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To TA East Members & Friends
From Fergus Muir


The reason for hastening out this TA East News is to say that Cycling Weekly for Thursday 19th Nov includes an eleven-page tribute to Helms (as he always signed himself)

Wednesday (25th) will be the last day it is in the newsagents.


I had heard about John and it so sad. To use a much bandied about phrase, “It is the end of an era”. For most us his cartoons had always been in CW. He mentioned once that the 50th anniversary was approaching and so I wrote a not too sarcastic letter asking them if they realised it and would they be doing anything about it. No reply to me, but they did do an anniversary spread. I had a smug feeling that I had got them to do something. He and Ruth regularly attended the York Rally and one year he commented that their digs had gone downhill and would there be room at ours. So after that they were booked in with our lot and one of the highlights of the week end was the long and interesting conversations each evenings in a bedroom. He was well read and had a considered opinion upon everything.

When he travelled around the country giving after dinner speeches, he often stay here overnight and as no payment was accepted, he would do us a cartoon in thanks. He never bothered to learn to drive and until a few years ago used his bike for all his travels. He never rode a trike though. He was also a great letter writer. No computerised stuff for him. In fact only the other day whilst having a trundle, I was mentally composing my next letter to him. He loved to hear about where we had been riding and would trace the routes on a map. He did consider trike riders as being a different type and admired our enthusiasm and unwitting difference which we do not seem to notice.


Sad to hear of Johnny : I still think the funniest trike cartoon is where the 3 tracks in the snow come down the hill and one track passes the other side of the road sign pole ‘Dangerous Hill’ !

He also did a custom cartoon for me at work, for our flat-roofing drainage division. A tandem is pulling up at the Pyramids and the riders are saying to each other ‘if everything else is built like this, we aren’t going to sell much here’.

Part of our lives – mind you, he was so prolific that they could be repeated for years.



As a result of the landlord taking a lot of table bookings we spent a long time in the smoking shelter. There were 10 of us and conversation was cheerful, but it was rather cold. I’m sorry that this came about, and grateful for everyone’s stoicism and sympathy. It looks as if we will move away from Sundays for most informal social meets in future. Good pubs are just getting too busy.

Actually, after 2pm we moved inside and ate, talked and drank until nearly 4pm, just like old times.



Chris Hutchinson, a former TA London East member, who is getting a Higgins trike ready for action has asked me about a number of points. Can anyone help? I will pass on replies

“Previously I used a pair of cantilevers and an early GB double pivot side pull. Do you know where I can source Mafac cantilevers and their springs, and a suitable side pull? I think Weinman made a similar brake to the GB, but there may be other suitable brakes that can be attached to the extension with a set screw?

I could use the Mafac centre pull on the extension – I have made it fit, but don’t know how folk arrange a hanger for the brake cable. I have seen the single centre pull hangers, but not one that can support a pair of cables. I have seen stems drilled for the leading brake but would like to avoid it if I can so that bars can be swapped or removed easily – any ideas?

Lastly can I ask what the rules are relating to wheel diameters. Can a 650 front wheel be used? If its allowed I can see it would be a good way to drop the height of tri-bars for time trialling, with little effect on head angle.”

On this last point I thought that the TA had a relevant “Definition of a tricycle” and that CTT had banned small front wheels – but I have quite failed to find chapter and verse for either point.


Christine Cannon’s Longstaff has been sold – to our own Alan Nye.

I have seen Alan Waller’s conversion set – the one with the RRA history, and have photos which I can email on request.

Additional information – the wheels are modern 700s.

Con-set is 27.5” overall width. 23.5” centre to centre of the tyres.

It is currently attached to a 22.5 “ Raleigh Rhapsody mixte frame


I have had a phone call from Joyce Nevill, wife of Herbie Nevill, member of the Tricycle Association for well over 50 yrs. I believe.

( I do not have Herbie’s age to hand, but it is around 94. He appears on a 1938 start sheet in my collection)

Following his broken hip 11 weeks ago, Herbie is now ( ie on 13th Nov ) in Felixstowe Community Hospital. It is hoped that he can be found a bed at Monmouth Court (Ipswich?) Joyce feels he is not likely to be able to return home to Belle Vue Rd. “Has his good days and his bad days” she says.

Joyce is at 01473 431199.

Best wishes to you all

Ferg Muir 01603 615000

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