Alf Huckle (Founder Member) held by A Northrop - Drakeoles - 1926

Alf Huckle (Founder Member) held by A Northrop – Drakeoles – 1926

The club was formed on March 21st 1926. Doncaster lacked a real cycling club and several attempts had been made to form a Doncaster section of the CTC. Without success. Various cyclists in the town belonged to outside clubs at Rotherham, Mexbourgh and Sheffield. However it was felt that there was room for a good club in the town. Therefore a group of cyclists, including three of the founding members (Alf Huckle, Frank Pentney and Jack Steele) decided to put a small announcement in the Doncaster Gazette, inviting anyone interested in forming a cycling club to meet at the Majestic cinema on Sunday 21st march 1926 for a run to Rawcliffe. There was a good response with 30 riders turning up. An impromptu meeting was held after dinner at Rawcliffe and the club was formed.

A.G.H Winterburn was elected secretary and he carried out these duties until March 1929 when he resigned owing to studies claiming most of his time. Frank Pentney who held the office from 1929 to 1934 succeeded him.

At the end of 1926 the membership totalled 39, increasing to 56 in 1927. The first year consisted of mainly club runs but in 1927 the first club 25 mile time trial was held followed in 1927 by the first novice trophy ‘25’ and the Doncaster to Brigg and back record was inaugurated.

At the end of 1926 the very first annual dinner was held which has returned each year since, even during the war years, although their were severe restrictions because of the rationing of food and drink.

Throughout 1927,28,29 membership increased and the wheelers became well established, and regarded with respect in racing circles.

In 1931 the first club 25 open time trial was promoted and was an immediate success. It is still promoted to this day. The first team success in an open event was the Castleford 25. The team trio being W Wood, H Brown and C West. The club had achieved a reputation of producing new riders each year that secured honours in local events. At the close of 1932 the club was in a very comfortable position financially, having £12.10 shillings (approx) in hand.

During 1933 and 1934 this balance was lost owing partly to a heavy racing programme but also due to the fact that one source of revenue was lost when the St ledger draw was discounted.

1934 was without a doubt the clubs most successful year. A membership of 125, a good club programme and our biggest success in open events. Jim Collier brought honours to the club, leading the team to success on 11 occasions. One of the most notable when he clocked 1-3-33 in the goal centenary 25. George Smith and George Parker supported him.

The club maintained a steady level until the outbreak of the 1939-45 war. During the hostilities the club did manage maintain itself. All members called to the conflict were given free membership for the duration. There was a continuation to run club championships, the novice 25 championships, the 50-hill climb and one new open 25 in aid of the Red Cross.

In 1946 inter club 25 started with Thorne Paragon and there was a full time trial-racing programme including hill climb and the first milk track championship. This year also saw the return of service men. The club membership at the end of the war stood at hundred plus. Two riders, Dennis Clamp and Alf Martin, kept the wheelers name to the fore in the years following the end of hostilities.

The club T.T records initiated in 1933 began to fall as the club expanded and the time trial came into its own. The club 25, 50 and 100 records that had stood for 11,10 and 12 years respectfully, fell to Alf Martin, 1-0-46, 2-04-31 and 4-20-44. Alf was the first member of the club to ride 25 miles in under hour in 59- 35 on the 14th august 1949, all done on 81” fixed gear. The 12-hour fell to Arnold Hammond, it had being held for 15 years by Archie Fuller with a distance of 236.950 miles.

Bob Waddington was the first member of the wheelers to break even in a 12 hour with 241.842 miles on 14th august 1955. He also took the 24-hour record in July 1955 with a ride of 432 miles; this had stood to F.Alkenson for the past 18 years. He lost it 9 years later to Ron Jubb with 448 miles. Membership began to decline in the early 60s, dropping to below 50. But after 1965 with membership at 49 it began to climb reaching 103 in 1968. The decade closed with a membership of 95.

Geoff Watson - Club Run - 1970's

Bob Waddington and Geoff Watson – Club Run – 1970’s

The late 60s and early 70s saw the loss of four of its older active members; all gained honorary status and were all members from its formative early days. An even greater loss occurred toward the end of 1970 when their young club captain died as a result of an accident during a club run. His name, Maurice Kelly, is still remembered today.

It was in 1974-75 when an influx of active racing men combined with residents, produced our best ever TT success. The 1975 season ended with the wheelers winning B.B.P.R team competition and the team awards for the national 100 mile and 12 hour. And Graham Huck came third place in individual competition. The triumphs were the result of excellent riding from Graham Huck, Alan Robson, Bob Bickerstaff, Baz Breedon, Mel Shaw, Jim Nixon and Brian Thompson.

1976 climaxed 50 years of excellence when in March we combined the prize presentation with the golden anniversary dinner. There have been many individuals who have helped the club survive the first 50 years, to many to mention and apologies to the dozens of riders and officials who names have been missed. Hopefully all will be accounted for when I get around to reporting the years from 1976 to the present year.