The Tour de Yorkshire should have been poised to pass through Filey, despite the postponement, due to the Corona virus, it is still a great time to remember one of Filey’s sporting heroes. Filey-born born Herbert Liddell Cortis was the first cyclist to ride twenty miles in an hour, breaking the record at the Crystal Palace, London in 1882.
Cortis was born on John Street, Filey. The son of Dr William Smithson Cortis, doctor, author and part of the group who rediscovered the remains of a Roman signal station on Carr Naze; the stones of which are on public display in the Crescent Gardens.
Herbert followed in his father’s footsteps and studied medicine at Guy’s Hospital, London. Herbert married Mary Bruce and the couple decided to emigrate to Australia in 1883. Just two years later Herbert fell unwell after competing in a steeplechase at Carcoar in New South Wales. He died of a stomach ulcer aged just twenty-seven years old.
In 2019 a blue plaque was unveiled at the Evron Centre, close to Herbert’s family home. There is also a brass plaque to Herbert in Ripley Parish Church.