The Golden Book of Cycling
“A Golden Book for Golden Deeds”
“Tonight Cycling will make a present of the Golden Book to cycling; tonight cycling will present the book to Cycling to be held in safe keeping for posterity with a charge that only the deeds of the great shall find a place in its pages”
Jan. 30th 1932
At the second British Best All-Rounder concert in 1932 Mr Roland E. Dangerfield, director of Temple Press (proprietors of “Cycling” magazine), presented a book to the Sport and Pastime of cycling to record the great deeds and golden moments of cycling. He asked Frank Southall to accept it on behalf of cycling and pastime, and to sign the first page. This was performed on the stage at the Albert Hall in front of 5,000 cyclists. Frank Southall then handed the book back in the name of cycling and pastime to Mr Roland E. Dangerfield to continue, and to remain in that journal’s permanent care.
On the cover are over eight thousand hand worked toolings of 22 carat gold and each of the 200 leaves is made from calf-skin vellum.
The entries in Cycling’s Golden Book may tell of a great ride, or series of rides in competition or against the clock on road or path; the written story may, on the other hand, set down for posterity to read the achievements of a man or woman who, by his or her legislative ability or untiring effort, has earned a special niche in cycling history as a benefactor to the sport and pastime.
The editors of “Cycling” (H.H. England, George Pearson, Alan Gayfer and Ken Evans) obtained a further 72 signatures, with the last one in 1972 by Hugh Porter for winning the world pursuit championship at Leicester in 1970. It was normal practice for them to take the book along to cycling functions and obtain their signatures.
Eddie Wingrave and Keith Robins lobbied to get Cycling to restart the Golden Book after a 17-year lapse, but they refused, and would not even consider the Pedal Club acting on their behalf. However, Eddie Wingrave negotiated with Keith MacDonald, Managing Director of Prospect Magazine (Cycling Weekly publisher) and, after much deliberation, it was passed to Mr Simon Thompson, Sales Director. This lead to another meeting when they agreed to discuss it with their editorial staff. Their feeling was that the old Golden Book was past history. Eddie persisted and got an agreement from Cycling Weekly that they would not object to the Pedal Club having a Golden Book. This is when the Pedal Club committee decided to produce their own book in 1991 and called it the “Pedal Club Golden Book” and to continue where Cycling Weekly left off.
Ten years later “Cycling” decided to hand cycling’s Golden Book over to the Pedal Club for safe-keeping. In doing so they relieved themselves of their charge (of keeping it in their permanent care and only recording the deeds of the great on its pages) which then passed to the Pedal Club who now hold both books.