Given the history of Wearwell and its racing team it’s not unusual for us to be contacted in order to provide information about an old bike frame found in the back of a garden shed, or to cast our eyes over a piece of memorabilia discovered at an antique fayre.
A few weeks ago another such message dropped into our inbox from Dennis Whitfield an archivist from the historic market town of Ringwood in Hampshire, U.K. Attached to the email were two classic shots of the Wearwell Racing Team.
Dennis explained: “This was taken, we think, 1954 at Ringwood. Not sure which race it would be, perhaps Milk Race or Round Britain, we do not know. Hope you find it interesting.”
Naturally we did find it interesting. A stunning picture of the Wearwell Racing Team support car – likely following the 1954 Tour of Britain. The vehicle in question was a 1950s Austin A70 Hereford. Autocar Magazine described its performance as “…adequate by the standards of the time, but the car was not particularly quiet.” Suggesting that the romantic notion of the peloton quietly buzzing around the British countryside was in fact a somewhat noisier affair!
Further study of the photo draws the eye to a paper poster, hastily taped to the rear passenger door. “EMBROCATION manufactured by Caswell & Pickup Ltd”. Likely an early team sponsor providing much needed creams, oils and capsules for the riders throughout the gruelling 14 day race.
The Tour of Britain peloton with Wearwell's Les Scales in fourth wheel
Photos courtesy of Barbara Baker