Cycling, Art and Life in the North East of England

Meeting some ‘Ole Time’ Veteran Cycles at Brough

Cycles on display by the Northern Counties Veteran and Classic Cycle Club at Brough, Easter 2018.
Cycles on display by the Northern Counties Veteran and Classic Cycle Club at Brough, Easter 2018.

I’ve visited the Commercial Vehicle Rally which is held on Easter Weekend at Kirkby Stephen and Brough in Cumbria a few times now, so I knew I’d seen various old bicycles in a small park area in Brough. We’ve even wandered in for a quick look a couple of time in previous years, but we’ve always been busy heading to see something else. Simply put my interest in bicycles wasn’t high enough at the time to trump the other things to see, this year that has changed.

This year one of the first ‘bits’ I visited was these grand old machines as I was determined to have a better look. Now I’m not going to pretend to know much about these beauties but that has never stopped me in the past and before long I was happily chatting away to some of the owners.

The display was organised by the Northern Counties Veteran and Classic Cycle Club and included cycles from 1878 (a Penny Farthing) through to 1935 (Baines ‘Flying Gate’), an 1898 Tandem (JG Brown Lady Back) and a 1912 Tricycle (James). I think my husband was quite enamoured by the Tandem, probably something to do with getting me to do all the work, but in the end, the one I photographed the most was the Dursley Pederson No3 from 1907.

Dursley Pederson No.3 from 1907
Dursley Pederson No.3 from 1907

I was initially attracted to it because of its hammock saddle which managed to look very comfortable and uncomfortable at the same time. That said I have no idea how you’d be able to peddle and steer with the handlebars so low and close to your legs. As I was looking at it the owner came over and we started chatting. A lovely chap he really made me laugh.

‘Of course, a surprising amount of them survive.’ he told me.

‘Oh? I wonder why?’ I replied with genuinely no idea.

‘Because they’re so awful to ride people just shoved them out of sight!’

Well, I didn’t expect that response, but it certainly made me laugh.

Also making me laugh, ok it was more of a snigger, was the brooks ‘Climax’ saddle.  Really?  I mean how could they have kept a straight face and named it that?

Brooks 'Climax' saddle on a 1888 Griffiths Ladies bicycle.
Brooks ‘Climax’ saddle on a 1888 Griffiths Ladies bicycle.

Below you can see if short video clip of the park area and some of the other cycles that were there.  Honestly, I could have spent all day looking, photographing them and chatting their owners.

 

If anyone would like to find out more about the club who organised the display then you can follow this link, although they did warn me that it’s often a little out of date when it comes to listing events. There is also a national club which also has a site here. While the events might be a little out of date the sites do include contact information for anyone interested.

 

 

 

 



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