THE weather forecast for the Easter weekend isn’t too good at the time of writing.
Nevertheless, Good Friday will hopefully dawn with that sense it always brings of being liberated from winter.
It’s a day when folk make an effort to get out and about, to march, or to ‘promenade’ to the fair in new Easter clothes.
Years ago, you might have also got on a bicycle.
A Good Friday run to Durham was certainly a feature of South Shields Cycling Club’s calendar. Is this charming little memento out of their history?
This has come to me via fruitless attempts elsewhere to get to the background of this intriguing little badge.
The picture was initially sent to South Shields Library by the owner. It belonged to his father, who was a keen cyclist in the 1930s, but he’s not been able to find out anything about it.
Can anyone help?
Given that it has the town’s motto on, there is obviously a local connection, but the town has had more than one cycling club over the years.
South Shields Cycling Club was the oldest (one of the oldest, too, in the North, only after Newcastle), having been established in 1878.
But over the years there was also the Caer Urfa club, the Tyne Road Club, South Shields Victoria and South Shields Olympic Club, among others.
The sport had a healthy following.
Looking back to reports of some of the meetings and dinners which South Shields Cycling Club was holding during the decade following its foundation (these were usually at the Royal Hotel, or The County at Westoe), it’s interesting to see that even they were surprised at how quickly the pursuit had caught on, although there was a lament that the club was not one blessed with good roads locally.
I also smiled when, on one occasion, members were among those from several clubs – all dressed in their respective colours – who attended a production of Aladdin at the Theatre Royal in the town, to join in singing what had been dubbed the national cycling song, The Demon of the Whirling Wheel.
That must have been a sight and a sound to behold.
So – has anyone seen a badge like this before, and can tell us more about it?