More light has been shed on the making of the movie A Boy, A Girl And A Bike, which we featured in the Craven Herald and, ironically, coincided with the death of professional Yorkshireman and pioneering DJ Jimmy Savile.

As a 20-year-old, Jimmy was pursuing a career as a cyclist and managed to get himself a job as an extra – at £8 a week. In the film, made in 1948, he is seen taking part in a bike race around Skipton and the Dales, which was one of the key scenes.

Joining him for some of those location shots was fellow cyclist Doug Petty, who went on to become a professional and one of Britain’s top cyclists. He remembers Jimmy joining him in the five-man Yorkshire team in the first ever Tour of Britain in 1951.

Mr Petty, now 81 and living in Earby, but then based in Keighley, went on to found the famous Majorcan cycling training centre, Majorca 68, which he still runs with his wife Liz.

The ‘love on two wheels’ movie stars Honor Blackman and Diana Dors as well as a youthful Anthony Newley. The film was released in 1949. Mr Petty recalls: “The film makers were looking for cyclists to take part and I got a call from Walter Greaves, the mile record-holder – he cycled with one arm – asking if I could get eight cyclists to take part. I did and included myself. I was working in a cycling shop at the time and could only get one day a week off but some of the cyclists did all the filming. They were paid £8 a week when the average salary was £5. It was great money.

“It was a fantastic time – I was in shots filmed in Skipton and Bolton Abbey and recall how when they wanted to film the sprint, the stars weren’t fit enough, so professionals took the parts and they superimposed the heads of the actors later.”

Mr Petty also has further information about a photograph of the stars, which was taken in Grassington and appeared in the Craven Herald in November.

  • Read the full story in this week's Craven Herald.