Goldmine of cycling films on British Pathé website
The very first Tour of Britain and the original fibre-glass bicycle; it's all here...
There are hundreds of vintage film segments featuring the very first Tour of Britain, cycle shows and performing trick cyclists all found on the website of the British version of Pathé News.
"The Story of British Pathé" was a recent four-part documentary on BBC4 which highlighted the wealth of social history found in the short newsreels from the golden age of British cinema news.
The show doesn't appear to be on iPlayer but what is available, though, is the British Pathé website which on the inspiration of blogger, novelist and former frame builder Dave Moulton, we typed 'cycling' into the search box and came up with literally hundreds of short sections of film. These would have been some of the elements that made up newsreels shown between films in British cinemas in the years from the First World War right up until the 1970s.
We particularly liked Moulton's recommendation; the guide to the very first Tour of Britain held in August 1951 which allows the opportunity for Dave, on the day of Mark Cavendish's victory in the World Championships, to fill in the UK origins of what used to be called 'massed-start' racing in the immediate post-war period.