Established in 1863, John J Plater & Sons was a leading manufacturer and supplier of wicker baskets and wicker crates. The company, located at 262-264 Bradford St, Birmingham, was also the original manufacturer and patentee of wicker cycle crates, which were made in eight different designs. Some cycle crates required the pedals and/or handlebar to be removed. It was useful to have a lightweight option to wooden crates, and cycle manufacturers and agents used them. The company also sold them ‘specially adapted for gentlemen and ladies travelling with their machines.’
This example has castors on the bottom, for pushing along railway platforms. The wicker is worn in one corner, but is otherwise good. It has been hanging up in my friend’s bike storage for many years.
I placed a 1910s Components Ltd X Frame inside the crate (I needed to remove the pedals) and photographed it at Brighton Railway Station, which retains its Victorian architecture.
1900s John J Plater Wicker Cycle Crate
(1910s Components Ltd X Frame inside)
Brighton station opened for use on May 11th 1840 with the opening of the line to Shoreham. The main terminus building was completed for the opening of the line from London on the 21st September 1841. The large double-spanned curved glass and iron roof, which was refurbished in 2000, covers all the platforms. The locomotive and carriage works to the north of the station operated until 1911. After it closed in 1957, the premises became an assembly plant for Isetta bubble cars. It could not be reached by road, so the railway was used for receiving the components from Germany and for distribution after assembly.