THE ROCKINGHAM FOREST WHEELERS
The Rockingham Forest Wheelers was formed on the 17th July, 1950 in response to an advertisement in the Evening Telegraph, Corby by John Scrimgeour
The object of the club was and still is, to encourage the sport and pastime of cycling in all its forms. In the early years of the Club's life, the officers realised the advantage of having a building in which the members could meet regularly and it was resolved that the ultimate aim be the acquisition of their own property. In the meantime, various rooms and buildings were used among them being, the Jubilee Hall, Middleton, the Clubroom of the Woolpack Inn, Middleton and the house of one of the members at Caldecott. During this period, the Club engaged in many fund raising efforts with the aim that when sufficient money was available, and when a suitable site or property came onto the market, it could be purchased. Early in 1959 it became known that a row of cottages in Ashley Road, Middleton had been the subject of a closing order and that the owner was interested in their disposal. Although the property was in a dilapidated condition, it was felt that with renovation and alteration, it could be converted to suitable headquarters. Maurice Cumberworth was behind the ultimate purchase.
The local authority was consulted and outline permission given for a change of use. One cottage was usable and we moved into this immediately, some work had to be carried out to make it function but this was kept to the minimum.
Work commenced in November, 1966 under the guidance of Basil Clarke and the building as you see it today is witness of the efforts. The porch and front door are new, the room with bar and kitchen was two rooms with a small stairway leading to three bedrooms; this is now a sitting room. The middle cottage has been converted to toilets with a further quiet room above. The third cottage has had the first floor removed for use as a games room. It is difficult to describe in a few words all that has been done. Displayed in the building are a number of photographs which will give some idea. The roof has been completely removed and replaced, access to all the cottages obtained, all floors renewed, main drainage installed and water connected. All walls have been cleaned and re-pointed and a fair amount of the stonework replaced. A complete electrical installation has been wired to provide for lighting and electrical central heating and gas installed for hot water system for showers.
Then began the long discussion on what to do with the building as a whole. It soon became obvious that the resources of the Club could not meet the proposed cost of the project. Following discussion with the local education authority, it was confirmed that a grant towards the total cost could be applied for. There followed 18 months of negotiation which finally resulted in the confirmation of grant aid. During the whole of this period, no work was possible as this was a condition of the application. In order to save as much money as possible, it was agreed that a fair proportion of the work could be carried out by the members themselves.
The Club is naturally proud of its achievements and the efforts of its members. The Clubhouse will now provide for the needs of those interested in cycling in Corby and the surrounding areas for many years to come. It is also available to other Organisations upon application. It serves as a regular meeting place for members and headquarters for the promotion of cycle racing, offering some of the finest facilities to be found on such occasions.