Leslie Drinkwater - far left - as part of the 1952 Wearwell Racing Team
Leslie “Les” Drinkwater was a 21-year old apprentice draughtsman from Wolverhampton when he was called up for Wearwell in the 1952 Tour of Britain. The race was the company’s first foray into the competition. He was involved in several breakaways during the early stages of the race which ultimately proved futile. On the fourth stage a bunch sprint ensued, with 29 riders hurtling toward the line. Unfortunately an over-exuberant crowd at the finish created a bottle neck in the road and a tangled mass of riders and machines was the result. Drinkwater spent the rest of the 1952 Tour in hospital.
Beyond the Tour of Britain, Drinkwater placed well in several tough races during his time with the team, including 9th in the London-Holyhead single-stage race, 3rd in the Midland Section Championships and the Charnwood Forest race and 4th in the Mercury G.
It is after he – one of our first ever team members - that the Wearwell Drinkwater Bottle is so named.