Abertillery & District Wheelers
Cycling Club, The Last Decade.
While the 1980's have seen the rise of the club on the racing scene and its position as a leading Welsh club, much of this must be due to the unity and club spirit amongst the members, and the feelings of solidarity generated by the managing committee, which has over 120 years service between its long serving officers. Although we have lost a small number of members to other club, we have not lost any workers.
The decade gave me personal pleasure as I was proud of the performances of my son Rhys. As the club racing performances progressed so did Rhys, both seemed bound together. Starting with a ride of nearly 35 minutes for 10 miles, he improved nearly a quarter of an hour before he became a senior. My only regret was that failing health prevented me from taking part in events with him in his first years. However his uncle Brian Fry was able to do this and no doubt played an important part in turning him into a racing man.
I and the rest of the club will also remember the decade with great sadness when we lost firstly our Chairman for 16 years, Eddie Price, then our President for 20 years, Harry Lewis. Finally, we lost our Racing Sec for 25 years Mostyn Williams. they gave the club much in the work that they put in, and the good ideas and suggestions that they so often produced.
The growth of sponsored clubs has not really helped the sport. The money they obtained would have been of more use put into events and other promotions. This has caused some unrest and we lost some members as a direct result of it. The grass is not always as green on the other side of the fence as we have been led to believe. Our clothing fund and bulk buying through one of our members in the trade has enabled us to counteract this somewhat. This will update our image in the years ahead.
It has also been a pleasure to welcome back some older veterans whoa are real assets to the club. First Reg Baynham retired and moved back into the area. Then George Wynn returned just over a year ago. One of the original founder members, George is very active and last year he certainly deserved his award as 'Clubman of the Year'.
The outlook for 1980 is good. Our junior members are all good prospects and our seniors are a force to be reckoned with. We will always need more members of all ages and at the present time we especially need more Juveniles. The aim is back to the top of Welsh cycling. providing our members with events to ride and good company on runs and at the club room. As well as doing things as a club.
Our present officers:
All have served in other jobs as well
We start the new decade with a new look. Graham Price won the first 10 in the Saturday series with 25:40, nearly two minutes faster than the winning time of the previous year. A further 25:27 in the 4th event of the series gave him overall victory.
Although more were competing and going faster, Hereford Wheelers still beat us in the inter club 25. We won the inter club 25 against New Tredegar Nomads. Only Derek Rogers and Terry Fricker were under one hour for 25 miles. We had 11 prizes in open events, and T. Fricker qualified for the Welsh B.A.R.
The old course with three circuits on it was in use at Crumlin on Thursdays for the 10 series.
T. Fricker won the series with 147m 33s for his best six ride
2nd D.Rogers 147m 52s
3rd P. Lewis 158m 23s
Seven days after his 12th birthday, Rhys Rowlands had his first ride at Crumlin in 34:36 on a 26in wheeled touring bike, but went back to a 35 the following week.
More members rode open events. T.Fricker, G. Price, R. Williams and J. Ward were under the hour for 25 miles.
T. Fricker took 3rd in the Welsh 12 hour and 3rd in the Welsh B.A.R.
Only two juniors were riding, Phil Price did 26:38 and Rhys Rowlands 29:23 in the ten at Crumlin. B. Fry took Rhys in hand and rode a couple of 2up 25's with him.
We had 8 prizes and one team win in Open events.
Saw more members racing and taking a
lot more awards in open events. 43 prizes, 6 team
awards and beat New Tredegar, Hereford and Abergavenny
R.C. in the inter club events.
We were really starting to get on top with 66 prizes and 14 team wins in open events. D.Rogers took Welsh 50 Championship, Gwent 25 Championship, 2nd Welsh 25 Championship and Monmouthshire C.L. B.A.R. T.Fricker took 2nd in Welsh B.A.R. and in the Monmouthshire C.L. B.A.R. J.Ward joined them to set Welsh team records for 10 miles 1:09:06 and 25 miles 2:48:39. They took Welsh 50, Gwent 25, Monmouthshire C.L. team.
M.Hawkins Monmouthshire .C.L junior B.A.R and 3rd in Welsh Junior B.A.R.
R.Rowlands 2nd Monmouthshire C.L. junior B.A.R and qualified for final of G.H.S National Juvenile 10 Championship.
103 prizes and 22 team wins in open events: D.Rogers took Welsh 25 - 54:24, 50 - 1:50:10(rec), Gwent 25 Ch. Mon C.L. B.A.R., Welsh Record for 30 miles with 1:09:17, T.Fricker 2nd in Welsh B.A.R. and 3rd in Mon. C.L. B.A.R. and with J.Ward - Welsh Championship team for the 3rd successive year.
R.Rowlands Welsh Juv. Trophy, Welsh Juv. 10 Champion, 1st S.Wales G.H.S. Juv 10, 3rd in Welsh Juv. Road race championship.
Officers were the same, but Chairman T.Fricker, Soc.Sec. C.Jones, Asst Rac.Sec. R.Rowlands, Press Sec. T.Fricker and G.Rowlands
We won 93 prizes and 14 team wins in open events.
T.Fricker took Welsh and Mon C.L. B.A.R., 2nd in Welsh 100 and 12hr Championships.
R.Rowlands Welsh and Mon. C.L. Junior B.A.R., Welsh Jun. 25 Champ.
C.Jones 1st Gwent 25 Champ. 3rd in Welsh 50
T.Davies Silver medals in Welsh 1k and 4k pursuit Champs.
R.Rowlands and T.Davies represented Wales in Junior Tour of Ireland
Club won the interclub 25 against Hereford Wheelers
T.Fricker, R.Holder, S.Stanton Welsh 12Hr team.
Club officers the same except Asst.Rac.Sec. J.Hayward, Comp.Sec. G.Rowlands.
We had 93 prizes and 23 team wins in open events. Won interclub with Hereford.
C.Jones - Welsh and Mon.C.L. B.A.R., 2nd Welsh 100, 2nd Welsh 12hr
R.Rowlands - Welsh and Mon.C.L. Jun.B.A.R. and represented Wales in Junior Tour of Ireland
R.Jones represented Wales in E.S.C.A. 4 day International.
T.Davies represented Wales in the Commonwealth games in Scotland, Welsh kilo and 4k Pursuit Champion.
C.Jones, T.Fricker, J.Ward, R.Williams, J.Hayward, R.Baynham made up Welsh 100, 12Hr and MonC.L. B.A.R. teams.
Officer changes. Asst. Racing Sec. P.Webb, Comp. Sec. J.Hayward , Soc. Sec G.Williams
We had 86 prizes and 21 team wins in open events, won Interclub v Hereford Wh.
C.Jones Welsh and Mon.C.L. BAR, Welsh 100 and 12hr Champion.
R.Jones Welsh Juv. Trophy, Juv. 10 champ, Juv. Road Race , G.H.S. National Juv 10 Final, represented Wales in E.S.C.A. 4 day International
C.Jones, P.Price, A.Fenner, R.Holder, Welsh 50,100,12hr teams and Mon.C.L BAR team
C.Jones, P.Price, A.Fenner Welsh 100 record team 12:42:28
To Be Continued.....
** Transcribed from an original document, any errors are mine and not Gordon's