Stolen ‘Tour’ bike returned to widow

The community rallies to hand a yellow bike to Barbara after her sentimental wooden bike went missing
The community rallies to hand a yellow bike to Barbara after her sentimental wooden bike went missing

There’s a yellow glow spreading around Longridge as more and more bikes hit the heights on houses, shops and businesses heralding the Tour of Britain race through the town in 12 days time.

And there’s an even bigger glow at one house after the town’s Community Partnership, headed by Longridge mayor Coun Sarah Rainford, fixed yet one more bike to pensioner Barbara Willan’s front garden fence.

Whoever took it must have felt guilty, but I’m so glad to have it back

Pensioner Barbara Willan

“We heard that a special wooden bike, also yellow, bought by Barbara’s late husband Ken for her at last year’s Tour in Yorkshire, had been stolen from the house wall where it had been fixed since then,” Coun Rainford explained.

“We received requests from her family and friends for a ‘yellow bike’ to replace it, then found out that the wooden bike, although damaged, had been returned anonymously in black bin liners early one morning.

“But we felt it would still be lovely to provide Mrs Willan with a replacement, so we installed the bike and a very happy but tearful Mrs Willan was delighted with the community gesture.”

An emotional Mrs Willan was also delighted her wooden bike was once again back on her wall, complete with a piece of it left stuck there when it was ripped away.

She said: “Whoever took it must have felt guilty, but I’m so glad to have it back.

“We always watched the race and I’ll be doing so this year. Ken loved cycling and biked to work at Berry’s mill in Chipping every day until he retired at 65.”

The Tour comes through Longridge on September 7.