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

Yesterday, 08:00
Torrington May Fair 2015. Pictures: Sarah Howells

Torrington is getting ready for its Mayfair celebrations and carnival this coming week - everything you need to know here.

Read more
Yesterday, 07:00
Ben Blake, Craig Huxtable, Lewis Pillman, Hettie Cook and Karen Vasey-Szwer are among a group of eight Bideford College students hoping to travel to Ecuador. Picture: Submitted

Supermarket check-out bag pack among a series of stunts carried out to raise funds for ‘life-changing’ trip to Ecuador.

Read more
Fri, 18:15
Stowford Farm Meadows

Will Stowford Farm Meadows be crowned the king of sites in the Great British Park off?

Read more
Fri, 16:33
Dave Butt, pictured during the Pilton Festival, was a staunch community champion. Picture: Barbara Fryer Photography

Hundreds pack Barnstaple Parish Church to bid farewell to community champion

Read more
Fri, 15:59

Firefighters from Barnstaple were called after reports of a smell of smoke and a fire alarm sounding.

Read more
Fri, 13:42

South West Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust is letting people behind the scenes ahead of one of their busiest weekends.

Read more
Fri, 11:24
Councillor Sue Hayward and town clerk Will Austin outside Barnstaple Guildhall

Barnstaple Town Council has big plans for the Guildhall, but the historic building needs a bit of sprucing up first.

Read more
Fri, 08:58
Chicken hen.

Hen evades rescue attempts but appears content in adopted A39 lay-by home

Read more
Thu, 18:06
North Devon District Hospital, Barnstaple

700-word response says there are ‘no red lines’ to reviewing services but ‘will not add to speculation’

Read more
Thu, 16:46

One lane of the A361 from Braunton to Barnstaple is currently closed following the single vehicle collision today (Thursday).

Read more

Local Weather

Rain

Rain

max temp: 10°C

min temp: 10°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

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