Frank Dec Jan 2020 2021

Page 170



Elspeth Beard The Lone Rider

by Photojournalist Lara Platman

We are sitting in the kitchen of the award winning and architecturally acclaimed Water Tower in Munstead, Surrey, where Elspeth now lives with a full restoration on it after purchasing in 1989. The ceilings are really high, and our talk is echoing around the hexagonal structure, Elspeth reminisces about how her extraordinary journey around the world has come into the public eye after almost 35 years.

There is a gap from 2009 until 2017 when you published the book what happened there. Slowly as the story started to sort of spread around, there was one image of me on my motorbike in London when I got back from the trip – there was something about that picture that captured peoples imagination, taken in 1984, the photograph had been hanging on my toilet wall for 35 years and nobody apart from my friends and I had ever seen it. This image, plus others were on the internet now, and in 2014, caught the eye of an agent in Hollywood who, had found my story from some blog or something, contacted me Elspeth until quite recently, did not know that they wanted to buy my life rights to make a film about my story. So this was all really bizarre, I was whisked off to she was the first British woman to ride around Hollywood, put in a five star hotel, met script writers and the world solo on a motorcycle. producers and they were all mad keen to buy my story. It It wasn’t something I was of aware of. I got back in 1984 had been years since I even looked at my diaries, I couldn’t even remember all the details, they seemed to have their own and when I returned, nobody was interested and I basically put all my photos and diaries away and they sat idea of what story they were going to tell, which wasn’t in a box for 30 odd years and got on with my life. It was as really what I wanted, so I sort of said thank you but no thank you and I went back home. only in 2008 when a friend contacted me about my Photo by Bernard Ziega

journey, for the BMW website, then in 2009 I discovered I was the first British woman who motorcycled around the But it was that, that really made me start to write the book. It made me realise that my story had something in it. world.

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