George Baxter 1930-2021

GEORGE BAXTER  1930—2021

It is with great sadness that I have to report the passing of George, peacefully at home on 22nd December 2021. He had not been well for some time but despite this he was always good company and as recently as three weeks before he died enjoyed a Christmas meal and an odd pint or two with old cycling mates at a local pub.

He is survived by Pam, his wife of 62 years, two sons Graham and Jonathan, and four grandchildren.

George’s interest in cycling goes back for over 70 years when he joined the Otley Cycle Club in 1946. He was found to have considerable ability at the sport and soon moved to the Yorkshire Road Club ,then the biggest and most successful club in Yorkshire, to achieve his potential. This he did riding in time trials with the like of Eric Britton and being a member of the winning team in the R.T.T.C.100 miles Championship in 1954 .He also shone in road races riding against such riders as “Tiny” Thomas and the Robinson brothers. He was in the Olympic team shortlist for the 1952 Games at Helsinki but punctures and mishaps in selection races upset his aspirations to a great extent.

When Pam and he started courting they built their home in Pool and lived in it for all their married life. George did the building and Pam the labouring carrying breezeblocks for him two at a time.

After their wedding cycling returned and George and Pam joined “The Otley” .George raced all distances from 10 miles to 24 hours, breaking the 24 hours club record in 1969 with 429 miles a record which he held for over 45 years.

George and Pam also enjoyed social cycling with Sunday club runs and trips away especially to the “Isle of Man week”, long weekends in North Wales at Easter and “mature men’s weekends” for the lads in the Lakes. They also had great times with Club members and other cycling friends on holidays organised by “Audrey” in Majorca once or twice a year and cycling from their holiday home in Brittany.

Despite getting so much out of cycling, George put much more into the sport.

He was Treasurer for Otley C.C.for something like 30 years and was instrumental in the Club getting its own Clubroom with an extension at Station Top ,Otley resulting in the Club making great strides forward in the 1960’s  and beyond  to become one of the leading Clubs in the County.

Also when the Y.C.F.was in danger of collapse, George was one of a few stalwarts who resurrected the organisation in 1970 becoming President for 15 years .He was also organiser of the prestigious Y.C.F. 100 miles time trial and the Y.C.F.Combined Clubs 50 event for a number of years.

Way back in the early 1960’s he was keenly involved in the organisation of the famed Otley .C.C Mountain Time Trial ridden by stars such as Stan Brittain and Bill Bradley and when the “Otley 12″commenced he worked tirelessly with the organisation from the first event in 1967, the famed “Beryl’s ride”, until 1994  when the event was taken over by the Elmet R.C.

He also became a Trustee of the C.A.Rhodes Memorial award becoming the President in 1993 for 14 years.

George had other interests as well, being Worshipful Master of Lascelles Lodge of Masons in 1993. and having gained his qualifications he worked in Local Government as a building inspector and became Chairman of the Yorkshire Branch of The Association of Architects and Surveyors from1979 to 1981.

He also enjoyed a pint and a game of dominoes at the local.

He was a true gentleman and had a full, rewarding and satisfying life, a happy 62 years marriage 

with Pam and a close and loving family to whom we offer our sympathy and support.

John Churchman – Otley C.C.