PEDAL POWER: Villagers rally to return stolen tricycle
‘Hairspring’ can carry on cycling after stolen bike found and repaired
A WELL-KNOWN elderly Harefield cyclist will be reunited with his stolen tricycle thanks to kind hearted locals.
95-year-old Alfred Pegler, fondly known as ‘Hairspring’, bought a three-wheeled tricycle to get around after having an accident last year.
Unfortunately, he came off his usual bike and was taken to Hillingdon Hospital suffering a head injury which caused two bleeds on the brain and needed a blood transfusion.
He bought the safer three-wheeled tricycle to continue getting about the village, and kept it in the garden covered in canvas, when it was taken.
Mr Pegler said: “I couldn’t believe it when it was gone. The fact that it was covered up was sabotage as they couldn’t even see it. Then they rode it in the church fields and buckled three wheels.”
He continued: “I’m a legend in the village, I’ve been there 80 years since I left the school in Gloucester aged 14.
“I couldn’t get a job locally but I got one in Harefield, so the whole village has grown up seeing me here. I’m always on my bicycle, I’ve cycled for 80 years everywhere. The village seem to treat me as their idol!”
Hairspring is often seen cycling in the village, and likes to regularly go for a pint in his local watering holes.
He said: “My whole character is based on the village.
“I was a watch maker so I knew all the families here, if anyone had a watch or clock that needed fixing I’d do it. I’ve had a lovely time and I’m very happy here.”
After hearing about the stolen tricycle, his daughter, Valerie Pegler, posted on Facebook page ‘Harefield in Your Heart’ asking if anyone had seen it.
She said: “The bike was stolen and dad was most upset. I posted on Harefield in your Heart with the hope of someone knowing something to help get it returned and within minutes the village was responding.
“I had just wanted some help in getting the bike back but very soon a fund had been created to help dad in replacing the bike and for purchasing protective head gear and security.”
A member of the group, Tess Dazley, set up a crowdfunding page which has had a total of £495 donated to help Hairspring.
It reads: “Please lets all help this wonderful 95-year-old Harefield legend get back on his wheels with a new trike and safety wear.”
The stolen bike was found, however, and an Uxbridge-based bicycle repair offered to try and return the tricycle to it’s former glory.
Nick Gore, a Director from recycleabike.co.uk, hopes the tricycle will be even better than before after his mechanics set to work on it.
He said: “I used to live in Harefield so when I got the email I had to help.
“It’s a small community, everyone knows everybody and old Hairspring, but I didn’t know he had an accident.
“He’s a nice old gentleman and it was such a shame he’s lost his confidence so if this helps him get that back then we’re glad to be a part of that.”
Mechanic Peter Messam has fitted the tricycle with specialised back wheels and have fixed the brakes.
Mr Pegler is keen to get back in the saddle, adding: “It’s my way of life. I’ve always had exercise all my life, no matter how old you are you’ve got to keep up exercise.”
Daughter Valerie, said: “The response has been phenomenal, it’s completely overwhelming. We’d like to say thank you to everyone who helped.
“Any left over money from the fundraising page will be donated to the Serious Head Injury Unit at Hillingdon Hospital.”
You can visit the page at www.gofundme. com/4a99bejc
n MOBLE AGAIN: Alfred ‘Hairspring’ Pegler with daugher Dafni on the day they bought the