Roger Bannister is famous for being the first person to run a mile in under four minutes. He’s also big in my world because he shares my birthday. In fact, he was the first notable person that I was aware of to share my birthday.
When I gew up in Guildford, there was a sports field named Bannister’s. I never did know for certain that it was named after Roger, but I like to think it was. My only sporting event there was a cross-country race for my school. I was not a big fan of cross-country running but one day, I decided to volunteer for the team, thinking I was safe. It was not to be.
The only reason I volunteered, really, was it was close to home. I would get a ride to the event and then I’d be able to walk home afterwards.
What I didn’t anticipate was the weather though. It was raining very hard. The mud was awful. I stood no chance of winning in those conditions. Especially when the gloop managed to pull of my shoe at least once. With water and mud now inside my running shoes too, I was not very happy. I could have been on the usual, dry bus going home.
So that’s my memory of Bannister’s sports field. Sadly, it is now the site of big ugly Tesco.
But I still feel special having the same birthday as Roger Bannister, who, sadly, died yesterday.
Other people with the same birthday include:
- Chris Hoy
- Mo Farah
- Steve Redgrave
- Mike Atherton
- Gail Porter
- Damon Albarn
- Barry Cryer
- Jimmy Edwards
and we are all very special. I feel I mised out on the sporty genes though…
Another ‘hero’ died today. Trevor Baylis invented the clockwork radio for people who didn’t have a reliable power supply. What a wonderful invention. Like everyone else, I wondered why nobody had invented one before. It’s so obvious. Clockwork toys, clockwork clocks and even a clockwork orange have been around for years, so why not clockwork radios?
Trevor lived on Eel Pie Island which I have cycled by a few times over the years. But my real Trevor Baylis story takes place in about 1998. I met him at Clapham Junction railway station. In the heat of the moment I couldn’t remember his name. Trevor Something. But I wanted to say ‘Hello, Mr Something’, instead, it felt more polite.
Anyway, I shook his hand, he shook me off and resumed talking to his companion. I never did own a clockwork radio.
RIP Roger Bannister and Trevor Baylis.
Well it’s all go on the house front. Miss Sharma and her family came to look at our house again this afternoon, and especially at the furnitiure we’ll be leaving behind. The agent seems as certain as he can be that they are very interested in the house.
But still no more viewings organised for new people. At least the weather has improved dramatically from last week’s so-called Beast from the East, which included the coldest March day on record.