This film is part of Free

Tyneside Vagabonds 1960 Cyclo Cross

A Northumberland cyclo-cross ride on the wild side with the Tyneside Vagabonds.

Amateur film 1960 23 mins Silent

From the collection of:

Logo for North East Film Archive


Mired in mud, cyclo-cross riders with true grit are more off the bike than on in this quirky winter sport of “rough stuff”, captured on film by cycling fan Milton Newton. Cyclists endure a dunking in a Middleton burn and compete across the brown bracken moorland, steep hills and peat bogs around the Shaftoe Crags, Northumberland, the race organised by the Tyneside Vagabonds. Wesley Clayton of the Tyne Road Club was first past the finish line.

“They’re supposed to stick to a certain course you know but a few keep taking shortcuts …” These words belong to an amused Bill Baty, top rider and Tyne Velo veteran who won the Beaumont Trophy in 1958, the amateur British National Road Race in 1959, and was in the British team for the 1955 Peace Race behind the Iron Curtain. In 1990 he added a humorous commentary to his friend’s film of the November 1960 cyclo-cross race. Baty, it was rumoured, mischievously moved the course markers, forcing fellow competitors to cross the deepest part of the burn, where the race descended into more of a bike tossing contest.