Click the photo two or three times to see it full size. (It’ll open in a different tab or page so you can return to this one easily).
This is a photo that I bought, I think, on Ebay… or was it Etsy? Oh well, one or the other. I saw it and thought: “YES!” Well, let’s face it, most of the vintage photos I see elicit that reaction… but this, I’m sure you’ll agree, is special. It’s so… vaudeville, isn’t it? The young father in his jaunty boater, and the little girl wearing her pretty dress and her hair in a ribbon and she’s… um… .scowling. Or looking very bored, at least. Doesn’t she remind you of Violet Elizabeth Bott? (In case you don’t know who I mean, Violet Elizabeth is a rich, spoilt little girl character in the ‘Just William‘ series of books for children written by Richmal Crompton from 1922 to the end of the 1960s. Violet Elizabeth’s famous line (with apologies to anyone with a lisp) is “I‘ll thcream and I’ll thcream until I’m thick!”)
And then there’s the bicycle. Ah yes, that bicycle. The one I struggled to identify with little success. Is it a sunbeam? If it’s a sunbeam, what variety of sunbeam is it? If it’s not a sunbeam, what the heck else is it? I hunted and hunted and came up with very little because I’m as much an expert on bicycles as I am on chickens.
Did you click on the photo? Are you good at recognising things? In particular I am trying to find out the make, model and date of the bicycle. Originally it was to help me choose colours for it and help me colour it accurately, but now – well, now I’m just curious. I not only know nothing about bicycles but as I can only name a few parts (seat, pedals, spokes, wheels) it’s difficult for me to track things down.
Mr H. thinks the image on the front upright… er… whotsit (see what I mean about my bicycle ignorance?) is a ‘head badge’ but I can’t find this specific one amongst Google’s strange idea of search results. He found a pedal type that is similar but it’s for a woman’s bicycle and this is a man’s bike.
I’m pretty sure the photo was taken in England, so we’re looking for an English (or at least, British) bicycle.
Any help on this would be appreciated.
Oh and in case you’re wondering more about Richmal Crompton and how she came to write the Just William series… this might help: