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Cycling Club Formed

1874

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The Peterborough Cycling Club was formed by amalgamating the Amateur Cycling Club and the Tricycle Club in 1874,  it is the oldest continuously active cycling club in the country. Mr Robert (Bob) Julyan and his father George Langham Julyan being two of the founder members. The first meeting was held at George’s outfitter’s shop in Bridge Street. By 1878 they adopted a dark blue uniform, and helmets. In 1879 the captain, Mr Gardner, spoke of the report of ‘Their noisy behaviour while passing through villages causing the club to be ridiculed and looked down upon’. Mr C Buckle added the great desideratum of the club was a racing track which would pay for itself in two years and enable the club to hold the finest matches and race meetings for miles around. Councillor Taylor spoke of the outcry against bicycle riding, ‘It is said cycles are dangerous to the men that ride them and dangerous to the general-public.’ Mr Gardner believed the risk of accidents over-rated as he had that year ridden 900 miles without mishap. The cyclists would ride various distances from a 100-yards slow race to fifty plus miles. In 1888 they rode a fifty-mile handicap which was open to the members on any machine including tandems. Mr G Neale and R Julyan were allowed twenty-minutes start on Safety bicycles.   References: 1.Peterborough Standard, 25/01/1935 2.Peterborough Advertiser, 08/03/1955 3. Peterborough Standard, 30/03/1878 4. Peterborough Standard, 21/01/1888    





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Olympic Gold Medal

1908

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Arthur James (Archie) Robertson won a gold medal at the 1908 London Olympic Games. Archie was born on 19 April 1879, in Harthill, Yorkshire, the son of a  Scottish doctor. The family moved to Peterborough when Archie was fourteen and he attended The King's School. He was a brilliant all round sportsman, though his original love was cycling. At the age of 25, following a cycling accident, he took up serious athletics and in 1906 he joined the Birchfield Harriers of Birmingham. In March 1908 he won the English and International Cross-Country titles and in July 1908 he came second in the 4 mile race at the AAA championship, these performances winning him a place on the Olympic team. At the 1908 Summer Olympics held in London he won a gold medal in the 3 man 3 mile team race, silver in the 3200 metres steeplechase and came fifth in the five miles event. His brother David was a member of the British cycling team at the same Olympics. Archie set the seal on his triumphant year by setting a world record for the 5000 metres in September in Stockholm. Archie retired from athletics after the 1909 season and returned to his first love, cycling. He opened a cycling and sports shop in Peterborough, which he later passed on to his son, Duncan. He died in Peterborough on 18 April 1957. Though he spent most of his life in Peterborough, his Scottish father meant he could be posthumously inducted into the Scottish Sporting Hall of Fame in 2004. References: Golden Scots: Arthur Robertson, the accidental athlete. BBC. 3 July 2012. The Peterborough Book of Days, Jones, Brian, The History Press, 2014.  





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