It’s been a busy and eventful year for the Wheelers celebrating our centenary with numerous events and photoshoots throughout the year.
The first of our centenary events was the Burnham and Baddow reliability ride, with a new distance of 100 kilometres in recognition of our 100 years.
The 2024 event takes place on 11 Feb, details to be published soon.
(13th May 1923 – The date the club was formed).
Celebrations started with a month-long exhibition at Twenty One, Pier Approach, Western Esplanade. A VIP event on 13th May attended by the Mayor of Southend, Councillor’s from Southend and Castle Point, past winners and riders who have competed along the seafront and club members, came to celebrate Southend Wheelers rich cycling history along the seafront.
The following day we held our 100th birthday party at the club room with memorabilia and club photos from the past.
One-week later club members rode from Southend to Epping recreating the ‘Ride that never was’.
The club promoted the CTT National 50-mile TT championships, which incorporated the club Norman Wells 50-mile memorial trophy.
Later in the month and keen to encourage the younger generations in to cycling, club coaches were involved in the British Cycling Summer of Cycling at Garon Park.
The club promoted the annual Andrews Trophy road race around East Hanningfield.
Club riders had the privilege of leading out Tour of Britain riders as they departed from the start line along Western Esplanade, and in the process recreated probably their most famous club photo of the club riding under the Pier back in 1923.
The centenary exhibition was on display for the month at the Ironworks, Southend High street.
The club Hill climb championships returned to Vicarage Hill, where another group photo from our past was recreated at the top of the hill.
Club coaches were once again coaching future youth riders at Garon Park in the British Cycling, Places to Ride programme.
We will be returning to Garon Park in February 2024, keep an eye out for the registration details.
Towards the end of the month the final two photoshoots took place. The first being at the top of Chalkwell Avenue, where the Tuesday and Thursday ‘chain gang’ rides used to start from. Riders then made their way on to Western Esplanade to gather at Clifftown Shore, formally known as the Esplanade and in 1923, Calcutts Restaurant, where one of our first group photos was taken in 1923.
In the afternoon members, past and present gathered for the Centenary lunch, the last event in our Centenary Year.
What a centenary year!