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Who said Essex was flat?

Southend Wheelers held their Hill Climb Championships at the weekend and in the process recreated a little history as they come to the close of their Centenary year.

In 1923 the Club held its first hill climb up Church Hill, Hockley, in 1924 it moved to Vicarage Hill, Benfleet, in what was to become the spiritual home of their club hill climb, where it remained until 2004.

Sunday morning, in perfect autumn weather, 17 club riders took on the challenge of Vicarage Hill, for many a new experience and whilst the course is only 660 yards (603.5 meters) in length, it would still prove to test the riders, as they gasped for air and could feel their legs get heavier by the second.

The winner on the day Charles Langford, completed the climb in a rapid 1 min 14 secs to win the senior championships, with Jan Harvey-Burns winning the women’s title in 2 mins 12 secs, both join the long list of winner’s names that appear in the club’s record books.

Following the event, it was time to recreate another piece of club history with a group photo at the same spot where 99 years earlier, the pioneers of Southend Wheelers gathered in their tweeds, fixed wheel cycles and for some smoking pipes on display.

See the winners from the past here

Click here to join the Wheelers'

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