Christmas Eve is the day when most people are putting the final touches to their holiday arrangements. For The Wattmeister though, 24th December 2014 is the 30th anniversary of the “Surge of Sydney Street”.
This event took place towards the finish of the much missed Limehouse Basin Classic 100 miler. The Wattmeister found himself in a break with two Eastern Bloc puncheurs, Latvian rouleur Ivor Knobbe, who was once a regional pocket billiards champion before an unfortunate miscue on Cannon Street Station, and Don the Decorator, grandson of Peter the Painter, one of the protagonists in the Siege of Sydney Street.
Ivor always raced with two ‘bidons’, one of which was filled with water and the other with neat vodka. Don on the other hand was kitted out in merino wool dungarees as he often came to the races straight from his place of work.
After attacking hard on Commercial Road, the trio turned into Sydney Street, passing the Artichoke pub on Stepney Way (alas, ceased trading in 2001). At this point Ivor took a quick swig from the bidon filled with vodka and sprinted towards the finish line some 300 metres distant at The Blind Beggar pub on the junction of Cambridge Heath Road and Whitechapel Road.
Don and The Wattmeister quickly latched on to his wheel, whereupon TW produced an *estimated 1956 watts for ten seconds. Some say that this surge briefly bought Jack ‘The Hat’ Mcvitie back to life, but it certainly went a long way to making The Wattmeister a household name…..in his own house.
*(Estimated in the days before power meters).