The History of The 59 Club®
The Reverend William Shergold
The Club started originally as a youth club at the Eton Mission in Hackney Wick, London in 1959 and was led by the Reverend John Oates. Later, being that he was a motorcyclist himself, Father William Shergold decided to hold a church service for motorcyclists in 1962.
He finally plucked up courage and visited The Ace Cafe on the North Circular Road and handed out leaflets about the service. He had an immense reaction. The church was full of 'Rockers'. Even some of their 'bikes were brought into the church to be blessed.
As this had never been heard of before, the press had a field day!
A 'bike section was added to the youth club and was so popular that it overtook the club and premises. Hence The 59 Club was born.
Father Bill moved to Paddington in North-West London and the Club moved with him. Even though the premises were a lot larger, the Club was full to bursting every night. Father Bill, Father Graham Hullett, Mike 'Cowboy' Cook (paid youth worker) and a large work force of volunteers were needed to run the Club.
Again the Club moved to Hackney and Father Bill moved on to start the 69 Club in Dover. The 59 Club carried on under the mantle of Mike Cook for many years with voluntary Club Leaders (as they were known) to help him.
Over the years it has been a privilege for many members to have Father Bill marry them. Others have been christened by him as can be seen here in Bill's church in East London. Undoubtedly one of natures genuine gentlemen, Bill has always been ready and willing to officiate at these events and this is just one more reason why he is, and has always been, held in the highest esteem by everyone who knows him.
Father Bill Christens one of the newest 59 Club members
Due to lack of council funding, Mike retired. This coincided with the Club's lease on the building expiring so the Club moved yet again. This time to Plaistow in East London.
Mike Cook and Father Bill
Father Bill and Mike Cook are still involved with the Club and we now have another motorcycling vicar, Father Scott Anderson, on the management team. The workforce now is a lot smaller and are all hard working volunteers who are committed to keeping the Club up and running.
Wednesday 7:30 pm till 11:00 pm
Saturday 7:30 pm till 11:00 pm
Membership is open to anyone with an interest in motorbikes. Annual subscriptions are due on January 1st every year. There is a nominal entry fee on Club nights and if you haven't paid your subs for the current year you will be expected to pay the Visitor's entrance fee instead. (Still a very reasonable fee). Current members receive copies of the Club magazine 'Link', which is posted out 3 or 4 times a year. Should you change your address it is essential that you inform the Club as soon as possible so that we can alter our records. We always need articles from members for the magazine, so all contributions are gratefully received. The Club is affiliated to both the BMF (British Motorcycling Federation) and MAG (Motorcycle Action Group) and you will receive membership cards for these associations.
Entry to the Club is down the side of the Swift Centre, through the blue doors and up the stairs. There is some off street parking for 'bikes but we do recommend that you lock your 'bike securely for safety.
The main Clubroom is quite large and is big enough to hold dances and parties. It also contains a coffee bar, seating area, table tennis area, football table, juke box and arcade game. We also have a snooker room with a full-size snooker table and a quiet room which contains a television, video player and a collection of 'biking videos to peruse.
The Club usually holds a Classic Dance in October and always has its Tinsel & Turkey Party after Christmas. A list of Club events, shows and rallies etc; that the Club will be attending is printed in 'Link' and here on the Web site. At most of the shows, the Club provides free tea/coffee and biscuits/bread pudding for current members but more importantly, somewhere to sit, chat, meet other members and rest those weary legs!
The Club is a registered charity and runs on the money we take in entrance fees, subscriptions or make on the coffee bar, Club regalia etc: Therefore, any money you spend in the Club goes straight into its coffers and is solely for your benefit as a member. The few Club Leaders that the Club has are all voluntary and work very hard. And not just on Club nights I may stress. So please help out if and when you can. It would be greatly appreciated.
Points to Note
The 59 Club Roundel Logo is a trade mark of The Fifty Nine Club and the words The Fifty Nine Club are also registered. Neither may be used without the express written permission of the Council of Management of The Fifty Nine Club by way of advertising, commercial and/or non-commercial use or in any way which might infer that it was being used in an official capacity by or on behalf of The Fifty Nine Club Limited.
Should you need to contact the Club you can either visit the Club HQ in Plaistow in person, write to the Club HQ using the usual address or contact us by email at:
Telephone - (+44) 07423-591001
Back To The Main Menu