Report – January 2nd, 2011 – Part 2

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:

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 camaraderie,

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.