Significant dates in the history of Banbury Star Cyclists’ Club
The inaugural run was on Friday, 10th April to Middleton Cheney, starting from the Town Hall at 7:30pm. In its early years, twice weekly runs were the main activities of the Club and it has been suggested that this was the reason for the name ‘Star’, being adopted. On the sporting side, grass track racing was very strong and the Club combined with the Banbury Harriers for many years in their Annual Whit Monday Sports Meeting.
During this decade the Club produced probably it finest rider, Eddie Rixton, who set up local records which were not bettered until the arrival of Eric Wooton in the 1940’s
At an Extraordinary General Meeting held on the 9th April a motion was passed* That any person, who must be over 16 years of age, wishing to join the Club must be proposed and seconded by a member. Annual Subscription – Men 2s.6d., Ladies 2s.0d.* Thus Ladies were admitted for the first time and that month, Mrs Vi Thomas a Vice-President, joined the Club.
The first Open 25 mile time trial was held on the 20th June. The course was from Banbury to Sturdy’s Castle and back on the Oxford Road. There appear to have been 27 entries although we do not know the winner. The 1938 Open 25 was held on the 15th May on the Welsh Lane course turning near Silverstone at Hazelborough Wood. The winner was L V Puckering, Sheen Wheelers, with a time of 1hr 6mins 36secs. The team winners were H F Rogers, J Burwood and G E Vincent of the Leamington C & AC whose aggregate time ws 3hrs. 28mins. 8secs.
The first recorded Open Road Race was promoted by The Club on Sunday 11th July – four laps, a total of 75 miles, on a circuit based on Deddington, Enstone and Hopcrofts Holt.
The first Club member to beat the hour for 25 miles was Peter Boffin who clocked 59 mins. 00 secs. on the N4 course at Thrapston, Northamptonshire.
The Banbury Cavalcade of Sport Open Road Race was first held on the 12th September over eight laps of the Queensway Circuit – a total of 48.8 miles.
The first Open Hardriders’ 23 Mile time trial was held 26th February on the Stratford Road, Wroxton to Ettington and return.
THE CENTENARY YEAR The celebrations started a repeat of the inaugural run to Middleton Cheney in April. The Club promoted the National Junior 25 miles Championship Time Trial in August on the F13, Biscester Aylesbury course. This was won by Christopher Saunders of Port Sunlight Wheelers in 53 minutes and 21 seconds. On the 30th November representatives of many national cycling organisations and dignitaries together with members and ex-members attended the Dinner and Prize Presentation.
The first Bluestone Open Road Race was run, replacing the Cavalcade of Sport Event.
The first club member to beat 20 minutes for 10 miles was Jon Simpkins who recorded 19mins 37secs on the P613 course near Andover.
The first female club member to beat the hour for 25 miles was Nicky Xandora who recorded 58mins 55secs on the R25/3L in Wales.
The first Club member to beat 4 hours for 100 miles was Steve Batsford who recorded 3hrs 36mins 40secs on A100/4 at Derby
The club celebrated its 125 anniversary with the release of a limited-edition jersey and shorts, designed by Mark Boyles, in time for a commemorative ride on the 10th April from Banbury’s Town Hall to Middleton Cheney, so recreating the very first ride. The town’s Deputy Mayor, Cllr Gordon Ross, starting the 65 cyclists on their circular route that took in Little Bourton, Cropredy, Aston le Walls, Culworth and Marston St Lawrence.
The year when the Covid-19 epidemic resulted in the cancellation of the annual road race and most of the Wednesday evening time trials but on those we could run Luke Norris set five new club records. All weekend rides were cancelled from mid-March until early July so the club turned its attention to helping the community of Banbury and immersed itself in delivering medical prescriptions by bicycle during the period of lockdown when the vulnerable were shielded at home. We delivered over 3,500 items and rode over 3,000 miles in the process and achieved national publicity for our efforts. In addition to this, we helped service and safety check 120 bikes which were then given to essential workers or members of the community who wanted to be part of the huge increase in the interest in cycling. Banbury Star hosted the Leiden Plaque time trial on the K4/25W course, winning the trophy in the process.
Our 130th anniversary!