Eddie Wingrave MBE, 1916 - 2012

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21 March 2012

We have heard the sad news that Eddie Wingrave MBE passed away on the 15th March 2012 at the age of 95.

British Cycling President, Brian Cookson OBE said: “Eddie Wingrave was a wonderful servant of the sport at so many levels and epitomised the qualities of dedication and selflessness upon which the sport is so reliant. His career in cycling, cycle racing and officiating at many levels spanned almost 80 years and his passing truly marks the end of an era for London cycling in particular and for British cycling as a whole. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.”

Born during the Great War, Eddie Wingrave was first introduced to cycle racing at the age of 11 and took out his first racing licence in 1933, his particular forte being motor paced events, riding behind “big motors”. He also rode as “stoker” on tandems and was one of Ernie Mills’ tandem team which twice broke the national tandem paced 50 mile record at Herne Hill.

However, it was “behind the scenes” as a club official, race organiser and race official that he made his biggest mark on cycling.

At club level, he served as President, Chairman, Racing Secretary and Social Secretary during many years with the Old Kent Cycling Club.

He was a track official at the 1948 Olympics at Herne Hill and it was shortly after this that he started promoting events and became a chief judge and commissaire for both road and track races.

For nine years, Eddie was secretary of the now defunct London Accident Fund which was set up to raise money for cyclists who had hit on hard times and organised 5 Saturday track meetings a year to boost funds during the fifties and sixties. In 1951 he was approached by Mecca the entertainment's company to organise a series of roller competitions in conjunction with a variety show at music halls all over the country. This meant he had to take out a Professional Racing Licence with the only other professional registered at that time being Reg Harris.

He officiated at and organised events at both Crystal Palace and Herne Hill for 50 years. (Normally 3 times a week with weekends as extra) and during the nineties, when Bromley Council closed down the Crystal Palace Circuit, he spent many hours writing to and phoning Bromley Council until the circuit was finally re-opened in its current form.

After serving on the committee of the South East London region of British Cycling for 50 years he received a Regional Gold Badge of Honour. He also received a Gold Badge of Honour from British Cycling for services to cycling.

A member of London Region Cycling Association for 40 years (7 years as Chairman) he received their Gold Badge of Honour. As a member of the Southern Counties Cycling Union committee for 50 years and President for 4 years (normal term of service 3 years) Eddie was asked to serve the fourth year as it was the Centenary year of the SCCU. He also received their Gold Badge of Honour.

Eddie was a member of the South East London time trials committee for 10 years. In his capacity as official observer for the Road Record Association he has attended many RRA record attempts. He received a Gold badge of honour from the Fellowship of Old Timers and made an honorary life member of the Women's Racing Cycling Association and the Pedal Club. He was also awarded Gold Badge of honour from the London Federation of Sport for organising the cycling events as part of the London Youth games.

Amongst his other achievements, he organised the first Paralympic World Cycling Championship at Crystal Palace in the eighties. He was also both Team Manager and Mechanic for a number of GB teams racing abroad.