Weaver Valley 50th Anniversary Dinner

Dave Norton, Harold Nelson, Alan Kemp & Paul Sherwen
Saturday was Weaver Valley Cycling Club's 50th Anniversary Dinner. A packed out venue in Northwich saw club members, young and old, past and present, come out to celebrate. Out of the guests we had two visitors travel all the way from Australia, one including club founder John Horsfield, the other Eric Leese.

The big guest of the night was Paul Sherwen who travelled all the way from Uganda, spending less than 24 hours in the country to be with us. Paul is an ex-Weaver Valley rider spending several years in the club from the age of 16 before moving on to Warrington Road Club and then becoming a professional, riding for La Redoute, carving out a reputation as one of the greatest ever British domestiques.

He finished the Tour de France several times, and did very well in the Spring Classics such as Milan-San Remo and Paris-Roubaix. On returning to UK, he won the British Road Race Championship. He now commentates for numerous sports channels including ITV 4 alongside Phil Liggett at the Tour de France.

Paul spoke fondly of his time with the club, out of all the clubs he had been party too, Weaver Valley was the one that had a place in his heart. He spoke about the club runs, being dropped and pushed home numerous times. He owed a lot to coach Harold Nelson who also attended the dinner and shared numerous stories of rides (battles) with Alan Kemp (a past and now current Weaver Valley rider who continues to be very successful to this day in LVRC and TLI races). It was Sherwen and Kemp who left Weaver Valley to form a successful partnership at Warrington Road Club.

Club founder John Horsfield told us how the club was formed in 1962. Having got bored (and exhausted) of riding to Wythenshaw roundabout each Sunday to join Sale Road Club on their club run, he spoke to his employer ICI about his love of cycling. He won the "Fleck award" and with the money set up Weaver Valley Cycling Club with a handful of friends including Jack Gee, Eric Leese, Dave Norton, Allan Littlemore and Malcolm Scott. Northwich Road Club had already been around a number of years ago so a new name was needed. The name "Weaver Vale" was suggested having been nicked from a local boat company however it was Malcolm Scott who tweaked it to become the "Weaver Valley" and more rounded. The club colours of royal blue and gold (now yellow) have been with us since that very first day.

It was a fantastic evening, we owe a lot to Paul Sherwen for the time and expense he took to be with us. He made the night truely special. Thanks Paul. You can follow Paul on Twitter at http://twitter.com/paulsherwen

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