1921 The Beeston Humber Gents
Model No 1 with Three-Speed Gear
As Supplied to H.M. King George V
As is well known, many Members of our Royal Family are fond of cycling. But it is not so commonly understood that His Majesty the King, Their Royal Highnesses The Duke of Connaught, Princess Louise, The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall and York, The Duchess of Fife, and Princesses Maud and Victoria of Wales, unite in honouring the world-famous ‘Humber Cycles’ by riding them.
This is the model supplied to H.M King George V. The King had ridden Humbers for many years, in 1898 (when he was The Duke of York) riding a motorized Humber Tricycle in the London-Brighton Run. (He was the first Royal to use one).
Thomas Humber had been an important innovator in Great Britain’s fabulous cycle manufacturing history, and Humbers were quality machines, so this bicycle is definitely worthy of its Royal connection. Observe the Royal crest on its head badge, below.
Though showing signs of age – ninety years down the road, that’s not surprising – the Humber crests on the headstock, rear mudguard and chaincase are still clearly readable.
1921 HUMBER CATALOGUE
This bicycle has been completely mechanically overhauled. The wheel rims and the handlebars were showing signs of age, so have been painted matt black. The rest of the paintwork is original, unrestored. Accessories supplied with the bicycle are front lamp (unknown condition, for display only), Lucas rear reflector and bell. The saddle is a Dunlop. As you can see, the machine features Beeston Humber’s distinctive duplex front forks. Its other components are original to the bicycle, noteworthy items being pedals, handlebar grips, Sturmey-Archer ‘Model K’ hub with matching gear trigger, and Humber’s unique front mudguard stay which fitted to the front forks below the wheelnuts.
HUMBER: THEN & NOW
HUMBER: THE ROYAL CONNECTION
A major selling point for Humber was that this Beeston Humber Gents No 1, their top-of-the-range bicycle, was the machine ridden by King George V (pictured above, in 1911, receiving a letter from a postman). Of course, this was a fabulous marketing aid for the Beeston, and the model became extremely popular both at home and (particularly) throughout the Commonwealth …as ordinary folk, while riding the Beeston, were able to enjoy similar views and sensations as their ruling monarch.
George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 to 20 January 1936) was King of the Great Britain and British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. In 1896 a Humber motorized tricycle was the only motorcycle to finish the London-Brighton Emancipation Day Run which celebrated the raising of the speed limit to 12 mph. In 1898, the Duke of York, later to be King George V, became the first royal to ride one.
Though other bicycle manufacturers had bicycle lines named ‘Royal’ and several of the top manufacturers supplied bicycles to the Royal Family – who were keen cyclists and had supported the cycle industry since its earliest days – Humber capitalized most on its Royal connection in its advertising campaigns. The picture below, from 1905, was part of Humber’s advertising during the reign of King George’s predecessor, King Edward VII.
STURMEY-ARCHER ‘MODEL K’ GEARS
If you are ready to order the new 1921 Beeston Humber Gents No 1, please complete and sign the order form below and post it without delay to H & K Ltd, London.