By Ken Rickwood and Ray Etherton

Reg Horsnell 25.10.1933 – 5.1.2022

Reg was a member of various cycling clubs in his early years including the Hitchin Nomads, CTC, and The Veteran Cycle Club. His other interests over the years included sailing, classic sports cars (of which he had many and varied) but his main interest was always cycling. His collection of bikes (like his cars), changed over the years to include Hetchins, Bates Cantiflex’s, Mercian’s, a Bob Jackson, a Bianchi and a few others.  On clubruns we would learn of the various merits and characteristics of individual machines thus causing amusement to some present.

Reg together with the late John Summers started the 40+ Northeast Essex Section and it was very much his club. He organized and led every ride; he decided where we would meet and the day’s destination. If any venue failed to live up to his expectations in terms of hospitality or quality of food it would be struck off the list, never to be visited again.  

Reg had his own set of rules that no one knew about until they were infringed, and then the transgressor was the subject of a public humiliation. New members soon found out never to pass the leader and to single out when there was shout of ‘oil up’. Amongst Reg’s many foibles was a dislike mountain bikes and bikes with wide handlebars. 

Despite his many idiosyncrasies Reg had a loyal group of followers. At the time he was living in Dovercourt and the members came from Clacton, Brightlingsea, Wivenhoe and Colchester. The inaugural meet of club was held at Horsley Cross, about halfway between Dovercourt and Colchester and for many years Reg led a Birthday ride to this destination.

We were occasionally joined by other 40+ members from Chelmsford and further afield some of who travelled by train to Colchester or Manningtree.

Later Reg moved to Tiptree and the membership and destinations gradually moved south. Leadership of the NE Essex section was handed over to Don Cook, who lived in Maldon, in the early 2000s. Don introduced far more democratic ways of running the section. Reg was far from resigning from his involvement with the 40+ and continued to run the club map library and formed a new section, the ‘Easy Riders’. 

Reg Sadly passed away on the 5th January 2022.

His funeral will be held at Maldon Cemetery Chapel on 23rd February 2022.