Des contributed this tribute:
It is with great sadness that we all say our fond farewells to John and offer our condolences to Meike. It was heartening to me, and I know also for Meike, to read all the wonderful and much deserved tributes to John from Anerley’s membership. One thing commonly said, was that John was an inspiration to us all.
I can still clearly remember my first ride with the Anerley Bicycle Club, some 20 years ago, to Chiddingstone. John was the Club Captain in those far off days, and of course always led the rides. From that first day with Anerley B.C, John became my inspiration, and after all those passing years he still is. But he became much more than just my inspiration; he became a very close friend. Not just John, but equally Meike, an inseparable couple.
John’s introduction to the Anerley Bicycle Club was as a teenager, some 65 years ago. He was invited by a club member and friend from his school days, to ride in his very first time trial, a 25 miler. Needless to say, John bettered his friend’s finishing time!
But this was just the start of John’s racing career. By the time of the Anerley B.C Centenary in 1981, John held the club records over 10, 25, 30, 50 and 100 miles, plus 234.79 miles in 12 hours. But perhaps John’s greatest ride and record, was the epic race against Norman Greig in 1977. They both set off on a July morning, to race from Coulsdon to Brighton and back. After a hard fought battle John’s winning margin over Norman Greig was 10 minutes and 48 seconds. Now 40 years later, John’s record time of just over 3 1/2 hrs, remains unbroken.
But all this was long before I joined Anerley B.C. I was fortunate that John’s interest in time trialling had by then been replaced by cycle touring with Meike, and of course club rides.
There was always a welcome at their house, and when passing by after a bike ride, I was always invited in for a cuppa and to sample Meike’s homemade cakes. And so developed a firm friendship with John and Meike, over many miles, many hills, many cups of tea, and especially many of Meike’s delicious homemade cakes!