Club Officers

Chairman: Neil Arnold,

General Secretary: Andy King
mobile: 07765765357

Membership Secretary: Janet Hewlett

Treasurer: Paul Atkinson


The new club strip, approved for competition by BC, can be seen at

Castelli say:-

Our kit is either unisex or female specific.

A female cut is only produced where an aero advantage can be achieved,.

Therefore women can use the regular cut, many female riders we supply prefer it.

Ladies bibshorts are approximately 2cm shorter.

It comprises-









Minimum order is 10 items (unisex or womens, you cannot mix the 2 in one order of 10), so your order may have to be aggregated with others. Please note that there is no possibility of returning any wrong sizes. You are recommended to check the size of any existing Castelli garments you have or can borrow before ordering.



Persons Present:-

President, Chairman, Race Committee Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Andy Parker from British Cycling, and 23 members.


The Chairman opened the meeting. He said that the purpose was to decide which events the club should put on next year. He asked Andy Parker to give BC’s veiws.

Andy Parker said that there are about 25 road races in the area, mostly in Devon. With the advent of risk assessments, the courses have become a bit sanitised and similar. He said that the Wheddon X – Winsford route was very hilly and very different from most other courses. Minehead Cycling Club have organised the event very well. BC would like to see the Stella Farrell event continue, maybe for Cat 1 and 2 riders only. He thought that the Minehead Town Crit was bvery well organised, the event should grow in stature, and perhaps be in the national series. He thought that the course could take 60 riders. Entry fees for races could be increased to £30 to help cover costs.

The Chairman then asked for members veiws.

The following points of general agreement were made:-

Stella Farrell GP:-

Difficult course, number of entrants were down this year compared with 2016.

Costs have increased (BC volunteers expenses have increased and costs of providing medical cover), and a loss was incurred.

The event attracts few spectators and little local interest and sponsorship.

Only one local rider took part in 2017. If race is limited to Cat 1 & 2 to try and attract more entries, it is likely that no local riders will take part.

Race could be held in April, if Town Crit is held in June.

Meeting voted 12 to 5 to stop this event.

Town Criterium:-

Minehead Events Group raised the money for the 2017 event; it is thought that costs could be substantially reduced for 2018. The M.E.G are supportive of an event in midsummer, as the presence of the “Flying Scotsman” on the WSR did nothing for the cycling event, perhaps the reverse.

If the Crit takes place in June, the same commentator would be available.

The Chairman was very impressed by the number of club members who volunteered to help on the day (about 70). He also thought that the number of races for different categories of rider encourages both club members and the youngsters.

The ladies race could become the Stella Farrell GP.

Meeting voted unanimously to put on this event next June, subject to support from the M.E.G.

Porlock Hill Climb

It was unanimously agreed that we should continue to put on this event.

Seven members agreed to join the Race Committee and help organise the Town Crit.

There was no other business and the meeting was closed.


South West Cyclo-Cross League – Round 5, Escot Park, Ottery St Mary
Escot Park – beauty and the beast… a proper hard man’s course run in stunning scenery
Four Merlins riders, Joseph & Louis Wright and George & Raffey Watch, competed in the 5th round of the South West Cyclo-Cross league. The event took place on Sunday 15 October at Escot Park. The course was set in the parkland surrounding the House. It contained a mixture of grass, rough track and smooth tarmac sections with a tough climb followed by a technical, twisting descent. It was a testing course with no opportunity to rest up. A real “hard man’s” course but a firm favourite among the riders.
Joseph and Louis were gridded at the front, with George and Raffey in the middle of the bunch
In the U12s, Joseph hit the front early on and was able to extend his lead on the long, arduous climb. He showed great courage and technique on the demanding descent and good speed on the flatter tarmac sections. Joseph stayed out front taking his 4th win of the Series.
George rode well to make up places from his start position. He had his best race of the season to date out performing many of those riders around him on the climb and in the descent. George enjoyed this course with its many obstacles and varying surfaces finishing inside the top ten in the U12s boy’s race.
In the U10s, Louis had another strong race. Like his brother he was able to stretch out his lead on the tough, punishing climb. He showed great strength and endurance taking his 4th win of the Series.
Raffey rode with great grit just bettering his brother’s result by finishing 9th in the U10s boy’s race. He looked composed throughout the race demonstrating a skill level way beyond his years.
The next race is at Redruth on Sunday 22 October 2017. If anyone is interested in going, whether to ride or just watch, please contact Barnaby for more information.







Held At Kildare Lodge, 15 March 2017

1. Apologies. Received from Michelle & Richard Miles, & the President.

2. Matters Arising. The Secretary reported that he had not had a response from Steve Wawman re the Club Facebook page. He will try and contact him again. The secretary also reported that he had been in contact with the local SCC Highways Manager re the A39 cycle Path drop kerbs at Carhampton. The latter responded that they had taken note of our concerns and would add modifying these kerbs to there list of jobs to do, but that priority was given to providing new drop kerbs where necessary. Bernie Mitchell pointed out that the markings on the path are very faded. The Secretary to reiterate these points to SCC.

3. Summer Events Programme. Richard Boulter presented a possible hill climb series. This was accepted with a few modifications, and the Secretary is to post details on the club website. Paul Butcher suggested that we present trophies to winners of various categories. There was much discussion of this, the general veiw being that monetary prizes were more appreciated. It was agreed to find out if the club already possesses any trophies.

4. Appointment of a Publicity Officer. The Chairman was keen to see more articles about the club in the local press. It was agreed that the Secretary should approach suitable candidates.

5. Club Strip. Steve Crossman said that he was not happy with the current club shirts. They look old fashioned, and are not comfortable in some conditions. Steve agreed to research alternative suppliers and report back.

6. Porlock Toll Road. Steve Crossman reported that he had been in touch with Mark Blaythwaite about obtaining free passage for all cyclists. No satisfactory conclusion has been reached. Steve will continue the conversation.

7. “What’s App” Group. Ros Willicombe said that the Running Club and the Triathlon Club were both using this app so that members could arrange events at short notice. The app provides an instant messaging service on smartphones, so is more accessible that Facebook or Email. The committee agreed to set up a What’s App group, Ros agreed to act as moderator, the Secretary to circulate the necessary information.

8. Club Stationary. The Treasurer said it would save a lot of work for her if we had compliments slips and notelets. The committee agreed that the treasurer may obtain some.

9. AOB
The Secretary had been asked by Rob Wood if the club could contribute £30.00 towards transport costs for the “Congo Box” of bike parts.

The Chairman proposed that the club should have a Welfare Officer to keep an eye on injured or ill members who may require assistance. The committee agreed, Sue Maynard will ask Dave if he is willing to fill this role.

Paul Butcher suggested asking members for articles or reports to go on the club website. He also suggested that we ask members if anyone would like to do a foreign tour next year, and if anyone is already thinking about this. It was agreed that we should seek expressions of interest.

Paul also asked if committee minutes could be published on the website. The committee agreed.

Sue Maynard asked for details of the Weds Ladies Group to go on the website, she will act as point of contact.

Other items for the website are a link to the Merlins and a list of cycle friendly cafes.

There was no other business and the meeting was closed.


Kildare Lodge 8.00pm February 22nd 2017

1. Apologies for Absence

Apologies were received from Nathan Bale, Kevin Green, Len & Pat Gurnett, Sue & David Maynard, Richard & Michelle Miles, Tony Needham, John Needham, Geoff Ware. The Chairman, Treasurer, Secretary, Hill Climb Race Secretary, Training Officer and 39 members were present.

2. Items Arising from Previous Minutes

The Secretary reported that a new memorial seat had been installed on the Porlock Hill Toll Road.

The proposed Cycle Path from the Toll Rd – A39 junction to Pitcombe Head on the Exford road had run into problems, as the Exmoor National Park archaeologist insists on a full survey being carried out at a cost of £20,000. The committee is of the opinion that providing this sort of funding is not our function, so Tesco have been informed that the project is not viable at present. There may be other possible means of construction which will not involve excavation; this will be looked into in the near future.

The secretary has obtained a stock of club shirts in the most popular sizes. The number that can be held is limited by the cost of stock.

3. Secretaries Report

The secretary reported that 3 social events had been held, a film night which had not been as well supported as the one in 2015, a mince pie run (which included a number of Merlins), and a Christmas dinner at the Golf Club. The secretary thanked Michelle Miles and Chris Parkin for organising the Xmas dinner.

4. Treasurers Report

The Treasurer presented the accounts. They show a current balance of £4,872, and a net income for the year of £679. This was accrued from the profits made by the 2 Audax events, The Stella Farrell GP, and the Porlock Hill Climb. Paul Butcher pointed out that since the club is now running race and hill climb events that are relatively expensive to organise, a reasonable balance is required to provide a “cushion” if losses are incurred.

It was agreed that the subs should stay at their current level.

5. Chairman’s Report

The Chairman said he was pleased to see the expansion of the club in both numbers of members, events and different activities. It was good to see new groups forming, e.g. MTB rides on Sundays, the Weds morning group and the ladies rides, also on Wednesday. Some members have also taken part in racing. The Running Club invited us once again to join their annual pre-Christmas run up Porlock Hill.

The Chairman thanked the Race Directors of the Stella Farrell GP and the Porlock Hill Climb; all the trustees and others who had been involved with the Steam Coast Trail; Paul Butcher, Wayne Reeder and the Merlins parents and the vlunteers who work with children in the schools; Richard and Michelle Miles for organising the Audax events; and to all those who help with club activities. Finally he thanked those who have helped with sponsorship, Dave Silvera and Tanks Direct for the Porlock Hill Climb (and for their help with publicity and a website etc), and Neil Arnold, Stuart Lowen and Exmoor Bike for sponsoring the Stella Farrell GP.

The Chairman told the meeting that he wished to retire, and hoped his successor would have the same support as he had enjoyed.

6. Minehead Merlins

Paul Butcher reported that the Merlins have had a very successful year.

Members have taken part in MTB and road races at all age levels, resulting in several winners and podium places. 2 members have been nominated to the SW School of Racing, others have taken part in the sessions at the Newport Velodrome. The Merlins have held open MTB events, and a cyclo-cross event in combination with the Stella Farrell GP. In all 34 weekly sessions were run.

An Awards Night was held before Christmas with about 50 me,bers and parents present.

The Coaching Development fund allows coaches to be trained, and Tanks Direct had helped with the purchase of rollers and additional financial support for rider development.

Grateful thanks to the Coaching Team of Alicia Hockin, Wayne Reeder, Greshna Dibble, Will Wake, Kevin Green and Barnaby Wright, and also to Clive Atkins and Chris Priddle for their support throughout the year.

8. Steam Coast Trail

Graham Boswell reported that the first section of the trail had been completed from Dunster Beach to the boundary of the property owned by the chalet owners at Blue Anchor.

The 2nd section is from Chapel Cleeve road to Washford. Planning Permission has been obtained, tenders for the work have been issued and the land purchase is proceeding.

The Mineral Line from Washford to Watchet is currently a public footpath, and negotiations with the landowners will be needed to establish a permissive bike path.

A grant application for funding is with EDF, and has passed the first committee stage.

There are still difficulties with the chalet owners at Blue Anchor. Steve Crossman appealed for members to use the path, despite this.

The signage on the new path will be in place by Easter when the path will be officially opened.

9. Porlock Toll Road Hill Climb 2017

Louise Crossman reported that we had had a great event last September, and we attracted national and local riders.

Louise thanked Dave Silvera and Tanks Direct for support and sponsorship, and to Mark Blaythwaite for allowing us the use of the toll road, and Scott Huish for his help with the website. She also thanked Ian Piper, Paul Butcher and all the other club members who volunteered, and also the people of Porlock, especially the Porlock Ladies.

This years event will be on the 24th September. Any club members who wish to take part, please enter a 10k time trial run under CTT auspices by Wellington Wheelers, or other clubs so that you establish a time. This gives you a far better chance of securing a ride if the event is over-subscribed, as it was last year.

10. Stella Farrel GP & Minehead Criterium

Stella Farrell GP. Paul Butcher reported that the feedback from riders taking part in last years event was very positive, many saying it was one of the best courses and best organised events that they had taken part in. British Cycling have made similar comments.

Paul thanked the race group, all those who volunteered and especially Briony Turner who was race director.

The 2017 event will be held on July 16th.

Minehead Criterium – Paul said that there is a strong possibility that we can run a Town Criterium in conjunction with The Festival of Wheels. Road closures and consultations will be handled by the Minehead Events Group lead by Graham Sizer. Neil Arnold has offered sponsorship towards the cost of barriers. There will be a full programme of races, including womens and juniors races. The race group are waiting on a risk assessment by British Cycling. This event will be held on Sunday 10th September.

11. Affiliations/Donations to other bodies:-

It was Proposed by the Secretary, seconded by Chris Parkin that we donate £100 to Roadpeace and Dorset and Somerset Air Ambulance. The motion was carried unanimously.

12. Election/Re-election of Club Officers

Bernard Mitchell having retired as Chairman, Neil Arnold was proposed by Kevin Poole, seconded by Chris Adams. He was elected unanimously.

All other officers and the committee members have agreed to serve for another year. The proposal to re-elect them was led by Bernard Mitchell, seconded by Graham Boswell. Motion carried unanimously.

Greshna Dibble and Richard Boulter had volunteered to join the committee, proposed by the Secretary, seconded by Paul Butcher. Richard has volunteered to organise the club hill climb events this summer.

The Officers and committee now are:-

President – Len Gurnett
Chairman – Neil Arnold
General Secretary – Andy King
Hill Climb Race Secretary – Louise Crossman
Treasurer – Pam Almond
Webmaster – Jeremy Summers
Training Officer and Race Group Chair – Paul Butcher
Audax Secretary – Richard Miles
Committee Members – Greshna Dibble, Sue Maynard, Michelle Miles, Richard Boulter, Paul Camp, Steve Crossman, Kevin Green, Stuart Lowen.

13. AOB

C 2 C Warm Up Ride – Paul Butcher reported that Nathan Bale is proposing to lead a warm up ride to Bridport and back the weekend before the Air Ambulance C 2 C.

Press Officer – The Chairman suggested that a club press officer could keep the club in the public eye, and might lead to recruiting more members. It was agreed to leave this to the committee for a decision.

Vote of Thanks – Paul Butcher proposed a vote of thanks to Bernie Mitchell for his hard work for several years as Chairman, which was carried with acclaim.

There was no other business and the meeting closed.


5 challenging hills to test yourself on!

Thur 27th April: Selworthy Lane
Fri 26th May: Higher Rodhuish Rd, Withycombe
Fri 16th June: Putham Lane, Heath Poult
Thur 20th July: St Michaels Church, North Hill
Fri 18th August: Dunster CastleThurs

A series of High Intensity Training sessions with an
opportunity to have times recorded to compare with others
over the series.
Each hill to be ridden twice. Once in a small group with a coach
then a solo timed ascent.

Please remember that the roads are open to other users (except Dunster Castle).
6:30pm name recording & juvenile consent forms admin.
7:00pm coached small group ascent,followed by individual timed ascent.

If you don’t fancy riding, volunteers are needed to act as time keepers, pushers off etc. Please contact richardboulter@hotmail if you can help.