Bicycle and Tricycle Club, February 1889

From the Star of February 2nd, 1889; the history of the Club. The cyclist in the photograph is the great champion, Jack Le Tocq, from the Library collection.

Bicycle and Tricycle Club, February 1889

The ninth annual dinner of the members of this Club, was held yesterday evening at the Channel Islands Hotel, under the Presidency of Mr Stephen Barbet, Mr James A. Cressard, Secretary, in the vice-chair; about 40 persons were present. After full justice had been done to a substantial repast, the chairman rose to propose the first toast of the evening, that of Her Majesty the Queen, and the Royal family. This was followed by that of the patrons and president of the Guernsey Bicycle and Tricycle Club; the Chairman; and the prosperity of the Club. In response Mr S. Barbet gave some interesting statistics concerning its growth. The Club was founded on January 16th, 1880, up to '84 there were only 34 members. In this year Mr Cressard was appointed Secretary. From its foundation, nine years ago, the admission of members has steadily progressed, though the first six years only gave a total of 69; but in '87, 22 joined, 40 in '88, which with an addition of 30 more, for this year brings the total up to 161 members. The Club, besides, possesses one life member, four lady and six gentlemen subscribers to the track.

On September 1st, 1884, the first sports ever held by the Club took place at the White Rock; the following year and up to 1887, the Castle Emplacement was used; but, the 21st May, 1888, the inauguration of the new cycling track, built on the Elizabeth College Cricket Field, took place, the Championship meeting and other subsequent sports being ever since held there. Since the new track was built, the Club has secured no less than 70 members. The finances of the Club are in good condition in spite of the numerous calls made on its exchequer for the laying out of new tracks. Thus, since 1885, the amount raised by the Club has been £432, and the expenditure £405. The Channel Islands Championship, secured by Mr Le Tocq, July 23rd of last year, was one of the most interesting and successful meetings ever held by the Club.

See Carel Toms, Guernsey: Pictures from the Past, Phillimore, 1991, Nos. 115 and 116, Arthur Maunder, Club Champion in 1884, (116 is probably in fact a photograph of Le Tocq) and No. 117, a Club programme from 1885.

John 'Jack' Le Tocq won every Channel Island cycling trophy between 1885 and 1890. He died in that year of complications following a knee injury sustained while practising his cycling, aged 29, and is buried at St Matthew's Church, Cobo. For a biography of Le Tocq, see Boden-Heaume, M., 'John Le Tocq,' Review of the Guernsey Society LXVII (1), Spring 2011, pp. 18-19.

This edition of the newspaper also includes the AGM of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, president Mr. Thomas Guille, Jurat, presenting its sixteenth Annual Report. The first meeting of the Guernsey Rifle Association is reported on in the Guernsey Magazine, October, 1872, p. 40, and results on pp. 44 ff.