Wansbeck Cycling Club was founded in 1981 by the Wear family from Ashington and currently has over 30 members, is growing and caters for cyclists in an around Wansbeck in Northumberland.
We organise two very well attended road races every year and also two time trials at which our members provide the marshals. Recently we have begun regular Sunday club runs which cater for all categories of cyclists from novice to experienced.
Ray Wear ran a bike shop on Alexandra Road, Ashington along with his wife Hazel. The club was born out of cyclists gathering in the shop talking about the ‘good old days’ of the Merryfellows and Clarion cycle clubs. Both son and daughter Keith and Sue participated in setting up the club and were keen and active members for a number of years until the early 1990’s.
The first committee comprised Bill Potts as the chairman, Hazel as treasurer and Pete Manners as secretary who, as a member of the Barnsbury, knew how to run a cycle club.
From this initial start Sunday club runs were organised with the first being a run out to Walkworth. These runs were well attended with ages ranging from 12 to 70. Intrepid members also organised an all night ride on the closest weekend to Mid-Summers day and usually went in the general direction of Carter Bar and and beyond.
Club meetings were on Thursday evenings at the Ashington Institute where sometimes guest speakers were invited to give talks on a wide range of cycling topics. There were also some video nights although all videos were cycling related ones!
The Wear family eventually moved aside from running the club passing the baton onto Mick Maley, Graham Brough and Phil Dunn. Most of what we see today is pretty much down to Phil’s sterling efforts.
In the early days the club was more focused in organising time trials, some of the most popular one’s being the Easter 10’s. The club put on it’s first road race in August 1996 on the existing Longhirst course in the form of an Australian pursuit. This continued until about 2003 when it was decided to host another race in the March incorporating the Australian pursuit race. Therefore we changed the August race to a mass start with cats up to 2nd. With the involvement of Thornton Bros. providing equipment and the trophy the August race has become the Thornton Trophy Road Race. The August race has only recently changed venue to Stamfordham in 2007 and has been very well supported with full fields of riders providing exciting racing around the lanes of Northumberland including the dreaded Ryals!