Charlie started cycling for real in 1922 at the age of 17 and even though many rural roads were still unsurfaced, he couldn’t get enough of rough tracks and all his rides included researching tracks of all sorts, spotted as he rode along, just to see where they led.
Charlie was a romancer, and was never happier than crossing – or climbing towards – the high and lonely places only a die hard enthusiast of rough stuff cycling could aspire to.
He covered every inch of the Scottish Highlands, and the Islands – cycle camping as he went – and with the help of his camera, packed with Kodak film, he entertained many a winter cyclists clubroom with his magnificent slide shows.
The Rough Stuff Fellowship was inaugurated at Leominster during the Whitsun Holiday Weekend of 1955. The founding members elected a Committee and the post of Chairman went to Charlie Chadwick. Charlie was an ideal Chairman in that he understood the workings and machinations of Committee life, and coupled with his enthusiasm for Rough Stuff Cycling, he harnessed the two aspects together and put them to good use.
He served as Chairman for several years until his enforced move into house renovation – Atherton House – which took up all his spare time.
I believe that Charlie was one of the driving forces behind the early decision by the RSF to start a national route library, very ably managed by Alan Mepham in those far off days.
Charlie’s name in the RSF lives on, in the form of the annual cup that is awarded for the most outstanding photograph of the year, the winner receiving the Charlie Chadwick – Vic Ginger trophy. Vic Ginger was another early stalwart of the RSF about whom more anon.