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VELOCIPEDES & ORDINARIES THE GLYNN STOCKDALE COLLECTION
Glynn Stockdale. Born 1938 in Sale, Cheshire. “I purchased my first ordinary in 1978. In 1980 I organised the first Knutsford Great Race. A three hour event just for ordinary riders. This was a success and was followed by races in 1990, 2000 and 2010. Riding an ordinary is a delight and coast to coast rides, end to end and rallies everywhere soon followed. In 1995 I rode an 1884 machine coast to coast across the USA. 3358 miles in total. In 2011 I fell off the roof and broke both ankles, which finished my ordinary riding. I retired from business and organising rides, and switched my collecting to velocipedes. Although they were only made for 3 years, these machines are fascinating and I only wish I had started collecting them earlier. The thrill has been in seeking them out, researching their history and writing down their story to go on with the machines into the future.” G. Stockdale – Present Custodian.
All images and text are the copyright of the author and are not to be reproduced without written permission. All photos by Peter Spooner of Knutsford. Half the collection is on display at: The Penny Farthing Museum, The Courtyard, Rear of 92 King Street, Knutsford, Cheshire, WA16 6ED, UK. Email: email@example.com First printed in Great Britain 2019.
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Fig. 1. This is Denis Johnsonâ€™s patent application for a Hobby Horse dated 22 December 1818.
Fig. 2. The Hobby Horse A Denis Johnson machine early 1819. We know Johnson made at least 320 machines in 1819, because the eleven survivors are all numbered. This machine, found in a barn in Beaconsfield on 2017 is now the 12th Johnson found. It isnâ€™t numbered and differs from the other eleven in that the curved beam has no metal strengthening bar to the underside. The laurel leaf carving on each end of the beam is out of the solid wood and not applied brass ornament. It was found without wheels and the front indirect steering. Presented as a paper at the London Cycling History Conference of 2018. The First English Bicycle. Rating 10+.
Fig. 3. An old reproduction Hobby Horse built in 1936. Wheels and frame of that date, ironwork later. This machine is ridden each year in the Knutsford May Day. Rating 4.
Fig. 4. Four Tegg engravings of 1819 showing Hobby Horses.
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Fig. 5. Porcelain figure of velocipede and rider. 3 cups circa 1870 with transfer printed cycling scenes. The left one shows a reverse spring velocipede. The 3 patch boxes are 1860. Fig. 6. A Michaux Serpentine Velocipede The first Michaux velocipede with serpentine frame and correct first address plate fixed to seat spring. One of 12 models found so far. A small machine with fine details. Rating 10. Fig. 7. The Horsehead Velocipede French horse head machine with hidden brake mechanism. A very original machine. Rating 10. Fig. 8 The CMC Spyder Transitional A rare Spyder transitional machine by the Coventry Machinist Comp. Single rear fork. Stamped on top of forks. “H” on one side and “9” the other. A very rare machine. Provenance From Oakes Collection, Cheadle, Stafford. Rating 10+. Fig. 9. The St Malo Velocipede A curvaceous French velocipede by unknown maker. All original. Bought in St. Malo. Rating 8. Circa 1868. Fig. 10. The Pickmere English boneshaker. Maker unknown. From Pickmere Lake, Cheshire. Rating 7. Fig. 11. Reverse Spring Reverse spring velocipede. Maker unknown. Provenance From Oakes Collection, Cheadle, Stafford. Rating 7. Fig. 12. The Michaux Michaux velocipede Serial No. 298, so 1868. Bought in St. Malo. Rating 7. Fig. 13. Agnes Black Agnes Black. Maker unknown. Good quality machine, bought in Mid Lancs. Rating 7. Fig. 14. The Varty Varty boneshaker. English. Provenance From Oakes Collection, Cheadle, Stafford. Rating 6. Fig. 15. The Derbyshire Iron Horse Derbyshire iron horse from Ashbourne. All metal construction with studded front rim for grip. The illustration in English Mechanic of an iron spoked tricycle is dated August 1869. Rating 9.
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Fig. 16. The Favre Velocipede French velocipede by Favre circa 1869. Bought in Belgium. Rating 8. Fig. 17. The Wisbech Boneshaker English boneshaker with all brass headstock. Bought in Wisbech. Rating 6. Fig. 18. The Eagle Boneshaker The Eagle boneshaker made by Fletcher of Salford. Plate stamped 89. Bought in 1980 and ridden extensively. One of two survivors. Rating 8. Fig. 19. Agnes Green Velocipede Agnes Green. Elegant French velocipede. Bought in Mid. Lancs. Rating 7. Fig. 20. Wood Velocipede French naïve machine – all wood. Acquired from English couple who bought a property in France and found it hanging in the barn. Some interesting joiners design detail. Rating 3. Fig. 21. The Spalding Velocipede U.S.A. An American boneshaker tricycle made by Spalding of Chicago 1874. Provenance Purchased from Copake Auction. USA. Prior to auction, ex Burgwardt Collection. Rating 7. Fig. 22. Outside Skeel Bros. Cycle Shop in Cambridge 1954. One of the brothers is showing a transitional from their collection. Fig. 23. The Skeel Bros. transitional. Circa 1872. Rating 5. Fig. 24. French Transitional French transitional machine. Maker unknown. Twin spine construction. Circa 1872. Rating 5 Fig. 25. Edmonds Transitional The Edmonds transitional. Maker unknown. Boneshaker diamond spine. Circa 1872. Rating 5. Fig. 26. Very large boneshaker having 48” diameter front wheel and 29” rear. Unusual octagonal casting to headstock. Rubber tyred – weight is a colossal 70lbs. Rides well – completed the course in the National 1997. Rating 9. Fig. 27. Boneshaker with rubber tyres. English. Maker unknown. Rating 7. Fig. 28. Silver velocipede drop bells boneshaker model with rider cruet set. Oil on Copper of Hanlon boneshaker in Rosewood frame. Two “screw hammers” – adjustable spanners of H.G.Wells wheels of chance fame. Cartoon of boneshaker and rider.
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Fig. 29. Section showing child’s machine centre, surrounded by circle of medals.
Fig. 30. The Ariel By Haynes and Jeffries of Coventry. Circa 1876. 52” driving wheel. Original lints still in oiling reservoirs traces of diamond design mark to fork. Acquired from a Mr. Farnworth a farmer of Barton near Eccles after protracted negotiations lasting 10 months. On completion and payment he advised me that the machine had been given to him for clearing out a large Victorian house in Droylesden 30 years previously. Rating 9.
Fig. 31. The Gentlemans by CMC Coventry 52” wheel. Ser. No. 5003. Weight 56lbs. Classic early machine 1875 from the best known ordinary makers – note front leg rests and rear roller brake. From Boston but previously from the Twycross Collection. Rating 7.
Fig. 32. The Stassen Early Stassen. 52” wheel. Weight 52lbs. Shapely footrest. Patent concentric front roller brake. Fully stamped with makers name. Rating 6.
Fig. 33. Singer Special Challenge 54” wheel. Weight 56lbs. Ser. No. 9437. Note: bow spring and carters patent rear trailing brake – an innovation which had to be withdrawn as in practice the cable kept breaking, leaving the rider at the mercy of the hill with disastrous results. Circa 1879. Rating 7.
Fig. 34. Maker Unknown A very fine early machine. 58” driving wheel. 24” diameter rear wheel. Weight 64lbs. Circa 1875 open head with revolving handles operating rear roller brake. Superb turned ivory grips. In 1875 the grips would cost the same as the machine as an extra. Rating 8.
Fig. 35. The Hall An elegant early machine with French detailing but bearing a plate marked J. Hall – Maker. 20 Whitehart St, Kennington Park. Rating 8.
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Fig. 36. The Meyer This is an excellent example from the mid 1870’s by Meyer the renowned Parisian maker. It has superb finish and detail with 51” driving wheel and 23” rear wheel. Makers bronze plate on spine and Ser. No. 4671 is impressed on the fork extension. Rating 7.
Fig. 37. The Grout Tension Noble & Co. Makers. Watson St. London. N. Bears makers plate on seat spring. Weight 48lbs. 54” driver and 22” rear wheel. Previous owner – Sir Richard Bentley of Upton Park, Slough. Rating 7.
Fig. 38. The Tangent 52” machine by Haynes and Jeffris of Coventry. Fully stamped on seat spring. James Starley’s patent and the first ever tangent spoked machine. Circa 1879. Ball head. Cotton reel suspension to rear of seat spring. Weight 48lbs. A good example of a rare machine. Previously part of the Bantel Collection. Rating 7.
Fig. 39. The Star By J Parr of Leicester. Circa 1878. 52” driving wheel. Weight 44lbs. Makers impressed mark on seat spring. Note: double thumb operated front roller brake and distinctive drilled out hubs. Ridden in The National at Lincoln. Provenance From an antique shop in Darwen, Lancashire. Rating 7.
Fig. 40. The Small Aerial By Haynes and Jeffris of Coventry. James Starley and William Hillman registered this design for an ordinary in August 1870. This machine is circa 1874 and has a 42” diameter driving wheel. Weight 48lbs. Cast impressed reg. design diamond mark to seat spring and front forks. Rating 7.
Fig. 41. The Paragon By Wyatt and Roberts, Coventry. Another excellent early Coventry machine. Circa 1876. Driving wheel 42”. Weight 44lbs. Note: Rear roller brake and spring loaded footrests on front forks. Makers mark on seat spring. This model was taken by Wyatt and Roberts and shown in the Philadelphia Exhibition of 1876. From the Skeavington Collection 1990. Rating 7.
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Fig. 42. Meyer Transitional This machine circa 1872 was made by Meyer of Paris and is of excellent quality. 46” driving wheel. 26” rear wheel. Weight 68lbs. Ser. No. 4325 impressed on crown front forks. Rating 9.
Fig. 43. The Chester By Hydes & Wigfull of Sheffield. Circa 1882. Weight 42lbs. Name impressed on seat spring. Bronze front forks. 52” driving wheel. Provenance From Landbeach, Cambs. Rating 7.
Fig. 44. 60” Racer Maker as yet unknown. A beautiful machine with many fine details, a lot of which are “sewing machine” quality. Unusual exaggerated bow spring, narrow bars, oval pedals, double tapered roller bearings. Complete with rare early hub cyclometer and fruitwood ball ends to bars. Provenance From Norfolk but previously from the Southon Collection at Shalford. Sold by Sothebys on Friday 5th November 1965, Lot No. 18 for £130 to a Mr T. J. de Vere Green. Note: Nick Clayton points out that in Sturmey 1878 and “XL Stanley” was available with coned roller bearings as an extra. These are described and are coned at each end. Circa 1877/78. Rating 10.
Fig. 45. The Desideratum A very distinctive Wolverhampton machine made by Hinde Harrington and carrying their deep impressed mark to seat spring. Ball head with patent inner spring self adjustment and patent adjustable rear step. 52” driving wheel with Bown’s Aeolus bearings. Circa 1878. Weight 42lbs. Pol. Ebony grips – one replaced. Provenance First seen and admired by me in the window of Flanagans Restaurant, Baker Street, London in June 1983 together with a Matchless. They had been in the window together since early 1960’s. Finally purchased from a small London saleroom in July 1997. Rating 8.
Fig. 46. The Starley Giant James Starley made two examples in 1876 to prove his wheels were stable at 7’-0 in diameter. This copy was made especially for the collection from the one remaining survivor at Beaulieu. It is the biggest penny in the world. Rating 9.
Fig. 46. The Rudge Racer By D. Rudge & Co. Coventry. A nickel finished machine very closely built. Weight 48lbs. Name impressed on flat of the neck of the spine. Ser. No. 400/3. Bearing No. 5515. 58” diameter driving wheel. Circa 1885. Raced successfully at Oulton Park. Provenance From a public house in Welwyn Garden City. Rating 9.
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Fig. 48. The Xtraordinary Challenge By Geo. Singer & Co. Coventry. Superb original leather gaiter to bearing joint on one side and traces of original lining. Ser. No. 10,003. Circa 1880. 50” driving wheel diameter. Rode in The National. Provenance From the Lake District, but 25 years previously from Anglesey. Rating 9.
Fig. 49. The Facile By Ellis & Co. London to Beale and Straws patent. Circa 1882. Fine treadle operated machine in original condition with makers badge. Unique Facile serial numbering of letter and number. This one A56 impressed on the headstock. Provenance From Sir Leonard Redshaw of Barrow – Vickers supremo and master shipbuilder. This machine hung in his garage for 40 years from 1949 to 1989. Purchased from his daughter in law Elizabeth Redshaw in 2015. Rating 9.
Fig. 50. Small Singer Challenge By Geo. Singer of Coventry. Original machine with yellow coach lining. 48” driving wheel. Ser. No. 5935. Provenance Scottish borders. Rating 7
Fig. 51. The Swiftsure 40” driving wheel. Open head. Bow spring. Fine cast brass headstock. Circa 1876. Made by C.M.C. Under licence. Ser. No. 8317. Rating 7.
Fig. 52. The Matchless From the Bicycle and Tricycle Association. 27 Holborn Viaduct, London. An excellent machine. 52” driving wheel. Circa 1882 complete with rubber shock absorbers to bars, bearings front and rear. Beautiful saddle suspension. Ser. No. 1991 stamped on neck. Provenance From Phillips sale. Edinburgh August 1995, lot No. 253. Previously seen in Flanagans Restaurant, Baker Street, London with “The Desideratum”. They are now reunited. Rating 8.
Fig. 53. The Premier D.H.F. Double hollow fork. Circa 1880. By Hillman Herbert & Cooper. 54” driving wheel. Weight 42lbs. Ser. No. 8043. Name etched on seat spring. Classic machine in polished steel finish. A similar model used by G. W. Waller in the six day race of 1879 which he won with a distance of 1404 miles. Provenance Purchased from Bob Jones of Glos. Pre 1983. One of two machines by this maker owned by Rattrays Cycle Dealers of Murray St. Glasgow. Rating 7.
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Fig. 54. The Meteor 52” machine with dropped bars. Shield makers plate on spine reads Starley & Sutton. Meteor No.2. Original part nickel and part black finish. Coiled rear seat spring. Rating 7. Provenance From T.C.A. Auction.
Fig. 55. The Clement French machine by Clement of Paris. Weight 36.5lbs. Name on oval plate. 1m 300 diameter driving wheel. Good quality. Oval backbone and distinctive spring suspension to headstock. Provenance From Devon but previously from Le Mans, France. Rating 7.
Fig. 56. 2 Speed Crypto This rare machine has a 46” tangent spoked driving wheel geared up to 60” and also a 2 speed hub. Pneumatic tyred – original tyre still on rear wheel. Circa 1893 but shows signs of still being ridden in the 20th century with later secondary rear brake and Lea Francis pedals. Weight 38lbs. Provenance From Blackpool Lancs. Rating 10.
Fig. 57. The Royal Mail By the Royal Mail Machine Manufacturing Co. of Birmingham. Weight 39lbs. Name impressed on the seat spring. Serial No. 2028. 52” size. A tangent spoked light roadster. This machine went coast to coast U.S.A. in April and May 1995 following Thomas Stevens route set in 1884, the year the machine was built. Provenance From London salerooms. Rating 9.
Fig. 58. French Youths This youths ordinary has a 36” driving wheel. It has all the detailing as for an adult machine but scaled down. In thirty years I have seen only two other original youths machines, so they are uncommon. This machine was purchased in New York in 1995. The then owner having purchased it twenty years before in Paris, France, its country of origin. Circa 1878. Rating 7.
Fig. 59. The Balson Ariel 52” driving wheel. Made by Haynes & Jeffris. Circa 1878. Drop bars. Provenance Purchased from John Balson. Rating 8.
Fig. 60. Childs Ordinary By Meyer of Paris. 28” driving wheel. Circa 1873. Ser. No. 2548. A very rare child’s machine with the hub stamped Meyer. Bought on French eBay. Rating 7.
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Fig. 61. Youths Rational Maker unknown. Late machine circa 1888 indicated by rational tyre rear wheel. 24” front wheel diameter. Provenance From Devon 1982. Rating 5.
Fig. 62. The Daniel Rudge Maker’s name impressed on seat spring. Weight 42lbs. Circa 1877. 50” size. Good quality machine from this bespoke maker and publican from the Tiger Inn of Church Street, Wolverhampton. Ball head, tapered bars, inlaid grips. The only machine so far discovered by Daniel Rudge who died in 1880. His widow sold his patents to Geo. Woodcock of Coventry who amalgamated 3 firms under the banner D. Rudge & Co. Coventry. Provenance This machine came from a Liverpool antique dealer in 1980 who switched machines on delivery and who still gives me a superior smile when we meet. Little does he know that he did me such a favour and sold me the only known machine by Daniel Rudge. With the local Civic Society I erected a plaque to the memory of Daniel Rudge on the Telecom Building in Church Street. His grandson Daniel Rudge unveiled it. Machine illustrated in The Boneshaker magazine No. 126. My paper on Dan Rudge was presented to the International Cycling History Conference in Prague, Czech Republic, August 5-7 2010. Rating 10+.
Fig. 63. The Rudge Trophy Britannia metal trophy 8” high. Engraved “Prince of Wales Theatre Wolverhampton. Champion Bicycle Cup July 12th 1878.” Reverse “Won by H.G. Rudge July 12th 1878.” This trophy donated to the museum by Dan Rudge II – grandson of the Daniel Rudge – Ordinary cycle maker who died in 1880. His son H.G. Rudge was born in 1870 so would have been 8 years old in 1878. Rudge exhibited in an industrial exhibition at Molineux at this date and this trophy could have been awarded for one of his machines – possibly a child’s machine. The trophy was treasured by Harry George Rudge and passed to his son Dan Rudge II and now into this collection to be with the machine. Rating 10.
Fig. 64. The Small Otto U.S.A. Circa 1880. This youths machine, by Spalding of Chicago is in original order. It has 42” driving wheel and 17” rear wheel. Provenance Purchased from Copake Auction, New York State 2010. Rating 7.
Fig. 65. Photo of youth with his small Otto machine 1880. Courtesy of Lorne Shields.
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Fig. 82. 56
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Fig. 66. CMC Club 54” driving wheel. Light roadster. Lacking brake. Ser. No. 15285. In excellent order. Provenance From Eric Auty of Bygone Bykes – this was his riding machine. Rating 7. Fig. 67. CMC Club Early club model with leaf spring. Ser. No. 10349. 56” driving wheel. Provenance From a London Agent eBay. Rating 6. Fig. 68. Howe Lever Spring By the Howe Machine Co. of Glasgow. Circa 1884. Name impressed on seat spring. 54” driving wheel. Purchased in Preston in 1984 and ridden end to end in 12 ¾ days that year. Illustrated in the book “Deux Roues” by Jacques Seray, page 119. Rating 9. Fig. 69. The Mesicek Reproduction machine with 48” driving wheel. Special order for 2020 Knutsford Great Race. Built in Prague in 2018. Exceptional quality. Based on D. Rudge & Co. machines. Serial N0. 867. The best reproduction available today. Rating 7. Fig. 70. The Humber Circa 1884. 52” driving wheel. Semi drop bars to this light roadster. Excellent example by this maker from Beeston, Nottinghamshire. Rating 7. Fig. 71. Columbia U.S.A. 58 inch driving wheel. An impressive machine – all ready to go. Engraved legend on dust shield. Dropped bars. Long distance saddle. Provenance From Yorkshire – private sale. Rating 8. Fig. 72. Humber Tandem Tricycle This rare machine purchased at a farm sale in Norfolk. Circa 1887. Ser. No. 6349 stamped inside flange rear hubs. Coil spring shop absorber to top of forks. Rating 10. Fig. 73. Childs Galloper Tricycle A very original machine retaining saddle, stirrups, mane and strap work. Rating 8. Fig. 74. Crypto Bantam An excellent machine on the road, bearing Ser. No. 2249. Ridden in a National and also around circumference of New York City. Provenance From Bill Sylvester’s collection. He maintained it was bought by him in Hants and is the machine on the photo outside the GWR station. He had no evidence to back up his assertions. Rating 9. Fig. 75. The Eadie By Eadie Manufacturing Co. Redditch 1891. A rare machine with geared front drive. This machine is from the Bill Sylvester collection. Rating 10.
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Fig. 76. A period photo of 3 riders with their machine outside a Great Western Station. Bill Sylvester maintained the gent on the right was titled and his crypto was the one from Hampshire. In his collection and now in mine. Fig. 77. Original Eadie catalogue 1891. Fig. 78. The Bantam Made by the Crypto Cycle Company is a geared front driver circa 1893 and is stamped with a serial no. 6119. For years I have purposely avoided these small machines. WHAT A MISTAKE! Historically this model represents the last attempt to maintain the popularity of the front driver versus the chain driven machine. This delightful machine is from the Howland Collection of Stebbing in Essex and is in completely original condition. Retains the original balloon tyres. Rating 9. Fig. 79. The Clavinger Tricycle This rare machine was purchased from a collector who had kept it in his spare bedroom for thirty years. He had purchased it in 1980, from out of the forge where it had hung for 70 years, from a blacksmith on the north bank of the river Humber (near the Humber Bridge crossing). It was made circa 1889 by the Clavinger Cycle Company of Manchester. It is lever driven and rides beautifully. It is the only surviving Clavinger tricycle known in the U.K. Rating 10+. Fig. 80. Childs Imperial Club Tricycle Made by CMC circa 1887. A delightful machine in pristine original condition. Coach lining is superb. Seen by me and secretly admired in the Oakes collection, Cheadle, Staffordshire in 1984. Eventually purchased in 2014. Rating 9. Fig. 81. The Rudge Rotary Tricycle A classic machine circa 1880. Having fallen off the roof in 2011 and broken both ankles, my penny riding days are over. Purchased this machine to ride in local May Day parade. From Bonhams at Beaulieu in 2015. It rides beautifully. Rating 9. Fig. 82. The U.S. Rudge Circa 1887. 56â€? driving wheel. Frame No. 23409 â€“ bearing no. 31313. Made in Coventry and exported to Stoddard and Lovering, U.S. agents in Boston. Bought from Universal Studios where it was their stunt machine. Total refurbishment by Tony Huntington of York. Rating 9. Fig. 83. Rudge catalogue 1887 Produced by Stoddard & Lovering of Boston. 41 pages listing models available, accessories, lamps, tools etc. This catalogue came with the U.S. Rudge.
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Fig. 84. Multum in Parvo Cabinet Containing adjustable spanners, two Keats bugles, two sirens, one Stevenagraph silk picture – “The Last Lap”, four single strike gongs and a toolbag.
Fig. 85. Two small Humber bugles and six Keats bugles, including the original bugle for Edinburgh Bicycle Club. Fully engraved and dated.
Fig. 86. A racing saddle for an ordinary – rare. A wrist siren on pigskin strap – rare. Two tool bags with registered brass clip. Vesta case for penny and rider. Four dog scarer pistols. One target pistol – incredible 10” barrel. 14 spoke tighteners.
Fig. 87. Silhouette of Rev. J. Coltman – Rector at Beverly Minster. In rosewood frame. Water colour of the minster on the reverse. Three hub lamps for ordinaries plus a velocipede medal.
Fig. 88. Boys and Rucker Cyclometer A hub signal cyclometer for a 58” ordinary bicycle. Nickel plated brass case. Dial counting in double chains and furlongs. The bell strikes each mile. Patent No. 2125 dated 1886. Provenance Lot 147 Phillips Edinburgh sale, August 26 1995. Rating 6.
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Fig. 89. Cockburn Bros Patent Cyclometer With 1884 patent No. 2857. “Improvements in Aparatus for Registering the distance travelled by bicycles, tricycles and other wheeled vehicles.” RARE – Rating 8.
Fig. 90. Cycling Trophies 1. Pewter trophy – velocipede on lid 2. Period sports shield 3. The Whiting Trophy 1871 – 1 mile championship 4. Frank Stockdale trophy for Great Race Men’s Winner 5. Knutsford Great Race Ladies Winner 6. Superb silver plated trophy bought at Copake U.S.A. with domed glass cover 7. Plated trophy 8. The Canute trophy
Fig. 91. Four walnut framed medal cases. Containing period medals various. Centre – Fob watch automata. Depicts cycle race with rider’s leg movement. Rare.
Fig. 92. Knutsford Cycling Club Handbook and silver monogram badge. Two amateur bicycle club monogram badges. London Bicycle club medal. Cambridge University medal awarded to E.A. St. John Mildmay for winning the first inter university race in 1874. Rare. Great Race medal 2010 G. Stockdale.
Fig. 93 Two walnut framed medal cases with period medals various. G.H.S. taking on a Virgin intercity express. Publicity shot pre. Great Race 2010.
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Fig. 94. U.S.A. Coast to Coast ride 1995. G.H.S. shown on Baker Beach San Francisco 1995 dipping wheel in the Pacific â€“ 45 riding days later having used up 8 of the 9 lives allowed and covered 3358 miles, dipped the wheel into the Atlantic in Boston Harbour. Thomas Stevens the first to cross in 1884 â€“ I rode an 1884 Royal Mail and faithfully followed his route. An epic journey. Recorded in The Wheelman Magazine U.S.A. No.48 Issue May 1996.