1891 Westminster Double Diamond (Open Frame) Safety


‘Producer of a divided diamond frame in 1889. Based at 64 Westminster Bridge Road, London, SE. In April 1891 the partnership with Delauncey-Dods was dissolved and James Rickard continued on his own from Westminster Wheel Works, Doris Street, Kennington, London. The firm produced the ‘Bath Road’ and ‘Westminster’ models and introduced the ‘Anfield’ in 1893. The double diamond tricycle of 1892 had double stays, rather than a seat pillar, Southard cranks, and weighed just less than 30 lb. It was priced at £28 10s. with Dunlop pneumatics.

[Thanks to Ray Miller’s Encyclopaedia’]

1890/1891 Westminster Double Diamond Safety

Rear wheel with Lovelace style spoking

Raleigh style front forks (maybe before Raleigh adopted this distinctive fork crown design)

23″ Frame

30″ Wheels with solid tyres

I purchased this as an unidentified ‘mystery’ bike in 2019, hence my photo session outside ‘Mystery House’ in Brighton. With such a distinct ‘open’ frame design, you’d think it would have been easy to find its maker. However, after more than a week perusing advertisements and catalogues of the era, I found dozens of similar designs, but none of them was exactly the same. So I contacted Andrew Millward as I knew he had seen the bike before. He told me that it had previously belonged to his friend John Ivans, who had thought that it was a Lovelace because of the rear wheel spoking. To confuse matters, Lovelace did indeed advertise a ‘Little Wonder’ with open bottom bracket in 1891.

“I recall John buying this machine over 30 years ago and he didn’t know what it was, but I did suggest to him once I’d got to know more about old bicycles, that it was very likely to be a James Rickard Double Diamond frame ‘Westminster’. I have only seen a Rickard DD tricycle which is illustrated in HH Griffin Cycles of the Season, 1892, page 92, but the bicycle frame appears to be the same configuration as the tricycle.”

You can see the Westminster tricycle illustration at the top of the page. The only difference I can see between the Westminster tricycle and this machine is that the seat tube appears to be around an inch further back on the tricycle.

After creating this page for the machine, I kept an eye out for an illustration of the Westminster bicycle and, eventually, several years later I found one in an 1890 edition of ‘Wheeling’ magazine (below).


Further down the page, I’ve included the other bicycles I found with open frame designs; they are listed chronologically and I’ve captioned them accordingly to create a database (or ‘study list’ as it used to be known in the Veteran Cycle Club).

























































Plus two other Open Frames: BUCKINGHAM & INVICTA