One of Peterborough’s most well-established hobby groups has called time after 70 “wonderful” years.
The Peterborough Vintage Cycle Club (PVCC) enjoyed a languid tour around Werrington on its last ever ride on Saturday, October 21.
Jane Denton – who has been the PVCC’s secretary for 47 years – told the Peterborough Telegraph how its ageing membership agreed that now is the right time to “dissolve” the club:“We decided to make it now because the club has just celebrated its 70th year - it was formed in the Coronation year of 1953.”
Sadly, the increasing age of its current members, combined with a lack of interest among younger generations heralded the club’s demise.
“It was just a case that we weren’t getting new members,” Jane noted, “and a lot of them [existing members] are now old.”
The club has just 30 members now. Sadly, half of that membership is immobile.
“We couldn’t get enough people to attend the club’s events so we decided it would be best not to do it at all.”
The club’s simple yet enduring appeal has been to act as a social hub for fans of vintage cycles. Anyone who had a passion for renovating and riding classic cycles (i.e. at least 50 years old) was welcome to come and join fellow enthusiasts for meets, rides and demonstrations.
Jane recalled that the group was probably at its height during the 1960s and ‘70s, when it had more than a hundred members.
“We had people come from miles around to join us: from Cumbria, from Oxford; everywhere.”“We even had an international meet once with people coming to join us from as far afield as the USA, Czechoslovakia, Denmark, Holland and France.”
Still going strong, the PVCC took centre stage at the annual Expo Steam event in the 1980s. Jane remembered how “it was fun” to see penny-farthings whizzing around the Showground’s track instead of speedway bikes.
Jane admitted that there were a few teary eyes on the club’s last ever ride.“We were all feeling a bit emotional,” she said. “But we were all trying to be cheerful.”
“We wanted to go out on a high.”
Check out the following images and see how the club managed to do exactly that