Posted: Wednesday 12th August 2020
Way back in the dim and distant nineteen-fifties Brighty’s Cafè in the Essex village of Abridge was a regular stopping place for our club. I can still remember the loud cheer rendered by my clubmates when scraping noises from the kitchen indicated that our eagerly awaited toast had been burnt and was just the undergoing restoration!
Bert Brighty was something of a character in Eastern cycling circles, but was from an earlier generation. I never saw him but can still recall the cartoon of him on his Sunbeam which adorned the cafè wall.
Come the sixties and my generation dispersed around the country and abroad and Brighty’s was temporarily forgotten.
Sometime around 1970 I received a phone call suggesting that I contact Mr Brighty junior who was disposing of his father’s effects which included a ‘funny’ bicycle. Thus did I become the owner of the late Bert Brighty’s Caminargent. I kept it for twenty years or more, never rode it, but from time to time lent it to riders with less weight and shorter legs than me so as to give it some use in suitable events. Sometime during the nineties in the midst of a ten year spell of unemployment I sold it along with other machines which were too small for me to ride.
I am told that subsequently the machine has been altered, but the pictures here show Bert’s Caminargent exactly as Bert left it. Every item of equipment was aluminium, unsullied even by plastic handlebar tape. How Bert must have longed for an alloy chain. Note Constrictor original open-sided tyres in the close-ups.
The machines were imported by Hicking of Station Approach, Hayes, Kent