Little is yet known about the Bicycle Club, but the following article appeared in the Newbury Weekly News of 17 October 1878:
"Three members of Hungerford Bicycle Club - Fred Jessett, A T Matthews and G Andrews - rode to Hyde Park Corner and back on Tuesday. They were in the saddle for nearly 11 hours and travelled 140 miles."
Bicycling became very popular in the late 1860s and 1870s, after the invention of the "Rover" bicycle. This machine had front and back wheels of the same size, replacing the earlier "penny farthing" style. The Rover bicycle was "perfected" in 1885. William Joyce of Church Street (now No. 20) was listed in the 1877 Kelly Directory as a smith, but by 1891 he is "smith and machinist; sole agent for Rover cycles and others; to let or hire; official repairer to the CTC, Church Street". Follow this for more on Rover Bicycles and its inventor John Kemp, als John Kemp Starley.
There are some further interesting extracts from Bicycling 1874 - A Textbook for Early Riders. They include details of several long distance bicycle races (c1870) from Bath to London (through Hungerford) - a popular event. (With thanks to Bernard Lane).
- Bicycling 1874 - A Textbook for Early Riders (donated by Bernard Lane 2014) (HHA Archives)