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Late on in 2014 I found a very rusty 1938 Humber bicycle in a skip in Sheffield and thought it worthy of the following year's Eroica Festival..... and so began hours of restoration, seeking out original parts, outfits contemporary to the age of my steeds & eventually a stoker mad enough to join me on the ride the following the year! 

Stanley of course had to be accommodated.....somehow!


The following photos tell the story so far......

Only had to make a few tiny bits, Well worth it to have some "proper" brakes! Getting worried about the total weight of the Humber, when the Sturmey hub full of oil hits well over 1200g on the scales!

Recovering from a broken wrist... the hound didn't like his bespoke 1930's caravan, despite making him matching curtains & neckerchief, so after parading around the festival site together I set off on my own!

2016 loomed and I needed a new challenge! Surely the ride has to be more fun with two pedalling?! .....and so the hunt for a suitable tandem started, something a bit different, pre-1940 as I was now familiar with the parts & style - or so I thought......

It wasn't long before this New Hudson Ladyback T2 turned up on the internet, revamped in the 70s with new wheels, mudguards, saddles & bars, but basically original and only 2 previous owners since new in 1936! It had a mad bolt together frame with no rot and all the bits, just a rather non-vintage 70s sparkly red paint job! Complete strip down required.

Everything had to be taken back to the bare metal, 1930s rims were purchased and a job lot of pre-war hubs which luckily contained the correct ones and eventually I managed to source the amazing Resilion rear calipers - an optional extra in 1936! The pedals that came with the tandem were amazing, 1950s Phillips "PhilLites", in such good condition and with their funky cats eye reflectors they had to be kept - despite being post-war.

There was still the issue of Stanley......although by now he had convinced us he was going and had already chosen his outfit!

Another internet trawl came up with a 1950s SilverCross doll's pram, quality coach building just like it's "proper" big sister and just in need of a paint job & dyed hood (oh and the removal of two of it's wheels!)

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After far too many hours (when I should have been scratching a living) she was finally ready on the actual morning of the festival, huge thanks must go to good friends Michael Hanmer & Gerry Hounsell without whose expertise & enthusiasm this project would not have left the ground!

So here we are at the start of the ride with over a hundred weight of tandem & small dopey dog! (oh, and the coolest support vehicle!)

My favourite photo of the whole weekend, courtesy of some kind soul who filmed us whizzing down a Derbyshire Dale. Stanley with the wind in his ears and the Captain & Stoker having a ball!

Oh yes, I forgot to mention we won Best Restored Bike in the show!

So then came 2017, change of venue and change of bikes - 1934 BSA Roadster & 1931 Rudge-Whitworth with Stanley as Petty Officer in his Riva Aquarama made especially for the occasion! Thank you to Watsonian Sidecars for lending me an original cycle sidecar frame from which I copied all the design & measurements to be able to make Stanley's Riviera Cruiser road safe! 

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