South West London DA: Sou' Wester Archive
Sou'Wester November/December 2006

The Wandle Trail
New signing by Sustrans will be appearing along the length of the Wandle Trail. This will be funded by TfL and it is aimed to set the standard for Greenway signing across London. It will include signing to key destinations such as town centres and stations close to the Trail.
A network of traffic-free Greenways routes to the Wimbledon All England Tennis Club and Tennis Museum is planned. Temporary cycle parking at the nearby Golf Course is being considered for those who wish to cycle. Consultation documents will be sent to Local Authorities and to Sustrans Rangers.


The sun shone on the second Saturday in September and two extra rides left the Nonsuch Mansion to visit and raise funds for the Surrey Churches Preservation Trust. Colin Quemby had prepared four quiet and scenic routes which had been offered to members of local churches. He led eight riders on an all day ride during which they called at 30 churches some of which were open and offering refreshments. Carole Dockett led an afternoon ride, a group of 14 including members of Carshalton, Beddington, Sutton and Cheam churches of various denominations. All money raised will help to preserve the churches which are so much a part of Surrey's scene (including Surrey in London) and their communities. More pleasant routes will be available for Saturday 8th September 2007.

Cheam and Morden
Graham tells me that during this summer, attendances on C&M rides have reduced from the higher levels seen in 2005. This should be an important topic for discussion at the Section AGM on 5th November.

Midweek Wayfarers
Tom Fish has made his customary appearance in the photographs and reports of the CTC Birthday Rides. Go to page 10 in the current issue of Cycle to see Tom, recognised as the oldest participant at this year's Rides, helping to cut the big cake at the Birthday Party in Dumfries, Scotland.
The bad news for Tom is that his No. 1 bike (built for his 90th birthday) has been stolen. The Wayfarers Blog reported that Tom was seen at Westminster looking somewhat morose on a bike almost as old as himself.
Good weather on 6th September resulted in big numbers of Wayfarers on rides.
Frank Cubis led a successful A ride. Frank promised a 'briskish' ride from Cobham to Godalming. This required a climb up the slope of the Hog's Back to ride into Godalming High Street as the clock struck one. The ride of 23 miles was completed by the group of 13 at an average of 13 mph. They earned the description 'professional' from Frank.
Twelve B Section riders, led by Norman Goody, rode from Cobham to Ranmore admiring the fine views and then descended with an exhilarating ride down to Dorking and eastwards to be 'spooked' at Spook Hill with the gunshot sound of a blow out in Neville's tyre.
Meanwhile a group of 25 riders (yes 25!) led by Mark, rode out from Cobham to Ripley and on to Send. See the Section Blog for the report of the ride written by Albert.
The Mystery Ride on 13th September stirred up a lot of advance interest and curiosity. John Scott led 37 riders from the three combined sections on a well planned route which incorporated a lot of special interest viewing on the way through Central and West London. John's route used the Thames Path to the rear of Kew and Mortlake, through a network of back streets to Holland Park, Kensington Park, Hyde Park and Regents Park to take refreshments at the Serpentine Restaurant. John thanked back markers John Gould, Norman Goody, Pete Barnard and the 'sub-leader', Frank Cubis who was required in order to satisfy CTC rules not to exceed 20 riders in one group.
New Trophy for the Wayfarers. Our Section Secretary reports that Mark Roy has presented his handsome new trophy in the form of a shield which will recognise the Wayfarer achieving the highest mileage in a year. It will be revealed and presented to the inaugural recipient on 11th November.

Ken Loy has written a letter to Cycle magazine drawing attention to the medical treatment and choices of riding and use of lower gears which have enabled him to continue cycling and enjoy the company of Downland members on Sundays and weekdays. Ken suffers from Polymyalgia Rheumatica and can help with advice to anyone else facing problems from PMR. Wayfarer, Pat Matthews, profiled in the last issue of the Sou'Wester has been diagnosed as a PMR sufferer and has been put on steroids to ease the pain. This, plus being bitten by a dog in Swansea has been one of the reasons why Pat has had to withdraw from leading rides for the Wayfarers Section.
Ken has reported on the accident suffered by Angela Launder who rides with the Downlands, C&M and Midweek Wayfarers. Angie was knocked over by a car and taken back to her place of work - St Helier Hospital. She had injuries to her face and legs but is now back riding again. Her bike is not too well sadly. Your Editor recently met Angie in the corridors of St Helier following his attendance at a Clinic and was shocked when he inclined his head to receive a kiss on the cheek to see - unexpectedly - two very black eyes. Hullo Panda!
Only three minutes earlier I had been greeted in the same corridor with a kiss from Liz of the Beginners Section. This is not suitable for a man receiving anti-coagulant therapy for his circulation!

The Sou'Westers go to France (again). Five ladies, Lynda, Helga, Carole, Liz, Gill went in the company of Norman on another visit to Nesles. They enjoyed French food and in the evening played the game of Rummikub which they assure me is a sort of Scrabble with numbered tiles. News of people
Ken Loy reports that the Downlanders ex-secretary, Diane Suckling, who retired to live in Brisbane, Australia, likes to read about the Section rides and the people she used to know in the DA. Frank Cubis has been thanked by Suzanne Lyndon from Sydney, Australia for leading the Wayfarers ride which she enjoyed so much . Suzanne has returned to Oz and says she would be delighted to show anybody going 'down under' some Sydney rides. She can be contacted via the website
Alec Bird Frame saved by Charles When Charles Shand congratulated Gary Dodd after Gary won the John Pendleton Race event, he added that he would like to collect the Alec Bird bike offered by Gary and Jake in the pages of the Sou'Wester. Charles' special knowledge of the cycle industry enabled him to recognise a good bike under the red rust and the frame has now been refurbished and looked good enough to be taken by the restorer to the Tom Simpson Memorial Ride on the Ventoux which took place in July. This was appropriate as Ken Bird, brother to the frame builder, Alec, had been Tom Simpson's bike mechanic when Tom sadly died on the slopes of the Ventoux in 1967. The frame, which had been resprayed in the black and white Peugeot team colours, was built in 1974. Another remarkable story from Charles Shand!

Sutton Sport Award Clive Oxx has been nominated by CTC and Sutton Cycling Club to receive the award for Volunteer of the Year. The award will be made at the Secombe Theatre in Sutton at the same time that winners of the London Youth Games events receive their medals from the Mayor.

Heard on Our Rides Heard by Philip Marx on a railway station platform - Guard: "You can't take that bike on my train" Cyclist (identified as Mr 'Fuzz' Edwards): "That isn't a bike. It's a two-wheeled invalid carriage!"
Originally told by Stanley Baxter and retold by Norman Goody at the Birthday Rides in Dunfries: American tourist to kilted Scotsman: "Is anything worn under your kilt?" Scotsman: "No ma'am, it's all in pefect working order!"

Bill Stead sadly died on Thursday 10th August. Bill's funeral took place at the Putney Vale Crematorium on Monday 21st August when 40 Members of the S.W. London and Central London DA's attended. We had been invited by Bill's sons who now live in USA and Australia. On behalf of the cyclists, John and Brian recalled the days when they were taken out in a sidecar attached to the tandem which Bill and their mother rode and later as solo riders. Bill's knowledge of the back roads and his leadership on runs had always impressed. Brian and John thanked cyclist friends who had given their father friendship and help, in recent years, particularly Brian and Christine Nixon and Beryl Granger. During the service we were pleased to be invited to say a few words by the Vicar. Harold Fifield stood to praise Bill, "he was a gentlemen. He would be the same to everyone, old and young, so approachable and a patient listener, he was regarded as the 'elder statesman". Clive Oxx paid tribute to Bill's involvement with our DA particularly his contribution to the Celebrations of 50 years since the forming of the DA in 1948. Bill's extensive knowledge and records of the events which led to the forming of the DA were invaluable for his speech explaining How it all started. Copies of the special programme and that speech are still available from Clive Oxx. Bill was the last founder member of the Midweek Wayfarers which began in 1980.
After the service a reception was held at the attractive St Margaret's Church Hall where cyclists enjoyed a fine spread prepared by neighbours to Bill in Earldom Road, Putney. There was a lot of chat about Bill. Phil Marx recalled the days when Bill would give half a crown to his daughter then aged six years. Tom Powell was a frequent companion on rides with Bill as was John Hammond who rode together with his twin brother in the early days. It was recalled that the Church Hall was an appropriate venue as Bill had often attended there on a Sunday before going out to cycle for the day.

Gopi Chandroth has proposed that the Sou'Wester should include a section for disposal of unwanted family bikes which could be offered for sale or exchange or as free giveways. Gopi rightly identifies the problem that the effort of finding a buyer is often too great to make it worthwhile. The sight of children's bikes at recycling or rubbish tips, thrown in skips or polluting the local river, stream or pond is of "a colossal waste of a resource2. Send in details of your unwanted bike to the Editor and we will try to get it to a family or child that needs it.