1989 Strutt Worksong Folding Bicycle Mk 1
Two days ago I visited my friend Derek in Broadstone, Dorset, to see a 1930s Rudge-Whitworth he wanted me to buy. While I was examining it, I spotted another bicycle in his shed that I’d never seen before – this Strutt Worksong. As I’m sure you know, my preference is for bicycles from 1889 rather than 1989, but the Strutt is so quirky and interesting that I had to make an exception, and I drove away with it in my van.
As well as liking its unique and practical design, it also interested me because it was built locally, at Hurn Airport. In the 1980s, I owned a garage in Bournemouth restoring and selling vintage vehicles. I purchased a double decker bus in 1985 but it was too big to park on the premises and I got some hassle for parking it in the streets. Luckily, I found parking at the Hurn Airport Industrial Estate, so I regularly passed the building that was used by ‘Metalwork’ to create these bicycles. I returned there yesterday to take these photos of the bike next to its old premises. Most of the estate has been redeveloped with new buildings, and I was told that these old buildings (dating from WW2) are due for demolition too.
Though I was more interested in vintage cars and motorcycles in 1989, Derek was a keen cyclist. He read an article in the ‘New Cyclist’ magazine (reproduced here) with great interest. So much so that he bought one of the limited production Strutt Worksongs soon after. Most of them were finished in red but, as you can see here, he ordered his in a chrome finish. It may only be 31 years old, but at least it’s a one-owner bicycle …obviously not something I come across with the 120-year-old bicycles I usually buy.
The sun was shining on my way back to Brighton, so I stopped off at Rottingdean for a spin along the seafront. I’m not used to riding ‘modern’ bicycles, but this felt pleasant enough to ride, and I agree with the magazine article’s comment that it would be a good medium distance tourer. I’d certainly feel more confident with this in city traffic than my usual rider, the 1897 fixed wheel Triumph roadster 🙂
NEW CYCLIST MAGAZINE, Summer, 1989
METALCRAFT, BUILDING 105,
HURN AIRPORT INDUSTRIAL ESTATE
The old building that housed the Metalcraft company, builders of this Strutt Worksong, is now derelict, and due for demolition.
1990s STRUTT WORKSONG Mk 2