John Smith



27.6.1929 – 7.5.2017




Outwardly, John was best known as a very successful long-distance Time Trialist. However, he also applied the same level of commitment, determination and endurance in his loyal service to the club.


His racing achievements are well documented. He was a ‘stayer’, who came into his own as race distances increased, most notably in 12 and 24 hour events.


He joined the WKRC in 1954, making an immediate impression by recording 222+ miles in his 1st ever 12hr. There followed 3 years of significant achievements. In 1955/56/57 he competed in a total of 15-100mile, 11-12hr and 3-24hr events. This brought him the club 12hr Championship in 1955 (with a record distance of 248+ miles that stood for 7 years) and 1956, along with the 24hr Championship in the same years with club records on both occasions. In fact, his 1955 12hr distance still stands today as the leading rider in the Club Team record.  Although he began to ease back a bit thereafter, in the following years until he retired from the long distances in 1961, he still competed in a total of 14-100miles and 9-12hr events.


Although endurance events were his forte, he did mix them with shorter distances, records showing that, during those 8 years, he rode over 100 time trials at 25, 30 and 50 miles. Add regular club and training runs and it can be seen what a prodigious ‘mile eater’ he was. His meticulously kept mileage charts for 1954/55/56 total almost 50,000 miles (recording 18,220 in 1956)!


Time trialling, though, was only one side of John. He also gave consummate service to the running of the club over many years. Within a year of joining he was on the Club Committee. Thereafter he served at various times as Club Captain, Vice-Captain, Club Magazine Editor, Club Room Steward, Press Secretary and Club Events Timekeeper. His greatest contribution, however, was in the most onerous of offices, that of General Secretary, a position he held very efficiently from 1963 to 1972 and for which he was honoured with the well-deserved, but rarely given, award of Life Membership.


John slipped into the background during the next decade but reappeared in the 90s and a certificate from a non-competitive Reliability Trial in 1999 records that he was still capable of completing the challenging 50 miles in under 4 hours.


There are still some around who rode alongside John in his prime years. He is remembered with much affection and respect and not just within the club. As someone who was still showing up as recently as 2013 to represent the club as a marshal at the Kent Cycling Association 12hr Championship, 58 years after he won the event himself, he is remembered much more widely.


Club Runs More

  • Many thanks to everyone who rode today’s event. We had 60 riders sign on with the majority making it round. There was a tie for the club with the most finishers. Both CC Bexley and Old Portlians had 10 finishers. Many thanks and well done. We will be making a donation of the profits from […]


  • Hever Road is closed tomorrow due to Openreach replacing a telegraph pole.   Please see route amendment below – maps will be provided tomorrow detailing the change,   http://wkrc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/Detour.pdf    


  • Start the new year with a ride to celebrate the West Kent Road Club’s 80th year. Our annual reliability trial will take place on Sunday 7th January 2018. Please add our event to your club’s diary and website, and don’t forget to tell your fellow members & friends. A reliability trial is a bicycle event that challenges […]


  • Three intrepid WKRC members braved the inclement weather on Saturday 11th November to pay respects to the local memorial sites for downed WWII airmen. An annual event which begins with a visit to the Chelsfield site on Warren road where RAF Sargeant John Hugh Mortimer Ellis is commemorated.   A visit to the Shoreham Aircraft […]


Latest News More

  • In a hard fought 1 hour race around cyclo parc Gary Richardson went for a long sprint to take the win.  Congratulations Gary. Colin Ashcroft and Lol Toombs came in second and third.   We had 10 riders, the weather was kind and we all stayed dry.   My thanks go out to Paul Townley […]


  • Road users are now able to submit footage of dangerous driving to police in England and Wales, using a platform set up by a dashcam manufacturer. The website allows visitors to upload videos before sending footage to the right police force. It also redirects visitors to those forces with their own submission websites.


  • On Saturday 16th June 2018 over 50 people attended the lunchtime meeting for the WKRC 80TH Anniversary. This group consisted of  several senior men and women members of the club, widows of former members and current members with partners & siblings. The meeting was held at The Chequers PH in Crockenhill. Kent and several members […]


  •   16th June 2018 – 80th Year reunion – Chequers PH Crockenhill – Contact Trevor for details   29 July 2018 – Peter and Gill Stone Memorial TT – Marshalls needed   12 August 2018 – Road Race Championship at Cyclopark – 1st and 2nd claim riders of WKRC only   23 November 2018 – […]


Events CalendarMore

August 12, 2018
  • WKRC Road Race Championship
      August 12, 2018 - 9:00 am - 1:00 pm


    WKRC 2018 Club Road Race Championship

    Open to all First and Second claim members, @ Cyclopark,Gravesend.

    Sunday 12th August 2018

    Circuit booked from 9am – 12pm

    Race 10.30am – 11.30am.

    Further details to follow


August 19, 2018
  • Club Run To Aylesford
      August 19, 2018 - 9:15 am - 2:15 pm


September 4, 2018
  • Monthly Club Meeting
      September 4, 2018 - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


October 2, 2018
  • Monthly Club Meeting
      October 2, 2018 - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


November 6, 2018
  • Monthly Club Meeting
      November 6, 2018 - 8:00 pm - 10:00 pm


market place more