Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Final goodbye for cycling centenarian

14:04 20 May 2014

Billie Fleming passed away shortly after her 100th birthday.

Billie Fleming passed away shortly after her 100th birthday.

Archant

Billie Fleming passed away on Monday with her family by her side just a month after milestone birthday.

Billie when she cycled 39,000 miles around the UK.Billie when she cycled 39,000 miles around the UK.

A CENTENARIAN who cycled 30,000 miles around Great Britain in a year and inspired generations has died just a month after her 100th birthday.

Billie Fleming, wife of the late George Fleming, who was the first man to cycle 50 miles in less than two hours, celebrated the milestone birthday in April.

She passed away at North Devon District Hospital on Monday, May 12 with her family by her side but leaves behind her a legacy of ‘girl power’.

Her stepson Peter Samwell said Billie was an ‘amazing lady’ who was thrilled to have reached her 100th birthday and be featured in the North Devon Gazette.

He said: “Billie’s passing at the age of 100 after a short illness is a sad occasion for her family and friends but I am certain that Billie would not want people to mourn but instead to use her death as a source of inspiration to carry on cycling.

“For her, death is probably no more than a puncture in life’s cycling journey, and now she can be reunited with her beloved husband, my father, George Fleming who passed away in 1997.

“Fortunately Billie reached her goal of getting to 100 and she was so pleased to have been interviewed by Sarah at the North Devon Gazette about her 1938 world record of cycling 29,604 miles in one year.

“Just this morning I opened Billie’s mail and read a letter from a 41 year-old mum who took up road cycling last year.

“She said that to her, Billie was the original ‘Girl Power’ and how she has been inspired to clock up the miles this year.

“What better epitaph could Billie ask for than to have inspired future generations of cyclists?”

Arrangements for Billie’s funeral are still ongoing but Billie’s family has asked for donations to The Cornwall Leukaemia Trust in lieu of flowers.

Other News Stories

21:13

Official diversion will be some 17 miles long when work begins on the Caen Street flood defences

Read more
14:30

Wide range of activities planned for United Community Centre club in Northam with the appointment of a new youth worker

Read more
11:30

Pull on your Christmas jumper and raise money for North Devon’s hospital charity

Read more
09:30

Have fun but steer clear of trouble and drink driving, North Devon inspector warns festive party-goers

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00

Find out when Santa will be visiting Bideford, Barnstaple, Torrington, Northam, Appledore, Fremington, Yelland and Braunton.

Read more
Fri, 19:43

Guest had to break glass with his bare feet and barely escaped alive with his young son after Europa fire that revealed ‘a number of failings’

Read more
Fri, 16:35

Police are appealing for information after a woman in her 60s had to be cut from her car at junction of Abbotsham Road and Belvoir Road.

Read more
Fri, 16:00

The tractor, which still works today, was first bought in 1954 and is the inspiration behind a series of children’s books.

Read more
Fri, 14:51

Bishop Sarah Mullally visits centre as part of a three day tour of North Devon

Read more
Fri, 12:29

The force has confirmed it is investigating allegations in Devon and Cornwall of child sex abuse within football.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 5°C

min temp: 4°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications