1913 Model No 2 Lady’s Special Premier
with Leatherette Chaincase
Frame No 349276
1914 PREMIER CATALOGUE
As you’ll observe in the list of EQUIPMENT for the No 2 Lady’s Special Premier, above left, the Leatherette and Celluloid Gearcase were both offered. Its price was £6 2/- 6d.
BROOKS LADY’S SADDLE
The saddle is a Brooks Lady’s B66. I do not have a catalogue illustration of the Lady’s B66, but I have found a Brooks catalogue for 1906 with a picture of its predecessor, the B60. I’ve included the accompanying article, which explains in a very patronising fashion that:
‘…a little experimentation for the right position is well worth its trouble, especially if a gentleman friend can be got to undertake it, since the difficulty experienced by a lady in negotiating the nuts and bolts is not uncommonly the reason the saddle remains unadjusted.’
CHARLESTON: An artists home and garden
The location for these photos is Charleston. It was the country home of the Bloomsbury Group, which became a unique example of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant’s decorative style within a domestic context and represents the fruition of over sixty years of artistic creativity. Vanessa Bell wrote of this time; ‘It will be an odd life, but…it ought to be a good one for painting.’
In 1916 the artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant moved to Sussex with their unconventional household. Over the following half century Charleston became the country meeting place for the group of artists, writers and intellectuals known as Bloomsbury. Clive Bell, David Garnett and Maynard Keynes lived at Charleston for considerable periods; Virginia and Leonard Woolf, E.M. Forster, Lytton Strachey and Roger Fry were frequent visitors. Inspired by Italian fresco painting and the Post-Impressionists, the artists decorated the walls, doors and furniture at Charleston. The walled garden was redesigned in a style reminiscent of southern Europe, with mosaics, box hedges, gravel pathways and ponds, but with a touch of Bloomsbury humour in the placing of the statuary.
‘It’s most lovely, very solid and simple, with…perfectly flat windows and wonderful tiled roofs. The pond is most beautiful, with a willow at one side and a stone or flint wall edging it all round the garden part, and a little lawn sloping down to it, with formal bushes on it.’ Vanessa Bell.
What could be a better backdrop for a well-preserved 98-year-old lady’s bicycle? Thanks to its dedicated group of volunteers, Charleston is also wonderfully preserved. It’s one of our favourite places to visit.
To step out of the 21st century for an hour and soak up a calmness created here by a group of artistic folk so many years ago is the very essence of time-travel.
It’s open from April each year and I thoroughly recommend a visit.
FRAME NUMBER 549276
The frame number is on the seat post, facing forward.
Many thanks to the friendly folks at Charleston for letting me photograph my bicycles at that wonderful house and gardens.