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Murder mystery tale retold on guided bike ride

Published on Thursday, August 24, 2017

THE mysterious tale of an infamous local murder will be retold on a free guided cycle ride this weekend.

The Green Bicycle Murder Ride takes place this Saturday (26), starting at 11am from Town Hall Square.

It’s part of the Ride Leicester festival 2017, a two-week celebration of all things to do with cycling, which runs from 12-27 August.

Ride Leicester is organised by Leicester City Council, with support from British Cycling and other partners.

On a summer evening in 1919, Bella Wright, a young Leicester millworker, was found dead beside her bicycle on a quiet country road near Stoughton. Shortly beforehand, she had been seen riding away from Gaulby with a well-dressed gentleman who rode a green bicycle. 

Following a much-publicised search, Ronald Light, an ex-army officer and owner of just such a bicycle, was arrested, tried and then acquitted of Bella’s murder. Light’s acquittal has been disputed ever since. 

Cyclists who join this free ride will visit significant locations in the story of the police investigation and get the chance to see a re-enactment of events, with Julie Fairgrieve playing Bella and Neil Donoghue taking the role of Light.

“We want the riders to see the evidence and decide for themselves,” says Julie. “Did Light conceal the true nature of events that day, to evade the hangman’s rope?”

There is also a re-enactment of the court case, from 12-1pm, at Leicester Castle, which was once home to Leicester’s Crown Court. The castle is open as part of the city’s Heritage Open Days.

Ride organiser Peter Simmonds said: “This is an evolving story, and for the first time we will be following the investigation and court case in our re-enactment. There will be insights from recent research into the 1919 police investigation, and our thanks go to De Montfort University, leaseholders of the castle, for allowing period actors the opportunity to re-enact the role of Ronald Light in the dock.”

Janet Hudson from British Cycling added: “The enthusiasm of our Leicester ride leaders is fantastic and the development of the Green Bicycle Murder ride illustrates this perfectly. This has traditionally been one of our most popular social rides and, with the addition of the courtroom re-enactment in the original Leicester Castle setting, the spectacle will be amazing.”

To find out more and book a place on the Green Bicycle Murder bike ride, visit www.letsride.co.uk/rides/green-bicycle-murder

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