Club History


The “Club” was originally formed in 1935 by an amalgamation of Bream Cycling Club and some members of Ross Cycling Club who lived in the Forest of Dean. Obviously, the war stopped most people from cycling very much and a lot of potential riders were “drafted away”.


The club, as we now know it, was reformed in 1949 using the Fountain Inn, Parkend as it’s headquarters. It has since moved several times, the first of which was in 1954 to the Globe Inn, Berry Hill close to Berry Hill Sports Ground where Reg Berrow organised annual grass track racing in conjunction with the local sports day. The last “grass track” was held in 1958 with John Hall of the Ross on Wye Club being the only rider to compete on that day and was still riding a bike up until 2008. The Club moved again in 1957 to the “tin hut” on the Sports Ground and stayed there until the club went into serious decline in the early 1960’s. In 1961 the Club held the Western Division Hill Climb on Worrall Hill.

​ The club was reformed in 1970 with Cyril Adams as President and Reg Berrow as Secretary and moved to Close Turf between Bream and St Briavel’s in 1972. Racing was organising both time trial and road racing; the Club had its own 10-mile Time Trial course which it still uses today from Lydbrook to Walford and back. The 25 mile course was from Monmouth down the A466 through Tintern to the top of the hill opposite the back entrance to Livox Quarry, this course was used from 1949 but had to be abandoned when traffic lights were put on Bigsweir Bridge. One Sunday in Tintern on a Club ’25’ a very stubborn policeman was doing a speed check inside the 30 mph limit coming down towards the Abbey. He stopped all riders who were over the speed limit and cautioned them, completely fouling up the race. A similar incident occurred in 2014 during the “new” Tintern 10-mile time trial when a posse of police motorcyclists training for the Tour de France in Yorkshire interrupted several riders race by getting them to either stop or pull over.

The Vintage Tankard

What started as a challenge in 1953 became a regular 25-mile Time Trial between Redmon CC (Morden) near London, Newport Phoenix and the Forest Club. The trophy was a large tankard known as the Vintage Tankard. The event was based at The Vintage pub in Sutton Benger in Wiltshire, deemed to be central to the London — Newport axis. The course was the U80 used until the M4 caused road changes and the revised course was the U88 and was used until the 2003 when the Redmon club finally couldn’t find the necessary 6 riders to form a team. The race still takes place on the first Sunday in October; now raced annually rotating between Newport Phoenix, Ross on Wye CC and the Forest Club as the host.

In this era most other club time trial courses were any ‘open’ races in South Wales for 50 miles, 100 miles or 12 hour events. The Club’s own 50 mile course was an addition to the original 25 mile by going out to Abergavenny and back. This was doomed when the lights were put on the Bigsweir Bridge and also lights on Monmouth Bridge to link the A40.

Another “Challenge” course was one devised to follow on from the “Salmon Supper” donated by Friends of the Forest. Only people who attended the supper at Close Turf and agreed to race and drink could participate the drinking started at 8 pm and continued till 11.30 pm each drink was recorded by the marshal depending on the riders age. Next morning both age and consumption helped with the handicap. Some members “well oiled” by midnight were almost guaranteed a good ride in the morning. The course latterly was starting at the end of Bream on the Parkend Road turning left at the Parkend Pike then left at Coalway, left at Milkwall, left at Lambsquay, left down Bream Avenue and finishing at the Maypole Junction.

​ Annual Club Dinners were a regular event normally held on the first Saturday in November to “kick off” the social season. Tintern was the original venue but in 1961 after 171 people attended the Anchor Hotel we were asked not to return because the carpets got rather wet with beer. The Club has since been to the Feathers, Close Turf Club, The Fountain Inn, Victoria Hotel, Newnham , Beecenhurst Lodge, Miner’s Whitecroft. After several years when racing membership was low a resurgence happened in 1978 when it was decided to restart the 10 mile Time Trial as a season long championship and apply for a race on the Monmouth-Usk road in 1980. It was also decided at the AGM of 1979 that the Club restart the B.A.R (Best All Rounder) over 10 miles, 25 miles and 50 miles and U or R courses. Club racing vests in green and yellow were available for the first time. In 1980 we were asked to restart ‘road racing’ as Cinderford Town wanted a cycle race to be part of their Town Carnival, the first road race since 1961. It was a success and Bart Venner suggested that the Club held it’s own race in 1981. It was agreed that we start with a 3rd Category and Junior event on a Friday evening in July. The AGM in 1980 showed that we were in better shape having held our first 25, our first road race and won the Benger Vintage Tankard. The Club agreed to affiliate to the RTTC, BCF, Welsh CA and Western RTTA. We also said that the Club should create a new constitution and rules before the 1st of January 1981. Howard Baker also became Club President.