Photographing Nottinghamshire from his bicycle

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'Photographing Nottinghamshire from his bicycle' page
Photo:Detail from Reg Baker's photograph of Chapel Street, Bramcote showing his trusty bicycle

Detail from Reg Baker's photograph of Chapel Street, Bramcote showing his trusty bicycle

Reg Baker, December 1976

Photo:Reg's cycle also appeared in his picture of Chilwell High Road.  This is just a corner of the full image.

Reg's cycle also appeared in his picture of Chilwell High Road. This is just a corner of the full image.

Reg Baker, December 1977

Reg Baker - cycling photographer

Nottinghamshire Libraries - and those interested in the history of Nottinghamshire - have every cause to be thankful to retired GPO employee Reg Baker.

From the mid 1970s until the late 1980s Reg combined his hobbies of cycling and photography, traversing the greater part of the county, photographing streets, houses, businesses, railways, churches - in fact anything of historic or architectural interest.

His aim was to visit and record every town and village in the county.

Over all he cycled for more than 50 years, covering upwards of 10,000 miles at around 200 miles a week, keeping up this pace even into later life.  (He could cover the Nottingham to Skegness journey in three and a half hours).

And as he cycled, he photographed.  He freely gifted his reels of 35mm film to the Local Studies Library in Nottingham which then had them processed and printed.  Copies were shared with the County Libraries and today, the thousands of pictures Reg took, have become part of the Inspire Libraries’ collections. Many are viewable online at www.inspirepicturearchive.org.uk -  often easily recognisable by Reg’s trademark bicycle casually leaning against a wall.

Reg lived with his family in Carlton, was typically seen as in this photograph - bare chested, in shorts and sandals with socks.  He was heard to say 'Give me my bike, a bit of sunshine - and a stop-off for a lunchtime pint - and I'm a happy man.'

Sadly Reg died in the 1980s, but his memory lives on in the library photographic collections throughout the county he did so much to record.

 

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