R.I.P. Kate Spencer – Whickham 9th July 2018

Stalwart lady veteran of bicycle and leisure publishing Kate Spencer died at the Marie Curie hospice in Elswick, Newcastle upon Tyne on Saturday, July 7. The locality is recognised as base of the 19th century Elswick Bicycle Company absorbed in 1910 into the Barton on Humberside business, later a part of the Tandem Group.

Kate had become ill with sepsis in February, then after hospital and home care treatment she was admitted as patient of the Mary Curie hospice charity two weeks ago. Seemingly recovering, alert, and happy there was a sudden relapse and she passed away peacefully in her sleep on Saturday evening. At the end of this month Kate Spencer would have reached her 79th birthday.

Forty years ago Kate Spencer and her father James Robinson founded the KSA Partnership business in the North east of England to distribute and publish books and guides for outdoor living, leisure travel, bicycling and hiking. As a young mother, writing about cycling and camping she was to become lynchpin as secretary and officer of the communicators and journalists group she helped found, the UK organisation OWG now known as the Outdoor Writers & Photographers Guild.

Kate Spencer travelled Europe extensively, often based in a touring caravan with her journalist husband to attend trade Fairs and research topics and companies. She was a regular visitor to both Eurobike and OutDoor in Friedrichshafen, earlier it was the IFMA in Cologne, also attending EICMA in Milan and Munich for the ISPO. She will be recognised as the lead person behind the magazine tradeandindustry, now 38 years into its publication run after opening as the monthly Bicycle Trade Times. Her work for the first dozen or so years was publishing consumer magazines and annuals for cycling and outdoors, including the print magazines Cycling World, Bicycle Times and Footloose.

Afflicted with breast cancer over 22 years ago Kate defied that earlier prognosis, she then battled with Secondary BC four years ago and after her first spell at Marie Curie she always tells their care saved her life. In 2017 she celebrated her company’s 40th year with a 90 day caravan tour around the British mainland, demonstrating you can effectively operate a business from an office on the move! In February of this year, she was a guest at the 65th year celebrations of the Maldon & District Cycling Club, the Essex club founded in 1953 by her husband where the British team member Alex Dowsett of Katusha Alpecin pro team joined as a thirteen year old. When you met her, Kate Spencer always carried a caring, sharing manner, and was always enthusiastic in the engagement.

Kate Spencer, is survived by her daughter, three sons and husband. There are also grandchildren and a great grand daughter.