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MONDAY 4 MARCH 2024

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On yer bike! Or off it, in Nick’s case 

By BILL OWEN

Remember Nick Hill from Daily Express Features subs? Always cheerful, meticulous and an appealing way of summing things up.  


When leaving the Editor’s office after a discussion about his possible redundancy, Nick was asked by a fellow sub how the chat had gone. He replied: “Quite friendly, but I’m not sure he was too keen on the numbers on my birth certificate.” 

Nick, pictured, has aways been a dedicated cyclist, and, despite being 80, now clocks up the mileage around Garstang, Lancashire, where he lives with his wife, Pamela. 


A week ago, he was cycling down their road, when a van pulled out in front of him and he was pitched on to the Tarmac? His helmet was broken in five places, but he got up off the road, remounted and managed to ride home.  


Having spent a weekend in non-diminishing agony, Nick decided to present himself at the local hospital, where a CT scan revealed 10 broken ribs. 


He reports: “I was in hospital for five days. Medical experts have put me on a bewildering concoction of painkillers to deaden a pain so excruciating, it is off the scale. Fortunately, my daughter Vicky is over from America until after Christmas and is now ably running the show.” 


It was 23 years ago that Nick was badly hurt in a previous cycling accident. 

He was on his way in to Ludgate House for his Features stone shift, when he was hurled off his bike, again only a few yards from home, having sideswiped a car on a roundabout.  


The result was four badly-torn muscles and four months off work.  

Stuart “Baby, Baby” Kershaw was chief-subbing on the Features Desk at the time. Nick rang in saying: “Hi, Stuey. I’ve had a bike accident and I’m ringing from the back of an ambulance”. 


Stuey’s memorable response was: “Does that mean you’re not coming in, then?” 


But Nick describes his recent accident as far more serious. “The prediction is that it will be six to eight weeks before any significant mobility is restored.  


“Amazing. I live until I am 80, then suffer the worst injuries in my whole life. What I won’t do under any circumstance is moan, though.” 


Well, Nick was never any good at moaning anyway. 


18 December 2023