Posts Tagged ‘bicycle’

I want to ride my bicycle

August 18, 2013

So sang Freddy Mercury and the rest of the band, Queen.

So also said Sybil Perry, former resident of Market Lavington – well she said something akin to it.

Sybil was actually born in Hertfordshire, but her ancestors were Market Lavington people – none other than the famous Smith family who had been dew pond diggers for centuries. Sybil came to live in Market Lavington at the age of four in 1924. At first the family lived with her grandparents Smith on White Street in Market Lavington.

Sybil attended Market Lavington School and, at the Museum Miscellany on 14th September in the Community Hall (7.30 pm with tickets at a fiver each available from the village Post Office) we hope to present some of Sybil’s memories of being a school pupil.

Her mother, Mrs Baker, was actually a teacher at the school.

Sybil left Market Lavington School at age 11 for she passed the scholarship and went to Devizes Grammar School.

In 1948 Sybil married Desmond Perry. She became the Mrs Perry that many people remember her as.

After a spell away, Sybil returned to Market Lavington School as a teacher.

She and Des moved away from the village in 1994 to be nearer family but Sybil maintained a close contact, hand writing memories and recording some on tape.

Sybil died in 2010.

But what about the bicycle? That comes from Sybil’s memories.

Sybil Baker, later Mrs Perry, rides her bicycle in about 1928.

Sybil Baker, later Mrs Perry, rides her bicycle in about 1928.

What a charming photograph.

A Bicycle Advert

January 12, 2013

The bike has been around for a very long time. Even the so called Safety Cycle, forerunner of today’s technological two-wheeled wonders, has been around for 130 or more years. They represented a form of transport with minimal running costs yet capable of going much faster than people could walk. They were an ideal machine.

The Merritt family of Market Lavington were fairly quickly into bike sales. Today we feature an advert they placed in about 1915

Merritt's of Market Lavington advertise Humbers - The King of Cycles

Merritt’s of Market Lavington advertise Humbers – The King of Cycles

It’s of interest that they show a lady’s bike but then in 1915 many men were struggling in the mud of France and Belgium. At this time Merritt’s were agents for Humbers, described as The King of Cycles.

Humber was one of the biggest manufacturers of bicycles in around 1915. They were eventually bought out by Raleigh.

Merritt’s of course continued as Raleigh agents from their Church Street premises but no doubt the motor side of the business got more important as people turned to powered transport.