In response to a very quick survey I did with people who have read The Brompton Folding Bike Guide, I got this excellent reply from Andy Mayson who has allowed me to publish his comment. But Andy had much more to say too….
Andy said, “I used to have a Brompton before… I bought it in 1981 when the factory was in a shed near Kew Gardens. I think I paid £201 for it! The frame cracked around the seat post and they replaced it under warranty. It cracked again but I drilled the end of the crack and that stopped it. I only sold it a couple of years ago as it had been in the garage unused for about 20 years! It was pretty clunky and heavy compared with the current versions.”
I was intrigued to find out more, so I emailed Andy back and he replied, “You might also be interested in the attached pics which show: The sales invoice, the guarantee (You’ll see it was serial no. 206), the crack in the frame (and the hole I drilled to stop it), The tatty clip I made to hold the from wheel in position when folded. The original Brompton version was rubbish… the had a bend in the mudguard wire which was supposed to hold it. They now use something just like I invented but much more classy!”
Andy sold the bike on eBay late in 2009. It went to Hong Kong he was told.
I was so happy to see the paperwork with a signature of Andrew Ritchie right there and a serial number of 206, this was indeed an early Brompton. Andy replied,
“It’s a pity I gave away the original paperwork when I sold the bike. I’m sure the guy who bought it hasn’t appreciated it as much as you would have!”
“When I bought it I lived in West London and used ride down to catch the train from West Drayton into Paddington. I worked in Buckingham Palace Road so it was a fabulous ride through Hyde Park every morning. I do remember a couple of times stopping to fix punctures and one time in a tropical thunderstorm catching a taxi (bike and all) to fix a puncture at work!”
Have a look at these great photos of this classic old Brompton. Many thanks Andy for providing the first page of ‘Reader’s Bikes’, it’s very much appreciated.
Please leave any comments you have about this fantastic bike below.