Secretary: Mick Clark   ()
Editor: Richard Hutt      ()

June 2018 Issue

This year marks the Harp Road Clubs 80th anniversary so in recognition of this, included in this edition of the HalfLink, are some photos and memories from the early days of the clubs existence.

Harp Hilly Hundred 2018

Like previous years the 200 spaces sold out almost as soon as on-line entry opened and with the better weather this year seeing a drop in the number of riders not turning up there were 176 starters. Only a handful of riders didn't complete the ride with one unlucky rider crashing on the descent in Rucklers Lane less than a mile from the HQ and finish, fortunately he only sustaining minor injuries.


The mild but windy day was the best weather the Harp Hilly has seen for several years, unfortunately the state of the roads after the wet and often icy few weeks leading up to the day was not so welcome. And to make things worse the riders doing the full 100km route had to cope with a strong head wind on the longest exposed stretch from Dunstable to the bottom of Aston Hill. Although there were a smattering of DNFs most riders made it round their chosen route and were able to reminisce about their rides as they recovered at the finish.

The Berkhamsted CC retained the Harp Hilly Shield for the fourth consecutive year, but this time had competition from previous winners and record holders Verulam CC with 55 finishers against 43 finishers.


This year our three charities were Cyclists Fighting Cancer, Prostate Cancer UK and Cycling UK each receiving £400.

Thanks to Mick C, Jim, Dave LeFevre, Mick K, Glenn, Bob and Dave Pratchett for helping on the day,

Minutes of Harp Road Club AGM held on Wednesday October 25th 2017 @ Blackwells, 10 Common Lane, Chipperfield, Kings Langley, WD4 9BS

Present : Mick Clark (Secretary), Richard Hutt (HHH organiser), Graham Holdstock (Treasurer), Dave Le Fevre, Wally Warren, Bob Degavino, Malcolm Putman & Pete Coombs.

Apologies received from: Phil Corley (President), Jim Williams (Chair), Terry Gambles, Andrew Hutt, Mick Konopacki, Alison Putman, Glenn Butterworth, David Holdstock, Dickie Thwaites and Den Fletcher.

Meeting started at 14.15 hrs

1) Minutes of 2017 meeting. Read & approved with no matters arising.

2) Chair's review of the year. Copy attached and accepted.

3) Financial report. Treasurer's fully audited account showed a deficit of £277.05 (surplus £124.19/2016) and a slight reduction to £1,304.97 (£1,582.02/2016) in the bank. The reason was the use of club funds to increase our HHH charity donations. Please note club subscriptions (£5) can be paid directly by BACS, details available from Graham. Accounts approved.

4) Affiliations for 2018 - It was agreed the club would not seek renewal of BC membership Richard Hutt does not intend to road race next year thus saving £70. Membership of CTT agreed. WLC membership will depend on Jim continuing as their Treasurer.

5) Promotion for 2018 - At least two clubs intend not to promote reliability trials in 2018 as part of the 'Chiltern Classics' series so our date will be more flexible and Richard is requesting end January for HHH. There was a discussion about promoting two events to celebrate our 80th year but it was deemed too complicated and a drain on those helping.

6) Appointment of Officers 2018 - Richard, Mick & Graham were all willing to stand again and upon Jim's return from Japan, will be asked if he is willing to stand as Chair.

7) Appointment of Auditors. Treasurer advised Mr. J.W.Keighley was willing to stand again.

8) Charity donation(s) for 2018. Details of three charities were circulated recently to all members and the meeting agreed to support all of them. These are Prostate Cancer, Cycling UK & Cyclists Fighting Cancer. Approximately £400 will be awarded to each.

9) A.O.B. A general discussion took place about how the clubs 80th year could be celebrated. Various ideas included a club jersey with the relevant dates on, frame decals, club ride covering either 80 miles or 80 klms, a club dinner with partners and medals for all HHH finishers. Dave Le Fevre will investigate decals and Mick Clark/Malcolm Putman the dinner. Pete Coombs advised the meeting of Westerly RC's Audax event starting and finishing at Ruislip and over 108 klms. Date is May 7th. Club rides to commence in March 2018, weather permitting and will be held on Wednesdays.

There being no other business, meeting closed at 15.15 hrs

Remembering Days Gone By


This is probably the original Harp Road Club 'cloth' badge, it belonged to Paddy McKee who is remembered for acting as timekeeper in numerous time trials. The silver rim and spokes and gold harp and lettering are sewn from metallic threads.


The Harp track championships in 1951 with riders wearing the original yellow jersey with green chest band. If you look very closely it seems the green band on the back of the jersey sports the club name.


Not the clearest of photos but in 1955 a little snow didn't stop the running of the Harp Hilly Hundred.

Extracts from the March 1971 HalfLink:


During the recent meeting of the Clubs Discipliniary Committee, Phil Corley was suspended from Touring for one season.

The evidence against him was conclusive. Not satisfied with spending weekend at Ivinghoe Youth Hostel in the company of Holdsworth pro Davo Nie, to name but a few , he has been training with the West London Wizards. Investigations also showed that he had on one occasion been seen in the company of Feltham R.C.'S 1971 BBAR aspirant Bob Porter near London Airport and on several other occasions vith Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist Bruce 'Kiwi' Biddles. To make matters worse he roared off fellow Olympics Squaddies, including Phil Bayton and Bob Jones (Bob who?), after a 100 mile bash during the last training weekend at Lilleshall.

It was this blatant outburst of aggression that prompted National Coach Norman Shiel to include Phil in the Olympic Squad team to ride in the 4 day Tour of the North at Easter. His seventh place in the St. John's Benefit pro-amateur race, won by Les West, was the really condemning evidence, but the Committee decided that reinstatement would be considered in October, provided that he did well during the racing season. Rumour has it that Phil intends to do well if only to secure his reinstatement as a Tourist.

After the hearing he was questioned on the reason behind his superb fitness. Tongue in cheek he answered," It was Micky Hall, the blighter, he halfwheeled me all winter - just you tell him to wait until October!"

(Apologies to M.Gambling, Esq.)

* * * * *


Wally has a little plan
To win a cycle race;
With new shorn locks
And oil stained socks
He really does look ace!

* * * * *

And from the same year, our illustrious president winning stage 7 of the 1971 Milk Race.


The club saw a revival in numbers during the 1980s when it had regular club nights, first in South Oxhey then later in Bushey. There are a lot of familiar faces in this photo taken outside the South Oxhey Residents Association building.


During that period we promoted a number of road and circuit races including this program of races around Cassiobury Park in 1986.