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As part of the Club’s goal of supporting cycle racing, we are pleased to sponsor the Ron Beckett Scratch Race as part of the Good Friday meeting, formerly held at Herne Hill Velodrome and now at the London 2012 Lee Valley Velopark venue. Full details on the event can be found on the events website with links to BC entry for riders and tickets for spectators.
In memory of Ron Beckett
Ron at the 2005 Good Friday Meeting
Ron joined the Bec in 1950, having previously been in the Unity CC for a short period after finishing his National Service. On joining the Bec Ron met and later married (in 1954) Hazel Pentecost, sister of Jim and Connie Pentecost, who had all joined the Bec in 1949.
Known as `Porky Beckett’ to his contemporaries (because he was as thin as a rake), Ron competed on the track, grass track, rollers and in TT’s: racing alongside his brother-in-laws Jim Pentecost and Phil Wells and other big names of the Bec in the early 1950’s, including double National 50 mile champion and triple 50 mile competition record-holder Keith Bentley.
Ron hung-up his racing wheels at a relatively young age, but turned his energies evermore to promoting and supporting the club in many other ways. Some of his promotions included the Grand Prix of London Roller competitions, Bec open track meetings, and the Bec Open Hill Climb - which he founded. He was the instigator of the club Anniversary 10 mile TT in our 50th Anniversary year (an annual event which is still going 40 years-on), and was a big club fundraiser, putting on events such as `Jazz-Band Balls’ and Jumble sales. On the quirkier side, Ron was also the main driving force behind the club entering and winning first prize for best float in the 1980 Balham & Tooting Carnival.
Ron worked on the club committee holding a variety of positions throughout his life and was the Club President in 1962 and again from 1981 to 1983. He was often the club events timekeeper, and a constant supporter of clubmates whenever and wherever they were competing – ranging from End-to-end attempts, 12 hr and 24 hr races, to two-up time trials in France, as well as weekly local time trials and track events.
A life member of both the Bec and British Cycling - Ron passed away in his sleep in 2005 after having spent the previous day officiating at the Herne Hill Good Friday meeting. His greatest love was track racing above all other cycling disciplines, so it was only fitting that the Bec decided to sponsor a track event in his memory, and what better than an event in the annual meeting that he last worked on - the Good Friday Meeting.
The late Rob Jeffries, a competitor in many events that Ron organised, believed he was the last person to have taken a photo of Ron at the 2005 Good Friday meeting. The following year Rob instigated the Brixton Cycles `Big Ron Beckett Double Harness Pursuit’ in Ron’s memory. Sadly, too few years later, Rob was tragically killed while out on his bike and the Brixton Cycles double-harness pursuit became a joint memorial – two big men and two big losses.