Pedals to the medal

Emsworth Cycling Club meet in 1909
Emsworth Cycling Club meet in 1909

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Remember Clarrie Kingsbury, the two-time gold medal-winning cyclist from the London 1908 Games who came from Portsmouth?

During the Olympics I ran a piece on his epic rides at White City alongside a picture of his homecoming at which he was greeted by an estimated 60,000 people outside the town hall.

More than 60,000 people welcomed double Olympic gold medal winner Clarrie Kingsbury back to Portsmouth after his triumph in 1908

More than 60,000 people welcomed double Olympic gold medal winner Clarrie Kingsbury back to Portsmouth after his triumph in 1908

Now Emsworth Museum has got in touch and would like to know what links, if any, Clarrie had with the town’s cycling club.

Clarrie, who hailed from North End, turned up on a sheet of three pictures which were recently picked up at auction by Emsworth resident Michael Edwards. Attached to them was an Emsworth Cycling Club medal.

I’ve reproduced them here and, as you can see, the two postcards of Clarrie sit alongside one captioned ‘Emsworth Cycling Club Sports’ and the date: July 1909.

A year after his Olympic triumph he must have attracted huge crowds to any public appearance, but whether he attended this event remains to be seen.

However, he did race with Emsworth Cycling Club at some point in 1908 as the minute from National Cyclists’ Union Review of November 1908 makes clear.

Mr Edwards, a member of Emsworth Maritime and Historical Trust, which administers the museum, has donated the photos and the medal to the museum.

Please get in touch if you can shed light on any links Clarrie had with Emsworth.