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.
To Be Continued.....
** Transcribed from an original document, any errors are mine and not Gordon's