END OF AN ERA

Joined: December 7th, 2012, 10:31 pm

June 7th, 2018, 8:19 pm #1

A long time ago -1978 to be exact - Harry Aspden - many of us oldies remember him well - both as a veteran racing cyclist as well as his wonderful writings in magazines such as International Cycle Sport, Coureur , Sporting Cyclist and in the weeklies such as Cycling and The Bicycle - asked me if I would like to take over his weekly cycling column in the Lancashire Telegraph - he had written it for 25 years and had had enough.

After some thought I agreed to take it on. I had already written the occasional report for our own Club and sent them in as and when.

I started in the Sports Pink - it came out about 6pm on Saturdays with football and cricket results and other news in. My first offering happened to be Saturday 3 June 1978 - my 40th birthday. I still have them all pasted in scrap books!

I started on £5 a week and carried on 52 weeks a year and then the Sports Pink died a death so I moved to Thursdays.

In 1996 I was asked to go in to see the Sports Editor of the day - and he asked if we could make it more local cycling and I agreed to go to March to October inclusive and focus on our local clubs and drew up a contact for each club.

I actually got a rise in my payment also!

I carried on and of course the internet/emails etc arrived so made it easier in many ways - previously I was often phoning my column or dropping it through their office letterbox.

All went well until February this year when the powers that be told me that they could no longer afford to pay me. Yes obviously newspapers have sadly declined significantly thanks to iphones and whatever.

At this point I have to say that I have never done it for the money - I don't need the money BUT I was not be prepared to do it for nothing at all. I had got a rise in 1996 when things changed but I have not had a rise since - neither have I asked for one.

I have always paid tax in it and doubt that there is anyone one in the country not had a rise in the last 22 years!!

In February I told them that a) I would finish then as I was not prepared to do it for nothing at all. They took me up on my offer to continue to this week - my 80th birthday so I have done 40 years.

That calculates back to have sent around 1700 cycling columns that I have had printed!!

If anyone is thinking of 'having a go' then I would say that although you can read it in the paper in 5 minutes - more words allowed when no football and less in winter - it can easily take me 5 HOURS and more collecting stuff including photos and deciding what best to send each week AND by 11amTuesday deadline!!

I said to the Sports Editor that they have had a weekly cycling column for 65 years and now when our sport is at a higher profile than ever they are stopping it. RIP
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Joined: January 8th, 2014, 8:44 pm

June 7th, 2018, 9:48 pm #2

Well dave it is the end of an era, you have done more than your share to bring the news of local cycling events to the attention of the people in our area. It is a shame that its come to an end. Just a suggestion what about writing a report on the forum club members and guests would be able to keep up with what is happening in our sport. Once again well done for all the reports over the years. Fred.
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Joined: December 7th, 2012, 10:31 pm

June 8th, 2018, 5:56 pm #3

fred pate wrote:Well dave it is the end of an era, you have done more than your share to bring the news of local cycling events to the attention of the people in our area. It is a shame that its come to an end. Just a suggestion what about writing a report on the forum club members and guests would be able to keep up with what is happening in our sport. Once again well done for all the reports over the years. Fred.
Thanks for your comments Fred. Our forum and website do extremely well updating our club members with results and other news already in my opinion.

My column was reporting on all clubs in our area as I indicated - also for a much larger audience - provided that they paid their 68 pence on a Wednesday!

I have tried to copy my final column in order to post it on here but it is too big to fit the allowed 200KB that we are limited to.
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Joined: October 10th, 2015, 7:52 am

June 12th, 2018, 9:36 am #4

Well done Dave,

Bizarrely you have previously written about a family member of mine Ronnie Aspden (no relation to Harry). I have just unearthed a cutting of the article found in my grandads possessions.
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Joined: February 7th, 2015, 3:09 pm

June 12th, 2018, 7:52 pm #5

Dave Brown wrote:I have tried to copy my final column in order to post it on here but it is too big to fit the allowed 200KB that we are limited to.
Email it to me, Dave, and I'll host it for you.
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Joined: December 7th, 2012, 10:31 pm

June 13th, 2018, 8:28 am #6

Steve Irwin wrote:
Dave Brown wrote:I have tried to copy my final column in order to post it on here but it is too big to fit the allowed 200KB that we are limited to.
Email it to me, Dave, and I'll host it for you.
That's a good offer Steve! It is also too long for my scanner !

SO - I will hand over a virgin copy of my final offering to you at the 25 tonight.
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Joined: February 7th, 2015, 3:09 pm

June 14th, 2018, 4:14 pm #7

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Joined: December 7th, 2012, 10:31 pm

June 15th, 2018, 1:59 pm #8

Thanks for posting that one Steve. Just turned up the first one I did for the Telegraph on Saturday 3 June 1978 - my 40th birthday.

I will not try to post it on here - it is printed in pink anyway - but interesting bits were 1) the Milk Race was finishing in Blackpool the following Saturday - the Tour de France starts next month but sadly without Eddie Merckx - the National 25 was in Yorkshire 'tomorrow' with favourite being Alf Engers - he did not win but another I mentioned Eddie Adkins did - with a time of 55-36!!

THEN! - 2 road races were scheduled for 'tomorrow' Sunday - promoted by the North Lancashire Road Club!! and using the full 11 mile Bashall Eaves circuit - finishing outside of Clitheroe Baths!! First event for Women and 3rd cat riders over 45 miles and then the main event over 80 miles with 'several northern riders' including one of the favourites Chris Miller of the Clayton Velo Club!!
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