Bill Harmsworth - Certificate of Merit

Bill Harmsworth - Certificate of Merit

Bill Harmsworth has been awarded the CTC Certificate of Merit for his life long service and devotion to cycling, CTC and Portsmouth DA over 70 years.

Bill Harmsworth has been a keen cyclist throughout his life and an active member of Portsmouth CTC for 70 years. Bill joined the CTC in 1936 and started riding with Portsmouth, his local District Association (DA) the same year.

Bill served an apprenticeship at Portsmouth Dockyard and worked there all his working life. Except for the latter half of the Second World War when he was posted to Simonstown in South Africa and later in 1950 he accepted a posting to Hong Kong. By then he was Portsmouth District Secretary and regrettably the posting forced his resignation. Bill served as a committee member for many years from the 1960’s to the 1980’s being elected as a Vice President and then President. During this time he was also the Club Treasurer from 1975 to 1984.

Over the years Bill has regularly supported club rides, many times as leader, throughout his cycling career and has always been a popular member of the group. Gwen, his wife, was also a staunch supporter of Club rides and for many years, as Vice President, a committee member. Gwen partnered Bill on their tandem some 50 years ago.   In his eighties he helped establish and lead an Easy Riders group and turned up regularly on Sunday mornings. He was always very supportive of and gave encouragement to new cyclists.

Bill and Gwen enjoyed helping with many of the organised DA events during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. They were very generous by supplying many raffle prizes for various DA functions. They also took part in numerous events including: Mini-Bus assisted trips to the York Rally and Birthday Rides; Saturday trips to watch the Wembley Skol ‘6’; Coach trips to London to watch the finish of the Milk Race; and joining DA and local riders in a large removal van as transport to ride in the early London to Brighton charity cycle rides.

Bill and Gwen also helped with the interclub cycle gymkhana at Westbourne with local clubs supplying some of the officials and riders.

It was only a couple of  years ago that Bill stopped riding on Club rides but may still be seen riding his bike locally at the age of 87. Bill and Gwen still like to attend special DA events particularly the AGM and Prize Giving Lunch every year whenever possible.