The Inaugural General Meeting took place at St. Alban’s Church Hall, Albert Road, Ilford, on 12th May, 1972, with an encouraging high attendance from both Clubs and a few other interested cyclists who wished to be part of the new Club.
On June 25th, 1972, the Redbridge C.C. met at The Blacksmiths Arms, Thornwoood Common, Epping, where a buffet meal was laid on, some films of Continental Classics shown and speeches made to commemorate the occasion. The first Minute Book shows that the function room was hired at a cost of £3.50 and the buffet was provided at 50 pence per head. Pictured standing below, are senior members of the Rapier R.C. and the Buccaneers C.C., and fittingly, a Juvenile from the Redbridge C.C.
|The cutting of the Celebration Cake|
|Left to Right: Brian Martin (elected Club President in 2004); Ed Pheby (Club Treasurer); Geoffrey Osborne (the youngest member of the new club); the late Len Slack (elected in 1973 as the first President) and Steve Smith (then a Junior, now racing in Veteran events).|
The first Chairman was Geoff Bassett and Alan Osborne, who had been asked before the amalgamation if he would take on the Secretaryship of the Club, was appointed unopposed and has been re-elected every year since then.
Membership at the amalgamation was 72 and at 1st January, 2002 was 76. The initial annual subscription for a Full Senior Member was set at 50 pence per year, plus a three pence a week Club Attendance Fee.
In the beginning we were faced with two Trophies for every distance and discipline. We resolved this by assembling both previous Clubs’ cups and shields and deciding which was the best one to be taken forward. In all cases the solid silver items were taken to the new Club and the discarded Trophies were offered for return to their Club of origin. Some items were requested by previous multiple winners and a successful result was obtained on what could have been a tricky situation.
It now seems amazing that even with our low subscriptions we were able to promote an Open racing programme in 1973 that comprised six events. The Romford – Halstead R.R., Circuit of the Rodings R.R., a Junior road race, Grand Prix Redbridge, the Open “25” and a Team Time Trial.
Quite soon the question of Sponsorship was raised and whilst the Committee were not opposed to the idea, they stipulated that we would not sell ourselves short and “a minimum of £500 per year would be required from any prospective Sponsor”.
The Club has continued to thrive, providing opportunities for Members to take part in Sunday Club Runs, Club and Open Time Trials, Track, Road and Circuit Racing and various Social events.
On the 14th October 1991 an invitation was received from the Hamilton Pine Rivers Wheelers of Australia to twin the two clubs. This was accepted with enthusiasm and has been a valued link.
At various times since the Club was formed we have provided Officials to serve on the Committees of E.C.C.A., C.T.T. (R.T.T.C.) London East, British Cycling (B.C.F.) and the Fellowship of London East Cyclists.