John (Sid) Darby

Welwyn Wheelers regret to announce the death of John (Sid) Darby, of Sandridge. John, known by the cycling community as Sid, passed away at home on 8th January 2021. A private burial took place at St Leonard’s Church, Sandridge. The family hope to have a service at which all can attend in the future. Donations to Rennie Grove Hospice Care are welcome:

John joined just a few years after foundation of the club. He is remembered in Welwyn Wheelers: A History on Wheels, published last year, an extract is reproduced below:

“My first experience with cycle racing was as a lad….a friend of mine, Pete Dawson, was a cycling speedway enthusiast. Both my Dad and Pete’s Dad had shops in the village – Pete’s Dad was the Butcher. He needed 8 riders and a couple of reserves for a speedway team. They started calling me Sid because that was my Dad’s name and it stuck. I first joined the Verulam but joined the Welwyn in 1950. I remember the old Welwyn reliability trial. My first year it wasn’t half cold. I remember it was January. We came up from Dunstable, then went to Aylesbury and High Wycombe, and when you come back you come to what is now a roundabout at Batchwood Drive. I felt like quitting in Hemel Hempstead and heading for home, we turned for Dunstable, Luton, Hitchin and back to WGC where we finished. I then had to ride home so I did 110 miles. We were supposed to get a medal, but nobody did.”