1949 Mercury Roadster
Officially described as: ‘Bicycle, Trade Pattern, Heavy Duty’
Used at Gibraltar Military Base as Postal Bicycle
26 X 1 3/4 Tyres
This Mercury Military bicycle was used at the British Royal Naval base in Gibraltar. The top tube is painted red because it was the military base’s postal bike.
Apart from incorrect pedals, the bike is completely original. It is good condition except for damage to the handlebars, which can bee seen in close-up photos below.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find military bicycles in good original, unrestored condition. Unfortunately, with little appreciation of either bicycles or preservation, military buffs have a habit of repainting them to match their jeeps.
They are only original once!
Mercury Industries (Birmingham) Ltd
Stratford Rd, Birmingham.
Registered Company Number 419738.
Mercury Industries was a mysterious company formed in 1946, probably by the government. Its military roadsters are now the most common ex-WD machines, though they’re not, of course, of WW2 vintage. They represent good value for money, however, if you wish to buy a military bicycle at a modest price. The good news is that if you buy one still in its original paint, the manufacturer’s transfers are nearly always intact. You can read more about Mercury by clicking on the link below.
GIBRALTAR MILITARY BASE
The name Gibraltar is the Spanish derivation of the Arabic name jabal Ṭāriq (جبل طارق), meaning ‘mountain of Tariq’ and named after Genral Tariq ibn-Ziyad who led the initial invasion of Spain by the Moors in the year 711.
An Anglo-Dutch force captured Gibraltar from the Kingdom of Castile in 1704 during the War of the Spanish Succession. The territory was subsequently ceded to Britain ‘in perpetuity’ under the Treaty of Utrecht.
Gibraltar became a key base for the British Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56, due to its strategic location.