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Brummie Achievers.... Graham Webb

postie

The buck stops here
Staff member
Isn't it amazing how , we, in this country pay more attention to people who nearly succeed, than to those who actually Do succeed.
For instance, ask anyone if they know who " Eddy the Eagle" is, and 9 out of 10 will know the answer, although he never actually achieved anything.
Ask 9 out of 10 people who Graham Webb is and all you are likely to get is a blank look.    STRANGE INNIT !.



Graham started riding the bike at the age of 8 and shows the benefits of cycling - in Graham's words "I was born (13/01/1944) and bred in a back street slum of Birmingham. My mother was left a war widow with 5 children, three boys and two girls, I was the youngest. I was constantly very very ill and was given the last rites twice as a child, but I'm a fighter and survived. At the age of eight I learnt to ride a bike and managed to buy one for 9 pence, this was my saviour. I was never out of the saddle as I felt that I was born for cycling and that it helped me get stronger and stronger every day."
In 1963 he rode the World Team Time Trial in Belgium, 3 years later was National Pursuit Champion and finished 9th in the World Championships in Germany.
The year after, 1967 is the year everyone remembers and after racing the usual Easter Track meets without any training (he worked 16-hour days in the winter to get the finances to race abroad) he moved to Holland. After racing in the World pursuit that year he rode that eventful Road Race, the same day that Beryl Burton won her Road Race title - 2 World Road Champions in the same day for Britain!
After a winter season including a win in the Ghent Amateur six day he turned pro for Mercier but after health problems had to retire the year after. He did not touch the bike for over 16 years and when he did return started winning again and in 1988 and 1989 won four Belgian 'Open' track championships, twice Madison, once sprint champion and once Omnium champion, and was East Flemish road champion.
Graham leads an enjoyable life now in Belgium, involved in the Flemish School of Cycling where his two grandsons train, he has been decorated twice by the Belgian King and is feted wherever he goes but feels a little upset that his home country has not recognised his achievements. I am sure the Masters spectators will give him a very warm welcome.
 

postie

The buck stops here
Staff member
I am going to fight to put this right, before Graham is called to the Great Cycle Track in the sky.
I am by no means belittling the feats of Tommy Godwin but I want justice for Graham Webb.
If anyone wants to assist me in my fight I would be more than greatfull as I have never done anything like this before.

Please feel free to contact me by E-mail at [email protected].

Thank you in advance.
 
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R

Rod

Guest
Can we get hold of any pictures of him Postie? and maybe a listing of his achievements
 
V

V70PDB

Guest
Hello all... my first posting.
I once rode with Graham when for a very short while he rode - or should that be outrode - with the cyclist touring club that met at the Wheatsheaf on a Sunday morning. I was just a sprog, a kid who did not go on with my cycling. Clearly he did. He was untouchable then. Dare I mention his club nickname I wonder. Very personal so perhaps not.
Peter Barton
 

postie

The buck stops here
Staff member
Well, at last things are moving on the Graham Webb front.
Birmingham Council have given him his own page on their website amongst other Famous Brummies.:great:
 
O

O.C.

Guest
Do I detect a big smile on your face Jim ........Nice one
 

Alberta

Super Moderator
Staff member
Walked through as Steve was watching Tour de France on Eurosport,just in time to hear the commentators giving a 'potted history' of Graham Webb and Beryl Burton.
You could tell by the complimentary things they were saying that both are held in great regard in the world of cycling.
 

postie

The buck stops here
Staff member
Alberta, Graham holds world records that can never be broken, because the rules have since been changed, if he had come from London or Manchester he would have been honoured several times over.
I haven't given up on my campaign, I've had a set back when my website got "hacked" and it has cost me a new computer to put it right, but now I'm ready to fight on. ( they don't call me "Pitbull " for nothing.;)
 

Graham

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Hi Jim & all,

First of all sorry for taking so long to reply but I've been away most of the year trying to get over my two heart operations. Thanks Jim for all your efforts and sorry at the loss of your forum. I would have replied earlier but my brain is now full of holes and I had forgotten that I was registered on BHWR!

I had typed a long reply on Tommy Godwin, but the thread dropped off-line and I lost the whole lot! Will have to do it all again soon. Tommy is still alive and living at Knowle. If this gets through then I'll re-write my posting.

Graham Webb.
 

Colin B

gone but not forgotten
Graham.any luck with the promised post regarding Tommy Godwin,I had a small piece that I was going to add to my Kings Heath site,but if you have a more personal report with a photo (if possible)that I could use (with the usual acknowledgement), I could rewrite it before up loading it.

Colin
 

Graham

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Colin,

You must forgive me if I didn't re-write that bit, I have been very busy this week, I will have to do something for you. As far as I know I've not got any photo's of Tommy and me, lost most of my photos some 30 years ago. I still do have this one, though in a bad state. It was taken at the Lilleshall track training weekend in 1964. Tommy is in front row, 8th from the left, I'm at the back, 3rd from the left, but I guess this is of no use to you? As I've said, due to this thread, I got on the phone to Tommy this weekend and do now have his daughter's email, Tommy had a computer but can't get the hang of it, and he's only 87, what will he be like when he's old?:) If you would like me to, I'll get in touch with Kay, what would like, a photo of the shop in Silver Street? Might take some time though.
 

Graham

GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Colin I hope that you can do something with this, I will have to attach the badge and 1964 photo.

The 2007 Tour de France, London, starts 1964 outside Tommy Godwin’s cycle shop in Silver Street, Kings Heath!


The Tour of Britain’s technical director, world and Olympic medallist, and the driving force behind this year’s Grand Départ of the Tour de France in London, Michael Bennett, started his cycling and technical director career on the footpath outside Tommy Godwin’s cycle shop in Silver Street, Kings Heath. This wide eyed teenager bumped into Graham Webb while drooling over all the racing equipment in Tommy’s shop window, 1964. Graham took him home and showed him a laundry sack full of medals and trophy’s, Bennett was hooked for life on a terrible habit called cycle racing.
Tommy Godwin in 1964.

This is just an illustration of how important a role Tommy Godwin and his shop at Silver Street played in the history of British cycling. Tommy’s shop was a central hub where world class and sub-top cyclists would meet nearly every day for a chat with Tommy, how he ever got any work done I’ll never know. https://madeinbirmingham.org/godwin.htm

In 1963 Tommy became the first ever paid National cycling coach of Great Britain and after being all day in his shop, spent most evenings and weekends encouraging young cyclists to achieve their goals. Michael Bennett later won two bronze Olympic medals (1972 Munich and 1976 Montreal Games) and Graham Webb became cycling world road race champion in 1967, National 10 mile 25 mile and 1 hour record holder, 1966, all done to a schedule worked out by Tommy Godwin and set at Salford Park in Brum.

In 1966 Tommy started his own cycling club, called the Birmingham Racing Cyclists Club. This is the club cloth badge that Tommy had made and was sewn onto the racing jerseys.

Though born in the U.S.A., in the roaring 20’s, Tommy was as proud as Brummie any native, he even talked like a Brummie! And how he could talk he was always trying to inspire young people. His wife, Eileen was very much a Brummie girl in her speech. They were blessed with a beautiful daughter, Kay, who even made it into the Olympic team, but not at cycling. Tommy himself won two Olympic bronze track medals at the 1948 summer games in London and was National track sprint champion. The circle is now round as Tommy is ambassador for the 2012 Olympic summer games in London; https://www.birmingham.gov.uk/GenerateContent?CONTENT_ITEM_ID=85657&CONTENT_ITEM_TYPE=0&MENU_ID=126 and Michael Bennett is already involved in organising the cycling events for the 2012 games!

Graham Webb 2007.

His autobiography It Wasn't That Easy: The Tommy Godwin Story was published in 2007 by John Pinkerton Memorial Publishing Fund.
 
L

Langstraat

Guest
Graham,

Did you ever come into contact with 'Major Nicholls'. He had a cycle shop in Bull Street, West Bromwich. He used to make bespoke frames to measure using Reynolds 531 tubing. I once worked during the school holidays assembling wheels for him, hubs, spokes and rims in all manner of patterns.
 
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