Calling everyone who enjoys riding a bicycle!
All (not just Bedford Park residents) are invited to a meeting to discuss plans to resuscitate one of the very earliest organisations of its kind: The Bedford Park Bicycle Club. St Michael and All Angels Parish Hall (Gabriel Room), Bath Road, W4 1TT on Sunday 12 January 2020 at 4.00 pm to discuss how to take this idea forward.
A group of local residents who ride bicycles and would like to share their interest and enjoyment with others have decided the time has come to re-launch the Bedford Park Bicycle Club. Very active in the 1880s, the Bedford Park Bicycle Club membership declined during the 20th century as cars took over as the main means of travel for Chiswick residents.
Bedford Park’s original developer, Jonathan Carr, wanted the area – the world’s first garden suburb – to be the ‘healthiest place in the world’; healthy cities have now moved back up the agenda as wellbeing is recognised as an essential element of successful urban living and the dangers of pollution from cars become increasingly acknowledged. There is renewed interest in the bicycle as a practical and zero-emissions way of getting around a gridlocked city, as well as a pleasant leisure activity.
Photographs above: Victorian residents of Bedford Park; Peter Murray
“I’m a citizen on a bike. I’m not a cyclist. I like just pedalling along, watching the world go by”. Grayson Perry
The group includes Peter Murray, chairman of New London Architecture, long term resident (33 years) of Bedford Park in Chiswick, former Honorary Secretary of the Bedford Park Society and regular cyclist. He is one of the Evening Standard’s most influential 1,000 people in London, founder of the Festival of Architecture, Design Advocate for the London Mayor and Chairman of New London Architecture and of The London Society.
Other founder members include Ed Seaton and his wife, both doctors, who cycle locally with their young children, and Tom Pike, a professor at Imperial College who last year landed the UK’s first instrument on Mars, and brought up his family in Bedford Park.
Peter says: “If people would like to see safer cycling in and around Bedford Park, or enjoy relaxed cycle rides exploring west London, then they should join the Club. The Club can be a voice for better conditions for cycling and walking in the Chiswick area as well as greener, cleaner and healthier streets.”
Ed says, “As a doctor I see the importance of incorporating walking and active means of travel into daily living. We are increasingly aware of the risks from air pollution, and the Bedford Park Bicycle Club is absolutely in keeping with the ideals of the founders of Bedford Park.”
Families and children are welcome! Please RSVP to BPBicycleClub@icloud.com – or if you can’t make the meeting, sign up to find out about future developments and rides.
Read more stories on The Chiswick Calendar
See also: Bedford Park, first Garden Suburb
See also: Betjeman and the Battle of Bedford Park