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How it all started

In 1996 the Tom Simpson Memorial stone on Mont Ventoux was in danger of falling down. It was put there in 1969, two years after Simpson’s death on the mountain during the 1967 Tour de France. It was placed beside the spot where he fell, however, after nearly 30 years of enduring the extreme mountain climate at over 6000 feet the foundations were badly eroded and the memorial became detached from the mountain.

With the aim of repairing it and securing the memorial’s future the Tom Simpson Memorial Fund was created in late 1996 by Chris Sidwells and Dave Marsh. Then with generous donations from people who knew Tom, or who had been drawn to his story, and by cyclists from the wider area around Harworth, where Tom grew up, the memorial was saved.

The actor Simon Dutton played a crucial role at this stage, not only donating some of his own money to that already raised, but liaising with the authorities in France and doing the initial work to save the memorial, which was secured to the mountain by providing it with completely new foundations.

Since then the fund has gathered momentum, in particular through the annual Tom Simpson Memorial Ride. This allowed the creation a memorial stone in Harworth and Bircotes, outside the Miner’s Welfare Sports Pavilion on Scrooby Road. In 2007 the Fund helped with Tom’s daughter Joanne Simpson’s initiative to build steps from the roadside up to the Ventoux memorial. We are still involved with the Ventoux memorial’s ongoing care, as well as with other projects you can read about on this website.