Posted by: brendaintheboro | April 10, 2012

Why am I starting to blog

I realised the other day that I have been able to cycle for over 55 years and that is somewhat scary. I want to share some history, not only for  my family but to also encourage others to think about when they began cycling and to see that there may be possibilities for them to cycle once again.

I was born in 1950 and my father is listed as a cycle dealer on my birth certificate. I have memories of a dark, dirty back room, behind a small shop where he repaired bicycles. During the war, he had served as a despatch rider with the Signals and he was always mechanically minded. My great grandfather called bicycles, cicycles and my first was a tricycle which my father had retrieved from somewhere and painted blue for me. I recall being so excited that I insisted on riding it, even though the paint was still wet. Mam and I went to get ‘the rations’ at Duncan’s store and I rode right into the shop and up to the counter. I was about  three and a half years old then.

My dad started a taxi business and still repaired bicycles for a while but soon the bikes were pushed out in favour of the cars. There were bits of bikes lying around and I remember making chairs for my dolls with spokes and bits of fabric. Even back then my love of textiles had begun as well.

Sometime later he was repairing a two wheeled , what was called a fairy cycle and I was given a try on that. I could do it and so for my birthday I was given a brand new metallic blue Royal Enfield  bicycle. It was beautiful with chrome wrap around handlebars and calliper  brakes. I was  five years old and it was far too big for me. Consequently, I tried and failed to ride it and lost all confidence in my ability to ride it. It stood in our front room for a. couple of years while I grew into it. My mam spent sometime holding the saddle and running along behind me until I got the confidence to go. Oh, the freedom. Wind blowing through my hair  as  I flew down the bank at the top of our street.

There was very little traffic in those days and there were very few cars in our street.  I was given the freedom to go and explore. First off , I would ride up to the Hill Top, the local playground over looking the harbour but soon I up to see my grandparents at Westoe.  By the age of ten, I was cycling up through Tyne dock and over to Jarrow and Hebburn, not that I knew anyone there, but I could go because I wanted to. Did I ever get lost?  Well yes and no. I might not  have known where I was but I could just ask the way back.  No fear  of strangers back then.



  1. Welcome to blogland, Brenda. I’m visiting via your BQL link. You’ll soon get the hang of it – speaking from my two and a bit years of blogging. I used to cycle everywhere in my 50’s, including lugging a week’s supermarket shopping in 4 paniers and a saddle bag. Now in my 70’s and with very fragile bones, cycling has given me up, sadly.

  2. Oh what pictures you conjure up in my mind of the days of freedom as a child. I’ve clicked on the following button. Beautiful thank you

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