Bicycle display

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    This image shows a number of bicycles used by the Post office. The Post Office has used bicycles for over a century.

    In 1897, the radius for the free delivery of telegrams increased from one to three miles. The Post Office Engineer-in-Chief was instructed to purchase 100 bicycles for telegram messengers and postmen.

    The standard bicycle weighed up to 23kgs and had to last four years before replacement. The metal carriers were constructed to carry up to 22.7kgs (50lbs) and the front forks were especially strengthened to take this heavy load.

    The Pashley pattern bicycle (left) came into use in 1929. The design remained virtually unchanged until 1992. In 1992 a new design, the RM92 (right), was introduced. This design featured a lighter frame, plastic mudguards and a plastic mail container.

    In 1933, some 20,000 cycles covered 200 million miles a year. By 1992 this had grown to 36,000 cycles on postal duties.

    For more information on this exhibition please visit our website

    hebegbeez, Grifter_Guru, Andymm68, and 5 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    1. Bike/camera guy 70 months ago | reply

      I have a Elswick GPO bike (see my photostream) Were manufacturers other than Pashley making GPO bikes at the same time? I also have a small photograph album of images of horse drawn Post carts (see photstream. Would this be of interest to the museum?

    2. British Postal Museum & Archive 70 months ago | reply

      The GPO have purchased bicycles from a number of manufacturers. If you have a look at our online catalogue you can see a variety of these in our collection; makes such as Quadrant, Elswick, James, Townsend, Puch, Moulton, BSA and others. Pashley were, and are, a major supplier. Weird and wonderful machines have also come from the likes of Singer. Then there's the Hen & Chicks - a quirky pentacycle made by Sussex inventor Edward Burstow.

      Your horse and cart pictures are very interesting. Ditto the images of RMS Olympic. Would you be interested in adding these to our Wiki?

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