Geoff Bell

It is sad to report that Geoff Bell died last week aged 82 having faced ill-health for some years. Geoff was originally from Sheffield but had long lived in Glossop. Right from joining us Geoff demonstrated his commitment to trials of endurance. He was Club President 2003-4 and an Honorary Member.

John Richardson, a close associate in the Club recalls his friend:

At the time when he joined the Rucksack Club in 1976 Geoff Bell had already made a name for himself as a time-trialling cyclist at any and all distances from 10 miles to 24 hours. Within a year of joining us he had successfully completed the Bob Graham Lake District round (number 61 of a cohort which has now topped 2500), but his true talent was for walks and rides of a greater distance/time. The Tan Hill – Cat and Fiddle walk in fiercely wintry conditions (Geoff goaded Mike and Me into tackling that one). And the North Wales Horseshoe — a monstrous route which starts with a traverse of the Welsh Threes, progresses to the Mawddach estuary then crosses numerous ranges to finish at Bodfari.

A particular interest was for solo, unsupported challenges and one such walk of which he was specially proud was his completion of the Pennine Way in less than five days (4 days 21 hrs by my calculations). Geoff’s self imposed standard was so meticulously observed that he even refused a free drink on offer at Tan Hill. He brought this fierce focus to bear on all of life’s challenges whether external or self imposed; when, a few years ago, he was diagnosed with Motor-Neurone Disease it scarcely dented his indomitably cheerful demeanour. He told me more than once that he regarded it as his life’s last great challenge; a challenge to which he gave ground very grudgingly but always cheerfully.
I miss you Geoff.


Geoff’s funeral takes place in Glossop on 8th April attendance limited in these times to his close family, with respects outside the family home from 1pm to 1.15pm. Donations in his memory should be sent to the MND Association.

Leave a Reply