Last weekend I picked up 'Harriet' a fantastic 1930s 'New Hudson' bicycle. She was very kindly given to me by the lovely Jenni who knew I'd give her a good home!
I was over the moon with her! I've been after an original vintage bike as a project for a while and to have one land in my lap was an unexpected bit of good luck!
The great thing is that I'm only the third owner despite its age! Jenni bought the bike from its original owner, an elderly gentleman in Droitwich. He had bought the bikes in the 1930s, one for him and one for his wife when they were 'courting'. Jenni bought the bike and named her Harriet and took her to Oxford University with her. She still has her name and 'New College' painted on the frame.
What excited me further is that there is still white paint on the back mudguard, painted for the black out! It has a modern reflector on there now too, but I plan to try and restore her with a few older bits in keeping with the age of the bike.
As you can see she's a bit of a rusty beast at the mo, but it's all surface and the rest is totally sound. I've already had a bash at some rust removal on the handlebars and it's coming up a treat! The tyres are perished but everything else is in virtually working order, bar a clean up, so it won't take long to get her road worthy. I love the handle bars, rod brakes and a bit of deco chrome detailing on the front mud guard, very nice!
The other nice thing is that it's a New Hudson bike, which were made in Birmingham, like myself! So it's nice to own a bit of hometown history. Here's a picture from Google, of an original New Hudson catalogue and a bike like Harriet, quite possibly the same model.
I can't wait to get it back to a useable state and take her for her inaugural ride. I'm not going to repaint and completely de-rust, I think it's nice that she will still look her age and have her original features like the black out paint. I just plan a spruce up and to replace anything important like the chain, brake pads etc. I've got as far as taking the front tyre off and cleaning about a quarter of the wheel but it's slow going!
Hopefully I'll have her ridable for the next Worcester Vintage Cycling Club ride which hopefully won't be too far off, so I better keep up the momentum and get Harriet back to her former glory asap!
Huge thanks to Jenni for thinking of me and kindly passing on Harriet, she will be treasured!