Where we came from...
In September of 1928 a local gents’ barber, Mick Jackson, was interested in forming a cycling club with friends that used to go out on Sunday morning for social runs (instead of going to church). He recruited a member of Sefton C.C. to assist in the formation of this club. The very first meeting was held in a house in Grove Road, Rock Ferry, belonging to a Sid Carver. Also present were Alf Ashworth and Bill Griffiths, who became the very first Secretary of the Club.
At the second meeting they decided that they should have a name for the Club and seeing as they used to meet at the gates to the Victoria Park in Tranmere prior to going on Sunday runs, they thought it appropriate that the Club should be known as “Victoria Cycling Club”. However, on application for membership of the then National Cyclists Union and the Liverpool Time Trials Association, they were informed that a Club already existed with the name Victoria, therefore they would have to add Birkenhead as a prefix to the name. Hence the formation of the “Birkenhead Victoria Cycling Club”.
After joining the NCU, the membership of the time decided that they would need some money in the Bank to assist in promoting local Time Trials, so it was decided to organise a raffle, selling tickets to local people in the street. A prize of a canary was donated, but on inspection it was found that the canary had a broken leg. The was fixed using a match stick which was shaved down, coloured and taped to the broken leg. An old cage was further obtained and the canary, now with a stiff leg if anyone asked, was ready to await the winning ticket. Further funds were raised over the years by holding dances and other such functions.
Besides Time Trials, Grass Track racing was organised at the Oval running track Bebington, famous for the film “Chariots of Fire”. After racing, cyclists could get a massage by Mr Myers, who worked at the Oval. Although he was not a cyclist, both he and his wife became very interested in cycling, and on hearing that the Club was in need of trophies, presented a splendid silver trophy for the Longmarkers 25. After some careful negotiations involving the purchase and consumption of a large quantity of his best beer, the Rose Bowl and Silver Wheel were presented by the then licensee of the Letters Hotel. Further trophies were donated by founder members.
The Club badge was designed by Sid Carver, who was then a Shipyard Draughtsman at Cammell Laird, and a result board some twenty foot long was made by Harry Darlington. The same result board is still in service and was used for the 1998 National 12 hour Championship.
Back in 1982 Chris Boardman became the Club Schoolboy Champion. Since then he has gone on to become a World and Olympic Champion.
Since those early days “the Vics”, as the Club is locally referred to, has gone from strength to strength, organising and promoting open events and closed circuit road races. Several years ago the Club purchased a second hand caravan to store and transport all equipment required in promoting Time Trials and Road Races, this has proved to be very practical as a headquarters housing communications equipment and a computer to assist in obtaining results speedily from race finish.
The Club is one of a few in the North West which is not sponsored, although local businesses kindly sponsor individual events.