Things to watch and listen to

Just a quick post, for if it’s as cold and wet and dark outside with you as it is with me, and you want to enjoy cycling while staying warm and dry….

Beryl: A love story on two wheels

Firstly, a BBC Radio 4 docudrama on British World Champion and all-round cycling superstar, Beryl Burton, written by and starring Maxine Peake.  Here’s how it’s described:

As an ill child, Beryl Burton was told never to exercise. And then she met a young cyclist called Charlie: “The first year I pushed her, the second year I rode with her, and the third year she was at the head of the bunch”.

Maxine Peake writes and stars in this true love story of Beryl Burton, a working class mum from Morley in Leeds who, with no financial backing or training, combined farm work with global domination in all areas of cycling competition from the 1950s to 1970s.

Drama is intertwined with contributions from Charlie Burton, now in his 80s, and their cycling champion daughter, Denise Burton Cole. Their perspective provides an intimate, funny and moving portrayal of Beryl, recorded on bikes in various locations around Saddleworth and in Harrogate.

There’s a week left to listen to this online – and I’m very, very sorry if it’s geo-restricted.  If you want to find out more about Burton, start with her wikipedia entry and this interview from 1984 – and there are interviews with Peake all about the programme on the Guardian website and the Radio Times.  You can also listen to Peake and Charlie Burton talk about the programme on last week’s Woman’s Hour on Radio 4.



Secondly, ‘First’, a film by Caroline Rowland on first-time Olympians, including British track star, Laura Trott, the World and Olympic Team Pursuit and Omnium champion.  Either click through to watch a clip on that link, or go directly on Vimeo.



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