A Brief History of the CTC in Norfolk

The CTC was founded in 1878 in Harrogate, North Yorkshire. After an abortive attempt to form a local group in Norfolk in 1926, success was achieved in August 1930. The group was formally set up at a meeting in The Cat & Fiddle public house, Magdalen Street, Norwich. The inaugural ride took place on 10th August 1930, meeting in Tombland, Norwich. A photo in our slide show shows the riders gathered outside the Maids Head Hotel before setting off on their excursion. The riders went to Castle Acre for lunch and then tea at Mrs Littleproud’s in Little Fransham,a well know tea stop in those days.

This was the first of many successful rides for the newly formed Norfolk CTC and their popularity grew steadily over the next few years. Many rides, events and rallies were organised to include other local cycling clubs. Rough Stuff (off road rides as we know them now), Hill Climbs, Freewheeling and touring competitions were all very popular and well supported. Camping and Hostel trips were also very popular.

By the mid 1930’s membership had increased to over 200. In September 1938, a racing off-shoot, Norfolk Road Club, was formed to enable Norfolk CTC members to take part in time trials and road races.

The 1930’s and 1940’s were difficult times with the depression and the 2nd World War but the club kept going and once the War ended numbers steadily increased again as people felt able to start enjoying their free time again.

The next two decades seem to have been unremarkable, except to say that the club went from strength to strength in terms of members and support for rides and events. By the 1970’s the club had three sections, all riding at different paces. There was an Easy Riders section for those who didn’t want to go too fast or too far, the Intermediate section who went a bit faster and ventured further afield and the General Section who fairly sped along and thought nothing of riding over 100 miles in a day, not getting home until mid-evening. All three sections were well supported each weekend.

A national competition, the British Cycle Touring Competition was organised every year by the CTC with heats in all regions. Norfolk CTC was always an enthusiastic supporter of this event and regularly had riders in the top 20 at the Final.

It has long been a tradition to celebrate the founding of the CTC in 1878 by holding a series of Birthday Rides. Each year a different location is chosen and in 1983 it was the turn of the Norfolk CTC to host the event. It was based in Norwich and attracted some 800 riders from across the country.

In February 1987 the West Norfolk Section was started to serve the members living in the West of the County and in April 2002 the Diss section was formed to serve those in the South of the County. Our membership numbers currently stand at round 900.