On May 1st this year, I wrote an article titled “The Higginson Twins: A Pedaling Phenomenon.”
I wrote about an event held on March 23rd, 1952; the Calleva 25 mile time trial, an event restricted to a single gear of 72 inches. (48 x 18)
This event would go down in history when the first three riders would complete the distance in less than one hour.
The first time the magic one hour had been broken for 25 miles on a 72 inch gear.
Stan Higginson was the winner with a time of 59min. 20sec. Stan’s twin brother Bernard Higginson was second in 59min. 48sec. Dave Keeler took third place with a time of 59min. 58sec. Les Inman was fourth in 1hr. 0min. 52sec.
As a result of my writing this piece, Stan Higginson contacted me. A recent picture (Above right.) shows a still fit looking Stan, now 78 years young. His brother Bernard is also well; they live some fifteen miles apart, in Worcestershire, England.
Stan also sent some pictures from that era, including one taken right after the Calleva 25 at the moment history had been made. The picture is below.
From left to right is Les Inman (4th.) Stan Higginson (1st.) Bernard Higginson (2nd.) Dave Keeler (3rd.) Extreme right is Ken Sparks who was the 3rd member of the winning Halesowen C&AC team. Stan and Bernard were the 1st and 2nd Halesowen club members. Sparks time was 1hr. 3min. 10sec. and gave the Halesowen Team a total winning time of 3-2-18
Stan also gave me some interesting tid bits of information. He and Bernard normally raced on a single fixed gear of 84.4 inches. (50 x 16) He said it suited their slight build of 5’ 9 1/2” (176.5cm.) weighing 129 lb. (58.5kg.) and their very low profile positions.
Throughout the winter they trained on 62 inch gear. (46 x 20) This no doubt gave the twins their fast pedaling abilities.
Between 1952 and 1955 they won seven British National 25 Mile Championship Medals. 3 firsts, 2 seconds, and a third. Stan Higginson broke competition record 3 times. Their team. Halesowen C&AC won 3 National Championships, and broke competition record 4 times.
Stan’s fastest 25 was 56min. 21sec. and Bernard’s fastest time was 57min. 05sec.
The caption under this 1953 picture (Above) reads: The fastest of the brilliant cycling twins now serving in the Royal Air Force, S. F. Higginson has won the 25 miles championship of the Road Time Trials Council for the past two years, and is the current record holder with a time of 56 min. 29 sec. In July this year (1953) he became the first rider to beat 57 minutes at the distance.
Picture above: Stan Higginson turning in the North Lancashire 25 (1955)
Picture above: Stan riding a pursuit race at Herne Hill, London Track, Good Friday Meeting 1952
An interesting foot note. The person who put Stan in touch with me was Lewin Chalkley, who is the owner of Stan’s old Holdsworth frame. The frame below, recently restored, looks very much like the one in the picture above