The Acme Wheelers Cycling Club was formed in 1927 by a group of Rhondda coalminers and took its name from their favoured brand of mining tools - ACME. The word means "the peak of perfection".
From its beginning the club had a strong involvement with all aspects of the sport, promoting the first 25 mile time trial in South Wales which was open to members of all clubs. Members also had a strong presence in various official capacities. Its success in racing dates from its earliest days with the golden year being 1958 when Dave Evans set a new British Competition Record for 25 miles of 55 minutes 48 seconds and with brothers Dai and Chris Hughes went on to set a new British Competition Team Record for 50 miles of 6 hours 59 seconds. Young Kris Hamer brought us national coverage again in 1994 when he became joint British Junior Champion at 10 miles with a time of 22 minutes 51 seconds.
Acme Wheelers also have a successful track and road-racing background including representation in the prestigious Tour of Britain and Commonwealth Games. The club has a record number of Welsh Best All Rounder team wins as well as a number of individual champions. Solo and Tandem records including the Welsh end to end (Holyhead to Cardiff) both male and female were also held by our members.
The club continues to have a strong team spirit, the members being proud of its heritage and enjoying its social activities.
Everyone is welcome to meet us in our clubroom on the upper floor of Tonypandy Methodist Church,just off Pandy Square on Llwynypia Road and next to Home Bargains. We meet weekly from 7 until 9 pm on Thursdays during the winter and spring.
MEMORIES OF THE EARLY YEARS recorded by former President, Emlyn Jones.
1927 The Acme Wheelers were founded and conformed at the home of the Graham brothers.
1928 Recorded minutes date from 1928 when subscriptions were five shillings. [ 20 shillings made £1 ] At the AGM of that year the financial statement showed a cash balance of 18 shillings and one penny.
Also in 1928 the Club organised it's first Open 25 mile race and gave awards of Gold and Silver medals. The race entry fee was one shilling and sixpence.
1929 The Club opened it's first bank account with Lloyd's Bank, Porth.
1930 Presented with my first trophy, from Nobby Clark of Ynyshir. The Club also promoted its first 50 mile race.
1931 A 'sponsor', John Bull Tyre Company presented the 25 mile Open awards.
1932 The first GrassTrack event at Tonyrefail [restricted to members only] in conjunction with the British Legion Sports Day. The first Club 12 Hour event, winner Jack Evans [ Jackie Dogs ] 188 miles, averaging over 15.6 mile per hour. The Club's finances that year were, cash at bank 1 shilling and eleven pence, cash in hand 13 shillings and two pence.
1933 The Club has a new president, Dr Moody Jones, and the finances rocket to £3-8s-0p. The Club also held its first real Club Dinner at 3 shillings and 6 pence a ticket and entertainment provided by the members. In October, clubroom accommodation was provided in the form of two basement rooms, by the kindness of J.Arnold [the proprietor of a bike shop in Porth ]. The Club also took the modern approach, moving with the times a subscription was included for the Ladies membership.
1934 Twenty-one members attended the AGM. That year five members went on a cycling and camping holiday in the West Country, £1-10shillings and an extra 3 shiilings and sixpence return via the Severn Tunnel and 9 pence entrance to Plymouth Navy Week. Another event recalled in 1934, going to the Rugby International played at St Helen's, Swansea. Rode to Swansea, no ticket for the match, parked the bike up in someones garden, climbed over the wall into the field. After the game, bought a pot of tea [ 4 pence]. Day out, rode 80 miles, saw the game, total cost 4 pence.
1935 During 1935 new traffic lights were installed near Bridgend on the 25 mile course. On the day of the Acme Open 25, five riders were caught by the police for jumping the lights and were taken to book. An appeal amongst those clubs taking part raised £3-10 shillings which helped tp pay the fines and the slicitors fee of £1.
1936 The Secretary negotiated the purchase of a wooden, sectional building at St Mellon's near Cardiff. Glyn Thomas was director of operations, dismantling, re-erecting and installing a new floor. Ron NIcholas, a civil engineer, pegged out and prepared the site at Ynysmaerdy. The asking price for the building was £12-10s. After negotiations the owner accepted the figure of £10. Total cost with the new floor, £16.
1937 The Club's finances growing stronger. At bank £12-15s-10p, cash in hand 5 shillings, liability of £1.
1939 In January the Acme Wheelers and other organisations endeavour to have a cycle and running track constructed with the help of Rhondda Urban District Council. Later in the year 17 chairs were pirchased for the clubroom from Wattstown Unemployment Club for 1 shilling each. During September an emergency meeting was held at Derrick's Tea Rooms. The business included the inventory of the Club's assets.A sunny Sunday 3rd September 1939, 4 pm and the outbreak of war.
Note. Emlyn [ Em ] at the age of 72, chose to ride the End-to-End, that is Land's End to John o' Groats. He was sponsored by a Cardiff firm and hoped to raise about £900 for the Bone Marrow Research Fund at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. He expected to take about 16 days which was going to be, he said, "quite a challenge". He hitched a lift to Cornwall, completed the ride with no backup and returned by train.