Jim Love

Willesden CC’s former president, Jim Love, passed away recently.

Jim, who lived in Kingsbury, northwest London, was a member of the Willesden Cycling Club. He joined the club at the age of 16, around the time the war was ending.

In his first time-trial – a ‘25’ – he recorded a time of 1h 19min 54sec. Within three years he had taken almost 20 minutes off that and started the 1948 season as an Olympic ‘possible’.

On 15th July, Jim received official notification of his inclusion in the six-rider squad. When training or competing at Herne Hill he would ride across town, ‘carrying my racing bike on my shoulder with the saddle just behind my ear, and the frame over my shoulders. We had to watch out for trams.’

Final selection for the pursuit team did not occur until days before the competition, after Love had received his race number (152) and embroidered badge. Ultimately, he didn’t make the foursome that took Bronze at the Olympics, a decision that came down simply to performance. On 4th August, three days before the event, the team was told to go all-out in training at Herne Hill. Love was dropped midway through the session, later noting that he was ‘slightly off form’ that day.

Jim moved to Southampton where he was a founder member of the Sotonia Cycling Club.

He kept his link to the Willesden, serving as our club president. Longer serving members remember his modesty and generosity. He was a superb ambassador for the club and noted as a true gentleman.

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