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NWCCA Cyclocross event at Marl Pits Rossendale

For the first time, Rossendale Road Club hosted a round of the North West cyclo-cross series on Saturday, at Marl Pits leisure centre. With this being the penultimate round of the series, there was much at stake with over 300 riders vying for the final league positions in all age groups. Course planner Dave Haygarth had devised circuits which drew praise from all competitors, presenting a variety of ‘old school’ challenges of running muddy patches, tough climbs and technical descents, all set with fine views of the surrounding Rossendale hills.

The majority of valley based riders were involved with the organisation and marshalling, but for those who did manage a ride, some excellent results were recorded on ‘home turf’.

Local girls Elsie Haygarth and Katie Taylor, both posted their best finishes of the season – Katie 3rd woman overall and 1st Junior, with Elsie in second U12 girl’s spot, just 1 second behind the winner, Phoebe Taylor of Eastlands Velo.

In the Men’s V50 event Paul Warrener was 33rd and Phil Warner 40th  thereby taking another V70 award. Dave Haygarth finished 10th in the V40 event, which was won easily by Rob Jebb, with Rob Hope 2nd, both better known for their fell running achievements. Ben Molnar of Rossendale Tri finished 42nd.

Haygarth bettered his earlier result by doubling up in the Senior race with a fine 9th , with Patrick Hickey 23rd. The unfortunate Matt Toman retired after 2 laps with a mechanical breakdown.

Thanks must go to Rossendale Leisure Trust, local residents and other Marl Pits users for their consideration in the staging of this prestigious event. The final round of the series takes place at Buile Hill Park, Salford, on Saturday 25th January.

Photo of Patrick Hickey of RRC on one of the rideable sections:

Johnny Kay and Kay Cycles

Those of us that hail from Rossendale and have already worked their way through quite a few Vet categories will remember the names of Johnny Kay and later Eric Wilson from the bike shop on Bank St. Below is a very interesting potted history of the Kay bike brand and if you have any information to add please get in touch with Robin using the contact info below.

John Kay and Son Cycles – An incomplete history

During the 1950s and 1960s two members of the North Lancashire Clarion C & A C – Alan Ramsbottom and Tom Hoyle – were given racing frames each year by Johnny Kay. As we have all got older we  have talked about these days and, because of the quality of  these  frames, it has been suggested that I compile a brief history of the company and try to find any frames still in existence.

This history is very incomplete and any information that can be given  would be appreciated. Gerald Kay and his wife Kay are living in happy retirement in Spain and, following a search for a Johnny Kay frame, Gerald is  now  regularly riding one of his own frames, given to him as an 80th birthday present.

The firm was founded in 1930 but little is known of these pre-war days except that in 1936 Reg Harris had his first custom built track frame built by Jack Herety at the Rawtenstall shop. Another pre-war Jack Herety frame still exists and is in the ownership of the Herety family.

After the war the business re-started at Bank Street, Rawtenstall, and, with Johnny building and son Gerald using the frames to great success in time trials and road races, business flourished. Many of these frames were built using Nervex Professional lugs with beautiful
wrap over seat stays and pump pegs. The main claim to fame was a guaranteed weight of 6 3/4 lbs and, on the evidence of the frames I have weighed, the claim is well founded.

Johnny also produced experimental frames and rode up and down the Bank Street cobbles on his Unicycle and on his bike with front suspension in the form of two curved supports from the head tube to the front fork ends. A 1950s 6 page catalogue lists only three models “Campiano” at 17 guineas, “Track” at 16 guineas and “Mastrar” at £II / I 9/0, all built with Reynolds 53I double butted tubing and using Nervex Professional lugs. Extras included
chroming and lining. The catalogue is illustrated by three johnny Helms cartoons showing Johnny Kay bikes in various situations. In 1956 Johnny introduced a less expensive frame,“The Rossendale” at £8/ I 9/0.Although this was built by Armstrongs, Johnny insisted that the lugs be sent to him for filing and detailing before the frames were built! After the war transfers took the form of a head tube/seat tube crest and script type down tube transfers in black/gold and red. Later, as RTTC rules relaxed, large down tube blocks were used on track and racing frames (originally these were sign written on). The head tube crests show the name Gerald Kay due to an error by the printer who used Johnny’s middle name by mistake. Enamelling was originally done by Holdsworth’s with frames being sent by rail down to London and returned for collection by cart from the station. Plating was carried out by East Lancs Plating. Unfortunately, in an attempt to keep water out of the bottom bracket, Johnny used to plug the bottom of the seat tube with a cork, over the years this meant that the seat tube rusted through about three inches up. This may be one reason why so few frames have survived. Also during the early 1950s Johnny asked Eric Wilson to come and work in the shop and Eric went on to record many of his hill climb wins on a Johnny Kay. The rivalry between the young Eric Wilson and the young Gerald Kay probably encouraged them both to greater successes. In the early 1960s Gerald set up a shop at Halliwell Road, Bolton, where Johnny continued to build frames. The RawtenstaII shop was bought by Jack “Sox” Spencer who, until then, was working for Charlie Parker. From the small sample of 17 frames so far found, dating frames is difficult. The majority of frames have a four digit number, some with a suffix of f•1 (lflastrar) or A (Rossendale). Two frames have five digit numbers but I have not seen these in the flesh so they may be wrong. Confusingly of the only two frames for which the date of purchase is known, 1360 is known to be 1957 but frame number l498 is known to be 1956.
Each year one or more new discoveries are made and the inclusion of a Johnny Kay page on Charles Jepson’s Hill Special website has raised the profile of this builder.

This history is compiled from talks with clubmen and enthusiasts from Lancashire and there is still much to add and so, if you are able to contribute reminiscences please contact:

Robin Hatherell, 18 Church Close, Waddington, Clitheroe, Lancashire, BB7 3HX.

Rossendale Road Club/ Northwest Cyclocross Association Meeting at Marl Pits

This Saturday, 18th January, Rossendale Road Club will be hosting the penultimate round of the North West cyclo-cross series, for the first time ever, at Marl Pits, Rawtenstall. The action starts at 10:30am with the youth’s races, and with riders in all age groups vying for the final podium positions, action will be competitive with all the top NW riders expected to be taking part.

The courses have been set by top Helmshore rider Dave Haygarth, and will comprise a typical Rossendale challenge with tough climbs, muddy stretches and technical descents through wooded areas. Entries are available on the day from under 8’s through to Vet 60+ and spectators are equally welcome. Entry is free of charge for spectators and there will be catering at the event.

For anyone who has not seen cyclo-cross before, this is a great chance to view an event locally and savour the family-friendly atmosphere and action which surrounds this series.

Please note that the Leisure Trust’s facilities at Marl Pits will be open as normal throughout the day.

The start line of the previous round’s Under 12 race, with local youngster Elsie Haygarth of Helmshore, 3rd from the left on the front row.

Weaver Valley CX Northern Cyclo Cross League

The latest round of the North West cyclo-cross series was held on a new course on Saturday at the Royal Cheshire Showground near Knutsford. The gently undulating circuit lent itself to fast open racing, suiting riders more used to racing on the open roads.

It was Roy Flanagan of the Rossendale Road Club who used this to his full advantage by finishing 21st overall in the V50 race and 1st V60, by far his best result of the series. In the same event Tony Bowler scored another top 10 finish in 9th, with Derek Schofield slipping to 30th spot, having taken an early visit to the pits on the first lap. One lap down, Carl Nelson was 41st, ahead of Mick Taylor in 44th with Adrian Watts doing well after a forced break from racing finishing 51st. Graham Wright and Paul Warrener had a good battle to take 60th and 61st places, with Phil Warner failing to finish after a major mechanical fault.

Earlier in the day, Elsie Haygarth of Helmshore scored yet another 2nd spot in the girl’s U12 event, with father Dave, scoring an improved 12th placing in the men’s V40 race.

In the Senior men’s event, Tony Bowler doubled up on his earlier V50 outing, to take a creditable 27th spot, just in front of 31st placed Matt Toman, who was also 4th U23 male.

Katie Taylor continued in her bid to take the Junior Women’s title with an excellent 6th overall in the women’s event and 1st junior.

North of England Cyclocross Championships

The North of England cyclo-cross championships took place at Towneley Park, Burnley on Sunday and Rossendale riders were well represented at almost their local circuit. Heavy rain in the days leading up to the event meant that sodden parts of the course were always going to be tough going and additional overnight rain resulted in a course of which only about 20% was truly rideable, with running being the main requirement.

The conditions suited local top rider Dave Haygarth of Helmshore though, who powered himself to a fine 11th overall in the Mens V40 event, which was won by Rob Jebb, with Rob Hope in second, both perhaps better known for their fell running feats.

However, the conditions didn’t appear to suit Tony Bowler, who has been the leading Rossendale Road Club member in the North West series so far this year, slipping, literally!, to 38th in the V50 race, some way behind Carl Nelson of Helmshore in 32nd. In the same race, Mick Taylor finished 43rd, Paul Warrener had a good ride in 52nd, with Richie Watts 56th.

The V60 event saw the Rossendale team well bunched, with Derek Schofield leading in 9th place overall and 2nd V65, Roy Flanagan 12th, Phil Warner 13th and Graham Wright 15th.


Some of the Rossendale team at the end of the NoE cyclo-cross championship race



Richie Watts coming to a full stop in the horrendous conditions at Towneley Park




Rossendale Road Club

Minutes of 2019 Annual General Meeting

Tuesday 26th November, 7:30pm at Marl Pits Sports Club 

Present:  Derek Schofield, Pauleen Schofield, Adrian Watts,, Julian Monk, Roy Flanagan, Kay Flanagan, Tony Bowler, Damien Ludlow, Lisa Greenwood, Mark Berry, Graham Wright, Paul Warrenenr.

Apologies: Patrick Hickey, Richie Watts, Tracey Taylor, Linda Felton.

Minutes of AGM 2018 (not presented)

Officers reports:

Chairman Paul Warrener

“ Thanks to everyone for supporting our club events. It’s good to see some new names on the trophies this year. I would like to say a big thank you to all our members, new and old, for marshalling, time keeping, organising meetings and, more important, taking part. You’re all amazing. Let’s hope the winter is kind and Xmas is peaceful and happy.

See you all at our first event in February.

Let’s keep our wheels and enthusiasm turning.”


Treasurer Adrian Watts

Profit and Loss account attached.

Adrian noted there is additional expenses of some £300 for the Lee Mill MTB event to be added. This would reduce the net surplus to approximately £107.

Adrian noted there are 23 members paid up for 2019.

There is a balance of over £8,000 in the club account.

The following items were recommended and approved:

  1. Membership subscription for 2020 remains the same as previous at £10
  2. Entry fee for club TTs remains the same as previous at £3. It was noted this covers the CTT levy charge.
  3. The first 2 rides for non-CTT affiliated riders are free. This to be advertised closer to the start of the race season, say mid April.

There was some questions on membership and media. Adrian advised membership forms and club bank account details are available on the club’s website and should be completed.

Tony will set up Facebook and WhatsApp groups which should broaden the information spread.

Post meeting note: This has been completed, together with an Instagram account by Pat Hickey.

Secretary Derek Schofield

Derek noted the Tool and Book libraries are open for business, and thanked those that have made donations. These will be made avilable at each monthly meeting or by contacting Derek direct.

Welfare Lisa Greenwood

No incidents to report

Race secretary Paul Warrener

There have been a few cancelled club events due to inclement weather and roadworks which has reduced the total income. The Whalley – Settle and Bolton by Bowland events attracted a reasonable entry.

It was agreed to run the same events through 2020. 

Election of officers

Chairman             Paul Warrener                                                                                                                       proposed Roy Flanagan   seconded Kay Flanagan

Treasurer             Adrian Watts                                                                                                                   proposed Derek Schofield  seconded Tony Bowler

Secretary             Derek Schofield                                                                                                           proposed Adrian Watts  seconded Kay Flanaga                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Welfare               Lisa Greenwood                                                                                                              proposed Derek Schofield  seconded Adrian Watts

Race Secretary   Paul Warrener                                                                                                          proposed Kay Flanagan seconded Roy Flanagan


Any other business

DS queried the status of club kit. Adrian had looked at alternative suppliers but Champion appeared to provide a reasonable quality and price and it was agreed this should remain. Adrian noted a minimum 10 major kit items must be ordered at any one time, and some additional items are in stock – jerseys and bib tights. It was agreed a new order is opened in the New Year for delivery prior to the 2020 race season.

Date of next Annual General Meeting    TBA


The Rossendale Road Club held their annual dinner and trophy presentation evening at the Sykeside Hotel on Friday, and it was Mark Berry who took the major time trial awards in his first full season of racing with the club. It was not the first time that M.Berry appeared on the trophy winners list though, since Mark was following in his father’s footsteps when his name was noted as a winner during his spell as British Cycle Speedway champion in the early 1970’s.

In addition to the Hill Climb cup, Whalley – Settle cup and Bolton by Bowland cup, Mark’s biggest achievement in 2019 was taking the Harry Law trophy for the evening 10m TT series with a maximum 80 points from his eight winning rides, from 2nd placed Paul Warrener on 73 and 3rd placed Tony Bowler on 70.

Roy Flanagan took the 25m TT cup, the E.Sutton Trophy for the Lakes and Lancs Spoco series and Best All Rounder award with Paul Warrener taking the Labour Party cup for the best 10m TT.

A great night was had by all with a lovely meal, good coversation and a fiendishly difficult test of unscrambling anagrams of pro-cyclist’s names, set by Derek Schofield.


Rossendale Road Club

Annual General Meeting, to be held on Tuesday 26th November, 7:30pm at Marl Pits Sports Club 




  • Minutes of AGM 2018
  • Officers reports:





Race secretary

  • Election of officers
  • Monthly meeting (minutes from October 2019)
  • Any other business

Date of next meeting

October meeting

Rossendale Road Club

Minutes of Tuesday, 29th October 2019 at The Jolly Sailor, Waterfoot

Present:  Derek Schofield, Pauleen Schofield, Linda Felton, Paul Warrener, Adrian Watts, Patrick Michael, Tony Bowler, Roy Flanagan, Richie Watts, Damien Ludlow, Lisa Greenwood


Mark Berry

  • Club rides

Thursday night proposals for September (repeated for October):

31st Oct               Cliviger, Tod and Bacup

Rides for November to follow previous ‘winter’ rides ie. with street lighting. Adrian to advise. 

  • MTB event

To attract more entries, the 2020 event will be held earlier in the year, possibly on a Saturday. AW to confirm.

  • Club Trophies

PW to advise details of 1st, 2nd and 3rd places for trophies.

Agreed that awards are only presented for winners of each trophy. 2nd and 3rd placed to be recorded.

Secret vote taken for Clubman of the Year – to be presented at the Club Dinner.

4 no cups are past their best – to be replaced with shields (18” model in catalogue)

Past winners to be engraved on rear of new shields. 

  • Club Dinner

AW confirmed only available date for Sykeside is Friday 22nd November, and is now booked.

DS has prepared a light hearted quiz for the evening.

Ken Whitehead (Master’s World Team Pursuit champion) has kindly accepted an invitation to attend the dinner as a club guest and to present trophies.

AW has issued the menu, to be returned by latest Wed, 20th November.

Meal booked at 7pm for 7:30. 

  • Annual General Meeting

It is proposed to hold the AGM on Tuesday 26th November. Whitewell Community Centre proposed as a possible venue – AW to check out a contact.

DS will also check out Marl Pits pavilion and Sports Club as possible alternatives. 

  • AOB
  1. AW asked for ideas to increase off-road interest for youth riders, via Rocky Riders. DS offered to place article in Free Press. DS/AW to prepare.
  1. Tool and Book libraries now set up for loan by members. DS will administrate.
  1. GW has now confirmed a NWCCA event at Marl Pits on 18th Jan 2020, under the banner of the RRC. A rosta for helpers has already been issued by GW. Possible additional help will be needed on Friday 17th Jan for course preparation and marking out.
  1. RF noted long term roadworks between Rosegrove and Hapton may reduce traffic on the club’s 10m TT course during 2020. To be checked.
  1. DS queried which affiliations are required.

Agreed as CTT, British Cycling, NLTTA (to included L&L Spoco)

DS to action.

Date of next meeting

AGM 8pm, Tuesday 26th November Venue to be confirmed

NWCCA Cyclocross Heaton Park Manchester

The latest round of the North west cyclo-cross series took place at Heaton Park on Sunday and, after all the recent rain, the course was surprisingly not complete with glutinous mud and the day itself kept dry. Several steep hills were still present though and greasy off-camber bankings kept riders alert.The weather and super venue helped to attract the majority of the North West’s top ‘crossers’ and all the races were extremely competitive.

First rider from Rossendale in action was young Elsie Haygarth in the U12 race, and she rode strongly to finish 3rd girl and 14th overall, slightly down on her previous results but commendable considering the strength of the field.

In the combined Ladies and V50 Men’s race, Tony Bowler continued his strong showing in the league as the leading RRC club member in 17th, with Derek Schofield 30th and 3rd V60. One lap down Roy Flanagan continued his learning curve in his first season of ‘cross’ and, after a bright start, slowed to 49th, and another newcomer,  Phil Warner, turned the tables on Graham Wright from the previous week to finish 62nd, repeating his V70 victory.

In the men’s V40 race, Dave Haygarth was slow off the line, but pulled back to finish 19th, but couldn’t repeat this performance in the later Senior race, coming in 33rd, just in front of Men’s Junior Matt Toman in 38th, a good showing in his first race of the season after a long lay-off due to exams.

There’s a break in the league this weekend, with the next event on Sunday 3rd November at Stadt Moers, Whiston.