In January, 2016, I met up with my friend Anthony Cleal at Kempton Park autojumble and we did a photoshoot for my book at a location I’d scouted nearby. My idea was to reproduce the B&W pictures of the folding BSA military bicycles published by BSA in their catalogues of that era.
I’d recently purchased the bicycle from Paul Southern. I’d needed it for the book because my other ‘MACHINE FOLDING, GENERAL SERVICE’ has 28″ wheels and there’s only verbal confirmation that it was a WW1 model …its provenance provided by Ned Passey’s daughter who once owned it (and recorded the information provided by the chap who sold it to her 30 years ago). There’s not much concrete proof about most WW1 bicycles. Nevertheless, this particular BSA folding bicycle has 26″ wheels, has a military marking, and appears identical to those in the BSA illustrations. It was incomplete, so I had to build it up, and as I didn’t have a suitable rear coaster hub I had to use one with a gear (if you look closely at the picture below you can see the telltale toggle sticking out). The photo of it that I used in the book had its rear hub hidden behind a fence post. Preparing 60 bicycles for photos and publication was no mean task!
WW1 BSA Folding Bicycle
Officially described as: ‘MACHINE FOLDING, GENERAL SERVICE’
24 Inch Frame