1930 to 2011
From little Acorns ……..
The club’s first meeting was held in an old church shed in the Basingstoke Road in the Whitley area of Reading back in 1930 between four friendly motorcyclists and grew from there. The group joined the Auto Cycle Union and set its HQ at The Wellington Arms in Whitley Street.
It wasn’t too long before the venue wasn’t big enough with a steady growth in membership leading to a move to The Griffin in Caversham until activities ceased in 1940 due to the 2nd World War.
In 1945 when things were starting to get back to normal, a handful of the clubs ex serving members made a fresh start for the club and found new premises at The Lion in Great Knollys Street.
About a year later, the growing popularity of motorcycling in the Reading area was such that membership stood at around 200! Eventually, the club also met at The Southcote Hotel on the Bath Road, The Sun in town, the Abbey Rugby Football Club near Sonning Common, The Plowden Arms, Shiplake and its current venue at The Shoulder of Mutton off the Henley Road just outside Reading.
Grass Tracks, Scrambles and Enduros
Over the years, the club has been involved in many branches of the sport.
As far back as 1932, it ran its very first grass track meeting at the Reading Stadium in Reading’s Oxford Road on Whit Monday and went on to run many others over the years.
The club always staged very successful scrambles, the first, I believe at Lewknor in the Chilterns, then at Church Woods Beenham where the first TV scramble was staged and also at one of my favourite tracks back in the late 50’s and 60’s at Downfield Pits, Waltham St. Lawrence, near Maidenhead. A few scrambles and trials events were also run at Lord Camoy’s wonderful Stonor Park venue near Henley at which it ran a charity event for the Road Accident Emergency Care Scheme.
Nowadays though, with the difficulty in obtaining suitable land on which to run off-road events in this area, the club still continues to run a number of its very popular enduros each year.
Trials events have always very popular with SRMCC members.
Each year for as long as I can remember, a contingent of club members have made the annual trip to Scotland for the Scottish Six Days Trial and still visit Kinlochleven and Fort William for the annual classic and will be doing so again this year.
The most famous SRMCC trial is the ever popular and nostalgic annual Three Musketeers.
Each year, a loyal band of “Muskets” supporters, many of whom have been observing and following the event since the 50’s look forward to the annual trials curtain raiser held on the first Sunday each year and renewing old acquaintances – spectators and riders alike.
From the long distance road and section trials of yesteryear, tackling such hazards as Sheeps Grove, Bound Oak, The Devils Highway and Russells Water the trial is nowadays, along with many others, run at a single location. I for one was sorry to see the loss of John Keeley’s land at Knowl Hill a couple of years back - home of The Muskets for many years, but the club now runs the event at Howe Woods, Watlington with the continued sponsorship of MTC Motorcycles.
Over the years, the club has, and continues to enjoy loyal support from its hard core of members and riders.
I remember from my time with the club [which I joined back in 1959] some of the personalities, famous names and officials associated with it over the years:
Among them were Bob Jackman, Stan Davis, Tom Lake (the Three original Musketeers), George Eighteen, Jim Butcher, Frank Alderman, Dick Johnson, Jim Carter, Bob White, Jack Stocker, Leo Shepherd, Ron Harris, Colin Salmon, Charles Bloomfield, Theo Johnson, Tan Maynard, Mike Endean & Shirley, John Hanscomb, John Keeley, Roger Wilson, John Borton, Alan Beale, Bill Turner, Len Godwin, Peter Lee, Les Sykes, Roger Hieatt, Bob Ruddle, Reg Poulter, Don Eggleton, Mick Wadley, Bill Mander, Vic Doswell, Gerry Woolcott, Don Lake, Andy Warwick, Bob Warner, Ivor Thick, John Barker, Harry Coy, Fred Giles, Mike Smith, Eddie Chandler, Malcolm Grassie, Graham Hayward, Geoff Pratt, Pete Lawry, Eddie Mace and Richard Chandler to name but a few.
Presidents, Club Chairman and Secretaries over the years
The following have served the club over the years and my apologies for any that I have missed, but no doubt they will be added by the web-master in due course.
G. Salmon, F. Dowty, Alf Smith, Jim Carter
Bob White, Roger Wilson, Ivor Thick, Bill Mander, John Borton, Mike Smith, Fred Giles, Eddie Chandler, Graham Hayward, Roly Reading
R. Johnson, Jim Carter, Mick Wadley, Pete Lawry
R. Rackley, Ken Mills, Roly Readings, Peter Lee, Eddie Mace
I trust this very brief insight and recollection of some of the club’s history and names will fill the gap until it is updated - Mike Smith (Former Chairman)