I'm sorry this issue of FSN is a little delayed, but I wanted to be able to include any news from the Brompton event today, 29th April - see next topic. Work on The Half Framer, the magazine of the half frame photography group, has also been taking quite a lot of time over the last couple of weeks.
I expect you all know that Brompton moved to new premises at Brentford a few months ago. Today, 29th April, they held a reception at the new factory to celebrate the move. Those invited included dealers, suppliers, shareholders and a cross section of their more enthusiastic end-users, including journalists.
The day did not start too well for me - a train breakdown delayed my arrival in London, and the cycle ride from Euston to Brentford was not particularly enjoyable. However, the rest of the day was really excellent, and blessed with some of the best weather for many weeks. You can find an illustrated version of the report of the event on the web pages (to be released in stages over the next few days, as time permits) at http://www.whooper.demon.co.uk/foldsoc/brom9905.html..
There were a number of examples of early bikes on display, but the only new product which I had not seen before was Alex Henshaw! Large quantities of food and drink had been provided for the impressively large crowd that turned up. The new factory is very spacious, with room for quite a lot of expansion, and everything is very tidily laid out in the attractive and very light building. Andrew Richey gave a very interesting short speech, which included tributes to Alex Moulton for his work in making small wheeled bicycles acceptable, and Harry Bickerton for his pioneering design. Amongst those present were Alex Moulton himself, Mark Bickerton (son of Harry) and Mark Sanders (Strida).
Andrew Richey did not really give away any secrets in his talk - there was no specific reference, for example, to plans for a 7-speed model or new bags. However, he certainly indicated quite clearly that development will be taking place, although some of it will not be obvious to owners - for example, new machines are being introduced into the manufacturing operation. One thing he did directly refer to was the fact that with the higher production volumes now possible it becomes economic for component manufacturers to make components specifically for Brompton, and this is likely to result in higher specifications of components becoming available on the Brompton in the future.
We all received a very attractive key ring with a picture of a Brompton on it, and a picture of this will be put on the web pages. This was a very enjoyable event, and I'm sure we wish Brompton and all their staff continuing success with the folder which has really set the standard against which all other folders are now measure.
The change in distribution format which was introduced in the last issue resulted in very little response - 2 people emailed me to express approval, while 4 were unhappy with the change. This is a tiny proportion of the membership, but nevertheless as twice as many people didn't like the change we are reverting to the old format.
The Micro section of our web pages has been started, and it is hoped to extend this with comparisons of the older and current models, more on the history of the Micro and hints and tips. This will probably take a few weeks to complete, due to pressure of work and also the opportunity for more enjoyable ries during the longer days and better (we hope) weather.
We also plan to extend Moulton coverage, but pressure of work has prevented any progress on that in the last few weeks, and we don't expect to be able to do anything on these pages for a few more weeks.
I have also had some enquiries regarding Bickertons, and availability of parts for them. I had a Bickerton during the early 1980's, but I was never very happy with it, and I disposed of it when I bought the Brompton in 1990. As I no longer have a Bickerton myself I don't feel I can run a SIG, but I'd be very happy to include it on the web site if anyone would like to submit material. Please contact me if you can help with material for setting up web pages here, or if you can provide us with a link to pages which may help those interested in this pioneering design.
We have a report that Bike Friday (black) number 3701 was stolen in Newcastle upon Tyne on 24th April. For more information please see the Folding Society stolen bikes web page
While on the subject of Bike Fridays, their electronic mailing reports that some new model specifications are due next month.
Saturday 1st May - Mud Dock
Saturday 8th May - Origami Ride
Watch the web page for more details, at http://www.whooper.demon.co.uk/origami.
Saturday 8th May - Brecon and Monmouth canal ride
Meet at Abergavenny railway station at 11.00am for a canalside ride organised by Bob Hutton. The ride will be about 25 level miles, with the option to return by public transport, along the canal or via the road, according to taste.
3rd Sussex Coastal Plain Ride, Sunday 9th May
Joint Folding Society/Moulton Bicycle Club event from Chichester railway station, 10.00am for 10.30am start. Approximately 30 miles of easy, flat riding. B and B available for an extended weekend. Details from Arthur Smith, Tel: 01243 774979.
14-16 May - Weymouth
This is our informal gathering in Weymouth. As not all of you will be going, I'm not going to post any further details here in FSN, but some additional information is being posted over the next few days on the web site on travel to the event and possible rides which people might like to take while there.
We look forward to seeing you there.
National Bike Week
Another folder orientated event during National Bike Week has been brought to our attention - The Smugglers Run in Leeds on Friday 18th June at 6.15pm at the Leeds City Station. For more details see our events web page at http://www.whooper.demon.co.uk/foldsoc/events.html. We have also received advance notice of the Edinburgh Summer Solstice Bike Festival, Victoria Park, Newhaven, 20th June, 12.00 - 4.00, which apparently is planned to include a folding bike race. The full information releae provided at this stage reads "A family day. Ride from locations around the city [Edinburgh] along the Sustrans national Cycle Network Routes 1 & 75. Convergence rides. Come and enjoy Live Music with renewable energy PA, Stalls, Activities, Best Dressed Bike, Bike Doctor, Cycle Skills Challenge, folding bike race.
29 November - 3 December -Portmeirion. The very popular autumn Folding Society gathering at Portmeirion will be taking place as usual - this will the fourth year. If you have been before, then you will know what to expect, and I'm sure you will be planning to come again this year. If you haven't been before, please give it a try, it's an ideal spot for an autumn/winter break with lots of good company, and we have had excellent weather every time so far, despite it being quite late in the year. This is another fairly informal event, and the booking of houses at Portmeirion is done by individuals. As explained in the last issue of FSN, A to B have agreed to act as a clearing house in helping those who have booked houses find people to share them, or those who want to share to find people with space, so contact them if you need help in this respect. It's important that enough people book houses in time, and the place can fill quite quickly, so don't delay in making arrangements. You can contact A to B at email@example.com.
We would very much welcome articles, photographs or any other material for inclusion in future issues of FSN, or on our web pages. Please send any material to The Folding Society at the address given below.
The Folding Society
If you have any news or other information of interest to other members of the Folding Society, please email us at the above address.
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All information given here is provided in good faith, but no responsibility can be taken for errors or for any consequences arising from the publication of this information.
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Last updated: 29 April 1999