Mike, I've loved reading your thread. Fantastic to find out so much about your bike, the history of Jim Guard and his bike shop and reading your build back up with period kit. I got so into it that you winning "best preserved" at Eroica brought a tear to my eye (sentimental old fool!). Keep on enjoying!
I'm pretty sure you'll have to register with this local history forum to see this Penny, but a little thread on the Southampton Wheelers here that will interest you, with recollections from the 70s and 80s.
Thanks Jimbonic, that's lovely to hear. It's very much an ongoing project! We took advantage of the weather yesterday to put a few miles on it.
Just going through this thread again, and noticed that Jim ad Olives daughter Sue mentioned her mother may have been on the winning BBAR team one year, but she wasn't sure. A quick google confirms it, in 1955!
Former Winners of The British Best All-Rounder Competition (Ladies)
O M Guard
After a couple of years of intermitent email correspondance, I finally got to meet up with Jim and Olives son, Tim, recently. Tim and his partner made me feel very welcome in their stunning converted threshing barn and immaculate gardens and we had a great chat over lunch.
Following his mothers death at the end of 2016 Tim has been sorting through her effects. There is still a way to go, but there are a couple of boxes that contain cycling memorabilia - photos, medals and trophys. We have made a plan to go through and document and record these over the winter somewhen. Olive was a serious competitive cyclist in her day, winning the prestigious Womens BBAR in 1955 probably the pinnacle of her racing achievements. I can't wait to go through them! Until then, I really need to make time to go through what records the the library here keep on the Southampton Wheelers. As already mentioned in this thread, Olive and Jim met in the club, and were married shortly after in Jan 1949, while Jim was the president I think.
The main reason for the visit was to take custodianship of two old bikes in Olives shed. These were the last bikes of Jim and Olive, and I had no idea what to expect. Jim and Olive were both diehard cyclists, touring long distances in Europe in their younger days, cycling to work every day, and home for lunch. Jim was even in the habit of cycling 100 miles every birthday, well into his 80's!
Both bikes understandably had a fair amount of shed dust on them, and a very similar frame size, so when we wheeled out the first slightly larger frame we mistakenly thought it was Jims, but there on the top tube, faded but unmistakable, was OLIVE GUARD. And what a lovely machine it was, even under a layer dust. I'm assuming it's a Fred Dean frame, and from the 1950's? The wheels and gearing have been upgraded over the years, I assume the chainset as well. My plans are to clean and overhaul it, but not to alter it at all. I would like to leave it exactly as Olive left it on her last ride. My dilema then is if it hangs up in the back of my bike shed mothballed/preserved, who actually enjoys this peice of local Southampton cycling heritage? I'd love to take it out on a few local VCC rides, on roads Olive would have ridden, and with other riders who may remember her and the bike ...
Anyway, here it is pretty much as found.
Check out the toe straps!
I would like to leave it exactly as Olive left it on her last ride.
I would like to leave it exactly as Olive left it on her last ride.
Wonderful story. Look forward to seeing updates on the contents of the box!
What a story...
And here is Jim Guards last machine, from the late 70's. He used this as a daily hack, and for doing the occasional 100 miles on his birthdays!
I've no idea on the maker. The only transfer is Jim Guards own name badge on the top tube. It's super light and feels like it should go like stink ... close ratio gears, narrow tyres, narrow saddle ... The saddle looks like Jim has swapped it over from bike to bike, and must be decades older than this machine. I wonder what mileage it has on it!
Feel very honoured to be this bikes custodian, and to keep alive the memory of Jim Guard some way through it. Not entirely sure how yet, but sharing it here is a start. As with Olives bike, an clean and overhaul to get it back on the road, and maybe it will hit the mean streets of Southampton again ...
Anyone have an old bike computer that will fit this? Anyone recognise it?? Many thanks!
Great story, great bikes.
Jim's old bike lives!
Thanks for the positive comments. It's good to keep a little bit of local cycling heritage alive.
First ride was uncomfortable. I used my old method of raising the saddle an inch, whether it needed it or not, jumping on and hoping for the best. Saddle still felt a little low, and too far forward. I was perched on the back. Hopefully raising it a touch more will help for the return trip when I finish work tonight. Couldn't get top gear either, but that took two turns with a screwdriver once I got in. It's low geared, and they are very close ratio gears. You can tell Jim wasn't a great fan of wide ratio and double chain rings!
My usual average speed commuting into work is 13/14 mph at the moment, on the 1948 Rotrax with a low geared 4 speed SA hub. My uncles 1955 Cliff Peters with 10 speed and a Campy Record derailleur is nippier, and I get 14/15 average on that. Even taking it steady, on a bike that didn't fit me properly, with no top gear, I got 15.5 on this ...
I have a Jim guard that I bought a couple of years ago.
I could send photos if I knew how,
I met David Baylis at beaulieu.he said Jim guard was like a brother to him.
David said his brother Jonathan was a tandem partner and that they raced herne hill,bath rd,in the 60's on a Hobbs blue riband.
F.no.4761 325 ( March '52?)
Hope this is helpful,James
I have a Jim Guard frame and forks.f.no.4761 325. March 1952
Good to hear from you James, and another Jim Guard owner!
I do not know the Baylis brothers, but found this on a quick search on google, so educating myself!
SPOTLIGHT ON SOUTHAMPTON
By Tony Taylor
The long established Southampton Wheelers
produced two top post war time trialists - Ken
Whitmarsh and Jon Baylis. After the last war
Ken Whitmarsh had recorded times for 25, 50,
and 100 miles, of 58min 54sec, 2hr lmin 6sec
and 4hr l0min 0sec. He clocked 4:18:53 to win
the National 100 mile TT Championship in
1952, while Jon Baylis took the same title in
1961 with a time of 4:11:54. The Southampton
Wheelers, including his brother David Baylis
and Pete Betteridge were also the winning team.
That year, Jon Baylis recorded a 4:02:42 in the
prestigious Bath Road 100, but was beaten into
2nd place, as was Pete Betteridge in
the same event the following year,
when he recorded 4:03:46. Jon
Baylis recorded a 1:55:42 in the last
50 mile TT of the season to clinch
the runner's up position in the 1960
British Best All Rounder (BBAR) the
third Southampton Wheeler to have
done so, after Johnny Potter and
1961 proved to be the club's
most successful year, with the Baylis
brothers and Betteridge winning the
team prize in the National 12 Hour
Championship. Jon Baylis was again runner
up in the BBAR, and the team of Jon Baylis,
Pete Betteridge and Ray Holt were runners
up in the BBAR team award. The Baylis's
grandfather Alfred, was a founder member of
the Southampton Wheelers, and their uncle was
the club's best pre-war rider.
In the 1955 Womens' National 10 mile TT
Championship, the Wheelers team of Anne
Mounsey, Pat Clark and Olive Guard won the
team award with a competition record.
Another outstanding time trialist was
Glen Longland (Antelope RT). He broke the
competition record for 12 hours in 1983,
1986 and again in 1991, breaking the 300
mile barrier. Longland later turned his efforts
to three wheels, and between 1989 and 1992,
broke the tricycle competition record at 10, 25
and 50 miles. The Antelope RT broke the team
record on all these occasions, with R.Dadswell,
T. Dadswell and N. Stroud. R. Dadswell also
broke the 12 hour tricycle record in 1993.
The Achilles VC was the first to affiliate to
the British League of Racing Cyclists (BLRC) in
1944, to cater for road racing. An early success
was the 3rd place by Ron Filsell in the first ever
stage race in Britain, the 3-Day Southern Grand
Prix, held that year. This club was superseded
in the early 1950s by the Orion RC, later by
the Test RC, and eventually the GS Europa.
The leading road-men from these clubs in
the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s were Brian Packer,
John Parfitt, Mike Lewis, Pete Glasspool, Colin
Ayley and Derek Witt, who was
tragically killed by a drunk driver
Southampton had its own
cycle track at the Southampton
Sports Centre, with regular
meetings under the auspices of the
Southampton Cycle Track League.
Competitors were mainly from
and Bournemouth/Poole area.
In 1945 Freddie Prince bought
a cycle shop in Shirley Road,
Southampton, and started to build
racing frames, giving them the brand name
Rotrax (his shortened version of road and
tracks). The business proved very successful,
until mass production proved too much for
specialist frame builders. For the 1950 season
Brian Packer rode as an Independent (semi-
professional) for Rotrax Cvcles.
Another business in Southampton was
Jim Guard Cycles. Jim Guard was himself a
racing man in the Southampton Wheelers, and
for seasons 1960 and 1961 he sponsored as
lndependents, Test RC members Mike Lewis
and Pete Glasspool.
Over the years there have been many local
cycling clubs in the area most of which had
racing traditions in time trials, the majority
have since disappeared. Some familiar names
were - Crabwood CC Erramus CC, Southern
Paragon CC and Solent & District RC,
although the Sotonia CC still survives.
Getting some good evening rides in on the Jim Guard, mainly around the nearby Meon Valley and South Downs.
Summer evening rides on The Jim Guard by Mike, on Flickr
Carrying the rear wheel off Jim Guards last bike, (1979 - worn rear sprocket) on one of his first bikes (1949).
No sprint carriers ... by Mike, on Flickr
Great to see a photo here of Olive Guard, part of the winning All Rounder team.
Champions' Concert Souvenir Programme, 1955. by Robert, on Flickr
Hello, interesting thread, I’m Fred baylis’s grandson and always been facinating to hear about the Baylis cycling for Southampton wheelers, Jon and David seemed to be exceptional cyclists. I’d love to retrace some of there routes, does anyone know the old race courses? So I can retrace there tyres?
Kind regards Alex Rowsell (my mums Baylis) :)
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