Article by Peter Kimpton on the relationship between cycling and the body — proving without doubt Flann O’Brien’s theory of man-machine molecule transfer, as expounded in in The Third Policeman (completed, appropriately enough, in 1940, though not published until 1967).
En route to the National Cycle Archive, a coach trip across the Midlands from Nottingham and a Sunday visit to the Coventry Transport Museum highlight the contrast between past and present. Coventry’s roads seem built to discourage cyclists, and brands like BSA, Rudge-Whitworth, and Humber have all but disappeared, but the museum’s rich and varied collection shows the diversity of the British bicycle industry and its links with motorcycle and car manufacturing over the first half of the twentieth century. I didn’t manage to visit the Coventry History Centre‘s Cycling Collection (open alternate Sundays only), as my short stay was devoted to an all-too-brief survey of National Cycle Archive holdings at the Modern Records Centre, University of Warwick. Continuer la lecture
Raleigh’s domination of the British bicycle industry for much of the twentieth century perhaps isn’t the only reason why dedicated bicycle archives are easier to locate in Britain than in France, though even a quick glance at the catalogue of Raleigh holdings at the Nottinghamshire Archives gives a sense of how far the company’s influence once extended. The collection offers researchers a glimpse of the bicycle industry from the inside, as company records, promotional material aimed at both consumers and bicycle dealers, and scrapbooks of advertisements and articles mentioning Raleigh in specialist and non-specialist publications show how the company evolved in tandem (sorry!) with cycling culture — and how play and humour played a surprisingly important role in its commerccial strategy. Continuer la lecture