Appendices and AcknowledgementsThe Commonwealth Games are scheduled to take place in Delhi later this year. Just as in the days of Arthur Linton, the Welsh got there first. Click here for the article.
Thanks to Cycling Weekly for allowing reproduction of the article and good luck to everyone who makes it to India
Endorsement Note from Paul Dimeo (University of Stirling)
None of the truth concerning Arthur Linton’s life could have been made public without the help of staff in libraries and information centres attached to the local authorities of Aberdare, Cardiff, Haslingden, Levallois-Perret, Neuilly, Newport and the National Archive Centre, University of Warwick.
Special thanks go to Heather Perry and her staff at Cynon Valley Museum for permission to reproduce documents.
Two documents are appended, both forwarded by Bryan Wotton, long- time Secretary of what was the British Cycling Federation. The first gives a contemporary doctor’s opinion, the second translates as clear as a bell, namely that the French cycling authorities have no evidence of any wrong-doing concerning Arthur’s death.
And this is where to conclude. As far as the author is aware, with the sole exception of a BBC crew filming for local journalist Roy Noble, no-one who has written or pontificated about Arthur Linton’s remarkable life down the years has ever taken the trouble to visit the Cynon Valley, or Haslingden, or any of the other locations mentioned.
This is a shocking state of affairs, it harks back to the lamentations of Mrs. Arbuthnot in the wake of the Merthyr Rising, as if South Wales is a place of little consequence, to be dismissed in cursory fashion.
Arthur Linton has fair claim to be the “Inventor of Cycle Racing”. It is his image at the end of Bordeaux-Paris, wracked with pain, wrapped in a sweat and mud-soaked jersey which defined the notion of the ‘epic’. This is the standard to which the Tour de France itself aspires.
The long-defunct magazine 'Sporting Cyclist' carried in early 1963 an article by the Rhondda valley born, West London domiciled, Mal Rees. It provides a wonderful introduction to the story of Jimmy Michael and his brother Willy. Click here.
BibliographyThere is no one comprehensive volume dealing with the history of cycle racing in its early days. Similarly, no dedicated account of Paris in the final decade of the Nineteenth Century is in print. The following books are among those consulted by the author and will provide reference points. Divided into main subject area:
South Wales, general -
Wales, a History, John Davies The Merthyr Rising, Gwyn A. Williams A History of Modern Wales, Phillip Jenkins
South Wales, sport -
Fields of Praise, Dai Smith and Gareth Williams 1905 and all that, Gareth Williams Newport RFC Greats, Steve Lewis
This Island Race and The Crooked Path to Victory, Les Woodland Put Me Back On My Bike and Roule Britannia, William Fotheringham Master Jacques, Richard Yates Wide-Eyed and Legless, Jeff Connor The Hour, Michael Hutchinson Something to Declare, Julian Barnes The Official Centennial History of the Tour de France
Paris, the Secret History, Andrew Hussey La Vie en Bleu, Rod Kedward Bad Faith, Carmine Callil Eiffel, David I. Harvie
Manchester and Haslingden –
The Condition of the Working-Class in England, F. Engels Manchester, England; Dave Haslam Choppy Warburton, Richard O. Watson
Stuart J Stanton - September 2008
The author is better known as commentator on the Junior Tour of Wales and can be contacted via email@example.com