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Turning the clock back .... High-speed cycle action on Felixstowe’s streets in 1976

PUBLISHED: 15:52 31 August 2018

Riders racing along the Felixstowe seafront  Picture: JOHN KERR

Riders racing along the Felixstowe seafront Picture: JOHN KERR

Do you remember when the resort’s seafront streets were turned into a racing track?

Onlookers watching the racing go past  Picture: JOHN KERROnlookers watching the racing go past Picture: JOHN KERR

The cycle races were a regular event in the 1970s and continued sporadically into the 1980s.

In recent years, other towns have picked up the baton and hosted such events – usually national events – though four years ago Felixstowe did host the start of a stage in the OVO Energy Women’s Tour event.

Back in 1973 the cycle races attracted huge crowds to the seafront to see the riders take on an often steep and challenging course taking in Sea Road, Undercliff Road West, the cliff tops and Convalescent Hill.

With a mixture of amateurs and professionals taking part the races attracted much attention.

With plenty of riders the race didn't quite go by without incident   Picture: JOHN KERRWith plenty of riders the race didn't quite go by without incident Picture: JOHN KERR

As well as the high speed action, there was some drama as a few of the riders lost their balance and fell during the races – with some tumbles leading to minor injuries.

The riders picked up a significant amount of speed coming down the hills, then had to take the corners at speed to maintain their positions around the tight bends.

As well as stunning images of the action, the photos by John Kerr – who covered Felixstowe for the local newspapers for decades – also provide an interesting snapshot of Felixstowe in the mid 1970s. The image of the Pier Pavilion and its posters heralding a boat show as a forthcoming attraction is especially fascinating.

Do you remember the 1976 races? Share your memories and photos on the Enjoy Felixstowe More! Facebook page.

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