The History of the Club Uniform of the Pickwick Bicycle Club
There were a number of changes to the uniform over the years as cycling wear
became less formal. The December 1967 Minutes makes reference to the “boaters worn by some members” and that “it
was hoped that all members would consider wearing the club uniform at future functions”. In 1973 Mr. Knockemorf
submitted the following proposition.
“That as from and including the 1973 Garden Party any member of the Pickwick Bicycle Club attending the
Club’s luncheons without the club uniform of a straw boater with Club band and tie shall contribute the sum of
50 pence to a charity to be named by the President in office”.
1885 Rule Book
- That the Club uniform be dark blue Norfolk jacket and knee breeches, with Club buttons, blue stockings, and
black polo cap, with gold embroidered initials.
- That the Club colours be black and amber
1881 Rule Book
Dark blue diagonal cloth single-breasted jacket, vest, and knee breeches, dark blue stockings, and black polo
cap with gold embroidered initials.
The Club buttons to be worn on the jacket and vest (note there were 2 sizes 21mm and 14
Following from committee minutes December 1876:
At a meeting on 19th December, it was decided to adopt the use of ivory club buttons, with the letters “P.B.C”
on same in Old English – these buttons are supposed still to be used by Club riders.
Also in 1876. At this time the now well-known Club badge – the plain monogram, “P.B.C.” in gold on a
cloth back – was instituted, as on 27th March the committee ordered that two dozen of the badges should be
March 1876 is the first reference to a club badge, when the Committee ordered that two dozen
badges with the monogram PBC in gold on a cloth back should be purchased.
Photograph of the original club badge held at Brooklands Museum - construction is silver wire on cloth
1875 Rule Book
At the general meeting on the 3rd February, 1875, a compulsory “uniform” rule was made, to the effect that each
member, when on Club outings, should wear a black cap with amber pipings.
In 1874 “The Boys Own Paper” recorded the Pickwick Bicycle Club as follows:
“The Pickwick Bicycle Club is the oldest established in London; the headquarters are in the neighbourhood of
Hackney. Each member of this club has, we believe, on joining to assume the name of some character mentioned in the
“Pickwick Papers”, and a few years ago it was customary for them to enter for bicycle races under their assumed
names. Referring back to some old reports of race meetings, we find the name of the “Fat Boy” frequently mentioned.
As may naturally be supposed, this name was appropriated by one of the thinnest of men. He is still racing with
success under his real name. The club uniform is dark blue, with the initials of the club in yellow on the
1870 - At the first meeting of the Club on the 22nd June 1870, it was resolved "that the club uniform be simply a
white straw hat with a black and amber ribbon"
An original metal cap badge is on display at The National Cycle Collection at Llandrindod Wells.
There is an original cloth badge in the Harold Scott collection. It has gold embroidered
letters "PBC" and is an original badge to wear on a pill -box hat in 1870 (Frame No. 5, No
484). It was presented to the collection by Serjeant Snubbin (John Walter
Raybould). This collection also includes 6 bone buttons from an original Pickwick Bicycle Club
uniform (Frame No 10, No 8055); an enamel badge, and a pierced brass "PBC" badge with Ordinary
Bicycle belonging to Freddie Devereaux (Frame No. 19, No 1606).
The club uniform has evolved over time to become gold and black:
- A straw boater with a gold & black band and, optionally, an embroidered cap badge
that is a facsimile of the original design.
- A gold & black diagonally striped tie.
- A personalised name badge with the individual’s soubriquet (Pickwick character) beneath
Samuel Pickwick standing on a stool.
Club officials wear their chain of office on gold & black collar ribbon. Past Presidents
wear a medal attached to a gold & black ribbon.
The Club cycle jersey is gold with black motif (front and back) of Samuel Pickwick standing
on a stool, and the legend “The oldest bicycle club in the world” down each side.