Graham Watson, a founder member of our club, recently passed away after an accident at his home in New Zealand.
John Aizlewood’s memories of Graham:
“Graham was a founder member of the Camden Section when it was formed through the Central London Clubroom in 1978, and was soon leading rides. He had come to London with the Royal Bank of Scotland, and his organising skills were valuable in the early days, taking the committee posts of Treasurer 1981-83 and then Secretary 1984-88. In the latter role he developed the section and managed the (then) controversial name change to Central London. He was always most welcoming to new riders, and patient with novices, and there was often “tea at leaders” in South Croydon.
A YHA volunteer warden, he was a keen supporter/organiser of weekends and tours as they developed in the early days. Folk evenings at Tanners Hatch YH were one of his particular favourites. He was also a keen supporter of the CND. On the DA committee as the editor of the Pedaller, he regularly contributed articles on the section activities, and photos to the section album, which now form a valuable record. A notable achievement was the first recipient (jointly with Dave Everitt) of the “Velocipede” award for leading a ride which only managed three miles before lunch.
He met his wife Fiona through the section, and left us in 1989 to marry her in New Zealand: we gave him a Campagnolo cork screw as a present for the cyclist who has everything. Mysteriously he appeared on the next rides list, but sensibly declined to fly back to lead it!
A quiet gentleman who was good company on rides, and remembered for his commitment to cycling, friends, and principles.”
Michael Belcher’s memories of Graham:
“I came to cycle touring rather late. I was nearer forty than thirty when I came out on a club ride in the early eighties. It was a whole new world to me and Graham appeared to be at the centre of it. He actively welcomed new comers and sought out new recruits. Helen Dutton who later succeeded Graham as club secretary told me she came out on her first club ride as a result of him striking up a conversation with her on public transport that ended with him giving her a rides programme.
Soon I was enjoying Sunday rides in south east England and going further afield on weekend YH tours organised by Graham. In retrospect (and confirmed by photographs) many of these rides involved us carrying our bikes down muddy tracks. Despite this Graham and his bike always seemed immaculate.
The enjoyment of this combination of fresh air, exercise and companionship together with visiting new places has stayed with me because I’m still doing it. I think it’s true to say that Graham helped develop a template that has been followed ever since. If it changed my life then I’m sure that there are many others who have the same reasons to be grateful to him.”
Any longstanding members of the Club who remember Graham and wish to get in touch with Fiona may do so at email@example.com.