Tommy Godwin | Long Distance Legend

Tommy Godwin 205 mile challenge

In the 75th anniversary of Tommy Godwin’s record-breaking year, Raleigh UK launch a 205 mile cycle challenge to all of those brave enough to accept. Anyone able to ride the 205 mile distance (equivalent to the average daily distance ridden by Tommy!!) will be entered into a competition to win £205 worth of prizes.

Raleigh Record Ace: the choice for champions

An excellent article from Peter Kohler detailing the pre-war ‘Raleigh Record Ace’ used by Tommy Godwin with a detailed technical history and development of the machine. Also included within the article are some beautiful old publicity shots of the Raleigh Record Ace and the ‘Sturmey-Archer’ hub.

Look out for photos of the author’s own machine: a 1939 Raleigh Record Ace which looks in fantastic condition:

Desperately seeking Bernard

Can you help? We are looking for any information regarding the endurance cyclist Bernard Bennett. Perhaps you are a family member, an old friend – or simply have information about Bernard that you might think useful.

Bernard was twice runner-up to the year-record and his massive achievements are largely over-shadowed by the even greater achievements of Tommy, Ossie Nicholson and René Menzies.

To have attempted the year record once would have required more determination and guts than most could fathom. To have attempted the year record twice and been valiantly beaten on both occasions must have been tragic. If you have any information that can shine a light on Bernard’s story please contact us. Many thanks.

Site redesign – Not for profit

Some design improvements have been made to the site – we hope you like them. Mobile and tablet owners can now enjoy a better visitor experience as we’ve made the site fully responsive.

You may notice the addition of one small text-only advert to the site.

Please note: This site is not run as a commercial venture. The inclusion of advertising has been carefully considered and we would prefer not to have to resort to its use. However, after 16 months of running the site without advertising, now feel the need to cover our operating costs. The revenue generated from advertising does not currently cover our server charges alone. Should the amount generated raise above our operating costs, we will donate the surplus to our favoured charity: MSF.

We take this matter seriously, if you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.


Man vs Machine

We’ve had quite a few emails over recent weeks, and the greatest interest and debate seems to be on Tommy’s machine – and how much a disadvantage it would actually have been when compared to bikes available to today’s riders.

Bruce Dance had this to say:

“Whilst I agree Tommy’s bike was rather different from modern ones, I feel that this idea is somewhat overplayed on your website.A 531 frame and fork back then (as today) would weigh around 6lbs. Although I do not know that they were used, light alloy parts including wheel rims, brakes, handlebars etc were certainly available.

The selection of a hub gear (and doubtless other components) would have been taken not with ultimate speed and efficiency in mind necessarily so much as a compromise with reliability as a dominant factor. Politics/sponsorship aside (Raleigh owned SA and in fact refused to market derailleur gears until the 1950s…) had he wanted them, he could have had a 3×4 derailleur setup at least.

Continue reading »

Tommy Godwin – BBC ‘One Show’ feature

Excellent feature on Tommy Godwin as part of the BBC ‘One Show’ on the 7th June.

If you’re quick you can catch it here on the BBC iPlayer:

Cycling legend Sir Chris Hoy is interviewed in the studio, while Olympic athlete Iwan Thomas interviews Dave Barter and Neil Hemmings as part of the feature.

Great to see Tommy finally getting the recognition he deserves. Perhaps there is now enough media attention to warrant the making of a longer feature-length documentary.

Great stuff.

RIP Roy Swinnerton 1925-2013

Stoke-on-Trent will bid farewell to another of it’s cycling legends this week.

RIP Roy Swinnerton: funeral to be held at St.Augustine’s, Meir on the 19th March 2013 at 10:00a.m.

Site revamped

With the freezing weather of the last few weeks, there’s not been much to do other than to wrap up warm and dream of summer. It’s quite amazing to think that during the week of 18th > 24th January, 1939, that Tommy managed to ride over 1000 miles in conditions that were reportedly as bad (if not worse!) than those that the UK has just experienced.

We thought it only proper then to take the opportunity to do some (pre)spring-cleaning to the site in recognition of Tommy’s incredible achievements; we hope you like the revamped site. Let us know if you have any comments or suggestions.

Latest News:

April 27, 2017

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