PEDAL POWER: Vil­lagers rally to re­turn stolen tri­cy­cle

‘Hair­spring’ can carry on cy­cling af­ter stolen bike found and re­paired

Harefield Gazette - - FRONT PAGE - by Kather­ine Cle­men­tine kather­ine.cle­men­tine@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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

tri­cy­cle

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