Cycling clubs were formed in Ipswich as early as the 1880s with many planned road races. In 1905 there was a run from Ipswich to Rosewood. This same year saw the formation of the Kangaroo Point Cycling Club in Brisbane, one of the most successful and prestigious clubs in Queensland. The Ipswich Amateur Wheelers formed in 1922. Women cyclists were also competing and in 1925 Mrs Edna Mattingly won Queensland Lady Champion representing Rosewood.
Cycling was popular in Australia because it was a cheap form of transport, especially during the depression and provided low-cost entertainment. Hubert Opperman was an Australian cyclist whose endurance cycling feats in the 1920s and 1930s earned him international acclaim. Hubert rode a bicycle from the age of eight until his 90th birthday. His stamina and endurance in cycling earned Opperman the status of one of the greatest Australian sportsmen. Opperman is the only rider to have won the Australian national road race title four times, in 1924, 1926, 1927 and 1929. This would have inspired many young local riders.
During the 1930s there are reports of road races between Ipswich and Rosewood. Queensland Times in 1930 reported, “With the prospect of about 20 senior riders, next Saturday’s annual Dunlop road race, to be staged by the Ipswich Amateur Wheelers, promises to produce some keen racing. This event will start at the One Mile at 3.15 p.m. and will be held over the One Mile-Rosewood out and home, course. The majority of the riders are in good form. The juniors will be catered for with a 60-mile road race from One Mile to Amberley School and back.” http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115361292
Around this time, Rosewood resident Arthur H. Stubbs carried out bicycle repairs in the town. His son Henry Stubbs (b 1916) took up cycling in 1930 and later showed promising form as a road racer.
The Rosewood Amateur Wheelers were operating during the 1930s and competed with Ipswich Amateur Wheelers and other clubs. In May 1930 the Brisbane Courier reported on the ROSEWOOD CARNIVAL.
“A successful sports carnival was held on the Convent School grounds on May 16 organised by the Rosewood Amateur Wheelers. Cycling events were the chief feature, owing mainly to the presence of over 20 riders from the Ipswich and Booval Clubs There was a very good attendance of spectators.” http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21719886
In November 1930 the Brisbane Courier reported, “The Agricultural and Horticultural Association, the Rosewood Citizens Band and the Amateur Wheelers Club held a combined sports on the Rosewood show grounds yesterday afternoon. The gathering took the form of a race and cycling meeting. During the afternoon the Rosewood Citizens Band under their conductor (Mr W Clark) rendered several selections.” The report gives results for pony and cycling races. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21604755
Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld. : 1909 – 1954), Thursday 8 January 1931, page 7
Rosewood Club. Rosewood Amateur Wheelers are now the proud possessors of a fine cycling track situated in the heart of the township. Though not yet fully completed the numbers of riders training on the eight-lap to the mile bank shows that it is very popular, and some good sport and fast times should abound there. Club racing may not begin until Saturday week as it is intended to complete the track before recommencing. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115660170
By 1931, The Brisbane Courier was posting regular cycling results for Rosewood. “Cycling – A successful programme of events was held under the auspices of the Rosewood Amateur Wheelers on April 4 Results: Junior half-mile Jim O Brien (105yds) 1, Gordon Chalk (30yds) 2, H Stubbs (80yds) 3. Time min 11 secs. Junior mile-and -a-half handicap Dave Hall (scr) 1, Henry Stubbs (180yds) 2, Gordon Chalk (80yds) 3. Time 3min 59sec” http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21686187
Laidley also had a club and Rosewood competed against them at the Laidley Show.
In May 1932 Henry Stubbs entered and won an Ashby Road Race in Brisbane. The newspaper reports him as being 15 years old but he would in fact have just turned 16 in the April. The Brisbane Courier reported “The officials of the Queensland Amateur Cyclists’ Union ought to be pleased with the success that attended the first open event of the road season—the Ashby 10-mile race-at the weekend. The Rosewood lad, Stubbs, confounded the critics by leading home the field.” THE WHEELMEN. (1932, May 4). The Brisbane Courier (Qld. : 1864 – 1933), , p. 6. http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article21959324
The Queensland Times also reported on the event. “ROSEWOOD. Tuesday. Cycling Honour.—Henry Stubbs, the 15-year-old rider of the Rosewood Amateur Wheelers, easily won the final of the 10-mile Ashby road race in Brisbane yesterday. On returning to Rosewood last night with the contingent of Rosewood competitors he was warmly congratulated on his success. Sixty-nine riders faced the starter on Saturday, when the heats were decided, Stubbs gaining fourth place in his heat. In the final yesterday the local rider took the lead after two miles, and riding unassisted for the remainder of the journey, he came home an easy winner, and now becomes the possessor of an-Ashby bicycle valued at £20. At Rosewood on the three previous Saturdays Stubbs won road races of five, 15, and 20 miles. The result of the Ashby road race was: H. Stubbs, Rosewood (4min. 40sec.). 1; R. Easton. Hamilton (3min, 45sec.) 2; A. Eaves Hamilton, (3min, 5sec.) 3.” ROSEWOOD. (1932, May 5). Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 – 1954), , p. 10 (DAILY.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113979533
However most praise was shown in our own local newspaper the Rosewood Register and Marburg Mail on Friday May 13, 1932.
“Rosewood Amateur Wheelers
Henry Stubbs Rosewood, who won the 10 mile Ashby road race in Brisbane on May 2nd
Photo by Gordon W Chalk
HONOUR TO ROSEWOOD
HENRY STUBBS’S SUCCESS
By winning the ten mile Ashby Road race in Brisbane on Monday 2nd inst, Henry Stubbs has brought an honour to Rosewood which is the envy of all his club mates. Though this 16 year old junior rider has shown excellent form in the past three events in which he has competed in at Rosewood winning each by a fair margin, at the same time it was hardly thought possible that he would be successful when he stated his intention of competing in the Ashby event.
However on the previous Saturday he journeyed to Brisbane to try his luck in the heats, which were run off on that day. There were 69 starters and these were divided into four divisions. After taking the wrong turn, Henry managed to come in fourth in the third division, and it was then that the local enthusiasts began to take notice. On Monday morning 28 competitors faced the starts in the final. Handicaps ranged from five minutes down to one scratch rider. Stubbs immediately got going from his mark of 4 minutes 20 seconds. After making the pace hot he soon caught the leaders, and immediately breaking away from them, secured a good lead winning by 20 seconds.
Henry, who is the son of Mr. and Mrs A. H. Stubbs, St Kilda Hospital, has been a member of the Rosewood Amateur Wheelers since it was established. He won a bicycle worth approximately £16 as a souvenir of his fine feat.”
It is interesting to note that the photograph taken for the report was by Gordon Chalk who was one of his club mates later to become Sir Gordon Chalk, and Qld state treasurer. Henry was very proud that he knew Gordon Chalk and kept in touch over the years.
The Rosewood Club went on from strength to strength. In July 1932 “Rosewood Amateur Wheelers staged their longest road race -to date on Saturday afternoon, when a 45-mile handicap was held. The course was from Rosewood to Amberley and back, three times.” http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113977540
Later in the same year the Kangaroo Point Club wished to hold an inter-club road race in Brisbane with the Rosewood Club.
Mr. B. Nation presided at a committee meeting of the Rosewood Amateur Wheelers held in Mr. J. Potts’ rooms on Monday night. Others present, were: Messrs. J.
O’Brien, S. Trewick, S. Collins, A. Ward, L. Hughes, A. H. Stubbs, W. Felton, H. Stubbs, R. Felton, and W. Bickle (Secretary). Mr. G. Luxton, Secretary of the Q.A.C.U., wrote concerning the 100-mile Dunlop road race, to be held on Exhibition Wednesday. He suggested that Rosewood club should donate a trophy for the first Rosewood rider through Rosewood. The Chairman reported that he had met Mr. Luxton at Rosewood, and he had outlined the course for the 100-mile race. It was decided that the club should donate a trophy
for the first Rosewood rider finishing out of a place in the race. The Rosewood Shire Council granted permission for the club to race on the concrete road, John Street, provided they complied with the traffic regulations. The Chairman emphasised the importance of riders keeping to the traffic regulations, otherwise the privileges of racing on the road would
be taken from them. Mr. W. Baker donated 10/6 for a road race to start and finish in front of his shop in John-street. Mr. Baker is to be thanked for his donation. The action of the Chairman and other officials in procuring tour gas lamps for the use of the club was endorsed.” ROSEWOOD DISTRICT (1932, July 28). Queensland Times (Ipswich, Qld. : 1909 – 1954), p. 10 (DAILY.). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113984813
In 1932 Henry Stubbs won the Rosewood Amateur Wheelers 25 mile road Junior Championship. By 1934 he was competing in the 100 mile Dunlop road race from Rocklea to Glenore Grove and back. Family stories also say he competed in a road race from Gympie to Brisbane and at some stage won a 100 mile road race. The war would have interrupted sporting events, though coal miners like Henry Stubbs were part of essential industry and had to stay home, with some like him joining the Lighthorse to provide home security. But the club was still active in 1946 according to this report.
“Excellent Racing at Rosewood Cycling events held in Rosewood last Saturday afternoon were productive of excellent racing. The close finishes provided and the success of Rosewood riders were much appreciated by the spectators. Features of the meeting were the success of Frank and George Dale, Henry Stubbs, and Syd. Collins, prominent Competitors of pre-war days, whose re-entry into the ranks demonstrates the popularity of the sport in Rosewood. The concluding lap of the half-mile local handicap provided several exciting moments. Gaining an uninterrupted run through the field, Frank Dale finished brilliantly, to win nicely from Henry Stubbs, with George Dale on Stubbs’ wheel in third place. The open lap-dash resulted in the completion, of a Dale double, when George unwound a fine burst of speed to win in the last few yards from Barry Collins, with Henry Stubbs finishing on resolutely in third position. Syd Collins was a popular winner in the half-mile open. Urged on by the bandsmen, he made the pace too hot for the field, and won with ease from Fred McKinnon and Bill McClymont, the only W.M.A.C. Club members to figure among the place-getters. The performance of schoolboy Barry Collins, heat winner and second place-getter in the open lap-dash final, was a meritorious one. Much will be heard of this colt in the near future. No. W.M.A.C.C. road race will be held next week-end. Club officials will visit Rosewood on Saturday afternoon to attend the formation meeting of the Rosewood Club.” Cycling Excellent Racing at Rosewood (1946, May 16). Queensland Times (Ipswich) (Qld. : 1909 – 1954), , p. 3 (DAILY). http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article114574939
Henry Stubbs continued his loved of bicycles entering many races and becoming the go to person in the town to have bicycles repaired. He used to buy spare parts from Ashby Bros. sporting goods in the Valley in Brisbane and was friends for many years with other cycling enthusiasts such as Bob Dowse in Ipswich who used to race at the same time. Bob had a bike and fishing tackle shop in Downs Street North Ipswich.
Those bicycle repairs. Is there a family in Rosewood which hasn’t had a member who has not had a puncture repaired, a buckled wheel straightened, or brakes fixed. You name it, Henry could fix it. This was a skill, learned as a young man from his father. And he was still tinkering away with bikes right up to his death in 2000. Henry repaired the bikes of countless children, who returned years later with their children and even their grandchildren to have their bikes repaired. Like Opperrman, Henry continued to ride bicycles around Rosewood into his old age.
by Jenny Stubbs