Tributes have been paid to Peter Waghorn, one of Welwyn’s well-known cyclists and Welwyn Wheelers ex-chairman, who has died aged 89. 

Born on February 7, Peter would have been 90 years old this year. He died from a hereditary kidney disease which caused his health to deteriorate. 

Peter moved to Welwyn Garden City in his early 20s to work at ICI. 

Andrew Brown, the Chair of Welwyn Wheelers, said: “Peter had become very frail in the last few months and passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early hours of last Monday morning, at the Oakview Lodge Care Home in Welwyn Garden City.” 

Peter is well known to generations of cyclists across the North London area and beyond.  

He will be remembered as a long-time volunteer and supporter of sport at a local and grass-roots level. Welwyn Hatfield Times: Peter at the Friday Track League.Peter at the Friday Track League. (Image: Welwyn Wheelers)

Peter was club chairman at Welwyn Wheelers and remained on the club committee at the time of his death. Although, failing health prevented him from attending meetings in person in the last year. 

In 1968, Peter took over as organiser and promoter of Welwyn Track League, which takes place during the summer at the velodrome at Gosling Sports Park.  

He stepped down from this role just a few years ago, but remained on the Track League organising committee.  

Peter was a keen spectator and attended the Track League during the 2022 season, when his health permitted. 

An enthusiastic sportsman, he participated in hockey, cycling, sailing and squash. In each case he gravitated towards the administrative side, taking roles in organising the clubs for which he played.  

Peter joined Welwyn Wheelers in 1953. During the early years of Peter’s involvement, the club enjoyed remarkable success with several riders competing at international level.  Welwyn Hatfield Times: Peter dedicating his time to the Welwyn Wheelers for many year.Peter dedicating his time to the Welwyn Wheelers for many year. (Image: Welwyn Wheelers)

Peter himself still holds the club tandem record, set with Mike Daniel in 1960, for the “out and back”, Welwyn Garden City to Biggleswade course. 

Peter went on to dedicate himself to the organisation of both the Welwyn Wheelers cycling club and the charitable trust which ran the Gosling Sports Park.  

Peter had an influence in cycle racing generally, in the Eastern Region and North London areas.  

Interest in cycling has not been consistent through the history of Welwyn Wheelers club and in the early 1990s numbers of active club members were few, but throughout Peter kept club activities going.  

Reminiscing on Peter's dedication to the sport, Andrew added: “On one memorable wet Tuesday evening, only one rider turned up for the Club 10-mile time trial, held on the Codicote-Hitchin course, but still Peter was there, sitting in his car in a layby, happy to act as timekeeper.” 

He added: “Peter never married, unless one counts being married to sport, but he enjoyed being in the company of women and building life-long friendships.  

“He regarded Welwyn Wheelers as his family. For many years, Peter was present at all club training activities and Track League events, collecting subs, up to five days a week in the summer.” Welwyn Hatfield Times: Peter was a long-time volunteer and supporter of sports at a local and grass-roots level.Peter was a long-time volunteer and supporter of sports at a local and grass-roots level. (Image: Welwyn Wheelers)

Peter organised and promoted the Welwyn Track League for 50 years, ran the weekly summer Club 10’s and served on the board of the Gosling Charitable Trust. Peter organised up to four Track Open Meetings per year, attended divisional meetings and served on the board of the National Federation (BCF), and more. 

“He was not known to suffer fools, but nonetheless won the affection and respect of cyclists far and wide. He was renowned for remembering the names, numbers and racing categories of Track League riders, even after decades of their absence from the sport,” Andrew added. 

Several riders remember coming to the Gosling Velodrome in their youth, later taking sons and daughters, and grandchildren down to the track and were always greeted by the ever-present “wag”. 

He set an example of unpaid and often unsung local community service which few will ever be able to match. 

Peter is survived by his two nieces. His wishes are for a private cremation.  

Welwyn Wheelers are hoping to organise a commemoration event to celebrate Peter’s life; details of which will be communicated.