🚲Wandsworth Bike and Tandem Club🚴‍♀️🚴‍♂️

When we went to Shepton Fleamarket on 5 March I was really pleased to see the familiar face of a chap who loves old photos just like me, he’s a seller and when he comes across a family collection he does his best to keep it together. I have bought many many photos from him in the past years.

Love the Bicycles at each end of the group. Taken mid 1890s.

He had a collection of large card framed photos all showing the members of Wandsworth Bicycle and Tandem Club. All except two had the Club name printed on the bottom of the photo by the Photographer. I really liked these two that I bought from him, they were a little cheaper, and he was ok letting me take a quick photo of the one below even though I didn’t buy it.

I didn’t buy this one. Southern Counties Camp, Godalming. 1890.

I would have liked to buy them all but decided to save some money for other finds, I’m glad I did too as I came away with quite a few!

I loved this one above as it seems a bit more informal, a smaller group just having a cuppa. Taken mid-1890s.

I haven’t been able to find out anything about the Club, but I would love to know more, so if anyone knows any information about the history of Cycling in Wandsworth I will add it to this post. Or if you know where I could look to find out more.

There is a little on this website about the history of cycling in the UK: cycletogether.com and there is a Tandem Club with regional clubs, lots more information from their website here: https://tandem-club.org.uk/

It would be great to be able to add more information here specifically about the Wandsworth Bicycle and Tandem Club. Can you help, please?

A lovely follower on Twitter @djwilson22 (David Wilson) has sent me these shots of a newspaper article which gives us all the history of the Club, so thank you so much, David, much appreciated! This article was dated Sept 28th 1889.

Transcribed by David to make it easier to read: “CYCLING AND CYCLISTS,

This club was formed in May, 1883. It was then known as the Wandsworth T.C., but owing to the great increase in the number of riders of the safety bicycle it assumed the more comprehensive title in the
early part of the present year.

The officers for the
present year are: President, Mr. A. Scarlett
Thomson; vice-presidents, Mr. H. N. Corsellis, Mr. J. Willing, jun., and Mr. E. Lane Campbell; captain, Mr. B. Croft; sub-captain, Mr. W. H. Pryke; hon. treasurer, Mr. A. Pemberton; hon.Secretary, Mr. A. Bonsor.

The number of members at present is 61, inclusive of 10 ladies. The first race.
meeting of the club was held during September, 1883, in Beddington Park, at which a five-mile tricycle and
a two-mile sociable handicap was run off.

The first annual dinner took place on the 11th December of the same year, some 70 members and their friends then
being present.

In the early part of 1884 it was first suggested by the hon. secretary (Mr. L. A. Edwards) that a general
“meet” of cyclists should be held near London, and this suggestion eventuated in the establishment of the
Southern Counties’ Cyclist Camp and Race Meeting.

Thanks to the financial assistance given by the president (Mr. A. Scarlett Thomson), the first meeting took place at the Alexandra Park.
This, as our readers know, has now become an annual fixture, at which the club is always well to the front.

During the last
meeting at Godalming on the August Bank Holiday, the club had five sleeping tents and one large reception marquee for the use of members, over 40 being present.

The club, with the assistance of Mr. H. Kimber, M.P., were successful in getting the parks thrown open for the use of cyclists. Both the Hampton Courtband Barnes meetings were well attended.

At the latter 25 members were present, that being the second largest muster.

In 1884 the headquarters were changed to the East Hill Hotel, where members have the use of billiard and other rooms for meetings, dances, &c., as well as
accommodation for their machines.

In September of the same year Mr. W. J. Love was elected hon. secretary, which post he ably held till the present
year, when, owing to business engagements, he resigned, and was succeeded by Mr. Albert Bonsor.

The principal object of the club is to promote cycling and social intercourse amongst the members.
Club runs take place two and three times a week to various points of interest.
Club tours extending over two or
three days are frequently arranged. Besides these,races on the track have been held.

During the last S.C.C.C. and R. meeting, a one and two mile club handicap was contested, the first prizes being presented by Mr. A. Scarlett Thomson and Mr. H. N.
Corseliis, the second by the club, and the third by Messrs. B. Croft and A. Pemberton.

At the 1888 meeting the Anchor Challenge Shield was won for the club by Mr. F. Lickfold. For those who prefer the
road three handicaps have been arranged. The 10 and 20 mile have already taken place, and the 40-mile will be contested at an early date.

The hon. treasurer, Mr. A. Pemberton, has proved a successful handicapper, having arranged some very close finishes

Prizes for these have been given by Messrs. J. Willing, jun., E. Lane Campbell, R.E.Murray, and W. H. Pryke.

The club has also been well repre-
sented at a number of open race meetings, Messrs. F. Lickfold, A. Elliott, and G. Spencer being successful in securing prizes.

In the winter months social evenings and dances are held the latter, under the able management of Mr. E. D. Spencer, being very successful.
During last winter several members played in billiard and whist handicaps at headquarters, and were well to
the front, some very exciting finishes taking place.

One of the features of the club, and to which its success is, to a great extent, due, is that ladies are admitted as members.

Their presence on the runs,
as well as their assistance at the tea-table, is much appreciated.

The club is represented on the council
of the N.C.U. by Mr. E. Lane Campbell, and most of the members belong to the C.T.C.
The hon. secretary will always be pleased to afford any one wishing to become a member all information. Inquiries should be addressed to him at headquarters, or Linden Cottage, Clapham Junction.”

Sounds like the Club was really popular and a fun Club to be a member of.

My Mum here far left on the back of a Tandem in the 1940s, I have no idea which club she belonged to but assume it was local to Southall, Middlesex where she lived at the time.

Wishing you all a very Happy Easter weekend🐣💐

Till next time then……….

Taken at Montacute NT a few days ago.

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