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SMRCC - South Manchester Racing Cycling club (1970`s)

Discussion in 'Cycling Clubs' started by BK Rolling on, 19 Mar 2017.

  1. BK Rolling on

    BK Rolling on Regular

    Hi there,
    I was wondering if anyone knew what happened to this club based up and around Stockport?
    I used to ride with them in my schooldays and until around 17 years of age.
    Cyril Bardsley ran the local bike shop (Now Wills wheels) and was involved.
    I think Ron Pickburn (Think this name is correct?) was the local BCF officiate who attended meetings.
    I joined the club run (after a cuppa) at the Black Cat Café across from the Rising Sun Pub in Hazel Grove.
    Many happy times had.
    Now I am living in South Wales but am in the Stockport area often with work and any information would be great received and indeed anything from former members all the better as I am thinking this club has been disbanded.
    Look forward to hearing from you.
    Many thanks
  2. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    South Manchester
    Ex Marple Wheelers rider here. Pretty sure SMRC is not in existence now.

    I know Will (Wills Wheels) quite well as he used to work for Cyril.
  3. OP
    BK Rolling on

    BK Rolling on Regular

    Thanks for that info. I think but am not sure that the club carried on until the late 90`s.
    I think there was also an association with Tudor sports wear but I am unable to confirm this.
    Bought quite a bit of stuff from Cyril back in the day. He was forever building or truing wheels as I remember...mainly my old Mavics ha ha
  4. bbrich

    bbrich Member

    Saudi Arabia
    Well Bruce, I'm an ex-SMRCC member as well. It must have been from about 1970 to 1974-ish. I raced for them as a Schoolboy on road and track and did a couple of TTs as a Junior then got distracted by other, cheaper, more accessible sports. Wound up playing football for Cheadle Heath Nomads instead. Shame. I'm from Reddish, Stockport originally but have worked in Saudi Arabia since 1981. Still have a house in Woodsmoor though and get home regularly.

    I scour the web regularly trying to find information on South Manchester RCC and I'm starting to think that I dreamt the whole thing 'cos I can't find any proof of their existence. I remember that the Clubhouse was at Fallowfield Cycling Track (the Reg Harris Stadium) next to Hollins College (the Toast Rack) in Fallowfield. We used to meet there on a Monday night, I think, and in the summer months that would involve training on the track. I loved track racing and had a couple of wins and placings in the Manchester Tuesday-night Track League as well as being Manchester Division 2-Up Pursuit champions with club-mate Rob Miehe.

    I also bought all my kit from Cyril Bardsley's Bike Shop. In fact it was him who introduced me and a couple of mates to the club. My mates soon tired of it but I carried on. I had a second-hand Mercian 531 frame that I bought off somebody in Manchester Wheelers, Campag Gran-Sport rear, Valentino front, Mafac centre-pulls, Sugino chainset (looked identical to Campag Record), Cinelli bars and stem, Fiamme sprints on Milremo hubs, Barum tubs when I could afford them, Hutchinson (!!) the rest of the time. Oh, and a Barum Cross-tub for my cyclo-cross days - finished second in Woodbank Park once, won a pair of arm-warmers. My father asked "Where's the rest of the jersey?"

    When the Fallowfield Track was closed I think SMRCC re-housed themselves either in Hazel-Grove or Cheadle and I'm not sure how much longer they survived. Racing at the track stopped in '76 after a disastrous re-surfacing. I remember hearing about plans to revive it, but it was demolished in '93.

    Some stuff that might trigger your memory: Arthur Pickburn was the BCF bod, Jim Court was involved (in his 70's and still runs Stockport Community Cycling group), Lowther's Office Machines were a 'sort of' sponsor. They're still going on Hillgate - how on earth does anybody manage to sell photocopiers these days?. Gibb-Sport Clothing was the official supplier of the South Manchester Racing Cycling Club orange, white and green club jersey, but at one-and-six a letter we needed a shorter team name. Maybe that's why they folded? There was also a BCF Coach, a young guy who was brilliant and had all the latest training methods, but I can't remember his name. I can remember 'fartlek training' though. Laughed at the name but couldn't walk when I got off my track bike.

    Let's compare notes...

  5. proliteguy

    proliteguy New Member

    Hi There.

    I joined up SMRCC in 1973 when Cyril helped me get started. I had beena very active swimmer since 1968 and was just crazy to get a racing bike and go for a ride with a club. I recall the clubhouse was next to Heaton Moor station on Egerton Road North. They had rollers in there and some great people. I still keep in touch with John Archer and Steve Moult as I now live in Taiwan. Cyril taught me to build wheels and about 16 years ago I started a business to help someone out. IT was in a spare bedroom in a 350 year old farmhouse in Weardale UK. WE are now the biggest hand built wheel company in the world and we work to the same procedures Cyril showed me. I rode my first race at Chelford in a 10 mile TT. I got home from school. made some sandwich and rode to Chelford. Did a 28 minute 10 on my 5 speed Carlton and then rode home. 13 years old. After seeing my name in the local newspaper that was it I was hooked. Ron Johnston was another great rider who was in the club and helped me a lot. Then we had Jims Gym at Ducie Evening centre with some of the best road guys in the UK. Eralier this year me and Ian Donohue were in stitches talking about the circuit training Jim Patterson dis with us and today how he would be locked up for child cruelty with all the namby pamby parents of today. Ken Braddock was another BCF guy and helped to get to so many races as a kid.
  6. bbrich

    bbrich Member

    Saudi Arabia
    Ken Braddock, yes I remember that name. There was also a little guy called Jim or Jimmy who would always be a marshall at the road events - can't remember his surname, was into motorbikes as well, and photography, dead funny though. He wrote a humorous column in the club magazine.

    And Jim Pat's training! We used to meet at an industrial estate somewhere in Burnage or Didsbury - not quite sure where. Jim would ride a moped and half the racers in Manchester would be strung out behind him going flat out. It was open age so we had Seniors Cat 1, 2 & 3, Juniors and Schoolboys. I'd be 15 or 16 - just about to turn Junior. It was hairy to say the least. If you couldn't corner you'd lose the wheel in front. I could corner ok on left-hander's but right-hander's just didn't feel right and half of Manchester would pass me! Crashes too. No health and definitely no safety. I assume he was trying to teach us how to ride criteriums. It may have helped, I was never scared in a race!

    I remember Mike Williams, Malcolm & Chris Dobson, Rob Janecki, they were all in Manchester Wheelers but we were mates as we were all more or less the same age. Jeff Williams though? He'd be about 12 years old at the time and he'd be first wheel behind Jim. It was watching him that made me realize that whilst I loved racing I was just never going to be that good.

    Jim Pat also ran a training night on a dual-carriageway somewhere in the same area of Manchester. A kilometer or so slightly uphill, dead turn, same kilometer slightly downhill with a sprint for points every lap - about forty of us, mixed in with regular traffic!

    Jim took me to a few road events too. Me and Rob Miehe would be outside Jim's corporation house at six in the morning waiting for him to have his breakfast. We'd throw the bikes in the back of his grey van and off we'd go - me rolling about in the back with the bikes and a pile of Jim's tools and junk. Blackpool, Southport, Oulton Park, Kirkby... I remember crashing in a crit on the lower and middle walks on the front at Blackpool. It was an awful day, the rain was coming off the sea horizontal. The red asphalt surface was awash with wet sand. I was in the middle of the bunch and touched a wheel, came down like a sack of the proverbial with a load of others - right where Jim Pat was stood! Broken bikes and walking wounded. He picked me up, shorts and shirt ripped to bits, right hip raw and bleeding, he asked if I was OK. Stupidly I said yes. So he straightened my front wheel, put my bars back straight, gave the bike a once-over while I hopped about in agony then said "Join back in at the front when they come round on the next lap, the commissaires won't have missed you". So I did as I was told. You didn't argue with Jim Pat. Made it to the end but just ran out of heart in the sprint. It took weeks for my hip to heal properly - my school trousers kept sticking to it! Timothy Whites didn't sell dressings that big.

    Hmm, had my right hip replaced ten years ago... I wonder?

    Lets keep it going...
    Last edited: 5 Nov 2017
    BK Rolling on likes this.
  7. kermesse

    kermesse New Member

    As far as l know Dave Grundy, John Negus, Zeb Smith and mysekf were the last ti race in SM colours in the late '70s! Dave topped racing, then John. Zeb and myself kept going till the end of the season and then Zeb "retired" from racing to build a kit car.
    We used to have club meeting at Priestnall school in Heaton Chapel. As far as l know all the old officials are deceased with the exception of Jim Court.
    I carried on racing with various clubs till 2007. Although l did ride a World Masters track race about 2008 or 2009 and a national track championships.

  8. bbrich

    bbrich Member

    Saudi Arabia
    Dave Grundy and Zeb Smith? Those names ring a bell. I'm sure I've been on club runs and training bashes with them. I knew that SMRCC moved house after Fallowfield, so it was Priestnall School was it? I'd taken up football by that stage. I just couldn't afford cycle racing. I think I started work, as an apprentice compositor, on about seven pounds a week, I didn't have any transport and my parents weren't really aware or able to offer support. Cycling was for rich kids apparently. So much more affordable today. I sold my Mercian road bike and my Jack Sibbitt(!!) track iron plus spare wheels, blocks, tubs, tools, etc. to fund my first holiday away from home when I was eighteen. I got fifty quid for the lot which I spent on two weeks in Torquay! What an idiot...

    I was bike-less then until I was 25. Up to then I played football for Cheadle Heath Nomads who were a good team, then I joined them. After I left they went on to be a good team again. Did my left knee when I was twenty-one and never really recovered. It still hurts today - right now in fact! I went to Saudi in late '81 for the lure of silly-money and have been here ever since, although the money-stopped being silly more than twenty years ago. Its just become a way of life.

    At the first opportunity I bought another road bike (sports bike really). A Peugeot Centenary. I started riding again probably in '82. There were no cycling clubs, no other cyclists and the roads were (are) lethal. My friends thought I was crazy but I found if I stuck to the coastal Corniche here in Jeddah there was virtually no traffic. Three bikes and thirty-five years later and I'm still doing the same thing - on a Campag equipped Ribble. I'm still scared of spending mega-bucks on a bike. Old habits I guess. As I get older its getting harder, especially in the summer. Its just not possible to carry enough fluid and I've come "unstuck" and overheated more than once. Mind you the temperature can be in the late-thirties or even over forty. Winter is a bit easier though and its just started this week - late November so I'm off on my bike right now...

    Stay in touch.

  9. OP
    BK Rolling on

    BK Rolling on Regular

    Hi Brian,
    Just spotted the post and have to say many thanks indeed for the info, you have jolted my memory quite a bit.
    Like you I rode the somewhat bumpy and decrepit Fallowfield track in about 1973 but alas I was a poor schoolboy,ill-equipped and frankly not that talented, but had enthusiasm in spades.
    The club house was in Heaton Chapel and it was to be honest a small affair by my recollection.
    I contacted British Cycling and they said they thought the club officially wound up in 2000, but I think maybe before.
    Yes I also remember the team jersey being expensive (thanks Mum)
    There was a young lad who joined about 1973,who was as I remember very exceptional (as in a natural rider) and he was well equipped with a Harry Hall bike and Campagnola everything. He was leagues ahead of the likes of I and tended to be popular amongst the older riders due to his ability to outshine all the guys,but I cannot remember his name. I think he went on to do quite well in the Nationals (Schoolboy and Junior)
    I will keep looking Brian, and thanks for the knowledge, I will keep you posted.
    All the best, Bruce