In recent years a group of former Acme members of 1950’s vintage decided it would be nice to meet on an occasion other than a funeral. Consequently the “Old Codgers” began to meet for an informal lunch every month or so. The most recent, on 10th May, was at The Longbow, strategically placed close to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital .
On this occasion the average age was greatly reduced by the presence of Tony and Dave Roberts and Chris Clements who are relatively “ Vin Nouveau” being only of 1961 vintage. Chris does however have the distinction of joining the Club much earlier in a non-riding mode his father, Joe, having signed him up when he was born ! Chris arrived complete with a copy of Ron Good’s book of cycle racing photos, “50 Years of Cycling”. Ron was well known throughout South Wales as a photographer who for many years supplied photos for Cycling magazine and his book contains a section about South Wales riders. Most of the riders are known to us but it was especially interesting to see images of Acme riders. Amongst them were several shots of our President, Gerald Clements as a very young man up to his chest in a river when participating in a cyclo-cross race. You would probably not be allowed to include such a dangerous obstacle in a course these days. Another brilliantly sharp photo showed the late Len Jenkins and Neville Yeo on a tandem, in the rain, breaking the Swansea- Cardiff road record.
The “Old Codgers” have renamed themselves with the tongue-in-cheek title of the “Acme Legends” but a real legend was there among us. Graeme Jenkins was a top time-triallist and road racer in the 50’s and 60’s, his name being well known across the English border and we hope to let you know more about his exploits in the near future. Not to be outdone, Wyndham Nelson ( joined 1953) claimed to be a legend having set the slowest ever time for 25 miles when he rode his first club event.
Also present were Howard Williams, Graham Owen and organiser Bill Jones with Tony Gammon keeping a patriarchal eye on proceedings. Tony is a life member of Acme who acted for years as Secretary and also Treasurer. He admitted on a previous occasion that “I rode one race and found it so hard that I decided to use my organisational talents instead to help the Club !” Having bought his first bike he originally joined the Treorchy Clarion cycling club. The Clarion was a national organisation which encouraged working men and women to enjoy outdoor activities and established walking and cycling groups throughout Britain. My own father was a member of the Clydach Vale Clarion in the 30’s and 40’s and spoke of the huge numbers of members who regularly went on clubruns. Tony went to an event in Porthcawl organised by the South Wales Cycling Association in 1951 where the road between the lighthouse and the funfair was lined six deep with bikes. There he met some Acme riders, decided to join and the rest is history.
During lunch the conversations ebbed and flowed with memories such as their cycling trip to the West Country. They cycled to Porthcawl, boarded a ship to Bristol then rode the rest of the way to Seaton on the South Devon coast. That was the occasion when the late, diminutive Dai Evas had such a heavily laden bike that when trying to push it up a very steep hill the bike remained stationary while he slid backwards. About ten years later, Gerald and Chris Clements together with Tony Roberts and Alan Coleman set off on a similar journey. Cycling to Severn Tunnel Junction they then
boarded a train to Bristol before setting off for the far end of Cornwall. They made it but a bout of food poisoning affecting the Clements brothers forced a return by rail. There must be lots of other interesting anecdotes still to be revealed especially as not all of the group were able to attend.
If there are any retirees out there who were Acme members at some time why not join in the fun by sending Acme your e-mail address or telephone number so we can inform you of the next get-together.
Previous Meeting Photos:- Click Here