Tweed Cyclist sets for Charity Ride

” Amateur cyclist and trainee gentleman Mr. Kelvin Pawsey will be leaving from Folkestone’s Sunny Sands Inshore Recuse Boathouse on the 31st of July 2010and departing again from Rye Harbour RNLI station on the 1st of August to embark on the two-wheeled charity adventure of the year!
Hoping to raise as much money as he can for the Harris Tweed Authority Educational Trust and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Kelvin will pedal himself over 900 miles to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland, home of the famous Harris Tweed.
Having no support team with him, Mr. Pawsey will carry everything on his trusty Holdsworth bicycle. Tent, bed, cooking pots, moustache wax and of course an expeditionary Tweed RNLI flag to hoist in every campsite and tweed bunting to add a sense of occasion!
Punctures and map reading aside, Kelvin is aiming to complete his journey in three weeks, stopping for cake and ale along the way. (And saluting Magpie’s) Following the Grand Union Canal he also hopes to pop into the Reynolds Tubing factory in Birmingham which supplied the world with its legendary ‘531’ bicycle frame tubing. He will also be stopping at a tearoom in Penrith to find the ‘finest wines available to humanity’.
But enough about Pawsey, here’s some information about the charities:
The Harris Tweed Authority Educational Trust is a charity concerned with keeping the traditions of weaving alive on the islands. As you may have seen on a recent BBC documentary Harris Tweed is not as thriving as a unique, world-renowned cloth should be.
Harris Tweed is the only cloth in the world to be protected by an Act of Parliament. This puts it in the same league as Champagne, Parmigiano Reggiano, Camembert, Arbroath Smokie’s and Plymouth Gin.

The Harris Tweed Educational Trust has been established by the Harris Tweed Authority as a means of advancing the education of the public in the history, production and properties of Harris Tweed.

Harris Tweed is hand woven in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland from 100% pure wool. At the heart of the Harris Tweed industry is an ability to combine centuries of heritage and tradition with creativity, imagination and a determined sense of individuality. The famous ‘Orb’ Trademark stamped on every metre of cloth guarantees that the fabric has been certified by the Harris Tweed Authority as genuine Harris Tweed.

The Harris Tweed Education Trust aims to ensure that young people from the Outer Hebrides and indeed further afield, are educated and informed about this most cherished and beautiful, but sometimes fragile parts of Scotland’s national heritage. The first project of this recently formed trust is to support a formal recognised vocational qualification in Harris Tweed. From August 2010, this course will be offered through the education curriculum to S3/S4 pupils in one school on the Isle of Harris – the home of Harris Tweed. Other projects in development include a project to support the dying craft of hand warping and hand weaving.

Being surrounded by sea the RNLI will not be strangers to most people. They exist as a voluntary body of very special people who risk their lives to ensure that the lives of others at sea can be saved. As a charitable body the RNLI rely on the public to keep them afloat. Like any emergency service the RNLI are on call 24 hours a day, providing a service covering the sea, coast, beach and flood affected areas of the UK and RoI. Like a lot of things in life, they’re not there until you need them but they need your money to continue saving lives at sea.
The first RNLI station Kelvin hopes to visit will be Morecombe then on to Kippford, Troon, Mallaig and Portree. He shall also be popping by the Dungeness station en route to Rye Harbour.
Kelvin has strong and close family connections to the Mary Stanford, a lifeboat that was lost with all her crew in 1928. Whilst trying to launch in an extreme storm the crew were unaware that a second flare had gone up to say that ship ‘The Alice’ was out of trouble. It wasn’t unusual for the Rye Harbour lifeboat to take sanctuary in Folkestone Harbour if the sea was unrelenting in its fury. Tragically sanctuary was never found in 1928 and Kelvin’s beloved grandmother aged only 18 was one of the many who reclaimed the bodies from the tide. Kelvin’s great grandfather served on the Mary Stanford in the years before the tragedy.
In keeping with the two start points there shall be two finish points! First will be the Harris Tweed Authority HQ and second will be the RNLI station at Stornoway. (read less)
Amateur cyclist and trainee gentleman Mr. Kelvin Pawsey will be leaving from Folkestone’s Sunny Sands Inshore Recuse Boathouse on the 31st of July and departing again from Rye Harbour RNLI station on the 1st of August to embark on the two-wheeled charity adventure of the year!
Hoping to raise as much money as he can for the Harris Tweed Authority Educational Trust and the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, Kelvin will pedal himself over 900 miles to the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides of… (read more)
Personal Interests:
Cycling, Harris Tweed and Lifeboats.

Contact Info


Published in: on July 26, 2010 at 8:20 am  Leave a Comment  

The Tweed Run

I was pleasantly pleased to see a spread on the The Tweed Run in the London Cyclist. I haven’t been doing my Vintage stuff for a while, my bike has a puncture and a lot of the time my work doesn’t coincide with local events.

I think I need to get my act together and fix my bike.. and start getting out there again. I need to check when the next Tweed Run will be.

Published in: on June 5, 2010 at 12:47 am  Leave a Comment  

“Few eggs & No Oranges: The Diaries 1940-45

This is a true wartime diary by Vere Hodgson of her time in Notting Hill, London and Birmingham.

She writes about her friends, air raids and life during the war as an ‘unimportant person’. Vere, however, was not conscripted during the war as she was a social worker. She wrote solidly almost every day during the war and talks about her love of London.

She is a heroine of the People’s War and some of her work is at the Imperial War Museum.

Here is a bit from her diary, on 8 July :

“No raids on London yet! We seem to be boming everywhere. A very healthy sign. It is to prevent them starting. But Eire still seems to be the weakest spot. Nice bright day. Went to see Auntie Nell in the evening with glass jars for making jam. Also tell her the good news that I could get two pounds of preserving sugar for her. We listened to the news, and heard the bombshell about tea! Two ounces per head, per week! However, it will do for me. I don’t like it strong; but I like to have to offer other people a cup’.

I bought this book from the Women’s bookshop ‘Persephone Books’ at Lamb Conduit Street, London.

Published in: on March 24, 2010 at 4:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

A Victorian Sketchbook


Oakwood Hill 1860

Here are some sketches from a family sketchbook in the 1860s. Unfortunately, I don’t know which relative it is as they didn’t put a name in it but it gives you a flavour of that time. It would be interesting see if things have changed and whether or not the trees seen here are still around.


MaryAnn Arnold Oct 6 1860


Ockley Green Sept 9th 1860


Forest Green Sept 17th, 1860


Rev W Farwell, St Martins August 21st 1860


Lizzie Turnbull Nov 30 1860


Oakwood Hill Sept 1860


Oakwood Hill Chapel Sep 12th 1860

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 12:56 pm  Comments (3)  
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Tributes to a Suffrogette – 6 March Morpeth

Time: 12:30 – 14:00
Event: Emily Wilding Davison – Tribute to a Suffragette
About: Tribute to Emily Davison who ran in front of the King’s horse at 1913 Derby drawing attention to “the cause” and died from her injuries. – 12.30 Church service 13:30 Hot drinks in Storey Park Community Centre 14:00 Ends All welcome.
Venue: The Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin, High Church, Morpeth in Northumberland (where Emily Davison is buried), Morpeth, Northumberland, NE61 2QT
Organisation: Northumberland County Council: A local authority in the UK

Published in: on March 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm  Leave a Comment  

Suffrogettes in Kent

I have always been interested in the Suffrogette Movement particularly as I was not taught it at either of my schools. How ironic is that? And they were girls’ schools. What a joke!

Anyway I found this book in the Millicent Press about the Women Suffrogettes in East Kent:-

“Ever since Laura Probert met a real live suffragette on holiday in Guernsey when she was eight years old she has been interested in the lives of women in late Victorian and Edwardian times. A retired librarian, who now lives in an Edwardian house in Ramsgate, Laura cares passionately about the town and its history. When she joined the Ramsgate Society Laura realised that most of the illustrated talks were about sailors, soldiers and smugglers so she decided to tell the other half of the story and research the history of women in East Kent. Her first talk was about Dame Janet Stancomb-Wills, Ramsgate’s first lady mayor and the town’s very generous benefactress. Laura has set up Millicent Press named after her grand-daughter Millicent Grace, but also to honour Millicent Garrett Fawcett, one of the leading suffragists.

Laura’s first book “Women of Kent rally to the Cause” looks at suffrage activity in East and South Kent (1909-1918) taken mainly from local press reports for Canterbury, Deal, Dover, Folkestone, Ramsgate, Margate and Broadstairs. People were usually surprised when Laura mentioned what she was writing about as they did not think there were any suffragettes in Kent. Setting the scene with chapters on Edwardian Thanet and the fashions of the day, as advertised in local newspapers of the period, this book sets out to dispel that myth.”

Published in: on February 17, 2009 at 11:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Vintage Bicycle Playing Cards

I’ve just received a  set of individually designed vintage playing cards. The pictures seem to come from the US, France and Germany.

And beautiful they are too. Here are a few I particularly liked.


Published in: on February 16, 2009 at 6:58 pm  Leave a Comment  

Police probe in disappeared 1920’s cyclist

From Yahoo today:-

“Emma Alice Smith, 16, went missing in 1926 as she cycled between her home in Waldron, East Sussex, and a local railway station, and has never been seen since.

Her disappearance was investigated by police at the time and was reported by the local press but no trace of her was ever found.

Sussex Police’s Major Crime Branch said it had taken the unusual step of looking into the case again after receiving new information from the girl’s family.

Detective Chief Inspector Trevor Bowles said it was possible she was murdered near her home and dumped in a nearby pond.

He said: “This is a very unusual case. We have been approached by a member of Emma’s family who has indicated that there is a possibility that she was murdered close to Waldron or Horam and that her body was disposed of locally.”

“I am keen to hear from anyone locally who may recall the disappearance of Emma being spoken of. A number of local people have already assisted us and have been able to fill in some of the many gaps which exist”

Published in: on February 4, 2009 at 2:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bikes designed for women

This is by Paul Rich:-



“Traditionally, 1920’s through 1970’s, a “girl’s bicycle” was simply any bicycle without a top tube (known as a “crossbar”) that allowed the rider to step through the frame when mounting, rather than throwing a leg over the saddle. However, frames built with the main triangle (top tube, down tube, seat tube) more equilateral on a “diamond” frame, tended to be lighter and more responsive, and “girls” frames tended to be available only in lower priced, heavier town commuter models.


The “step-through” designs remain a practical consideration for those who ride wearing skirts, or for riders who come from a culture or generation in which they were taught that “girls ride girl’s bicycles”. Also, if the rider’s bicycle is carrying a child in an over-the-rear-wheel child seat, then a step-through design makes sense, both for mounting and supporting the bicycle at a stoplight, etc. The women’s step-through bicycles, both hybrid or mountain, with full size wheels, tend to be more compact, saddle to handlebars, than so-called “men’s bicycles”.


Lightweight higher quality road and touring bicycles started to become popular with women around 1970. Women who ride for sport and for long distances will normally prefer the livelier response of a frame with a full triangle design. However, women who found discomfort with the reach issue were told to simply move the saddle forward and install a shorter stem. Unfortunately in so doing, the knee was moved too far forward of the pedal plumb line, and the steering quality was badly compromised. Women of a given height usually have longer legs and a shorter torso than do men of the same height. Often when women who range in height from short to average height are fitted to a bicycle and seem to achieve the proper saddle height they find the bicycle, saddle to handlebars, to be too long because of their shorter torso length. Also many women tend to tilt their pelvis on their saddles somewhat differently than do men, again making a long reach more awkward.”

Published in: on December 28, 2008 at 1:37 pm  Leave a Comment  

Manchester & Salford Harriers Cyclists’ Procession 1901

I’ve just seen this video  on Youtube. To be honest, it is a little cringeworthy. I suppose it is a little more cringeworthy because they’re walking in the procession mostly without their bikes.

I have added it to my Videos link. Now, do you know of anyone who was in this club? Great great grandfathers? Who has inherited those  weird cycling clothes.  Indeed, who will own up?

I have also added a video of the Manchester Wheelers (1901) too, if you can’t get enough of this great vintage vids.

Published in: on December 28, 2008 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment