South Yorkshire Times, July 23, 1949
73 and 70 Go Cycling
Setting out on a 350-mile cycling tour of the Peak to-morrow are two of the Dearne district’s oldest “youngsters,” Mr M. Barber, Birchwood Adwick Village, and Mr. A Brown, Frederick Street, Goldthorpe, aged 73 and 70 years respectively. Starting early in the morning; they will cycle to Ladybower reservoir, where they will establish themselves at the home of Mr. Barber’s niece.
Using Ladybower as a base, they will then tackle some of the roughest cycling country in England, where Mr. Barber hopes to manage well over, 60 miles each day, taking in such places as Buxton and Matlock all in a day’s ride.
Mr. Barber is no stranger to the Peak district or to cycling. He can remember tearing down hills in Derbyshire on the old ” Penny Farthings” and losing the seat of his trousers into the’ bargain, explaining that “spoon brakes” used at that time had a nasty habit of throwing one over the handlebars. He told me with a twinkle in his eye “I Could ride a bicycle before I knew the A.B.C. and that was well over 65 years ago.”
Asked to what he attributed his health and ability to ride a bike like a man half his age, Mr. Barber replied, “I can distinctly remember Queen Victoria’s physician saying that there was nothing like good, wholesome beer to make a healthy and contented nation: and I agree with him.”
A Trustee of Barnburgh Village Club, Mr. Barber cycles there and back each night and thrives on the excercise, to say nothing of the “good and wholesome.”
A native of Stannington Wand. near Sheffield, Mr. Barber came to the district over 60 years ago