CTC Northampton in 1923

David, one of our committee members, has been researching the history of Northampton’s cycling clubs.  Here he republishes a 1923 article about the Cyclists’ Touring Club Northamptonshire District Association.  It comes from the Northampton Independent, a weekly newspaper which ran from 1905 to 1960.  It It was written by Mr B Clowes who was based at 5 Castilian Street.  The editor described him as “the assiduous Hon Secretary” of the association.

The Cyclists’ Touring Club popularly known as the C.T.C. was formed as far back as 1878, and in those early days of cycling laid the foundation of those rights and privileges which cyclists enjoy to-day.

Amongst the objects of the Club are the defence of cyclists’ rights, provision of special touring facilities, promotion of legislation for cyclists, publication of road books and maps, scheduling of hotels and refreshment houses (with tariffs), appointment of official repairers, insurance of machines and riders, and the supply of cycling information.

The Club has a paid secretary and office staff located in Euston Road, London. Here there is a reference library and touring bureau, from which members who apply are supplied with routes and the latest information regarding the district in which they propose to tour.  The Club has in various parts of the country local representatives, or consuls, as they are called, who are always ready to assist and advise all cycling and touring members generally.  So far as continental travel is concerned, the Club has reciprocal arrangements with the Continental Touring Clubs.

Amongst other things the Club gives legal assistance to cyclists, issues a very fine illustrated monthly gazette (worth the subscription alone) and publishes an annual handbook.

For fostering local interest amongst members there are a large number of district associations which are in themselves complete social cycling clubs.  The Northants District Association is one of the youngest and is now forging ahead.  It is managed by a local committee, who are at all times willing to give careful consideration to matters appertaining to cycling brought to their notice by members.  Club runs are arranged for Thursdays, Saturdays, and at holiday times tours are arranged.  During the time the Association has been in being, runs have been held to many places of interest in this and neighbouring counties, and many pleasant hours have been spent at joint runs with other Associations. Ladies are eligible for membership, and we have several regular lady riders. We have no hard and fast rules, the runs being “free and easy”, and there is an air of sociability and good fellowship throughout.

There are those who say cycling is hard work, but these are the people, one imagines, who never tried anything but a “dreadnought” and perhaps even then never gave their bicycle a chance to make the acquaintance of an oil can.  With a light machine, kept in proper trim and a reasonably low gear, one can comfortably cover a century a day.  We have met on some of our joint runs members who were doing considerably more.  We are an all-the-year round cycling club.  The bicycle has enabled us to get about this delightful county of ours (which as not so flat as some people think) in all seasons. We have revelled in her Summer and Autumn glory, and we have enjoyed the sombre beauty of her Winter.  We have found one hundred and one beauty spots in this and neighbouring counties, and have drank of their beauty to the full.  We have enjoyed the expansive views of the Cotswolds.  We have meandered along the pretty lanes in the Thame Valley.  We have seen the gorgeous scenery of the Wye, and some of us have ridden to the majestic scenery of North Wales.  We have a host of delightful memories of this country of ours.  All these pleasures and many more are open to the cyclist, and to belong to an organisation such as ours means congenial companionship in addition.  There are numerous beauty spots in and around the outskirts of the town with which a large number of cyclists and other lovers of the open road are totally unfamiliar.

Here, for instance, is an exceptionally enjoyable run quite near at hand of which many of our cycling readers will doubtless avail themselves. Leaving Northampton by the Houghton Road we cross the river at the Paper Mills – where bank note paper was formerly manufactured – and soon pass Great Houghton with its church built in an Italian style.  Proceeding uphill we reach Little Houghton: near the church are the moat and foundations of an ancient mansion of the Louches.  A pleasant run takes us to Brafield-on-the Green, and then to Denton, where there is a tortuous twist round the church.  We now enter the picturesque country of Yardley Chase, the old forest which bounds the county to the southeast.  The village of Yardley Hastings takes its name from the de Hastings, lords of the village in the 13th and 14th centuries.  Edward Lye, the famous scholar, is buried in the Church of St. Andrew, which derived its dedication probably through the connection of the manor with the Royal line of Scotland.  Two miles further on, at Warrington cross roads, we turn to the left and proceed to Bozeat, and from there to the pretty village of Easton Maudit.  The church with its graceful spire should be visited.  Restored by the Marquis of
Northampton in 1860, it contains a number of inscriptions to ancient families.  At Easton Maudit dwelt Thomas Percy, author of the “Relique”, who entertained many famous literary men at the vicarage, including Goldsmith and Johnson.  Dr Johnson spent several weeks here. We now go to Grendon to explore the beauties of Castle Ashby park and village; then return to Northampton through Cogenhoe.

Around picturesque Castle Ashby

Around picturesque Castle Ashby

Another good journey for the cyclist and a pleasant spin for the motorist is to be enjoyed in the Mears Ashby and Earls Barton districts shown on the map.  Leaving by the Billing Road, we pass on the left Abington Rectory, where Sir Douglas Haig used to visit as a boy when his uncle was rector, and soon reach Little Billing.  Here are picturesque cottages, a church with a Saxon front, and the remains of a 14th century Manor House. Billing Bridge – said to have been the scene of a fight in the Civil Wars – is crossed, and a climb takes us to Cogenhoe.  The origin of this name is Gucken, to spy and hoe a hill.  Further on Whiston, a very pretty village, is worth visiting.  At Castle Ashby gates turn to the left and cross the railway line and river. Earls Barton tower is the next landmark.  The “most characteristic piece of Saxon work in the land,” it is 1000 years old.  Cross the Wellingborough Road and proceed through pretty lanes to Mears and Sywell.  In Sywell Woods, Captain Thompson, a Leveller mutineer who broke open Northampton Gaol in 1649 and robbed the public coffers, was rounded up and, after a bitter resistance, killed.  We pass through Overstone and return on Kettering Road.  It is said that from a hill between Overstone and Great Billing forty-five churches can be seen.  The panorama is certainly superb.  Those who desire a pretty walk should take the bus to Ecton, walk across the fields to Cogenhoe, and return by train from Billing station.

Around Mears Ashby and Earls Barton

Around Mears Ashby and Earls Barton

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A Ride for Max Scott – Some Photographs

Max's brother-in-law says a few words

Max’s brother-in-law says a few words

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

Elevenses at Waterloo Farm Café

Chatting in the queue at elevenses

Chatting in the queue at elevenses

Gathering along the lane south of Arthingworth

Gathering along the lane south of Arthingworth

Max's sister scatters his ashes

Max’s sister scatters his ashes

An affectionate marker

An affectionate marker

Some flowers from Max's garden

Some flowers from Max’s garden

A ride for Max Scott – Thursday 16th April

Everyone is invited to join this ride which will be a special occasion.  Thursday would have been Max’s 79th Birthday and his family are coming up from Suffolk to scatter his ashes along a quiet local lane.

Max Scott

             Max Scott

We will meet from 10.30 a.m. at Waterloo Farm Café, Great Oxendon, LE16 8NB. [Grid Ref SP 740 843]

The Ride will proceed to Great Oxendon turning right up the hill then left to Clipston, through the village to turn towards Kelmarsh, cross over A508 towards Harrington to turn left down the hill towards Arthingworth.  Here we will meet up towards the bottom of the hill by the last clump of trees at noon [Grid Ref SP 754 806].  The family will then conduct the scattering of Max’s ashes. Afterwards we shall proceed through Arthingworth up the hill to Desborough for lunch at the Tapas Grill and Wine Bar.  This is attached to “The Ritz” in Station Road, NN14 2RL. [Grid Ref SP 803 833]

Map of ride route

                       Map of ride route

Richard Daniells has circulated these details as there may be quite a few cyclists who are not regular attendees at Thursday Club rides but who may like to come to pay their last respects to Max in a local quiet spot of the kind that Max enjoyed.

As the Tapas Bar only holds approx 30 people, if a large number turn up there are other eating places locally: “The Bulls Head” Arthingworth and “The Tollmache Arms” at Harrington.

We look forward to seeing you on this special occasion and our last link with one of most loyal supporters of and workers for our pastime.

A Celebration of the life of Max Scott (1936-2015)

Today we said farewell to Max Scott – Mr Cycle Tourist.  Here is the cover of, and some photographs from, the Order of Service.Max's Order of Service

Max's Order of Service-1

 

Max's Order of Service-2

Max's Order of Service-3a

Max's Order of Service-3b

Max's Order of Service-3c

There are some other photographs of Max in an earlier post.

Max Scott – “Cycling is my life!”

I am very sorry to post on here sad news of the death of Max Scott.  He died on Tuesday (6th January) in Cransley Hospice, Kettering, after an illness which he fought with patience and good humour.Hallaton+Max+048

Max was a stalwart – the stalwart – of the Northamptonshire cycling scene.  He was secretary of CTC Northamptonshire & Milton Keynes (formerly the Northants & North Bucks CTC District Association); he officiated at its final AGM just two months ago.  He organised Kettering CTC; he played a major rôle in the Northampton & District Cycling Association; he publicised the Thursday Club.  And he did all those things over decades!Hallaton+Max+006

Max took to “new media” with aplomb, setting up and maintaining Kettering CTC’s website with photos, videos and downloadable calendars.  It was always a pleasure to receive one of his regular e-mails with details of rides and events.  The tourist trials!  The hilly 100ks!Trivelo

And he was a grand cycle tourist.  He’d been bitten by that bug when he was a young teenager.  His first adventure was to cycle with his sister from the family home near Ipswich in Suffolk to visit relatives in Kingston-upon-Thames.  On the journey there and back the young Scotts stayed in youth hostels.  Cycling and youth-hosteling became the loves of his life.

Beaumaonor+Weekend+068During his final illness friends rallied round offering to take on part of what they saw as the burden of the many organisational roles Max worked at.  He didn’t see them as a burden.  “Don’t take them away from me,” he said.  “Cycling is my life!”

Ride report – Sunday 27th July – Hellidon

IainD, our Rides Secretary, went on this ride and writes:

Yesterday morning, 7 of us – including a remarkably fresh looking PhilL – gathered at the Canoe Centre in the Bedford Road.

Also there was the leader for the day’s Sky Ride, which was heading off along the riverside at 10:00. We wished him luck as we were starting out in the same direction.

Shortly after 09:30, Milton led us out through the town along the river, and then the canal, before emerging onto Banbury Lane to head for the hills of western Northamptonshire. Litchborough, Farthingstone (at which point PhilL left us, being under strict instructions to build mileage slowly. He did tackle the steepest hill on the ride before peeling off though. I’m sure that was a coincidence), Everdon, Badby and Catesby came and went fairly quickly. So quickly, in fact, we arrived at lunch before the pub was open!

After settling down to sandwiches, baguettes and chips for an hour, we took to the road again with Milton promising us that (almost) all the hills were done with, and it proved to be a remarkably level trip back through Charwelton, Preston Capes and Maidford before we dropped over the A5 and then had to climb again to Gayton, working our way round the south of the town and down the last hill through Great Houghton (where of course we’d followed the route of the Women’s Tour 12 weeks earlier. Anyone know what Vos and Armitstead were up to yesterday?).

Many thanks to Milton for laying on such an interesting route, ordering the tailwind for the return leg and showing us some different stretches of tarmac in an area we all thought we knew pretty well already.

Curate’s egg GPS track of the route can be found here: https://www.endomondo.com/workouts/379944685/5180977

Brad Wiggins honoured in Ambridge – and Northampton!

Fans of BBC Radio 4’s “The Archers” will already know that Sir Bradley Wiggins has appeared in tonight’s episode, as judge of Ambridge’s Sport Relief charity event – which included a cycle race (see here!).

In order to mark this occasion you might like to see Northampton’s own notable effort to honour Sir Bradley…

2014-01-10 Brad StClearly a desirable area for cyclists!

Philip 🙂