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, 21:38
Ilfracombe Birdman 2015. Picture: Andy Keeble

Magnificent men and women in their flying machines draw huge crowds to town.

Read more
Fri, 23:16
The scene on the A39 tonight after two cars collided and caught fire. Picture: Kathryn-Racheal Ring

Road closed and reports of one man dragged from a blazing car as emergency services rush to the scene

Read more
Fri, 14:08
Green Lanes in Barnstaple.

Green Lanes Shopping Centre, Tuesday, August 4

Read more
Fri, 13:11
Phil Rayment photographed the Velella Velella on Westward Ho! beach.

Creature found on Westward Ho! beach is identified as a ‘by the wind sailor’.

Read more
Fri, 09:44

Police appeal for information after three birds found dead following ‘rare’ poison attack

Read more
Fri, 09:41
Do you recognise any of these items recovered by Barnstaple police?

Police have released a series of images of silver items believed to have been stolen in Barnstaple, Ilfracombe, Bideford and South Molton.

Read more
Fri, 09:10
The scene of the fire in Torrington.

A woman was taken to hospital after five fire crews battled to fight blaze at Torrington terraced home.

Read more
Fri, 08:20
Fiona Leighton-Fowler with Jessie Head, Marie Curie fundraiser for Devon. Picture: Sarah Howells

Braunton woman is raising money for Maria Curie by completing 50 challenges ahead of her 50th birthday.

Read more
Fri, 08:00
Sunshine at the North Devon Show.

The North Devon Show returns on Wednesday, August 5, with a jam-packed list of events. Find out 10 of the best things to look forward to here...

Read more
Fri, 08:00
ndg Orchard Vale Exmoor Youth Challenge Team with money raised.

Pupils raise £475.50 for Children’s Hospice South West with charity trek.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 15°C

min temp: 13°C

Most Read News

Great British Life


Great British Life

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

Digital Edition

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


North Devon's trusted business finder