Historical cycling in Newcastle – a member’s observation

You may remember George reporting back from Dublin in last year’s yourReport series. The space for cycling that Dublin managed to make through roadspace re-allocation (and not being so far away from Newcastle like many of the other more “exotic” locations) won the Committee’s thumbs-up. George contacted us again, as he’s now stumbled across some great historical clips and photos showing Newcastle’s cycling past.

Some people say “There is no history of cycling in Newcastle”. Newcastle has never been in York’s league, but I remember loads of bike shops on and around Shields Road in the 1960’s, so there must be some history.

It’s difficult to find proof, but here’s a couple of silent Pathe news features showing parades of church cyclists leaving St Thomas’s Church in Barras Bridge for a religious outing to the Blagdon Estate, see how good the weather always was in those days. I wish I could hear what they were saying.

“CYCLISTS SUNDAY 1922 – 38th Annual Church Parade held at Blagdon Park.” Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Hundreds of people on bicycles riding down street past shop “F. H. Phillips & Co. – Fish Poultry and Game”. Many of the men are wearing flat caps. Various cyclist dismounted at Blagdon Park listening to officials giving speech on raised platform: short clip

“44th Cyclists’ Church Parade 1928 – Newcastle & district cyclists turn out in full force.” Newcastle-upon-Tyne.
Cyclists wheeling and riding their bicycles along a road in Newcastle. Choir being conducted on a raised platform while a crowd of cyclists (not on bikes) sit around watching. It looks like a very hot day – several people have handkerchiefs laid over their heads or carry umbrellas as parasols. Clergyman on the platform taking a sip of water and speaking to the crowd: short clip

And here, from 1936, when the collective noun for female cyclists was “bevy”:

Newcastle cycling - George

*1930’s Newsreel Announcer’s Voice* : Notice at least one of the plucky Geordie Lasses has an invigorating cigarette, to ready herself for the climb up to Shotley Bridge, I’m sure as ladies they’ll smoking Kensitas tipped, no Woodbines for these girl.