Conisbro Ivanhoe Cyclists tour France & Spain – 3,000 miles by Train & Cycle

September 1959

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 19 September 1959

Conisbro Ivanhoe Cyclists tour France and Spain

Cover 3,000 Miles by Train and ‘Cycle In A Fortnight

And one of them loses his shoes to a Paris Tramp !

On a tour of France and Spain, two Conisbrough Ivanhoe cyclists missed their train connection in Paris. After unsuccessfully seeking hotel accommodation they decided to sleep on a street bench. One of them awoke in the early hours to find that his shoes had been stolen.

Back in Conisbrough after travelling 8,000 miles by train and cycle in a fortnight are Tony Greathead (20). of Church Street, and Keith Moore (21), of Cedric Avenue.

Tony told a ‘South Yorkshire Times” reporter: “We missed out train connection to Toulouse and the next train was not for nine hours. We tried several hotels but they were full. There was nothing for it but to ‘kip’ down on one of the street benches.

“At about five o’clock in the morning Keith woke me up and said: ‘My shoes have gone.’ We looked around and on a bench a  few yards away were a pair of old boots. We believe a tramp saw Keith’s shoes and exchanged them for his own.

In Stockinged Feet

“Keith walked to the station in the stockinged feet. When we arrived at Toulouse we met an English tourist who loaned Keith a pair of sandals and helped him by another pair of cycling shoes.

Tony and Keith then resumed their journey by cycles, sent on to Toulouse. In all they cycle 1000 miles crossing the Pyrenees into Andorra, a small independent state, then to Spain and back to France

Tony recalled that in crossing  the Pyrenees they had to cycle up steep hills for over 40 muiles.

“When we got near the top,” he said, “people leaned out of their cars cheering and waving on. It took was one and ½ lo hours to travel the last 5 miles to the summit.

During their cycle to the visitors camped in a tent each evening. In Spain, Tony said, they were told by inchlong ants and large mosquitoes. During the day they saw numerous snakes and lizards.

“Fortunately they never paid a visit in the tent,” laughed Tony

Good Bridges – Bad Roads

Whilst crossing a stretch of sierra (desert -like country) the Conisbrough visitors only saw one human being all day – a goatherd. Tony said some of the Spanish “A1” roads marked on the map were “mediaeval.” Most of the bridges, however, were recently constructed, “You would be travelling on a road like a cart track then suddenly you would come across a splendid concrete bridge.” When the two cyclists entered one small Spanish village practically the entire population rushed out to greet than “They were all shouting and clapping us on the back.” said Tony. ‘One man had a boy who was learning English and he brought him out to speak to us.”

What does Tony think of Spain?

“I found it very interesting. – he said “but not the ideal place for a holiday. However we were well off the beaten track and for most of our visit did not touch the places trivially frequented by tourists.”

Both Keith and Tony have been members of Conisbrough Ivanhoe Club for several years. Tony is employed by his father, Mr. J. E. Greathead, funeral director and Joiner. Keith is a mechanic at a Doncaster garage.