Pot of gold…

A month or so ago I stumbled upon a genuine pot of gold!

I didn’t follow a rainbow, nor did I have to journey (Indiana Jones style) to any far flung exotic location.

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Charlie Chadwick is a name I was already vaguely familiar with. As a member of the ‘Rough Stuff Fellowship’ I was aware that Charlie was a founding father, perhaps THE founding father?

Digging around online one evening I stumbled upon the Veteran Cycle Club website, a treasure trove of information and a true ‘rabbit hole’ of which to get lost within.

Of most interest to me was the JPMPF section of the site, a publishing trust fund set up in memory of John Pinkerton who died in 2002 (The objective of the Fund is to continue the publishing activities initiated by John) – to publish historical material on the development of the cycle and all types of related activities. Items published include reprints of cycling journal articles, manufacturer’s information e.g. catalogues etc…

Brilliant!

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The books that instantly caught my eye were the ‘Pre-War Cycling Diaries of Charlie Chadwick’ edited by a chap called David Warner. I immediately googled David’s name in relation to Charlie and struck gold!

David has a website devoted to Charlie’s life, writings and drawings that can be found here… Charlie Chadwick

I won’t spoil it by writing anymore about David or Charlie as, if you’re interested enough, you’ll undoubtedly leave this page and do your own immediate research. I also feel I would be doing a disservice to David. A labour of love and then some, his site and the books he has helped bring to life have everything you need to know.

What I will say is this…

Charlie was and is an inspiration, as close to a cycling hero as you’re ever likely to find. An added personal bonus for me is the fact that Charlie was a Northerner and rode many of the lanes and trails that I too now ride and enjoy.

David is also, just as much of a hero in my eyes. For preserving and sharing such a wonderful piece of cycling history he should be applauded. Thank you David.

There are currently 4 volumes of Charlie’s diaries. I’m halfway through volume 2 and delightedly received volumes 3 & 4 in the post this morning. I’ve read an enormous amount of cycling related books and text over the years, but these wonderful little books beat them all by a country mile. The writing is effortless, romantic, funny and honest.

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Charlie is my hero, and these little books my new treasures.

Words and pictures – Paul Rance.

 

 

 

 

5 thoughts on “Pot of gold…

  1. Thanks for reminding me about him! I’ve checked out the website from time to time, but not lately. Good to see there’s a book. Maybe I’ll get a copy? I’m just a bit worried, as I’ve had bad luck with Royal Mail as of late…

    Like

  2. Pingback: A perfect day… – Grass up the middle CC

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