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

13:07

The Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple and the Landmark in Ilfracombe are closed until further notice as the theatres trust goes into voluntary administration

Read more

The B3230 is currently blocked after two vehicles collided on a bend this afternoon (Monday).

Read more

Councillors call for extraordinary meeting after news today that North Devon Theatres Trust has entered administration today (Monday) as local theatre groups ‘devastated’

Read more
53 minutes ago

Organisers of the North Devon Gang Show appeal for help to find another venue after North Devon Theatres went into administration

Read more

Work is still set to go ahead to build news homes at the former Torrington Creamery, once legal agreements have been signed.

Read more
11:07

The Queen’s Theatre in Barnstaple is closed today (Monday) due to ‘unforeseen circumstances’

Read more

Crews from Barnstaple and Braunton helped ambulance crews access a patient after they spotted smoke coming from the kitchen.

Read more
Saturday, January 21, 2017

More than 200 people took part in the Womens March in Barnstaple this afternoon (Saturday) in protest of newly-elected president Donald Trump

Read more
Saturday, January 21, 2017

Centenarian Doris Covington is joined by family and friends to mark her 100th at Tyspane Care Home

Read more
Saturday, January 21, 2017

Gardens will be open in the coming weeks in and around North Devon to give people the chance of enjoying this winter gem

Read more

Local Weather

Sunny

Sunny

max temp: 7°C

min temp: 1°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