Britain’s first Tour de France stage winner, Yorkshireman Brian Robinson, is looking for a temporary home for his incredible collection of Tour memorabilia on the run-up to Yorkshire’s Grand Départ.
Robinson, whose career ran alongside some of the of great Tour winners such as Fausto Coppi and Jacques Anquetil, has brought together a wealth of items from his own Tour de France days as well as others typical of the period including shoes he wore on his first venture into the race in 1955 and a drinking bottle from the same year, signed by himself and the only other British finisher, Tony Hoar.
He is now looking for a public exhibition venue to safely host the collection for the public to enjoy. A bike shop perhaps?
Robinson, 83, said: "I’m extremely proud that the Tour is coming to my home county and it would be brilliant if we can find a home for these rare items while the race is here and in the lead up to it too. I have kept things which of course have wonderful memories for me, like my shoes and even the original 1955 Tour road book, but I’d love to be able to share those memories with the public."
The collection also includes a 1950s Gitane bicycle of the type ridden by Robinson during his glory days as well as a replica jersey from his team Gitane/St Raphael.
Gary Verity, Chief Executive of Welcome to Yorkshire, said: "Brian is a fantastic ambassador for the Tour, our winning bid and for us at Welcome to Yorkshire – he is tireless in promoting Yorkshire as a great county to cycle in and a true Tour legend. We want to make sure that we can get these wonderful items out on display for the public. If anyone who feels that they can provide a perfect venue for an exhibition we would be very happy to hear from them."
Robinson still rides his bike twice a week – he’s even able to nearly match his Holme Moss climbing record (on an electric bike, that is).
Those interested in helping should contact Graham Poucher at Welcome to Yorkshire firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01133223500