The 55th Annual Dinner of the East Grinstead Cycling Club was held in honour of Club President Mick Robinson at the Ark, Turners Hill, on 21 January 2006.
As a newcomer to the occasion, and not having much in common when it comes to two wheels, I was initially daunted to find that I was to be seated on the same table as local cycling legend Steve Dennis. However, any concerns in this respect were quickly dispelled, and after a brief and poignant silence for those lost recently from the Rhyl Cycling Club, the evening settled down to a barrage of cross toasting (led principally by the table of Messrs Blackmore and Horrigan – obviously some history there!).
This was shortly followed by the arrival of the meal, where the rapid disappearance of large quantities of melon and parma ham, beef ragout and various sweets was testament to both the mythical appetite of hungry cyclists as well as the quality of the food.
On to the trophies: Here the Geoffrey Butler Cup for ‘Best Roadman’ went to Andy Seltzer (also best veteran in the same category), and Brian Phillips picked up the best 10 mile time trial and ‘12 Hour’, both for the fourth straight time.
From a brief review of the club records, I noted that Steve D was winning the ‘25 Mile Festival Shield’ for the 11th time, and the great man’s trophy cabinet was also swelled by the ‘50 Mile Coronation Cup’ (12th time), the ‘Evening Ten’ series, and the ‘Hill Climb’.
The various BAR trophies were shared between Brian Phillips and Mike Anton, with Richard Woodward taking the ‘Snow Hill Middlemarkers Cup’. Paul Winkley and Lorraine Seltzer added to the line up with the ‘Downhill’ (to be relinquished the following day) and ‘Ladies’ trophies respectively. There was a surprise in the ‘Novices’ category, with Rob Dickson taking the honours (which is encouraging for someone who is 37, extremely slow, and only turns up occasionally: – Must do better!)
Following the prize giving, the disco and raffle were underway, with the otherwise generous prizes including a life size poster of someone reasonably unattractive riding a turbo trainer.
Lastly, thanks must go to Lorraine Seltzer for organising such a great evening, my neighbour John Cole for getting me to join the club in the first place, and Steve Dennis for proving nice blokes don’t have to finish second.
(Images courtesy Mike Anton)