Register / Sign in

UK

15/04/2019

Two organised ride-outs will take place on 4 May to commemorate 60 years of the 59 Club.

Founded on 2 April, 1959, the original club was located at Hackney Wick, East London. Church-based, this legendary youth club is perhaps most closely associated with the late Father William "Bill" Shergold, a biking priest who evidently wanted to do Godly things for the young rocker tearaways and motorised hooligans of the day.

The church influence at the club was always pretty low key, and the bikers respected the facilities available—which consisted of a meeting hall, a jukebox, table tennis, a billiard table, and suchlike. And naturally there were always a few biking magazines and brochures scattered around.

In 1964 the club moved to Paddington, and in the 1990s it shifted back to Hackney, and later to Plaistow, also in the East End of London.

Father Bill was president of the club until he died in 2009, aged 89. Another prominent figure in the 59 Club's story is Father Graham Hullett, also a biking priest, who ran the club during the late 1960s and later lent his support as and when he was able. Hullett died in 2012 aged 80.

And there are many other people who contributed time, energy, resources and money to the world's most famous rocker's club. As for next month’s ride-outs that will culminate at St Paul's Cathedral, Central London, one group will leave the Ace Cafe (North London, NW10 7UD) at 2pm. The other will leave the current home of the 59 Club in Hanwell (All Saints Church, West London, TW13 5EE) at 1.30pm. At both locations, riders are advised to arrive an hour before the bikes depart.

www.the59club.co.uk