Classic Lightweights UK
Viking Severn Valley - c1962
Author: Alexander von Tutschek
Profile of a fine cycle No 3
Machine: Circa 1962 Viking Severn Valley Frame no 178186
Owned by: Alexander von Tutschek
How it was acquired: Bought at the Preston cycle jumble in 2005
The Features that make it special:
This machine is a “time warp” machine. All the original green paintwork is in quite remarkably good original finish. I suggest that this is probably the finest surviving original Viking Severn Valley from this era. It was sold new by Henry Gregson of 213 Blackburn Road, Accrington Lancashire & has his dealers label on it, always a pleasing touch
Although the frame is made of Reynolds 531 double butted tubing and has Campag dropouts it has obviously been rigged out with the then new delrin Simplex Prestige gears since new. Machine like this were the best money could buy in the early 1960’s, it is exactly the sort of machine that doting parents would have bought their son when he passed his 11 plus exams….if he was really lucky. Note, the only cycle this writer ever had new was a very similar green & white Carlton Flyer in 1962.
The equipment on this machine is quite ordinary for the period, only the brake mechanisms are unusual, they are Milremo centre-pulls imported and made under the Milremo marketing name for Ron Kitchen in Harrogate. These are quite rare now, I don’t know of another pair in this condition. The saddle is a brooks B17 Competition Standard , the top-of -the-range saddle before the Professional was introduced.
Anything else? Many lightweight cycle collectors seek to collect unusual frames or makes that take there fancy. My own collecting taste is very much towards machines that are the rare survivors, the ones that turn up like this one.
For more information on the Viking Cycle Company visit http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/Museum/Transport/bicycles/Viking.htm
© 2006 Classic Lightweights