Club History


The Angus Cycling Club was reformed in June 1929 after a gap of 16 years by a group of enthusiasts headed by Andrew Smyth who later became Forfar’s Provost, bike-shop owner Harry Bruce, James Hackney, George Wishart and a Tom Bell. Their aim was to follow the example of other towns and start a revival the cult of the bicycle.

The original Angus Cycling Club, or Angus Bicycle Club as it was then called then, started up in June 1882 when the “High Cycle” or “Ordinary Cycle” was predominant. The name change was made, around 1888, when one or two members started riding the now common “Safety” bicycle.

The first member to own a “Safety” bicycle in Forfar was Mr John Killacky vice captain of the club for 1889 and 1890. He won the Angus County Road Championship in 1890 over the Forfar-Kirriemuir-Glamis-Forfar circuit. The following year Killacky joined Dundee ’s Forfarshire Cycling Club going on to be their club champion, the SCU All Rounder Track Champion in 1897 and represented Scotland in several international events.

In 1931 with the start up of the Dundee District Time Trial Association and the Scottish Youth Hostel Association the enthusiasm for cycling was given another push forward, and by 1933 Angus Cycling Club had started up a junior section. In 1934 the club rented a small hall in Chapel Street for meetings and training. As this was too expensive alternative accommodation was acquired in 1936, with the purchase of an old church hall in the Dundee Loan. This debt was repaid within a couple of years through organising a big sports event and other successful fund raising events.

From the end of 1934 through to 1938 the club dominated the Dundee District Time Trial Association competitions winning the team event three times in succession. The Individual Best All Rounder competition was won by club members Will Cameron in 1935 and Bert Milne in 1936 and Gordon Rough came 2nd in 1937.

During the 39/45 war club activities were brought to a halt and the clubroom was used by the ARP. A plaque was put up in the hall in memory of 15 members who did not return. This plaque is now in St Margaret’s Church. A reunion of 200 people, members past and present, was held in the Masonic Hall in 1946. 

In 1949 there were differences to which way the club should go forward and as a result two other splinter clubs evolved. The first group was set up amicably with the aid of Angus CC, this being the Strathdean Ladies Cycling Club who continued on until 1954. The Ladies then rejoined as the Angus CC “Ladies Section”. The other splinter group was the Forfar Wheelers, led by Eck Robertson and a few other Angus CC officials. The Forfar Wheelers Cycling Club folded about 1961. 

In the 1950’s the Club’s name was well known in racing circles with Angus CC winning the Scottish Team Championship in 1952, and were runners up in 1951 and 1953. They also set Scottish Records for the 100 mile and 12 hour events. Mr Joe Millar who was the captain of the Angus team at the time, later joined Dundee’s Forfarshire Road Club and went on to win the Scottish Best All Rounder title in 1958.  

From the mid 1950’s to 1970 the racing scene became very quiet with a lot of the members more interested in the social side, with club runs, touring, camping weekends and hostelling etc. In 1963 several members who wished to go further a field, but not necessarily by bicycle, held a meeting in the clubrooms in the Dundee Loan, Forfar, and instigated the formation of the Forfar & District Hillwalking Club. Willie Whyte a life member of the Angus Cycling Club being made the first President of the Forfar & District Hillwalking Club.

The club was saved from folding in 1972, due to the membership dropping down to 6 members, by a group of ex members of Forfar Wheelers and Angus Cycling Club. Through their experience of racing and a revival in interest in cycling, they started up schoolboy racing and brought on a lot of young cyclists. In 1976 the Dundee Loan Clubrooms were sold to the Angus Council to allow for road improvements. The Clubrooms which the club now occupies, at the junction of Glamis Road and Lowson Avenue , are somewhat smaller reflecting the changing trends of club activity.

In 1978 and 1979 Angus CC organised road races around Montrose Town Centre and in 1992 they organised mountain bike races.  The racing side was a dominant force within the Dundee Centre track and road events in the 1980’s, but by the late 1990’s the racing section had folded.

In 1988 the club erected a bothy at Reekie Lynn with the aim of attracting a few new members, with several Dundee members travelling up twice a week to spend the day there. The Club holds a barbeque, camping and social weekend here every year. 

Club runs are organised for Sundays throughout the year. The speed and distance of the runs depends on who turns up, sometimes they split into two groups, with no one getting left behind to get lost on their own. Evening runs take place on Wednesdays throughout the year. All of the runs leave from the Lochside Leisure Centre, Forfar. Club activities cover a wide range of cycling interests and abilities. As well as the Sunday runs they organise a number of Audax events and social away weekends.

Club members range from occasional riders through to keen Audax eventers and dedicated foreign cycle tourers. A wealth of experience and advice is there for the asking. The Angus Cycling Club aims are to promote cycling in all of its diversity and new members are always welcome.

 David Fawcett.

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