Sunday, 25 September 2011

Penny farthing 'back on the production line'

Penny farthing 'back on the production line'

My favourite kind of news story, this - an historic and unusual device making something of a comeback.  In this case it is the magnificent penny-farthing, the instantly-recognisable Victorian bicycle.

Although there have long been penny-farthing designs available (if you know where to look), these have always been scale versions of the real thing - little more than a novelty; a modern-day pastiche of the classic design complete with BMX-style wheels. 

This one looks to be a different kettle of fish, however.  Practically the same as the original, by all accounts, but with all the bonuses modern industry can bring.  There again we see that great ideal of which I have spoken before - vintage aesthetics married to 21st-Century mechanics.  Perfect!

Roger Lovell (above, left), the chap behind their reintroduction, sounds like just the kind of thoroughly decent fellow who would espouse the cause of these machines - not surprising really as he races them for a hobby (a sport I have blogged about previously).  He is to be commended for bringing these wonderful bikes back into production, not to mention giving the local economy in Leicester a small boost and maintaining an historic link with the area's manufacturing history.

A splendid win-win situation, then.  Who knows, soon we may again all be whizzing about on Leicester-built penny-farthings.  Whee!


  1. Ooh! I saw this on the TV box while I was away, excellent, wonder if I'll see away around here?

  2. Wow! Those look fantastic. Mind you I doubt I would be brave enough to ride a full scale one, they are very high!

  3. Amazing only the brave I gather ride a penny farthing, difficult to steer so I hear, I have enough trouble with my Dutchess, anyway I am afraid of hights.


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