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1910s Alex Munro ‘Falcon’ Roadster
(Ironmonger & Cycle Agent, Inverness)
This Falcon is a barn find with a fine layer of surface rust and tarnished nickel throughout. The overwhelming majority of surviving bicycles built or sold by Scottish companies are 1930s lightweights; it’s very rare to find one this old.
If it had not retained its head badge it would have been impossible to identify, because small local cycle shops such as, in this case, Alex Munro, Ironmongers & Cycle Agents, bought in frames and parts through the cycle trade and added their own badge or transfer (decal) to sell them in their own area.
This example appears to be original apart from the items I’ve added – the saddle, pedals and new tyres. I’ve tentatively dated it as 1910s as everything on it is from that era apart from the Sturmey-Archer three speed hub which is probably 1920s (They were not usually used on military bicycles, though officers often had them fitted in their own bicycles). The front fork ends are ‘blind’, ie they are not open to facilitate easier removal of the wheel. That’s a feature of pre-WW1 bicycles. However, frames and parts purchased by local cycle companies for assembly and resale were invariably old stock, often out-of-date, which is what made them cheaper to buy. So we’ll never really know its age. My opinion is that it’s of pre-WW1 manufacture, but assembly and resale by Alex Munro could have been during the War or after.
As you can see from the the item at the top of the page, Alex Munro was operating his cycle shop in 1914. At the start of the War, men who enlisted in the Cyclist Corps did not receive bicycles, but supplied their own. Local businesses also donated cycles to those who enlisted. This would have been a typical roadster used for that purpose, perhaps with military accessories added if required.
Inverness info with thanks to – https://www.ambaile.org.uk