The latest history excerpt from Peter Riley looks back at the time the Club was known as Welland Valley ANC……..
At the Annual General Meeting in December 1985, concerns were expressed about a weakness in the Club’s finances and it was decided to research the possibilities of finding sponsorship for the Club as a whole or for individual riders. It was agreed that Golden Wonder and Crosby Valves should be approached. The local franchise of ANC Parcel Service had been involved in supporting the Carnival Criteriums and having been impressed by the size of the crowds it stepped forward as a possible sponsor.
ANC Parcel Service was owned by a self-made millionaire called Tony Capper who was based on the Isle of Man. He had been a soldier and a policeman in his time before he founded a taxi firm in Stoke on Trent. When he discovered that taxis were used to transport more parcels than people he sold the taxi business and set up ANC Parcels.
In 1985, he formed a new British commercial cycling team, ANC-Halfords: the success of its riders in home races and in the Milk Race under the leadership of Malcolm Elliott was to lead to the entry of the first British team in the Tour de France in 1987. Whilst breaking new ground for British cycling, only four of the nine riders reached Paris and ANC-Halfords then concentrated on domestic racing.
On 28th October 1986 at an Extraordinary General Meeting of Welland Valley Wheelers, representatives of ANC offered to sponsor the Club for three years at £1,000 each year. The Club would change its name to Welland Valley ANC – thus dropping the word ‘Wheelers’ – and a new Club strip would be introduced based on the design of the professional team’s kit. Club members would be required to wear the sponsor’s kit whenever they were competing or taking part in a Club run. Whenever possible, members would wear the new kit when training or riding for leisure. Financial support would be available for individual members to buy new kit. The motion to adopt the sponsorship deal was carried by a substantial majority. At the end of 1986, Capper sold ANC Parcels to the British and Commonwealth Shipping Group.
In the first few months of the year 2000, a fresh design for Club kit highlighting the name and colours of ANC, the Club sponsor, was approved. This was short-lived. In May, a receiver was appointed for the Market Harborough franchise of ANC and the sponsor’s name and logo had to be removed from all kit, signs, stationery etc. by the end of the year.
The Club became ‘Welland Valley Cycling Club’: the third name since its foundation in 1927.
Many thanks Peter!