Fans of British cycling could be forgiven for locking their bikes up outside the wrong venue on their way to take part in this year’s annual pilgrimage to the Hammersmith Cyclists Film Show. Riverside Studios in Hammersmith is undergoing refurbishment for the next few years and the 2015 screening this Sunday will instead take place in the Phoenix Cinema in the north London suburb of East Finchley.
This year’s film show will be a time trial special leading with a biopic of Alf Engers known as The King of time trialling due to his dominance of the discipline during the 1960s and 1970s.
Engers grew up in Copenhagen Street, Kings Cross, where his family ran a bakers shop. He took part in cycle racing in Finsbury Park and there is some archive footage showing meetings at the circuit.
Engers use to do what many of today’s cyclists do making use of riding around the Outer Circle in Regent’s Park. He was also a member of the Polytechnic Cycling Club (Polytechnic of Central London, now University of Westminster).
In 1978 he set a British 25-mile (40 km) record of 49 minutes and 24 seconds, averaging 30.364 mph (49.190 km/h), making him the first rider to beat 50 minutes and thus the first to average more than 30 mph (48 km/h).
The film is followed with a question and answer with Engers who will give his personal view on “the race of truth” as time trialling is often called.
Other films to be shown: Come on Eileen (Anthony Collins, 2014) the remarkable story of Eileen Sheridan, who defied the odds to become a record breaker in the 1950s; and Racing is Life: The Beryl Burton Story (extracts) (Ray Pascoe, 2012).
Hammersmith Cyclists Film Show 2015: 1.00pm Sunday 25 January 2015, The Phoenix Cinema, 52 High Road, East Finchley, London N2 9PJ. Tickets from Phoenix Cinema and 020 8444 6789 (Booking is essential).
There will be a second screening of Alf Engers: aka “the King” (Ray Pascoe, 2014) at the Barbican Cinema (Screen 2) at 8.20pm, Tuesday 10 February 2015, also with a live Q & A with Alf Engers. Further information here.
A DVD Alf Engers: aka “the King” (includes 40 mins of special bonus features) is available from Ray Films.