraries. This includes contact details for CTC rides and a listing of Wayfarer, Ken Preece's, Probus rides.

Barn Dance The Barn Dance held in the Banstead Community Hall on 4th March was a successful occasion with 90 members and guests enjoying the dancing and the hot food which was appropriate for the cold evening outside. The Annual DA Awards were presented by President Colin Quemby to:

Highest mileage:
Men Peter Mitchell  13,076
Ladies Pat Matthews   9,050
Highest Attendance:
All Sections Ed Sharp
One Section Norman Goody
DATC Points Phil Lintott
Most Ambitious Ride  Ann Bath
Most Punctures Andy Coxhill
Photographic Winners:
Action Colin Quemby
Buildings Peter Mitchell
Female Portrait Clive Oxx
Male Portrait Simon Mitchell
Humorous Grant Pyke
Landscape Peter Mitchell

Ann Bath's winning account told of her ride in the Mersey Roads 24 hour Time Trial when she did 432 miles. These were included in her total of 8,349 miles which qualified her as runner-up for the Ladies Mileage Award. An account of her ride will appear in a future Sou'Wester Ann and Steve have just returned from their World Tour in Asia, New Zealand, Australia, the USA and Canada.

News of People
Congratulations to Will Townsend: Westerley RC's Life President who will soon celebrate his 101st birthday. Will used to ride with the Western Section of what was the Metropolitan DA and was associated with the early development of our DA.

Clive Oxx has been selected as 'Volunteer of the Year' for the London Region. He will be presented with his certificate at the CTC national Dinner in Cardiff on 22nd April.

Last call from Lynda. If you have a jacket, t-shirt or gilet which you would like to have overprinted with the Sou'Westers logo please pass the garment, named, to Lynda by the end of April. It will only cost you £3 to £4 to wear your DA's attractive design.

Stop Press
The Editor has learnt that Pete Mitchell has completed a lifetime total of 500,000 miles.