Les Ladbury

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George
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Les Ladbury

Post by George » 24 Mar 2020 21:43

Sadly, the club has lost another of its culture-defining characters. Les Ladbury died on Sunday at the age of 78. He had a degenerative lung condition, which he had known for some time was incurable; as far as we know his death had nothing to do with the current public health crisis.

Les started with the Speedwell BC, before switching to the Beacon in about 1960. He soon became a central figure in club life, with his dry wit and flair for sometimes provocative but always affectionate repartee. Racing on the road and the track, Les showed himself to be a wily tactician, often outwitting opponents who otherwise would have had the edge.

Les was originally a draftsman by profession but enjoyed a second career as a professional photographer. His meticulous and precise nature made him well suited to both roles and gained him a reputation within the club for invariably riding an immaculate machine.

Lifelong Francophiles, Les and wife Anne bought a second home in France and spent a large part of their later years on the Gallic side of the Channel.

The picture at the bottom shows Les leading the Birmingham-Llangollen-Birmingham reliability trial in February 1961. Les is the right-hand rider of the front pair, alongside Rod Goodfellow.

Unfortunately, the present circumstances make it unlikely we can give Les the send-off he deserves. Nevertheless, information about his funeral will be posted here as soon as we get it.

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George
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Re: Les Ladbury

Post by George » 24 Mar 2020 21:50

I'm assuming that only Les's nearest and dearest will be allowed to congregate for his funeral. However, I feel that all those of us who remember him fondly should try to think of some kind of alternative way to mark his passing. Maybe a gathering once the present crisis is over, or maybe something all new-fangled like a simultaneous toast while connected on Skype. Suggestions invited.

Rod Goodfellow
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Re: Les Ladbury

Post by Rod Goodfellow » 25 Mar 2020 07:43

Sad news. In the photo which made the front cover of Cycling,the rider on Les's shoulder is professional Gil Taylor of Aston Fields. My late wife Chris and I often went out on tandems with Les and Ann. Les bought a new build house in Kings Norton and was dismayed by its numerous faults and claimed (and demonstrated) that there was scarcely a right angle in the construction.He was my companion most of the way in our epic sub 12 hour Weston and back reliability trial.

laurence_cooley
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Re: Les Ladbury

Post by laurence_cooley » 02 Apr 2020 10:04

I only met Les a couple of times, but I'll always remember the time he came to Stourport to take photos of some circuit races I'd organised. At the end of one of the races, we were struggling to identify everyone in the finish video, when Les came over to offer help in the form of photos he'd taken of riders' wheels crossing the finish line, from a perfect right-angle to the circuit, with the photo taken exactly as the hub crossed the line. Excellent - except that the photos were of the rear wheels, not the front. A spirited argument broke out between him and one of the marshals, with Les insisting that if a rear wheel was ahead of another when it crossed the line, then so must the front wheel on the same bike have been. It took a good five minutes to convince him that one rider could have overtaken another in the time between their front and rear wheels passing the line, but he conceded with good grace and we had a good laugh about it.

Dave Cox
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Re: Les Ladbury

Post by Dave Cox » 05 Apr 2020 22:10

I have two memories of Les. One was of an outstanding and professional slide show of one of his tours in Corsica. This was at the St Laurence Pastoral Centre and involved two synchronised slide projectors.

The second was meeting him and Ann at the top of Weatheroak hill on touring bikes with panniers filled with bricks as they trained for their next tour!

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