Motor-paced champion Wally Happy, the former Norwood Paragon national champion and army cycling champion, is to give a free slide show and talk at the CTC HQ in Guildford, in aid of the Frimley Park Hospital Heart 2 Heart Appeal.
Appropriately, the day is Valentine’s Day, Sunday, February 14. Entitled “The Reluctant Racing Cyclist”, the show covers his own varied involvement in the sport since the end of World War 2 to the present day.
Refreshments will be provided and donations are invited in aid of the Frimley Park heart appeal, to extend their Angioplasty cover 24/24. They have received £6 million from the government, but need to raise another £1.25 million.The treatment saved his wife, Pat’s life twice, says Happy, most recently on Christmas Day 2007.
His story, he says, is peppered with humour, pathos and more than a few surprises, with pictures of cycle racing at the Velodrome and other venues in and around London. Happy became an accomplished rider on the road, against the watch on the track and made motor-paced his speciality.
He recalls how he was schooled in a tough all male Norwood Paragon to two National Championships. And rode as a Hercules equipped rider in the 1954 Tour of Ireland, riding for Shay Elliott, the great Irish champion who a few years later would win stages in all three of the grand Tours. His own destiny lay in RAF National Service followed by 27 years in the Regular Army and the TA, much of it spent riding for Forces cycling teams.
These days, he attends many cycling events with his stall of cycling goodies, equipment and clothing, and organises an annual event for classic lightweights.
Happy first put on the show to celebrate his 77th birthday last year, in an attempt to persuade the landlords of Herne Hill track, The Dulwich Estate, to grant a longer lease to VC Londres, who manage the dilapidated stadium.
He is very much involved with VC Londres and the Friends of Herne Hill campaign to rescue the velodrome from ruin.
• Venue: CTC HQ, Railton Road, Guildford, GU2 9JX, 14.00, Sunday, February 14.