FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
On 9 September more than 120 top cyclists in the OVO Energy Bicycle Tour of Britain race will pass through towns and villages including Wootton, Charlbury and the Wychwoods before continuing through the Cotswolds, eventually finishing in Cheltenham town centre. Oxford Bus Museum was invited to attend a special event on 17 August in Charlbury highlighting the benefits the race will bring to the District.
Pictured are Roger Batley, Frank Collingwood and Chris Butterfield representing the museum together with Charlbury Councillor Richard Fairhurst. Standing in front of the museum’s 1949 AEC Regal III, NJO 703. Three of the collection of old bicycles on display in the museum were taken out of the museum in the pickup truck to display in front of the bus. All are on loan from Bill Faulkner and created great interest from cyclists, Councillors and local residents.
The pictured bicycle at the front is a replica of the original Pedestrian Hobby Horse with eight 26 inch spoke wheels. The patent for the first bicycle was granted to Baron Karl von Drais exactly 200 years ago in June 1817. Previously there had been carts with wheels side by side but Drais was the first to put one wheel in front of the other. The rider sits on the saddle and propels the machine using his feet. His elbows rest on the bar in front of the handle bars to keep balance. There are small footrests either side of the front wheel to be used when going downhill.
The rider sat astride the machine like riding a horse. The invention became popular with landed gentry who rode the machines around their estate in their finery giving instructions to their workers—hence the nickname Dandy Horse.
The middle bicycle is a 1876 Boneshaker by W Singleton with iron rimmed wooden wheels. The front has a 36 inch diameter and the rear 30inch. A spoon brake on the rear wheel is operated by twisting the handlebars. Pedals are attached to the front wheel but no chain. In order that the rider could freewheel downhill footrests were provided above the front wheel.
The bicycle pictured at the rear is an 1878 Pedal Cycle, which became better known as a “Penny Farthing”. The diameter of the front wheel is 50 inches and of the back only 17inches. The pedals were still attached to the large front wheel which increased the distance covered for each revolution of the pedals. This also enabled the rider to go faster. However the size of the front wheel was limited by the length of the rider’s inside leg. Although there was a brake handle operating onto the front wheel it remained difficult to stop the machine and to get off without injury. No wonder a subsequent development of the bicycle, which closely resembled those in use today, was named the “Safety Bicycle”.
The Oxford Bus Museum displays 50 historic bicycles showing the development of the bicycle from its invention in 1821 to modern exhibits. The museum is open from 10.30am until 4.30 pm on Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the year, summer Saturdays and all Bank Holidays except Christmas Day and Boxing Day.
NOTES FOR EDITORS
The Oxford Bus Museum tells the story of bus and coach travel around Oxfordshire over the last 130 years. Our exhibits include historic preserved horse-drawn vehicles, buses, coaches and a wide selection of artefacts (bus stops, ticket machines, timetables, posters, staff uniforms) and lots of fantastic photos illustrating our diverse public transport history.
Since 2004 we've also been home to the Morris Motors Museum, which charts the story of how these classic British cars and commercial vehicles were produced at Cowley, in the city. Our impressive collection of vintage Morris vehicles represents those produced during William Morris's life.
We also have a unique collection of 40 vintage bicycles. It wouldn't be Oxford without bikes!
The museum is a charity and run entirely by volunteers. There is free parking and a café.
The museum is 70 yards from Hanborough Railway Station just off the A4095 in Long Hanborough. The full address is Old Station Yard, Main Road, Long Hanborough, Witney OX29 8LA
Chris Butterfield 01296 337622
Frank Collingwood 01993 811003
About Oxford Bus Museum
The museum is located at the Rail Station Long Hanborough, Oxfordshire OX29 8LA and contains 35 vintages buses and coaches, the earliest dating from 1913, a collection of Morris cars dating from 1925 to 1977, a horse drawn tram and a collection of 40 mainly nineteenth century bicycles.
The museum is open between 10.30am and 4.30pm on Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the year, on summer Saturdays and on Bank Holidays and New Year's Day but neither Christmas Day nor Boxing Day. There is a cafe and shop. The museum is run entirely by volunteers.
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