Charles Herbert Baines 1918-2013 : Our oldest Record Breaker


Charles Baines, who died on 18th October 2013, was born in Kenilworth in 1918 and rode for the Leamington C&AC in the 1930's. He teamed up on tandem with Leamington 'ace' Freddie Dale, and they broke three MRRA records in 1939 which, despite some attempts to better them, still stand in 2013, namely the 12 Hours, London & back and Bristol & back.

After an engineering apprenticeship, he worked as a lathe turner and works foreman in a reserved occupation during the war. In 1945 Charles joined local company J.K.Smit & Sons and in 1947 relocated with them to North Wales. Over time he became a world-wide authority on the use of diamond tools in engineering and in 1971 he became Technical Director of Smits, which by then had grown from it's small local beginnings into an international engineering company.

Charles was a polymath who was happy to mentor others in their endeavours. He enjoyed and pursued many hobbies to a high level of competence including in-shore and ocean-going sailing (Vice Commodore of the Conwy Yacht Club, prolific race winner), hill walking, carpentry, gardening and local history (Penmaenmawr Historical Society). Through another passion, photography, he met his wife Myfanwy, who lovingly nursed him through his last illness.