Meriden Cyclists Memorial Service
Each year hundreds of cyclists from all over the UK come together in the West Midlands village of Meriden - traditionally regarded as the centre of England - to pay tribute to fallen cyclists.
Cyclists from around the country make their way to Meriden to attend a service to commemorate cyclists who have died in combat. The event concludes with refreshments in the village hall.
Due to the ongoing threat of coronavirus Covid-19 the event has been cancelled but a virtual service led by Rev Lynda Lilley of St Laurence Church, Meriden.
Around 400 people attended the annual Cyclists’ Memorial Service at Meriden Green on Sunday 19 May. In 2021 it will be the 100th anniversary of the first Memorial event.
Cyclists from all over the country attended including members from many other Cycling UK groups such as the Cannon Hill Cycling Club in Birmingham who attended for the first time.
While the memorial service has a solemn moment with the minutes silence to remember fallen cyclists, the event is generally uplifting. Cycling and cyclists are celebrated and groups come together to socialise and provide each other with support and friendship.
Dave Hearn has organised the service for the past four years with help from his wife Margaret, the Vicar of St Lawrence Parish in Meriden, Lynda Lilley and a number of other fellow cyclists.
Lynda leads the service which consists of hymns, readings and prayers plus a wreath laying ceremony in which members of local sections of Cycling UK plus other cycling clubs and organisations lay their wreaths in turn at the cenotaph.
The event is supported by the Bulkington Silver Band who provide the much-appreciated musical accompaniment.
The organisers are keen to involve all faiths in the service. This year a poem was read out by a member of the Sikh Cycling Union.
The event concludes at the Village Hall which is open afterwards for refreshments and cakes baked by the local Women’s Institute.
Information from previous events
We will remember them
BBC news article - Meriden service marks WW1 cyclists' sacrifice
Listen to BBC World War One at Home - National Cycling Memorial, Meriden: Remembering Fallen Cyclists