Bing! Bing! Where would we have been without the bicycle bell?

Another first for Brum – John Richard Dedicoat was originally Apprenticed to James Watt(of whom, more later). He went on to make the Pegasus brand of bicycles and crucially, invented the humble bicycle bell.

penny-farthing-foghorn
Before the bell. Road users were subjected to abuse and aggression. Thanks to Dedicoat, cycling became a civilised and polite pastime.

So, without Mr Dedicoat’s invention cycling may have ended in aggression, anger and antipathy towards the bicycle. Thank you James for creating the pleasant and endearing tring of the bell that encapsulates all that is beautiful about bicycling. Once again – built in Brum!

Built in Brum and good for your bum!

For all those cycling aficionados out there the name Brooks is synonymous with luxury saddles. The leatherware company was founded by John Boultbee Brooks in 1866 off New Street in Birmingham.

wooden-saddle
A wooden seat from an early bike. Note no padding or springs and solid wheels. A bumpy ride guaranteed!

Originally leatherware manufacturers for the equestrian trade, John Brooks developed his trademark leather, sprung saddle after borrowing his friend’s bicycle and having a sore time on its wooden saddle. Ouch!

brooks-sm
Much better. Nice one John.

Since then thousands upon thousands of posteriors have been pampered by Brooks saddles, now based in Smethwick and of course – built in Brum!