Classic Time Trial Photos

alf engers

Alf Engers finishes to a large crowd.

These 30+ photos come from a collection by the late Bernard Thompson. The photos are taken mostly in the period 1960-1985. You can buy a CD of these photos from Peter Whitfield. Details at the bottom.


Eddie Adkins Phil Griffiths in a 2 up Time Trial in the Rain

5 Spectators

5 young spectators line the road.

Beryl burton

Beryl Burton, the Greatest Female Time Triallist of all time. (Beryl Burton)

bike to race

Taking your Bike To Race

Catford Hill CLimb

Start of Catford CC Hill Climb. (Catford CC is probably the world’s longest running race)

Alf Engers

Alf Engers. Alf dominated the sport in the 1970s. He was the man to beat at 25 miles. In 1978, he set a sub 50 minute time for 25 miles – 49.24, before tri bars and disc wheels. (25 mile Time trials)

Before changing rooms

Before Changing Rooms. Many early time trials had no changing facilities. Riders would improvise by the side of roads.

Frank Southall

Frank Southall, doing a dead turn during a race in the 1930s. Many early time trial course simply went 12.5 miles in one direction, then riders would do a turn in the middle of the road and come back. This was at a time when traffic volumes were very low!

dead turn fall off

Unfortunately, doing a dead turn in the middle of the road at high speed wasn’t always so easy!

Ann Horsewell

Ann Horsewell. A great female time triallist, often coming second to Beryl Burton

David Duffield

David Duffield. There’s only one David Duffield. Later became cycling commentator for Eurosport; David has tremendous passion and enthusiasm for cycling (some quotes of David Duffield)

afmily sport

Time Trialling – A family day out.

david lloyd

David Lloyd. One the top British riders in the late 70s and early 80s.

long winding road

The Road goes ever on…

Feed on bath road

A feeding station on the Bath Road

winats pass

Hill climb on Winats pass. Probably a national championship by number of spectators.

Jon French

Jon French displaying the height of 1980s fashion and aerodynamics. A good tester will do anything to save that extra second.

jim ogden

Jim Ogden receiving a prize.

Funny bike

Funny Bikes, with upturned handlebars, were all the rage in the 1980s. Graeme Obree (not person above) had the last laugh though when he broke the World Hour record on his own very unique design.

John Woodburn

John Woodburn. National 25 mile Champion in 1961. Still racing into his 70s – John Woodburn

Mick Bowen

Mick Bowen. President of Oxonian CC for over 50 years.

3 on bike

3 On a Bike. Maybe the inspiration for Monty Python’s cycling tour

Chris Coleman Maureen Wroe

Chris Coleman Maureen Wroe

jon Bayliss

Jon Bayliss grits his teeth as the spectators enjoy a cup of tea. Tea is usually in plentiful supply at most time trial races.

Norman Maggs

Norman Maggs smokes a pipe during a 24 hour time trial.

road countryside

Road through countryside. A scene from any number of sporting courses (away from the dual carriage dragstrips)

wheel carrier

A wheel Carrier. Horace Mouatt of the Surrey Road CC


A classic starting scene. Eddie Stagg, then of Old Portlians CC and now Bournemouth Jubilee Whs

early morning race

Early morning race.

Reg Randall, riding a Moulton, passes Jamaica Inn on his unsuccessful end to end attempt.

come on mister

“Keep peddling” “I can run faster than you!” “I’ll give you 2 bob for your bike sir”


It’s the pits.

Mike Potts

Mike Potts. – You can’t beat the feeling of finishing a race.

More Photos

About Photographer Bernard Thompson.

Bernard was born in Southfields, West London in 1924. He was interested in photography from an early age. He also began cycling just before the war, aged about 14. Interestingly, he says that his parents refused to let him have a bike because the roads were so dangerous – even though there were hardly any cars. As Bernard said

“As a matter of fact the roads were more dangerous then than they are now, even though there wasn’t a fraction of the traffic that there is today. The standard of driving then was abysmal, you didn’t even have to take a test until 1935, anyone could just jump into a car and drive it around. A road accident was just that – an accident. If a cyclist or anyone else was killed by a car, no one was ever to blame, there was no sense of safety or responsibility.”

After the war, Bernard got more involved in time trialling and began racing himself.

You can buy a CD (there are over 280 pictures) from:

Peter Whitfield
Wychwood Publishing
Tachbrook House
Oxfordshire OX7 3PS

for £10.

Note on CD: In commemoration of Bernard Thompson’s lifetime’s work as a cycling photographer, these images are presented copyright free for the use of any individuals or institutions furthering the interests of cycling.


- More on cycling time trials

Classic Cycling Photos from Cycling’s Golden Age at Amazon

Book Cover

69 Responses to Classic Time Trial Photos

  1. Kim July 30, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    To Adele and Scott Sylvester.
    I came across this site purely accidently, so I was surprised to see that my fathers name, Colin Ward was mentioned several times.
    Unfortunately my father died 7 years, he was 69. He was cycling with a buddy on a beautiful sunny day in May, when he went to meet God. Tony, my brother was an acclaimed cyclist for the Manitoba provincial team.

  2. Diego July 29, 2010 at 7:03 pm #

    Hey man GREAT pictures! i wanna buy the cd, can u send me an email with the details?
    Greetings from barcelona!

  3. Leslie (roger )Hall July 26, 2010 at 7:29 am #

    Was at school with Alfie Engers I attended Acland Secondary Central School along with Alfie ,Would love to get in touch for old times sake .Now live in Queensland Australia and would appreciate any info on Alfie,perhaps even a website or email address. Many thanks

    • jonty pritchard July 2, 2013 at 11:01 am #

      hi leslie i read your email re any info on alfie and just wondered
      if you had had any luck contacting him i am also from that era
      when we were time trial fanatics where are you in qld i am living on the gold
      coast still riding my bike re jonty

  4. Pete Ogden June 9, 2010 at 12:24 am #

    Loved the photos. Especially the picture of my Dad Jim Ogden , who is still racing for the Altringham Ravens now. Many other pics as well brought back great memorys of “looking after Dad” at events, and my own time triling carrier. Cheers.

  5. roger June 1, 2010 at 7:51 am #

    Great photos! do you have any of Paul A Bennett?
    Until recently Mr Engers was working in the bagel shop in Brick Lane london E1 – and lived in a farm in Barnet
    Thanks for bringing back great memories.
    Yours roger

    Read more:

  6. roger June 1, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    Great photos! do you have any of Paul A Bennett?
    Until recently Mr Engers was working in the bagel shop in Brick Lane london E1 – and lived in a farm in Barnet
    Thanks for bringing back great memories.
    Yours roger

  7. Lowestoft Wheelers April 27, 2010 at 3:52 pm #

    The Lowestoft Wheelers Cycling Club still exists, and has never been wound up, despite lots of rumours!

  8. TREVOR HOCKOLD April 9, 2010 at 8:57 am #

    The chap on the funny bike was John Pring a fantastic short distance timetrialist from the now defunked lowestoft wheelers and the bike itself is the Mick Burrows forunner of the Lotus bike.

    • John Pring August 17, 2011 at 3:59 pm #

      Hi Trevor Hockhold and thanks that was a great bike to ride not ugly like the flying gate you,hutch and richard bradley uesed to pedal wonder how that would get on in a wind tunnel these days.

  9. neil abrahart March 17, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    regards to john morley from neil abrahart

  10. mick ward March 8, 2010 at 4:27 pm #

    32 Geoff, whoever you are . So would I . I think I may have now completed my autobiography, bar for pix!

    By chance I mention Dave Bowman,
    among others .I saw him along with
    3, Dave Binks at the Leics Road club reunion .For the rest great looking and reading all thanks to Bernard , not only for pix he took and the chats with him and himinimitable tortoise-like delivery.

  11. Sue Abel February 25, 2010 at 3:21 am #

    I would like to purchase the CD of pictures of Time Trialist and or any other cycling pictures. I live in Australia, is there a site on can purchase them online with credit card?

  12. John February 7, 2010 at 12:13 pm #

    FTAO terry hicks

    please contact me at john AT karaszy-kulin dot co dot uk and I will put you in contact with Alf Engers.

    He is a Carp Angler and fishes near one of the water I fish.

  13. BRIAN LOWE December 10, 2009 at 8:04 pm #

    Sir my wifes uncle was a keen time trialist in his younger days, he is now in his late 70s. I have written to Mr. Whitfield requesting a CD, but have no reply I wonder if you have a phone number or any other option for contact I would very much like to buy him one for christmas. thank you. Brian Lowe

  14. terry h December 3, 2009 at 8:33 pm #

    great photos of top men, the one of Eddie and Griffo in the rain is superb. Alf was the boss! I rode for the Unity for 10yrs when Alf was there, it made me go a minute quicker with Alf as a team mate.

  15. Photo canvas November 23, 2009 at 4:46 pm #

    Amazing vintage photos!
    love the truth of expression on their faces…
    keep on cycling!

  16. geoff October 16, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    Great piccies. Have you any of Mick Ward? He tuned to running as a vet and picked up a few champonships (world; national ; european) Now at 75yrs is still running and has got a new bike; he’s as competitive as ever.

  17. terry hicks October 4, 2009 at 3:14 pm #

    Hi, peter deacon, where are you now? leave your email address, and ill get in touch. terry

  18. Peter Deacon June 16, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    Hi Alf Engers and I also Terry who posted earlier all grew up together… Alf and I were together from about 7yrs old went fishing with his dad he had the first car in the area elthorne rd …we used to compete in swimming and running he would rather die than let you beat him :)

  19. Chris Webster May 27, 2009 at 12:40 pm #

    What a wonderful collection of photographs! It really brought back so many great memories. I was a member of Surrey Roads CC in the 70′s and remember Horace Mouatt very well. I hope he’s still cycling?

  20. Scott Sylvester May 9, 2009 at 8:28 pm #

    Colin is living in Canada (Manitoba) I beleive. I grew up with his boys as they lived across the street from us. One of his sons (Tony) became an outstanding cyclist in his own right.


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