Ken Bainbridge – life member, Hartlepool Cycling Club.
Ken was given his first bike when aged 11, he passed what we now call “the 11 Plus” becoming a pupil at Brinkburn Grammar School. That bike was to become the start of a lifelong passion for “cycling”. Leaving school at 16, he along with a few schoolmates became active tourists and members of the Youth Hostels Association. Soon becoming attracted to the competitive side of the sport and joining the Teesside Road Club. Primarily on account of it’s winning ways in time trials. But with conscription still in force, his fledgeling career with the Trustees Savings Bank was interrupted, as was his cycling. Ken became a soldier, serving in the Royal Army Pay Corps in Kenya until 1950. Upon return home and back to cycling, he joined the more local North Eastern Road Club. Finally settling with what was then called the West Hartlepool Cycling Club. Bak home in 1950, Ken made a plan to organise a circuit race on the Hartlepool Trading Estate. A race he won, repeating that performance in 1954. Over the years, in WHCC colours he raced in time trials up to 12 hours duration, circuit and road races, competing well into his 40’s. For variety and along with John Hubbard, they set a number of “place to place ” records in the area – on a tandem ! All of that as well as becoming ever more involved in committee activities where his banking experience was valued.There was much we shared together. We agreed the need to widen our range of social activities. The Queens Rink or the Town Hall being the places to meet young ladies – the Saturday night ballroom dance. Jointly, we enrolled at the Joffre School of Dance. Learning “one – two- three – hitch, repeating one – two – three – hitch”. Practice did not make us perfect but most of the time, we managed to stay in time with the music. Ken’s sister joined us and we subsequently became a “twosome”, marrying in 1957. Dorothy was also a keen cyclist, riding time trials along with club rides each Sunday under the guidance of Dick Nelson. A father figure within the club.
Upon retirement from racing, he qualified within the British Cycling Federation, becoming one of the leading officials across all branches of cycle sport, his services been in constant demand. Going on to officiate at world and national championships including the international Milk Race – Tour of Britain. Ultimately receiving an award as its longest serving official.
Upon retirement from TSB, be qualified as an Official Sampling Officer with the Sports Council, travelling far and wide in connection with anti-doing controls, applicable to athletes.
It had always been his intention to return to Hartlepool, the place he loved. Allowing him to participate with club mates in social gatherings. Sharing memories of old times. This he did to the end of his days.
Finally, the family intends to arrange a gathering in Hartlepool, for his many friends, when the present restrictions are removed.
A life well lived and a friend to all who had the good fortune to know him.