RSF Awards, the badges and their origins by ‘The RSF member’ and photos by John Kemp and Roger Thorpe

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The Alan Mepham Merit Shield

Awarded each year for meritorious service to the Fellowship, but can be witheld. The Merit Shield was introduced at the 1959 Easter Meet at Chipping Norton; at this AGM it was decided that it would be awarded to the member who had rendered the most ''signal service'' to the Fellowship, or to rough-stuff cycling generally. Alan was born and bred in Bedfordshire and held various posts within the Fellowship, including, President (1995-?), Chairman (1958-82), Route Librarian (home) (1955-91). He was also made a Honorary Life Member. Click here to see full list of recipients of the “Merit Shield”
 

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The Eric Savage Trophy

Awarded each year in the general prints class. Born in Burton-on-Trent, Eric held a number of Fellowship posts, including, Chairman (1983-94), Journal Editor (1991-92). Eric has penned many Journal articles.

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The Charlie Chadwick Memorial Shield

Awarded each year for the best overall digital photo (note: was awarded for slides). Charlie, from Bolton, was present at the Fellowship''s inaugural meeting on Sunday the 29th of May 1955 at the Black Swan, Leominster. He held a variety of posts within the Fellowship, including, Vice-President (1963-69), Chairman (1955-57).
 

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The Arthur Matthews Trophy

Awarded each year for rough-stuff prints. Arthur, from Southport, was at the inaugural meeting in 1955. He was elected a Honorary Life Member in 1993 and has been twice awarded the Merit Shield. He held many posts within the Fellowship, including, Renewals Secretary (1967-73), Vice President (1976-78) and as Journal Distributor for 9 years. He was instrumental in fixing the ''Wayfarer Stone'' on the Nant Wilym.
 

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The Nellie Hill Trophy

Awarded each year for the best rough-stuff slide or digital photo.The information below about Bill and Nelie Hill was gleaned from various sources and from Melvyn Hirst, Bill''s nephew who has been most helpful. I shall continue to build up their story as time permits.Bill has had many, many articles published in Rough-Stuff Journal including -: Volume 34, pages 99, 127 and 159, and volume 35, pages 17, 49, 81, 143 and 173; all of which show sketches and articles about some of the bridges seen on his numerous rides. Bill and his wife Nellie were recipients of the Alan Mepham Merit Shield in 1975. Sadly Nellie passed away on August 5th 1978 and Bill in December 1994, just after his 90th birthday.Below is an article re-produced from the RSF Journal-1971-volume 16-No 1- page 33. Bill and Nellie acquired their first tandem in 1928. They have had four tandems in 42 years, the last three home-built. They rode at first with Barnoldswick Clarion C.C., and joined the C.T.C. about 10 years later. They married in 1930 and moved to Keighley, Yorks, where Bill worked as a cycle mechanic and frame builder and in 1931 invented the Tri-velox Derailleur Gear. In 1938 moved to Coventry to work for Tri-velox Gears Ltd. Returned to Yorkshire after the Coventry blitz, and after 4 years at Jowett Cars, returned to the cycle trade at Padiham, Lancs., where both Nellie and Bill were employed building ‘Hill Special cycles’ (No relation).They have both been rough-stuffers since the 1930s and have toured extensively in Great Britain and Ireland, mostly in the hilly districts. Nellie has a passion for mountains, especially Nellie Hill’s hills (Lakeland Hills). Both are extremely fond of the Lake district where they have been wandering awheel and afoot for over 43 years.Continental countries visited by cycle are Switzerland Austria, Northern Italy, Bavaria and Norway. Bill went to Russia in 1928 with a team of British Athletes and got licked.

Bill and Nellie became members the R.S.F. in August 1955. Their first subscriptions and badges were paid for by J. Pilkington (RSF Member), who said he couldn’t think of a more appropriate silver wedding present. They celebrated their silver wedding with a three week holiday in Switzerland and Austria.

Other interests: Photography and lecturing. They have lectured all over the country, as far afield as Hull, Newcastle, and Bristol. Bill, although not engaged in the cycle trade for nearly 20 years, wrote articles for the Cycle Trade Paper.

Bill was a prolific writer, both in our Fellowship Journal and in his diaries of his travels.He was also a very accomplished artist..
 

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The Alwyn Taylor Jubilee Trophy

Awarded each year to the best article published in the Journal. Alwyn was born in Malton, Yorkshire, and was always a firm supporter of the Fellowship from his early days as warden of the Farndale YH. When the RSF''s 25 year anniversary meet was held in Malton he was Mayor of the town at that time and was of great help with the organisation of the meet.

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The John Hendry Trophy

Awarded each year for the best general photo. John was born in Scotland, but ''emigrated'' to Worcester in 1927. He joined the RSF in 1966 and in 1974 took over as Renewals Secretary and was awarded the Merit Shield in 1976 for his invaluable work in arranging the 21st Aniversary Meet at Leominster. He was made a Honorary Life Member.
 

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The Bert Williams Award

Awarded each year in the annual best sketch competition. Bert was born in Liverpool on New Years Day 1915, he was one of the ''The First Ninety'' and a Honorary Life Member. He held a number of posts within the Fellowship, including, President (1986-91), Vice-President (!963), Journal Editor (1955-62), he also designed RSF badge
 

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About the RSF the off-road cycle touring club Section

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About off-road cycle touring routes, Cyclist’s cafes, Off-road cycle touring, Local Group Events and good photos.

 

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