Friday 16 December 2011

Hackney's World Record setting Cyclist

Tommy Hall world record holder. Note the name Gordon Bennett up on the hoardings.

Hackney can lay claim to a World record beating cyclist in  Tommy Hall - although born in Croydon, Tommy must have came up an earlier version of the Overground as he ended up in Hackney, finally parking his bike in Abney Park where I spotted his gravestone the other day. Hall was a professional cyclist between 1900 and 1914 and he broke the world motor-paced hour record  on the 14th  September 1903, distancing 54.34 miles (87.391 kilometres).
Tommy Hall - stayer

The following year he came 2nd in the European stayer (motor-paced) championship in 1904.
Hall died aged 72 in 1949, his grave lies in Abney Park Cemetery in Stoke Newington, London, a few feet away from the statue of Dr Isaac Watts up from the chapel towards Church Street.
Tommy Hall's gravestone in Abney Park
 The headstone inscription reads:
 William Thomas (Tommy) Hall
Who died April 26th 1949
Aged 72 years
This memorial was erected
by his cycling friends as a tribute to
a record breaking and world famous cyclist
on road and track
A great rider and sportsman

An earlier stayer F. Gerger being led around by a scary looking contraption that I can't even name.

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