top of page

100 years of cycling on sea

Cafe TwentyOne Pier Approach Southend


Happy 100th birthday!


Photo exhibition now on!


Southend City has a rich history of promoting cycling events along the seafront and Southend Wheelers have been there from the start, organising, volunteering, and participating at these prestigious events over the years.


Chris Smith  has curated an exhibition at Café TwentyOne, Pier Approach, Western Esplanade SS1 2EH (by the Pier lift) celebrating 100 years of cycling on sea. If you are a current member of Southend Wheelers, there’s a 10% discount at Café TwentyOne, if you produce your membership card!


So next time you’re out on your bike, or walking along the seafront, pop into Café TwentyOne, grab a coffee, cake, and take some time to read about and view the different events which have visited Southend, from the longest stage of the 1961 Tour of Britain Milk Race, which after 153 miles, finished in a dramatic sprint along Western Esplanade (and won by an Essex lad, Alan Perkins ), the  seafront Kermesse’s of 1964 and 1965; the 1989 Anglia TV Trophy races, the 2009 Tour Series finale, which some former Wheelers were racing, and most recently  the 2021 Women’s Tour of Britain and more…

100 years on Cycling on Sea Timeline

1924 > Club runs start at Calcutts Restaurant (later the Esplanade public house)

5/6/61 Milk Race Stage 2 Nottingham to Southend Alan Perkins (GB) 6:46:45 - 152.9 miles

9/5/64 Southend Jubilee Criteriums Event A Trevor Maddern (Glade CC) 55:29.5 - 20 miles

9/5/64 Southend Jubilee Criteriums Event B Harry Willison (Condor Mackeson) 50:09.6 - 20 miles

24/4/65 Southend Kermesse Alan Sturgess (Norwood Paragon) 1:55:34 - 44 miles

29/5/77 Milk Race Prologue Janusz Bieniek (Poland) - 2.9 miles

30/5/77 Milk Race Stage 1 Southend to Norwich Ryszard Szurkowski (Poland) - 152 miles

11/8/78 Tour of Britain Stage 4 Corby to Southend Johan Van Der Velde (TI Raleigh) - 122 miles

26/5/80 Milk Race stage 1 Southend to Norwich Bengt Apslund (Sweden) 3:27:01 - 152.5 kms

13/5/89 Anglia Trophy Professional Criterium 1 Steve Joughin (Percy Bilton-Condor) - 90 minutes

15/5/89 Anglia Trophy Professional Criterium 2 Steve Joughin (Percy Bilton-Condor) - 90 minutes

25/6/09 Tour Series Round 10 finale Rob Hayles (Halfords Bikehut) - 1 hr + 5 laps

14/12/11 Cycle Southend Pier pressure hill climb TT Pier Hill George Pearl

7/10/21 Women’s Tour of Britain Stage 4 Shoebury - Southend Lorena Wiebes (Team DSM) - 117.5kms

The exhibition at Cafe TwentyOne will be on until 30 May and will then move on to the Southend Forum in the City centre Elmer Square Southend On Sea SS1 1NS, for the month of June.

Download the exhibition poster here.

Archives and Memories

If you have visited Cafe TwentyOne, and have a story about your favourite year, favourite event or precious memory,  please e mail it to: This list of venues significant in the Club's life has been compiled. Can you add to it? Defunct bikes shops also appear on the list, but what ones aren't listed so far?

You might be a member of another club who rode a Wheelers event! Many thanks to the one ex Wheeler so far to send in their memories, Patrick Wilson. Download Patrick's memories here.

bottom of page