Club History

The Club was formed by a group of enthusiasts from the Suffolk section of the Cyclists’ Touring Club in 1961, with the aim of allowing CTC members to both tour and race. As there were already clubs in the area the Suffolk Roads CC, the Ipswich Bicycle Club and the East Suffolk Wheelers, it was decided to name the club after Ipswich’s most famous son Cardinal Wolsey.
A photo from the Club’s first AGM in 1962.
During the first few years activities were confined to promoting club time trials and riding in local road races. As the 1970s approached members wanted to promote open events, the first Open ‘25’ was in 1965. Then in 1973 the Club ran the first Professional road races in Suffolk, as a round-the-town event along Felixstowe sea front. Felixstowe town council gave a trophy and the first prize was £15. The event attracted all the top English teams and was run for several years very successfully.
1968 was the first time riders raced ‘abroad’ – on a trip with Chantry School to the Isle of Man where Roger Pooley rode four events.
Later in the 1970s the Club teamed up with SAAB cars and Dales Service Station and with their sponsorship for both open TTs and road races, including combined weekend events around what was known as the ‘Holbrook Circuit’.
From its beginning the Club always had a good influx of teenage riders coming forward from the ranks of the CTC. The top rider to come from this was Lee Wardley, who went on to represent Britain twice at the Cyclo-Cross World Championships. Since the early 1970s the Club had been promoting Cyclo-Cross events both at Blaxhall Heath and in Ipswich Parks such as Holywells and Landseer, and the English Schools East Anglian Cyclo-Cross Championships in Holywells Park.
Adding to this impressive list of promotions the membership decided to team up with Ransomes to close down Ipswich town centre for more ‘round-the-town’ cycle races, including every type from Tricycles to schoolboys and top amateurs. This gained the Club exposure in newspapers and on local TV.
The Club also produced several good road racers in the early 1970s when a group of top riders joined the Club, including Pat Pepper who was already world class at road racing having represented Britain several times abroad. These riders helped to develop the standard of members racing skills and in 1981 a Wolsey team of Mick Pepper, Morrie Batchelor and Colin Kindred was first team in the National 12 hour Championship.
The next rider to show on the National stage was Steve Beales, who in 1985 finished 13th in the British Best All Rounder Competition and had such impressive times for all distances that most are still in the Club’s record books today.
Away from racing Olive Forsbrook started the Club Newsletter in the late 1980’s to keep members informed and it continues today with Mick Pepper as Editor. Another non-competitive event is the Annual Reliability Trial held in February, and run from various village halls under several organisers with great success. The Wolsey from its beginning has always welcomed female members unlike many clubs at the time. It has had many excellent female racers with the standard continuing to the present day. The Club has held a joint Annual Prize Presentation with CTC Suffolk since 1963 that continues to be a popular occasion but less formal than originally when there was live music and dancing.
The club has kept a careful track of its members’ achievements. A list of the various rider time trial records within the club is available here