Stephen steps down a gear
Stephen Sebire, the long-standing President of Congleton Cycling Club and keen Penny-Farthing rider, celebrated his retirement from Office after 50 years of loyal support and promotion of the Club’s aims and activities. Along with our New President, Tony Willis, and others, he was instrumental in resurrecting the Congleton Cycling Club and the Congleton Carnival in 1961. For those Readers who do not know about his “Berisford’s connection”: The Sebire Family is related to the Berisfords of “Ribbon & Bows” fame and Stephen Sebire was was Managing Director of the Berisfords Ribbons Company and later he established Airbags International in Congleton.
Mr Sebire distributed an 8-page “Congleton C.C.” booklet containing photos and Chronicle articles of historical events from 1961 to 2000 and an excellent poem about his memorable activities, which had been written by his personal poet, David Hayes. He earned much laughter and applause with his recital of the poem which we reproduce (with his permission) below:
1972 AND ALL THAT
From way back in my boyhood
I have had a lot to do
With All kinds on Velocipedes;
That’s bicycles to you!
On hearing we’d a bikers’ club
I went along to see
And soon became a member
Of the Congleton C.C.
Since then I’ve been an addict,
Having endless hours of fun
With hill climbs, mountain bikes and tourers
And, at times, the weekly run.
There’s also been the social side,
The bracing air, the exercise,
The feeling that you’re free!
And, being the sort of bloke I am,
Determined, loud, impatient,
I got myself involved quite soon
In club administration.
The Club made me the President,
An honour I hold dear,
I loved the post, but this, alas,
Must be the final year.
A chance for someone else to stand,
A gear change, if you like,
Resulting in advantages
To cyclist, Club and bike.
I look back on the years gone by,
As ageing people do,
And always my mind’s eye returns
To nineteen seventy two.
That was the famous Charter Year
When we the C.C.C.
Felt something big was needed
For the Anniversary.
All sorts of wild suggestions
Were proposed, discussed, rejected,
Till a race for Penny Farthing bikes
Was finally accepted.
Invites were issued, routes were planned,
With marshals standing by,
This novelty attraction
Really caught the public’s eye.
To us four decades later
It might sound a bit absurd,
But remember: it was Carnival,
By the way, I finished third!
Now Tony’s my successor,
He’s a cyclist through and through,
So support him and encourage him
In what he tries to do.
I thank you for the loyalty
You’ve shown throughout my spell:
Be happy, “Merry Christmas”,
And keep pedalling like Hell!!
Poem by David Hayes; Inspiration by Stephen Sebire.
Articles and photographs – courtesy of the “Chronicle”.
Brochure contents edited by Tony Willis.
Printed by Bellboy Print, Congleton.