Digger Baulch – a tribute from his Leicestershire clubmates

This is the tribute to Digger on the RTTC Legends Facebook page, with permission by Dave Binks of Leicestershire RC. The RTTC group is a closed one, so I have copied it verbatim here.

I have just been told that Paul Baulch, who, as a member of the Willesden CC in the late 1950s, was one of the top riders in time trialling. I believe he finished 2nd in the BBAR at that time. He later moved to Leicester and rode for the Leicestershire Road Club for some time before moving over to the Ratae RC, another Leicester club. Paul was a great clubman, and for many years always stood on the same corner, as marshal, in the LRC’s Hilly TT on Easter Monday. Paul had been ill for some time.

RIP, Paul, and I’ll “See you up the road”.

If I can find a photo, I’ll post it later.

  • I only remember the Digger of the late fifties, teamed with John Blunsdon. I rode with/against them many times, often chatting. RIP Digger.
    badge icon
    Hi. I am Paul’s younger daughter, Lindsay. Thank you all for your kind words. Cycling was Dad’s life-long passion and he was never happier than when out on his bike. He made lasting friendships through cycling and in recent years was President of the Ratae RC. He enjoyed the social side of the Club after he could no longer cycle. He will be greatly missed.
    May be an image of 1 person, standing, outdoors and text that says "JOHN GROATS LANDS END 874 PENTLAND SKERRIES 6 LEICESTER 27THAUGUST 1988 601 ORKN SHETLAND ES medella"

    Dave Binks replied
    The photo is just as I remember him, Lindsay, even down to the LRC/Medella jersey! It was sad to see his health deteriorate in the latter few years, but it didn’t seem to affect his sense of happiness. A life-long cyclist in the true tradition of someone who really liked just riding his bike.
    The first Time Trial star of the day I met. It was in a field on Pangbourne Lane. Being a Junior I was in awe but still remember that he took time out to talk to me and wish me all the best in my cycling future. I remember his nick name was “Digger”. RIP Paul.
    • Author
      John Jones

      yes, Digger was the name we used, at his request.

    • Paul was a true gentleman.
      Was a regular on the Wednesday run which met at the Durham Ox at 10.00 on the way to Sedgebrook or Margaret’s cafe at Redmile. This was in the 1990’s.
      Paul was a member of Willesden CC that held the 30 mile team competition record in 1954 that was not broken until 1963.
      RIP Paul.
      • I remember Paul on the Wednesday runs to Sedgebrook & Redmile in the 90’s -he was good fun and always enjoyed a blast back after the cafe
      I first saw Paul in the late 70s when he was riding the Leicestershire RC club events. He was, of course, well into the Vets category at that time. I knew nothing of his race pedigree when I commented on his wiggly line when racing. He just laughed and said he had always ridden like that. I said he would go faster if he rode in a straight line. Imagine my embarrassment when I found out how good a rider he had been!
  • Men Cyclists | Time Trial
    Men Cyclists | Time Trial
    Very sad news, Paul was such a nice man and a super cyclist ,with an immaculate pedalling action.condolences to the famiy
    Rip Paul x
  • Oh that is a great shame. Have a lovely story about Paul circa 1967. I rode the Milk Race crit at Blackpool, a nocturne sponsored by Camping Gaz. Got home in Peterborough about 1am and at 6am I reported to the Sans Souci F1 25 tt. Shocked to see my gear mech crushed in boot of car. Paul the absolute gentleman proffered me his bike as he just finished and I had enough time to lower saddle (he was taller than me) and put my pedals on his cranks. Think I finished 5th that morning rudely beating Paul’s time. I then met up with again at Baz Clarkes funeral a few years ago. Great rider, nice guy RIP.
    • That’s a shame, he used to come over and ride the wvw tens afew years back.
      I didn’t realise at the time what a great rider he’d been.
      RIP Paul
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Digger Baulch

Gladys Purdy writes:

It is with great regret that I have to report the death of Digger Baulch. I have known him for over 70 years. He was a great club mate. In the 1950s he finished in 2nd place in the Best All rounder competition, was part of the winning team that took the National 30 mile team record in 1954 (which wasn’t beaten until 1961) and he held most of the club records and riding with John Blumsden the tandem records too.
When he settled in Leicestershire he joined the Ratea and took on many of the posts needed in the successful running of the club.
He still maintained his connections with the Willesden however, and met up with the Old Timers section to enjoy a chat about “old times”.
R.I.P. Digger.

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A Virtual Reliability Ride

Smart trainerHarp RC came up with the great idea of a virtual Reliability Ride and Willesden CC, along with the other Chiltern Classic clubs, has been invited to join in.

“As we cannot run the Harp Hilly in it’s usual form we have set up a virtual event for the short 555km route on RGT Cycling.  There are two events over the weekend of 30 / 31 January, a 2:30pm event on the Saturday and a 10:30am event on the Sunday.

The events are free to ride as RGT Cycling is free to join and it is free to ride events that have been set up on their ‘Magic Roads’

In case any of your members are interested the RGT Cycling events are:

Saturday, 30-Jan-2021 at 14:30:

Sunday, 31-Jan-2021 at 10:30 :

best regards

Richard Hutt”

If you want to ride and need to install RGT then you need two apps, one on your phone and another on a PC/MAC/iPad. The web page that explains it and tells you what to do is https://www.rgtcycling.com/get-started/.

It might just be my PC, but when I tried a “direct” Windows install of the PC App it did not work, but using the Microsoft Store worked fine.

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Our friends at Westerley are organising a Christmas season event and they are inviting Willesden CC. Even if the full 500 is impractical, you can do a bit and give something for a very good cause.

This is what Christmas is all about, getting out on the road to play with your new toys and burning off some calories. Did anyone mention that the weather can be unpredictable? No worries, just ask Santa for a rain jacket and thermals. Even better, get a smart trainer and do all or some of the rides indoors!

The Festive 500 is designed to get us out on our bikes during the festive season holidays and started as a marketing ploy by Rapha. However, after 2019 Rapha decided not to award any of their sought after sew on patches to folks completing the challenge. So we have created our own version just for you.

Westerley CC’s Dave Morrison has combined a few things to rectify the Rapha retraction, and hopefully rectify a nasty disease along the way. Ride a Festive 500 for Harrison’s fund and raise money for research into Duchenne Disease and you can have one of these special badges. SIGN UP HERE 

You may not have heard of Duchenne, it’s not the most prevalent disease, but it is a very nasty and cruel disease. It only affects boys, and kills most of them before adulthood. Victims are born with it but decline and wither away during their teens. There are no survivors. The pain is intensified by the fact that, as a rarer condition, public funds for research are directed at more prevalent diseases. This just adds to the despair endured by families with affected sons.

Dave has done a number of long distance rides to raise money into research for Duchenne with his friend film producer Nick Taussig (BAFTA nominated McQueen last year). Nick has two sons with Duchenne. Nick and Karla only found out when their second son was born, that the first already had this fatal disease.

So, whether you just want to ride, want a badge or want to help fund some research into this disease, why not sign up for the Festive 500 Challenge?

You can sign up with Harrison’s Fund, named after Harrison Smith, a Duchenne victim. It’s a small charity and your money will reach the front line, rather than get absorbed in big charity overheads. You can also link your STRAVA account so that your Kilometres are logged with the charity. It’s as easy as that, plus of course getting a few friends, relatives, clubmates and sympathisers to help you raise £500.

Westerley have a selection of local rides which you may choose to use to build up your distance. In fact, we are contemplating doing club rides using these routes over the holiday. You can also ride your own routes of course. But the real challenge can be the unpredictable weather…which may dictate how many kilometres you may choose to do on any given day. Non-members are welcome to join us on these rides but remember, if the weather is bad, unlike the Rapha non-patch version, the Harrison’s Fund version allows indoor rides! You are welcome to ride both challenges simultaneously but only the Harrison’s Fund version offers the finisher’s patch.

Here is our Westerley CC Festive Fayre:

Christmas Eve Ride 151km

Xmas Day Morning Mission 47km

Boxing Day Morning Ride 70km

Knock Out Ninety Seven 97km

Filler Fifty 50km

Westerley Xmas Fat Burner 85km

Wing Tring Thing 201km

Bad Weather Filler Ride 30km

Forty miles of fun 64km

PLUS The Box Hill New year’s Eve Fleche.

We suggest that routes are allocated to particular days nearer the dates, based on weather conditions and general consensus if group rides are the order of the day. We are also contemplating a ride to Box Hill on New Year’s Eve where Nick Taussig and his family will meet us will refreshments. Anyone can ride to Box Hill on the day from any start point, a Fleche /Arrows as Audax riders will know, is a ride starting anywhere with a common target, in this case Box Hill.



Once you click to register it will take you to a more detailed event page where you can complete your registration & it will automatically set up your fundraising page.

There is an option to link your Strava account to your fundraising page. You can then publish your rides to your page. Here is an example for you to see what it looks like


Watch out for developments on www.Westerley.cc nearer the time for details of club rides.

Dave Morrison’s tips:

I’ve done the Festive 500 three times and tend to be weather watching all throughout Xmas. If Christmas Eve has nice weather I try and do a long ride to knock out as many kilometres as possible in case the rest of the week is miserable.

I get up early on Christmas morning and do a short urban ride around Harrow. You’ll find very little traffic about and can get back early to be with the family.

Similarly on Boxing day I get out for a ride as early as possible to be back in time for whatever is planned in the afternoon with the family (or football)

The following days I pick the length of ride according to the weather conditions.

I always have a short back up urban ride for really bad days, just to score some kilometres and avoid piling on the pressure towards the end.

But of course, it will be so much more easily planned with Harrison’s Fund as they allow indoor rides to count.

What’s stopping you? SIGN UP HERE 

FOOTNOTE: The spirit of the Festive 500 has always been about getting out on the bike over Christmas and the New Year. However, in the modern world of smart trainers it seems a bit unfair that everyone needs to suffer all weathers so, subsequently, it was decided to allow participants to include indoor rides logged on Strava towards their total. This will also allow a few evening rides to count if you have family or work commitments. Whilst some may lament this shift in ‘derring-do’, we would suggest that anyone who wants to do all of their rides outside, still can. More importantly, it may help raise more to fight this deadly disease, which we are sure you’ll agree is far more important. Thanks for your support. If you can’t ride, please sponsor a mate.


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Pictures of the 1950 Willesden Dinner

Following up her chat with club members at the end of our Maidenhead mini golf championships, Janice Halter, Fred Everett’s daughter, forward some pictures to do with the club’s 1950 dinner to us. If you want to share reminiscences please email  info@willesdencyclingclub.org.uk or use our facebook page.

Janice with her parents

The dinner cover


Prize winners

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Chance encounter with the daughter of a longtime member, Fred Everett

Just after the club mini-golf championship, a couple on a walk came up to talk to us. Janice Halter is the daughter of a longtime member, Fred Everett. She sent the following message to the club yesterday.

On a walk along the Thames at Maidenhead last Sunday (11th October) we came across a group from Willesden Cycling Club at Jenners Riverside Gardens. I had to speak to them as my Dad – Fred Everett – was a very keen member of the club for a number of years and also their Treasurer for many years. One member – Ray Kelly – had certainly heard of my Dad and may have met him. I still have the many medals Dad won over the years including the Life Membership he received in 1968 for 21 years of continuous membership.
Ray mentioned the name of Gladys Purdy – a name I instantly recognised. Sadly Dad passed away in December 1996 and a few club members very kindly attended his funeral in Reading where we live ( Dad was in a care home nearby in Shiplake).
It’s good to know the club is still going.
Best Wishes to you all especially anyone who might have known my Dad or heard of him.
Good luck for the future
From Janice and Peter Halter.

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2020 Willesden CC Mini-Golf Championship & RAF Memorial ride

Just confirming the fun mini-golf  championship taking place on the Jenners Cafe crazy golf course at Boulters Lock, Maidenhead on Sunday 11th October at 13.00.

The cost of an 18-hole round is £3.50 with a trophy for the winner. Car parking fees may apply but check on arrival.

The 13:00 golf start gives us time for a local bike ride starting at 9.30am from the Cafe in the surrounding area travelling out towards Windsor Great Park with a stop and the amazing R.A.F. War Memorial at Englefield Green (Route info to follow)

Meet at 9am for a coffee if you are early. There is a Facebook event created for you to respond to on the club group page.

Social distancing rules will apply and groups on the road will be max of four.

This event will proceed subject to weather conditions. Check Facebook for updates nearer the time.

Jenner’s Riverside Gardens, Raymead Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 8NP


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West London combine hill climb 4th October

Would anyone like to ride this event?

It is on Windsor Hill 9.30 start. Closing date is 27th September.

Thanks Gill

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Anyone know Ken Daniels?

This interesting enquiry was emailed today to us by a Roger Hawkins

“I have been doing some research into the history of an early 1960’s Viking track bike now in my ownership. Apparently the bike was used in the 1967 Earls Court 6 days event.

It is my understanding this bike was once in the possession of a gentleman called Ken Daniels and was ridden by Ken in the 6 days whilst a member of Willesden Cycling Club.

The bike has been resprayed at some point, plus it is in need of some TLC and maybe some restoration. It would be nice to get some idea of the frame’s original colour, spec. etc.

Mr Daniels would now be in his mid 70’s. Would the club still be in touch with Mr Daniels?, or have any colour photographs in its archives of the event featuring this particular bike?”

Roger supplied a  photo of the bike and some additional details

“I purchased the bike on Ebay from a chap called Paul who lives in Nottingham. Paul told me he purchased the bike from Ken around 15 years ago and travelled down to west London to pick it up. Ken passed some of the bike’s history on to Paul.

Roger would love to restore the bike to as it was in 1967, if possible.

Can anyone help? I will pass on Roger’s contact details if you can.

Ian Oliver

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2020 Willesden C.C. Mini Golf Championships

All members and friends are invited to participate in the 2020 Willesden C.C. mini golf championships. Taking place on the Jenners Cafe mini course at Boulters Lock, Maidenhead on Sunday 11th October at 13.00. This gives us time for a local bike ride starting at 9.30am in the surrounding area. Meet at 9am for a coffee if you are early. There is a Facebook event created for you to respond to on the club group page. The cost of a round is £3.50 with a trophy for the winner. Car parking fees may not apply but check on arrival.

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West London Combine and Jayne’s 25

The West London Combine 10 will be on the 6th September.  The Twickenham have agreed to run this event but would be grateful for any volunteers to marshal.

If any club members wish to ride can they let me know by 26th August.  I have one entry so far – Jamal.

In other news Jayne Payne did a very fast ride in the 25 on Sunday with a time of 1:03:23.


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Last call! West London 25 on 16th August.

We have 3 fast riders entered already and there is room for more. Let me know if you wish to enter as soon as possible.

Also, last weekend, Stuart Birnie (Hippy) broke his own 12 hour club record with 294.1 miles.


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Wearing the Green with pride

The club asked that members not wear its colours during lockdown, to deflect resentment from non-cyclists. With the now changed conditions, it’s policy that you can wear our colours freely. Vai squadra verde!🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️🚴‍♀️

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West London Combine 25 – August 16th

The West London Combine is considering whether or not to run their 25 mile time trial on the Amersham Road on August 16th. The committee is asking if anyone would like to ride this event which would be run as advised by the CTT under Covid 19 rules I.e. no headquarters and no pushing off. If anyone wants to ride this event could they let me know ASAP in order that I can let the committee know.



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John Tipping Collage

Thank you for all your tributes to John Tipping. Lots of photos of bridges and cafes. I managed to ride Tippy’s 10 Bridges last weekend in the lovely sunny weather.
If you want to see the collage please click the link below.
I have sent the collage to his daughter who had hoped to join us on the 31st with other family members. It was not to be this year. We look forward to a very special 10 Bridges and Kaf to Kaf in 2021.


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Important Information from BC on WCC Club activities

The following is a bulletin from British Cycling regarding the present lockdown on organised cycling.

British Cycling can today (27 May 2020) provide an update on the current suspension of sanctioned cycling activity, which was due to run until 30 June 2020.

While many of you have been enjoying the opportunity to ride recreationally, we appreciate that the cycling community is looking for direction and certainty on when club, group and competitive activity can resume.

In the absence of specific dates from the UK and devolved Governments, which are naturally hard to set, British Cycling is seeking to balance the desire to return to sanctioned cycling activity, where safe to do so, and concern for the health of people in our sport and in wider society. Because cycling encompasses a wide variety of activity, we are therefore proposing to move to a rolling suspension. This will apply to each of England, Scotland and Wales. The following position has been agreed with Scottish Cycling and Welsh Cycling, but we recognise that devolved government guidance may dictate that adjustments are required, including the dates we are working towards.

We have split activity into three broad categories:
1. International and national level races;
2. Regional racing and non-competitive events;
3. Club and group activity.

International and national level races, including national series and championships

Here we are extending the suspension until 1 September 2020.

We will review this on a fortnightly basis and we will give six weeks’ public notice of any extension or curtailment of the suspension. This means that the original dates for a number of national series and championship events across multiple disciplines are no longer feasible but we will endeavour to rearrange these events later in the calendar year if possible.

It is possible that the racing format in some of the disciplines, for example outdoor individual events, may return sooner than others if appropriate measures can be put in place to manage the risk in line with Government guidance and any guidance that we put in place. In all cases we will carefully consider the options available including reasonable measures that can be introduced to manage the safety of the events, participants, volunteers and the general public.

Regional racing and non-competitive events e.g. sportives

Currently we believe that regional races are more likely to return sooner due to shorter travel distances, fewer event personnel involved and the expectation that they will attract lower spectator numbers. However, due to the current Government guidelines on social distancing we feel that now is the right time to extend the suspension to the 1 August 2020. We will review this on a fortnightly basis and we will give four weeks’ notice of any extension or curtailment of the suspension.

As with international and national racing, we will adopt a risk management approach which means that some disciplines or events can return ahead others if the format allows the safety of all to be managed appropriately.

We have also taken the decision to extend the suspension to the 1 August 2020 for Sportives and other non-competitive events. As with regional racing, we will review this on a fortnightly basis and we will give four weeks’ notice of any extension or curtailment of the extension. 

Club and group activity
The third category of activity is other club and group activity, such as coaching, instructing and leading, club rides, HSBC UK Breeze rides and similar.

It is likely that these activities can be reintroduced at shorter notice, with a greater degree of flexibility, with appropriate guidance and measures to manage risk ensuring compliance with Government guidelines and emerging industry best practice. As such we will be extending the current suspension until 4 July 2020 to be consistent with the stages announced by Government. We will review this on a fortnightly basis and we will give two weeks’ notice of any changes.

If you would like further information as well as links to FAQs and the situation specific to Scotland and Wales, then please link to the BC website here

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John Tipping Tribute

Unfortunately I won’t be able to run the audax rides scheduled for 31st May. This was to be Tippy’s Thames Bridges and Tippy’s Kaf to Kaf both memorial rides to our great friend John Tipping. His daughter and family had planned to join us.
As a tribute to John can I ask you to email me  at xxx a picture and/or video of you at a bridge or cafe, Hopefully I can then make a collage of photos for us at WCC and his family. If you would rather you can pm me.
I’ll start you off with photos of me at Eton Bridge and Marlow Bridge.

Thank you,
Will miss seeing you all at this ride.

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Going Down To The Pub

Whilst we have all been in lockdown, I have been looking at future events to organise on the social front. It appears to me that we can sometimes combine rides with social events. There are many places we haven’t been to before in Bucks, Herts and Oxon that offer some nice roads and great scenery.  Oxford City is an example of a marvellous place to visit on or off the bike. Even if we only use the famous city as a backdrop for a coffee and a ride through. How about getting the train out, visiting the famous Ashmolean Museum and cycling home?

In the next few weeks we will be working behind the scenes to work on new ride routes that might take in some of the more interesting places in our bordering counties west of London like Waddesdon Manor, Buckingham Town and Claydon Manor.

Club members please drop me an email if you can think of anything worth adding to the list. The aim is to start a number of rides from Amersham to give us a few miles further to explore.

Sorry if you clicked on the link looking for a Pub Run 🙁

It was just ‘click bait’ to get you to read this blog but suffice to say we will be looking to have a number of nights out on offer as soon as we can.


Gerry McManus





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Covid-19 update

In line with guidance from government and British Cycling, all club activities are currently suspended.

https://www.britishcycling.org.uk/     https://www.gov.uk/coronavirus

Until further notice, solo rides for exercise once a day are allowed.  Ride sensibly and carefully. You do not want to put any additional pressure on the NHS.


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West London Combine 25 on 15th March – Amersham Road

Quick note from Gill Reynolds that the closing date for entries is 8th March.

Enter now. And good luck.

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