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Page 378. 1933 Humber Popular Lady’s Model No 21. By Royal Appointment to HM King George V

A HUMBER BICYCLE: Your safeguard – your satisfaction

When selecting a cycle, study its construction; for upon this depends your satisfaction – your safety. Construction is the real basis of value in a cycle. Humber cycle construction is an engineering job throughout – hence our slogan ‘The Cycle that’s Built like the CR’ – Humber thoroughness has been consistent for 64 years. The name has become synonymous with quality – the quality that emanates only from sound engineering principles.

 A good cycle will last a lifetime. Better spend a few more shillings now and acquire a machine that will prove a proud possession for many years to come, than endeavour to save that small amount by purchasing an article that lacks breed, is harsh in running, uncomfortable, poorly finished and badly assembled – a machine that will never be a friend to you.

 When you purchase a HUMBER, you are making an investment that is going to yield a dividend extending over very many years, so we may be forgiven for emphasizing that the vaue we offer is not only good, but very exceptional, and HUMBER cycles are BRITISH THROUGHOUT!

- 1932 Humber Sales Brochure


1933 Humber Popular Lady’s

Model No 21

By Royal Appointment to HM King George V

22″ Frame

28″ Wheels

Frame No R20022

Duplex Forks

Brooks B83 Saddle

‘Humber’ Script Pedals

Rear Carrier

Totally Original Unrestored Cosmetics

Mechanically Restored & Ready to Ride

King George V ruled England between 1910 an 1936. Before he became King he rode Humber bicycles and was the first royal to drive a motorized vehicle, an 1898 Humber. He was often pictured with his Humber bicycle …which provided an excellent advertising campaign for the company.





The Humber Cycle Co was purchased by Raleigh in 1932, and this Humber carries a Raleigh frame number (ie it begins with letter ‘R’ indicating manufacture in 1933). This bicycle is in good condition all round, its cosmetics being original and unrestored, with the brightwork tarnished in places but the chrome handlebars still shiny. The paintwork has surface rust in  places (mostly on the wheels) but it is in sound condition and ready to ride. The Humber transfers (decals) are intact and easily readable on the chain-case, headstock and rear mudguard. The dealer transfer can be seen on the down tube, but has faded. The Duplex forks are an attractive feature. Bikes with original paint and decals such as this are becoming rarer by the year…

THE OILY RAG MANIFESTO: Some lead; others follow. There are people who try to delay the ageing process with botox, cosmetic surgery, etc and some hobbyists project that strategy onto old vehicles too. But a vintage vehicle is only original once in its life! If you are only attracted to shiny over-restored bicycles, this is definitely not for you. Too many vintage vehicles have already been lost to ‘restoration’ and are no longer original. This is the way true vintage bicycle enthusiasts prefer their bicycles - an original ‘oily rag’ bike, not to be restored, but to rejoice in its patina and to be allowed to age gracefully.

Why must your vehicle be shinier than everyone else’s? Treasure your laughter lines and cherish your rust :)

























A major selling point for Humber was its Royal connection. Below you can see King George V with his Humber in 1911, receiving a letter from a postman. Of course, this was a fabulous marketing aid for the Beeston, and Humbers were extremely popular both at home and (particularly) throughout the Commonwealth …as ordinary folk, while riding a Beeston Humber, were able to enjoy similar views and sensations as their ruling monarch.


George V (George Frederick Ernest Albert; 3 June 1865 to 20 January 1936) was King of the Great Britain and British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. In 1896 a Humber motorized tricycle was the only motorcycle to finish the London-Brighton Emancipation Day Run which celebrated the raising of the speed limit to 12 mph. In 1898, the Duke of York, later to be King George V, became the first royal to drive one.

Though other bicycle manufacturers had bicycle lines named ‘Royal’ and several of the top manufacturers supplied bicycles to the Royal Family – who were keen cyclists and had supported the cycle industry since its earliest days – Humber capitalized most on its Royal connection in its advertising campaigns. The picture below, from 1905, was part of Humber’s advertising during the reign of King George’s predecessor, King Edward VII.





















PHOTO LOCATION: Royal Pavilion, Brighton





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