South West London DA: Sou' Wester Archive
Sou'Wester July/August 2006

Death of Ron Beams
Members had been looking forward to a party in August to celebrate the occasion of Ron reaching his 100th birthday. So, we were all particularly saddened by the notice sent out by Brian Starey: "All will share my great sadness to learn that our revered doyen Wayfarer and friend Ron Beams died peacefully on Saturday 22nd April after being admitted to hospital for a recurring complaint and deciding that he did not wish to receive further surgery. He missed centennial status by less than four months. How lucky we Wayfarers were to have him in our midst most Wednesdays and how sorely we will miss him. We offer our condolences to his son and daughter and their families on the loss of so eminent a head of family". Almost 200 people turned out in the rain at Leatherhead Crematorium for Ron's funeral on 8th May - a moving testament to our great friend.
A tribute from Tom Culver reminded us of many points in Ron's long and interesting life. His membership of the Veteran Cycling Club and the Fellowship of Cycling Old Timers which led to an interest in cycling history. He also experimented with electric motor assistance on his recumbent machines which enabled him to continue cycling to the end.
Later, a short celebration of Ron's long life was held at the Old Plough at Stoke d'Abernon hosted by his family in place of the party they planned for August. A donation of £100 was given by Wayfarers to Cancer Research UK, comprising £25 from Section funds and generous personal donations from several members.

We were pleased to meet Godfrey Potter cycling from hospital after his last session of 'rehab' following the heart attack reported in our last issue. His convalescence was helped by use of David Aylett's training rollers. But he wanted David to explain how he got a puncture on the smooth rollers!
BBQ Dates for the diary: David Aylett invites Beginners to a BBQ to be held at his home on 17th June; Angela Launder is inviting Beginners to join her at home 22nd July and Liz Scrivens will be at home 19th August. All will follow the Beginners Saturday afternoon rides (bring your own sausages!).

Cheam and Morden
News has been received from Raasay, on the Isle of Kyle via issue No. 3 of the Raasay Times dated 12th May and issued by Graham Hill from the Scottish Youth Hostel where he is serving as Warden. "Still they don't come - just one couple stayed the weekend. So I've had to move out of character and washed/cleaned/polished/cut/chopped/mended everything. Definitely not what this job is all about. Thursday evening was most interesting. The severe thunderstorms affected five hostels. Here the power was cut off, the alarm sounded on three separate occasions and the PC (modem) expired whilst all around the water kept on rising. It got over the doorstep but not the door frame! Being of optimistic mind I retired and hoped. You may have noticed that Skye has been the hotspot of Britain over the last few days so I've managed a trip to the northern end of the Island as well as two long rides on Skye. But you cannot see a thing this morning and it's a lot colder, perhaps it's the day to try out my newly swept stove."
Comment from Brian: "Never mind Graham. You'll soon have Irene to fuss over!"

Midweek Wayfarers
A ''buzzing throng' greeted founder member Bill Stead as he made a rare appearance looking very well at Cobham on Wednesday 5th April. Wayfarers are becoming increasingly computing minded. Those with PCs were recently able to keep in touch when Secretary Brian Starey was away via - Messages for inclusion on the Section blog should be addressed to Pete Mitchell
Brian is able to offer members who want to buy half price train tickets for train assisted ventures by arranging a link with SouthWestTrains.
At the DA committee meeting held at Brian Starey's home, Jill brought in the phone for Brian and a message told him that he had won the raffle at Cobham RBL and that he was now the Rocking Horse Winner. He suggested a re-draw but they 'would have none of it'. Another call within minutes was from Thelma (who, with Hazel and Joyce had been at Ron's funeral) at RBL Cobham, inviting him to donate the rocking horse to the Shooting Star Hospice for children, and this will be done in the Wayfarers name.

No report this month.

C&M Easter Tour 2006
Simon Mitchell reports: the C&Ms enjoyed another successful Easter Tour based in Canterbury - a fine cathedral city offering comfortable accommodation, bygone tales and enough restaurants and coffee houses to satisfy the discerning traveller. Our numbers totalled 20 which included newcomers Paul Day, Andy Avis and Jackie Morgan-Smith (nursing a broken leg whilst managing a one-legged sortie stoking Lisa's tandem.)
The real tourists with more time on their hands set off on a fine spring Thursday and stopped off midway at the comfortable Medway YH just south of Rochester. They approached Canterbury via the Graveney Marshes and the 'Crab and Winkle Way' cycle route between Whitstable and Canterbury. The moody drizzle of the Monkton Marshes and the Ash levels gave way, on Sunday, to some fine Easter sunshine. Now we could really enjoy the myriad undulating, twisting lanes and attractive thatched villages within the Canterbury - Margate - Dover triangle. (You can see the tour on the C&M blog site - with coloured photos. Ed)

Heard on our Rides
'Leaving tarmac', a new term for going off road seen in a recent report from Mike Pontin.
Warning from Terry "Make sure you carry the right cartridges to fit your CO2 inflator. When Jon M. had a rear puncture he found he had the wrong cartridge, so he had to go back to an old-fashioned pump!"
Recommendation from Liz (mother of Sutton Cycling Club member Harley) who has recently given birth to a daughter Clarissa, a sister for Harley aged 11. Mother told me, "The birth was so easy. It must have been all that cycling." Meanwhile Harley has plans for his new sister. He is busily polishing up his old bicycle so that Clarissa will have a bicycle when she grows up and will be able to join the SCC.
"Hope this is not in bad taste" says Fuzz: "A younger friend and I, looking around the multitude at Ron Beams' funeral are wondering who will be next for the reaper?" An ancient, somewhat deaf, member who had heard only part of the discussion declared, "I'm alright. I've got a return ticket".

Ann Bath's report of her first 24 hour event (the Mersey Roads) won an award which was given to her at the Kingston Phoenix prize-giving in February 2006. Ann wrote a report in the Autumn issue of Arrivee It is an exciting article so, if you have not seen it, contact Ann via e-mail at
Your Editor was pleased to be invited to the Autumn meeting of the Fellowship of West London Cyclists held at the University of London Sports Ground at Chiswick. In the company of Tom Fish (who was in good voice) he met notable guest speakers Don McKellow, the 1952 Olympic rider and Eileen Sheridan.
Clive Oxx, in addition to being the London Region 'Volunteer of the Year', is runner up for the National award. He was presented with a cup and two certificates at the CTC Dinner in Cardiff surrounded by DA members and his twin sisters. Since then, he has had a couple of set backs - the loss of his yellow Brompton, stolen from outside his house, then a few days in hospital, the result of cramped seating on the journey back from Cardiff. His activities are currently curtailed and we wish him a full recovery as soon as possible.
Message from Bob Lees in Florida: "This is to let you know that after two weeks off-line I am now back in cyberspace with a new e-mail address"

Radio 4 News
Interview on 9th May with German cyclist, Heinz Stucke whose bicycle was stolen in England after 40 years of cycling over the world. At the end of this monumental expedition he made the mistake of visiting Portsmouth and leaving his bike outside his tent without padlocking it. After only a few hours on our shores, it was taken. He explained, "I'm surprised it was stolen as it did not look new and shiny. I would have understood if they had taken my Brooks leather saddle. To me that is valuable." There was a happy ending to the story. The bicycle with paintings by Heinz on the frame recording the places he had visited, was recovered a few hours later from a park in Portsmouth - with Brooks saddle intact.

Get Active on the Wandle For details of Wandle Valley Festival cycle rides and events on the River Wandle on Sunday 18th June ring Clive Oxx for a leaflet or visit A special ride for families and their friends will start at 10:00am from the source of the Wandle at Waddon Ponds to ride to Grove Park Café where we will meet the Mayor of London Borough of Sutton for elevenses before leaving Carshalton to follow the Wandle Trail to Morden Hall Park to enjoy a free lunch in the Rose Garden.