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Jim Floodgate

We are sorry to announce that our last founder member, Jim Floodgate, passed away last Wednesday (26th February) at the age of 94. Jim had been admitted to Broomfield hospital before Christmas where a cancerous pelvic tumour was found. Unfortunately he was too ill to receive any treatment and was transferred to a nursing home in Sturmer.
He had been looking forward to seeing the Tour de France passing through his home village of Finchingfield this summer (I don't think he ever thought he would ever see the World's biggest bike race outside of his home) and had invited us all for tea that day to celebrate.
The funeral is on Thursday March 13th at St. John the Baptist church in Finchingfield at 11.30am.

Bill Swann

We are sorry to announce that Bill Swann passed away on Monday 30th December 2013 after suffering from a number of health problems in the last few years. His funeral was be held at the City of London Cemetery on Friday 10th January followed by a reception afterwards at the Golden Fleece.

With permission from daughter Frances and grand-daughter Angela, former member Sue Fenwick (now Crest CC) has written the following article for those who coudln't get there:

Yesterday was a wonderful send-off for Bill. Just over 300 people crammed into the (thankfully large) North Crematorium at City of London but even so, it was standing-room only for half of us.
Bill's coffin was carried in with his favourite song playing - Dancing Queen by Abba. The minister welcomed everyone and said we were all there to celebrate and commemorate Bill's life. Bill saw his 80th birthday last November.
Frances, Bill and Molly's daughter, was a superstar. She gave a wonderful, detailed and moving tribute to her Dad, leading us through his whole life, from growing up in the East End during the Second World War blitz, being evacuated to Birmingham but then brought back when his mum realised all wasn't well with how the evacuees were being cared for, then moving to various parts of London to escape the worst of the bombings, and eventually into a knock-down-price war-damaged house where his family had to rebuild the front wall, and all the window glass.
Carpentry was his first trade and it developed into contracts manager, working across London on many stores (BHS) and buildings. Frances said family car trips were punctuated with frequent "see that building? that's one of mine." Even building a palace in Saudi Arabia for a prince.
In his younger days Bill was a talented cyclist himself, a lifelong member of the Easterley RC, holding the club 30 record (on the slow E1 course) for many years, but his racing took a back seat when, aged just 18, he met his wife Molly, a very talented cyclist, and devoted himself to developing, coaching and supporting her through her international cycle racing career.
They were both heavily involved with the Womens Cycle Racing Association. Bill's Transit van a recognisable feature at events, as they promoted events, and took WCRA womens' teams to races in the UK, and abroad in Holland, France, Portugal, and promoted or helped promote many WCRA race events. For many of these women, it was their only opportunity to get international race experience, and very valuable it was to them too.
Bill and the Transit were also an annual feature on the long-running Tandem Weekend each November, picking up sick and broken tandems and ferrying them to the hotel.
Family life was extremely important to Bill and Molly. They had 3 children, Reg, Terry and Frances, and many grand children, and in recent years, great grandchildren too. Bill got to attend 3 of his grandchildren's weddings too.
Frances recalled the annual family holiday to Wareham, with the speedboat, the waterskis, the caravan, the bicycles, and how every year there would be other people tagging along as Bill was gregarious and generous, and loved to see his friends having fun. There was an audible murmur around the hall as Frances recounted that, as many of the cyclists present murmured "yes I was one of those who went to Wareham with Bill and Molly". Very sweet.
One of Frances' family memory highlights is of Bill and Molly driving the family speedboat, Goldrush, while she and her two brothers Reg and Terry all managed to get up on waterskis at the same time for a brief moment!
Bill was a very thoughtful person. He hated anyone to feel lonely and made regular trips to see people especially those who lived on their own and were in their later years, on special dates like birthdays.
Molly died 9 years ago, almost to the day. Her passing left a huge hole in everyone's lives, particularly Bill's, and Frances said it was due to his wonderful family and friends that he'd been able to cope with the ensuing years.
Although Frances didn't and wouldn't have said so, those who knew the family would say that it was also due to very large part to Frances' wonderful care of her Dad too.
As the curtains closed, another of Bill's favourite songs, I Had the Last Waltz With You played, and as we filed outdoors into the darkness (it had been a 4pm start), Bill had chosen Jungle Book's Bare Necessities of Life.
One of the most moving things I saw at yesterday's gathering was how many of Bill and Molly's "cycling club children" were there, as well as all their cycling peers of more their age group. There were people there who we each recognised but hadn't seen for 20-30 years. All of us now in our 40s, 50s, but all of us having first met Bill and Molly when we were cycling-mad teenagers in the Eastway and ECCA Festival heydays.
They were a strong and wonderful, almost parental, influence in many of our cycling lives. Their passing marks the end of an era and we were all extremely honoured to have known them.
RIP Bill, you were and always will be fondly remembered.

Xmas Lunch and Prizegiving - 9th December 2012

The Club Xmas Lunch & prize giving is to be held at The Ash, Burton End, Stansted, CM24 8UQ on the 9th December 12.00 for 12.30 start. The price will be 26 for adults, 19 for children under 10. The menu choice is given below:

Homemade Tomato and Red Pepper Soup with crusty roll & butter
Fresh Atlantic Prawn Cocktail bound in dill & marie rose sauce
Homemade Chicken Liver Pate with Cumberland Sausage & oatcakes
Glazed Goats Cheese with Balsamic Vinegar dressing
Traditional Turkey with Festive Trimmings
Poached Salmon with smoked salmon & watercress sauce
Spinach chestnut & mushroom Wellington
Pan fried Pork in Parma ham with stuffing & sauce
Braised Lamb Shank with chef's Mint gravy
Fillet of Beef Wellington with Port jus(5 supplement)
Steamed rum & brandy Christmas Pudding with Brandy sauce
Dark ChocolateTart with raspberry coulis & pouring cream
Assortment of British cheeses with celery & homemade chutney

Contact Richard for further details or to book your place (there is a maximum of 40 places)
R. Jordan 56 Charlotte Gardens, Collier Row, Romford, RM5 2ED

Annual General Meeting - 03/11/2011

Notice is given that the 2010 Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 3rd November at the Club Country Headquarters, North Hall Road, Ugley starting at 2.3Opm.

London 2012 Olympics

Andy Ballentyne was selected as one of the 70,000 Gamesmaker's to assist with the Road and Mountain Bike cycling events at the Olympics.
The start of the journey was helping out at the mountain bike test event held at Hadleigh Farm in Essex in July 2011. This was in front of 5,000 spectators and races were held for the top men and women. Following on from that, various training sessions were held at Wembley Arena in February and Sandown Park race course a week before the Olympics started. Over 1,500 volunteers were required for the road events with a large proportion doubling up for the MTB races &/or Time Trials.

The first Olympics weekend was the men's and women's road race 250km for the men, 150km for the women - starting and finishing on The Mall and taking in a circuit of Box Hill in Surrey which the men did 9 times and the women twice. Andy landed a marshalling job at the end of the feed zone right at the top of Box Hill which meant he did get to see the race quite a lot, but also meant an early start to get there for 6.45 sign on at Sandown Park. He joined 4 other Gamesmakers on th 04:30 train from Shenfield on the Saturday and there were 15 waiting on Shenfield platform for the 06:05 on the Sunday morning! Saturday's weather was sunny and warm however Sunday's, although bright to start with, soon deteriorated and heavy rain ensued although that didn't stop massive crowds from descending (ascending?) on Box Hill and the rest of the route and having a good time. Heard whilst walking off Box Hill after the women's race from one of the Gamesmakers (with a megaphone) "Welcome to the Aquatics Centre" :). Whilst Mark Cavendish was the favourite for the Men's race, the British team couldn't control the race with only 5 riders, however in the Womens race - Lizzy Armistead broke away with two others and claimed a well deserved Silver.

The middle Saturday of the Games meant another training day - this time down at Hadleigh Farm for the mountain bike races, followed by practice sessions for the riders from Tuesday to Friday with the races on the final weekend - women on the Saturday and men on the Sunday. It was a lot of standing around (as we weren't allowed to sit!) however it was sunny and the riders did appreciate it with Sabina Spitz - the 2008 Olympic champion making a point of staying behind and thanking us after the first session which was appreciated by all.

Sabina Spitz and the Gamesmakers
2008 Champion Sabine Spitz with some of the Gamesmakers

We were split into teams and Andy was assigned to section 5 which include Oak Tree Drop, 'The Rabbit Hole and the Technical Feed Zone. Andy was one of the 'Field of Play' Gamesmakers who were allowed inside the green mesh fencing that marked the course and who's job it was to warn (by whistle) when riders were coming and to yellow flag riders in the event of a crash. Other Gamesmakers would be dotted around the venue but off the Field of Play to assist spectators.

Both races went off better than could be expected in front of 20,000 spectators (including club members Paul, Wendy, Julia, Steve, Aaron, Helen, Richard, Liam and Kiera) enjoying the fine weather and great racing with Julie Bresset (France) winning the women's race and Jarolsav Kulhavy (Czech) just edging it from Nino Schurter (Switzerland) in a sprint finish in the men's race.
The Oak Tree Drop
'The Oak Tree Drop'

The Rabbit Hole
'The Rabbit Hole'

'The Rabbit Hole' Team
'The Rabbit Hole' team

Xmas Lunch and Prizegiving - 12/12/10

This year we are only having the Xmas lunch so we are incorperating the Prize presentation along with it. The format is the same as the last few years, choose your food from the menu below and let Richard know as soon as possible. There is a limit of 40 so if you leave it too late you can't come!
The venue is The Swan Hotel, Thaxted on Sunday 12th December
Price: Adults 22, Children 10

Seasonal soup of the day (v)
Chicken liver, Madeira & oven roasted mushroom pate
Stilton, mushroom & walnut filo parcels (v)
King prawn cocktail

Turkey with all the trimmings
Scottish salmon tail fillet with a tomato concasse & dill butter sauce
Braised beef in Chianti wine sauce
Roasted red pepper & red onion tart (v)
Pan seared Barbery duck breast with sage & honey jus

Xmas pudding wih brandy sauce
Bitter chocolate tart
Mascarpone &Madagascan vanilla cheesecake with blueberry compote & double cream
Cream profiteroles with chocolate sauce & double cream

Coffee & truffles

Annual General Meeting - 06/11/2010

Notice is given that the 2010 Annual General Meeting will be held on Saturday 6th November at the Club Country Headquarters, North Hall Road, Ugley starting at 2.3Opm. Any items for the Agenda should be handed to the General Secretary by Wednesday 20th October 2010. We will need to find a new Treasurer, Membership Secretary and an organiser for the 2011 Easterley Road Race.

New Addition to the club

Congratulations must go to Paul and Lisa Allett on the birth of their son, Rubens. Although he was sleeping (like a baby!) at the club road race, we are informed he isn't always like that !!!

Club 10's - 27/7/10

Although the traffic lights on our usual E14/10A course are still there, we have been promised by the workmen they'll turn them off tonight, plus the road is now shut on the alternative course.

Club 10's - Traffic Lights - again!!!

The traffic lights on our usual E14/10A course appeared again on Tuesday 20th July and so we had to switch to the standby course - New Course (Google Maps). Julia will e-mail all the usual riders when we know what is happening next week and we'll try to keep you informed via this web page.

Club 10's - Back to original course from 13th July!

PLEASE NOTE - the traffic lights have now gone from our usual evening 10 course (for the time being at least!) and so we will be using the E14/10a course from 13th July unless something else changes.

Club 10's - New Course from 29th June!

Last week's 10 (22/6/10) had to be cancelled again due to traffic lights on the course and they are expected to last for 6 weeks. Therefore we will now be using a version of the old E14 starting on the A128 near Ashwells road, Brentwood and heading out to Marden Ashen where left towards Passingford bridge to turn left up Shonks Mill Lane. The finish (and parking) will be on the green at Navestock. Course distance will be approx 10.4 miles.

New Course (Google Maps)

NB the Start / finish points may be a little different!!!

Club 10's - back on

The traffic lights (see previous item) have now been removed so we are now OK for the usual E14 course this coming Tuesday (15/6/2010).

Club 10's cancelled pending re-arranged course

Unfortunately tonight's club 10 (08/06/2010) has had to be cancelled due to temporary traffic lights on the course. It is expected that they are to remain in place for all the summer. Therefore Pete Smith, the district course's secretary, is trying to rush through police permission for us to use an alternative course for the rest of the year. The course planned is a version of the old E14 starting on the A128 near Ashwells road, Brentwood and heading out to Marden Ashen where left towards Passingford bridge to turn left up Shonks Mill Lane. Not sure about the finish but it is likey to be slightly over 10 miles and certainly a lot hillier, but a good course! I will let you have more info as soon as we know more.

Brentwood Grass Track Meeting 2010

Once again we are teaming up with the Brentwood Rotary Club to run our grass track meeting, this year on Sunday 27th June 2010 at the Brentwood Centre.

Letchworth 2007

Events will be open to adults (men and women), juniors and youths for those with track bikes (i.e. fixed wheel and no brakes), plus additional races for youth riders with 'freewheel' bikes (e.g. mountain/BMX bikes etc.).
Full entry details.

So what is grass track all about?

Grass track is similar to the hard track racing in a velodrome you've seen at the Olympics - but on grass! Events range from 400m to 8km and a meeting usually includes some handicap races to give the 'lesser lights' a chance of winning. The only difference between hard track and grass track bikes are the gears are a bit smaller (as grass is harder to ride on) and the tyres have more grip. The Youths usually compete in an 'omnium' - i.e. a series of events with the winner being decided on combined points from all the races.

Victoria Pendleton winning the National Ladies 800m Champs - Letchworth 2007

So who rides?

This the senior events includes round of the National Short and Long Distance Series and we expect riders from all over the country to compete, from club riders to National and even Olympic level.
Current World and Olympic Ladies Sprint Champion, Victoria Pendleton started her racing career riding grass track with her twin brother Alex and father Max at the age of 8. Vicky still occasionally rides grass track (other committments allowing) as indeed does Max - now in his sixties but still showing a clean pair of 'wheels' to many a rider half his age!. Reigning Premier Calendar Road Race Champion and Team Sky rider Russell Downing and runner up, his brother Dean both have strong grass track traditions with Dean winning both the 800m and 8km National Championships in recent years. Dean is no stranger to Brentwood having won the 2008 town centre Criterium race.

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