Hyde's Annual Cycle Race was called the Tour of Britain or "Milk Race"
The Tour of Britain, known for many years as the Milk Race, has its origins in a dispute between cyclists during the Second World War. The British administrative body, the National Cyclists Union (NCU), had feared since the 19th century that massed racing on the roads would endanger all racing, including early-morning time -trials and, originally, the very place of cyclists on the road.
A race organised from Llangollen to Wolverhampton on 7 June 1942, in defiance of the NCU, led to its organisers and riders being banned. They formed a new body, the British League of Racing Cyclists (BLRC), which wanted not only massed racing but a British version of the
The cyclists are just going past what used to be Redferns Rubber Works on Stockport Road. James North can be seen in the background.
The sponsor of this stage of the Race was David Tuson who used to have a car showroom on Chapel Street.
The Cyclists are seen riding up Stockport Road over the railway bridge near the Clarkes Arms.
Why it was known as the "Milk Race"
The Milk Marketing Board (MMB) was a sales monopoly for dairy farmers in England and Wales. A semi-professional cyclist from Derby, Dave Orford, asked the MMB to pay for "Drink more milk" to be embroidered on the jersey of every semi-professional, or independent, rider in the country. The MMB could then advertise that races had been won because of the properties of milk and the winner would receive a £10 bonus as a result.
Orford met the MMB's publicity officer, Reg Pugh, at the board's headquarters in Thames Ditton, west of London. Orford said: "At the end of the discussion he stated that the MMB would prefer to sponsor a major international marathon. So the Milk Race, the Tour of Britain, was born, starting in 1958 and lasting for 35 years, the longest cycle sponsorship in the UK ever.
The first two races were open to semi-professionals but from 1960 until 1984 it was open only to amateurs. From 1985 until 1993 the Milk Race was open to both amateurs and professionals. After 1993 the Milk Race ended as the MMB was wound up because of European monopoly laws.
Thanks to Eric for sending us these lastest two photos !