Alec Davies obituary

Alec Davies obituary - WSJCC PresidentTHE MUCH loved and well respected president of Worcester’s oldest cycling club has died peacefully in hospital. Alec Davies, stalwart member of Worcester St John’s, died in Worcester Royal Infirmary at the age of 94.

Alec was born in Worcester in 1923; he left school at 14 and joined the local engineering firm Heenan Froude Ltd. as a trainee engineer. At the start of WW2 he joined the Worcester Home Guard before being called up in 1944. Alec served with the Highland Light Infantry in Holland, Belgium and Germany from 1944 to 1947. While Alec was away at war his wife Flo continued to make parts for the war effort in the Heenans’ factory. After the war Alec returned to Heenans’ and worked for there a total of 44 years.

During his Army Service Alec became interested in basketball, a sport played by most of the regiments during recreation periods. He played for years and after his de-mob he qualified as a referee.

Alec had one son, David, three daughters, Joan and Mary, Wendy, eight Grandchildren and 6 Great-grandchildren.

Alec joined Worcester St John’s in 1972 when his son David took an interest in cycle sport. His family remember him best on his maroon coloured Dawes bicycle, Carradice bag hanging off the back, flat cap and trousers tucked into cycling clips.

After standing with the then club Chairman Gerry Hughes watching the racing Gerry asked him to help with the time keeping. Alec probably did not realise that this would lead to his election as club time keeper in 1973.

Alec Davies WSJCC President when Time Trial SecretaryIn 1977 the incumbent time trail secretary moved to Scotland and Alec was elected to replace him; he continued in this post until 2000.

During his 23 years as time trial secretary Alec never failed to turn up at an event even if it was only to tell riders it had been cancelled because of road works or bad weather.

Alec was elected honorary life vice president of Worcester St John’s many years ago before becoming its president in 2016. Alec was the time trial secretary, time keeper or assistant time keeper for more than 50 years. He performed his last duty for the club in July this year when he was the finish time keeper for the club’s weekly Tuesday evening time trial on his 94th birthday. He also represented the club at National level attending CTT and British Cycling meetings.

Alec Davies BBC Sports Unsung Hero 2015Alec’s endeavours were justly recognised in 2015 when he was voted BBC Midlands Sports Personality Unsung Hero and attended the awards ceremony at the Mail Box in Birmingham.

Alec was also declared the winner of the Howard Peters Award for outstanding contribution to sport and the Hereford and Worcester unsung hero in that same year.

Alec really deserved those accolades for the unstinting way he helped our club giving his time and energy willingly for more than half a century. His kind and gentle manner, the patience and encouragement he gave to the youngsters will never be forgotten. We will all miss him dreadfully.

Alec’s funeral takes place on Thursday, November 30th at 10.45 am at Worcester Crematorium, Astwood Road, Worcester.

Alec Davies WSJCC President with medal


Ollie Morgan 8th in National Hill Climb Championships

IT WAS worth making the arduous journey up north for Worcester St John’s member Ollie Morgan who came 8th in his age group at the prestigious RTTC National Hill Climb  Championships.

Eighteen-year-old Ollie, a pupil at Pershore Sixth form,  came 8th in the Junior Championships with an excellent time of 4 minutes 36 seconds to take the win in the 18 years old category.

More than 200 competitors in all age categories converged on the event at Hedley on the Hill, Northumberland, on the 1.1 mile MH11 course. Closed roads thronged with spectators created a fantastic atmosphere. The timed effort was an average gradient of 7.5 per cent with the steepest sections reaching 20 per cent.

“It was a fantastic day and well worth the effort,” said Ollie who has been a member of Worcester St John’s Cycling Club for three years and has had a succesful summer of racing. He is also supported by Pershore-based Echelon Cycles.

“It was particularly encouraging to have the support of several club  members who drove all the way up to offer me support which I needed on the really tough section,”  said Ollie.

“As a result of my win I have been invited to the Cycling Time Trials Champions Award night which I am really chuiffed about,” he added.

The Junior winner was George Kimber of CS Dynamo based in East Devon.

The Men’s winner was professional cyclist Dan Evans of Assos-Equiupe UK. The women;s title was taken by Joscelin Lowden of Lewes Wanderers CC.

Ollie Morgan competing in the 2017 National Hill Climb Championship

Shelsley Walsh cycling hill climb 2017

The last Open event of this season; the Hill Climb and Cyclo-cross at Shelsley Walsh.

These events take place on the same day, Sunday 1st October, the Cyclo-cross starting at 10.00 the hill climb at 11.00.

Help is needed for both events on Saturday to prepare the courses and on Sunday for the racing and clearing up. Please contact Rick Allen, Dave Jennings or any committee member to offer you help.

These are great spectator days and we have all the usual facilities open, Stratstone restaurant etc. There is a small parking charge but the events are free to watch. Your members can enter the races online by going to the respective websites.

We look forward to seeing you.

Full event details can be found on the Shelsley Walsh Open Hill Climb event page.


Simon Garrett and Simon Adcook battle the Welsh weather

Simon Garrett and Simon Adcook represented the Worcester St Johns in Wales on Saturday 10th September on the R25/3H. Block headwinds on the first 15 mile section and torrential rain were the orders of the day. 

It was like riding in a river at times alongside misted visors and unpredictable gusts of wind. Many riders went down the bank off the bars due to the tricky conditions. 

In the main event Simon Garrett scored a PB with 51:50. A remarkable time given the conditions. We left before full results were issued but it looks like this could be a top 20 position for Simon. 

The fastest time was by former two time Olympic rowing champion and New Zealand’s entry for next weeks World TT Championship Hamish Bond with an almost unbelievable 45:51. An average of 32.8mph… 

Second place was Scott Davies of Team Wiggins on 47:40. 

It’s a sign of the ever increasing speeds in time trials that my LTS of 55:07 wasn’t quick enough to qualify for the main event. The cut off point was around 52:30. This left 67 riders in the overflow event, myself included. I finished on 56:23; my second fastest time of the season and a position of fourth in the competition. 

See below picture of Simon Garrett after the ride, partly blinded by the driving rain. 

A day pretty low on fun! 

Simon-Garrett-Worcester-St Johns-Cycling-Club

Ludlow Road Race Report

Worcester St Johns riders Phil Whiteley and Adrian Bird took part in the inaugural Ludlow Brewing Company and Pearce Cycles road race at Aston on Clun in Shropshire on Sunday.

The race was held in heavy rain over 70 gruelling hilly miles (8 laps of an 8.7-mile course) which a little over half the field completed, including Bird. In a well-judged two-man break Whiteley took the prime (sprint) lap half way through the race, holding off the rest of the bunch as they surged up the hill to the finish line.

The overall race winner was Stuart Glover of Shropshire team Rhino Velo, from a three-man break that stayed away from lap 5.

Coventry CC K11/10T Open Time Trial Report

Great racing today at the Coventry CC K11/10T time trial course near rugby.

150 riders battled the changing wind including seven Worcester St Johns members. Paul Guest was the fastest St Johns rider with 21:29, five seconds quicker than his last race on that course here. Dave walker did his fastest 10 mile time trial of the year nearly missing his start but still recording 22:37. Robert Kristoffer Harrison did 23:38 and Adrian Murray was 6 seconds off a personal best with 24:38, Jason Tait did 25:00 and Dave Abbatiello did 26:06 on a fixed wheel bike. The winner was Mat Langworthy with an insane 18:55.

Thanks to Coventry CC for a great event on arguably the fastest K course.

Worcester Trophy Road Race 2017

Elite and first category riders rolled away from Kempsey Community Youth Centre at the  start of the iconic Worcester Trophy race.

71 cyclists tackled 7 ¼ laps of a tough 11.5 mile circuit around Severn Stoke and all were aiming to win the prestigious trophy road race, a long running event organised by Worcester St Joh’s.

It has a distinguished list of previous winners, including Tour de France champion  Sir Bradley Wiggins.

The racing was fast and furious with riders continually trying to break free from the fast moving bunch.

Finally, after half the distance, a group of 11 riders managed to establish a good sized gap on the bunch and would stay away to contest the finish.

With a tough uphill finish up Severn Stoke bank and then turning towards Kinnersley it came down to a tight sprint finish between three riders.

Taking the win by a single bike length was Matthew Garthwaite (Rhino Velo) from Matthew Clarke (Halesowen CC) and Rhys Williams (South Wales Road Development Programme)

With an average finish of nearly 27 mph for the rolling 83 mile race, all the riders who finished commented it had been a hard fast event.

Club 10 Mile Time Report – Severn Stoke K46/10

A large number of riders failed to make the start tonight leaving the club TT league points to those who took the risk and rode in what turned out to be dry and cool conditions. The ten miles race was won by points leader Simon Garrett in 21 minutes 43 seconds pushing Jason Milner into 2nd and visiting rider Nick Slim from Leisure Lakes RT into 3rd.

Ollie Morgan and Harry Tait were fastest junior and U16 riders both with impressive times of 22.56 and 26.44 respectively. Chris Pettifer took 9 seconds off his PB, no mean feat on a slow night. Most notable ride goes to Mark Daffin who rode a cyclo-cross bike with aero-bars to record 26.11.

Full results sheet can be viewed or downloaded here.

Worcester St Johns Members Tackle Ride London

Nine members of Worcester St John’s cycle club raised thousands of pounds for charity while pedalling 100 miles at the iconic Prudential Ride London event.

They were among 26,000 riders taking advantage of enjoying miles and miles of closed roads which took them past iconic city landmarks and out into the Surrey countryside before finishing the event cycling down the Mall in front of Buckingham Palace.  

Club stalwart Dave Walker was joined by his son Ollie and daughter Hannah – riding for Worcester’s St Richard’s – Hospice and they were on the start line at 6am.

The family met up with club members Stuart Parker, Martin Lloyd, Mark Hand and Anthony Huxley.

Mr Walker revealed Stuart had a stroke of bad luck when he suffered a puncture within three miles of the start.

“The team sped past me while Olly dropped a drinks bottle but left it to avoid a potential pile up. It did not take long for Stuart to make up time and wizz past me despite his puncture. I am proud of all the Worcester St John’s members lucky enough to get a place at the start. They all did so well raising money for their chosen charity.”

Mr Walker and  Olly completed the course in just under six hours while daughter Hannah beat her time of last year.

Martin Lloyd got round in a creditable 04.51, despite nursing a knee problem and beat his five hour goal. He rolled in just ahead of Anthony Huxley- 04.52.41, and Stuart  – 05.12.42.

Mark Hand, riding for Mind and Worcester’s St Richard’s Hospice, came in at 04.29.41.

It was an especially moving occasion for Mark who revealed he was cycling for his late brother Dean who committed suicide in 2013.

“It is particularly touching for me because I am riding his bike,” said Mark

Club member Dan Grant rode in the Brompton World Championships in London the day before and was forced to endure heavy rain which made the roads wet and slippery.

H said: “I swapped my WSJCC jersey for a suit and tie to take part in the event. This follows my heart attack six years ago and I was raising money for Pumping Marvellous Heart Foundation. I am raising awareness of heart disease and obesity. If I can help save just one person’s life I will be happy.

“I finished in 117th place in the men’s race which included 324 riders and 128th overall out of 423 riders having completed seven laps of the 1.3 mile course around St James Park in 28 minutes and 12 seconds, an average speed of 20 mph”

The Brompton World Championship has taken place every year since 2006, previously at Blenheim Palace and Goodwood.  

The 2017 race – the 12th edition – was held on the Mall as part of the Prudential RideLondon weekend.

Club member Steve Breakwell rode for his team which was supporting a breast cancer charity.