Olympic cyclist from 1948 Games dies
The Uxbridge Gazette Series LEW Pond, a Great Britain Olympic cycle team member from the 1948 London games, has died.
Mr Pond, a long-standing trustee of Uxbridge United Welfare Trust, former baker and flying instructor, died on Friday, September 16, aged 95.
The father of former rally driver Tony Pond and grandfather to rising cyclist, Blake Pond, he rode many miles a week even in his later years, when he would travel from his home in The Drive, Ickenham, to cycle the quiet country lanes.
John Jones writes: “I first met Lew in 1958 when I was a member of Uxbridge Wheelers, Lew’s first cycling club.
“He used to support the younger riders by loaning them his equipment. He also spent time coaching the club members who were interested in track cycling. His first wife was Iris Pond, an international athlete who tragically died very young from cancer.”
In a story to mark the London 2012 Olympics, Gazette sports writer Tim Street interviewed Mr Pond, then aged 92, about the 1948 ‘austerity games’.
He recalled: “For the opening ceremony, we just had to get on the Tube to Wembley like everyone else. But as I was living in Uxbridge, I didn’t have too far to go. A lot of the foreign athletes were staying close by too, living in tents at the RAF base. I eventually stayed near Dulwich, in a house owned by a cycling magazine editor, as we were competing at Herne Hill Velodrome.
“Food was still rationed too, so we were handed out packed lunches which basically consisted of sandwiches and an apple. It was a very different world.”
■ OLYMPIAN: Lew Pond pictured (left) three years ago and (right) in 1937