Another Separation

Eventually the cyclists felt that there was no benefit to be gained from continued membership of a cycling and athletic club; there was little of common interest but there was some duplication of effort in such areas as committee work and so at the Annual General Meeting of 1965, the decision was taken to separate the two sections and the cycling section now became the Maidenhead and District Cycling Club, "District" was included in the name because members came from Windsor and Slough as well as the town itself.

The first Secretary of the new Club was K. J. Perry whose father has already been mentioned and the Chairman was J. Parfitt, the Treasurer being W. Rundle, these three having held the same positions in the MCAC cycling section.

For a time the club remained at the Braywick Road pavilion which was still and has remained, the headquarters of the athletic component of the MC & AC now known as the Maidenhead Athletic Club.

After a time the Cycling Club was offered the use of the Youth Centre in Cookham Road. This building, formerly known the Maidenhead Working Lad's Club, had provided temporary shelter for the MC & AC in the past containing showers and changing facilities for the Widbrook Common Cross Country Course nearby and, no doubt, for the cyclists versus harriers races which took place occasionally.

Slowly public awareness became directed towards the benefit of good health and a clean environment until the bicycle was rediscovered as an acceptable pollution-free means of exercise, no longer derided and despised. Club membership grew, slowly at first, then more quickly.

In 1981 it was decided to commemorate the founding of the Maidenhead Wanderers and 100 years of organised cycling in the town by a dinner held in the Taplow House Hotel. Over 100 people attended, mostly members or past members and their partners. Also present were a Boneshaker and an Old Ordinary made by Tom Timberlake.

Nowadays this sort of function calls for a disco with amplified recorded music but the band for the August Bank Holiday sports in 1914 would have cost £5 for 14 men. If they were allowed to organise their own dance after the sports, 20 men could be had for the same price.

The structure and aims of the club have changed little over the years but road conditions have changed beyond all recognition. Some of the social life of the club is gone and there is a greater emphasis on the competitive side, no doubt reflecting the aggressive times in which we live, but the "Advertiser" leader- writer of 1881 can still be quoted today with absolute conviction:

".... .indeed there is hardly a limit to the possibilities of a bicycle if it be conducted with energy and enterprise...."