PLUS FOURS TO LYCRA, LA MODE DE LA ROAD
Todays aerodynamic lycra is a far cry from pre-war cycling apparel. Of course, living standards, materials and laws were different back then and dictated what was worn. Indeed, we should factor in that road racing was practically illegal once and individual time trialing was a way of disguising a race. Consequently, the riders would need to look as though they were not on a race. Plus Fours seem the obvious choice for riders, but many would need to wear everyday clothes anyway, as budgets and availability of bespoke cycle racing kit would have been restrictive.
After world war two, things changed, with time trialing becoming legal thanks to Westerley CC President Will Townsend OBE and the British League of Racing Cyclists push for road racing in the UK. Westerley’s traditional colours of hooped jerseys of Purple, White and Black were replaced with a very 1980s look inspired by a design used by the Renault Super U team in the grand tours. This was reversed only in the 2000s when the club reverted to it’s traditional hooped jersey.
There was a debate at the time of the reversion, as to whether the word ‘London’ should be added to the name on the jersey. Essentially, traditional local riders felt the name ‘stood on it’s own two feet’ whereas those who rode further afield argued that, abroad for example, people tended to ask where the club was situated. The word London was added, and later the words ‘Cycling Club’ as well.
The club badge has also been through several incarnations. However, the original link with the Cycle Touring Cub, denoted by the ‘winged wheel’ has remained throughout…..similarities to Campagnolo are merely coincidental.