Sunday, 25 February 2007

Bicycle use in New Zealand between 1940 - 1950s


Up until World war two was finished most of the bicycles being imported from the United Kingdom to New Zealand were of the CKD type ( what is CKD ? - completely knocked down ) that means that most New Zealand bicycle import companies imported CKD bicycles which were then built up by the stores who ordered them and often the store would then place their shop transfer upon the bicycle, among the bicycles that were imported BSA, Raleigh , Humber and Rudge were the most popular brands at the time. Many ex serviceman used to assemble CKD bicycles in the evenings to make extra money and due to petrol shortages and rationing, bicycles were in high demand as the main means of transport for most New Zealanders. Over the world war two period shipping lanes were disrupted and because of that, not many new bicycles arrived on New Zealand shores so people had to make do with what they had often scrounging parts from old bicycles no longer in use . One of the hardest things to obtain for your bicycle around the war was a new pair of tyres and the Govt put in place a law stating that you had to have permission to buy a new set of tyres but that was only for people who needed their bicycles to get to work or school so a letter had to be obtained from your employer or teacher stating that you needed the tyres as the bicycle was your main means of transport and then the staff at the bicycle shop had to inspect the tyres to see if they needed replacing. Only then could you obtain new tyres for your bicycle, but not long after the war ended a factory was set up in Christchurch making Dunlop tyres so then it was possible to purchase tyres when needed. My father informed me recently that most of the bicycles being imported to NZ before 1947 or so had the handle bars & rims etc painted with black enamel instead of chrome but around 1947 bicycles started arriving in NZ with chromed parts such as handlebars, crank sets, rims etc these bicycles would have cost quite a lot to the average New Zealander as my fathers bicycle cost him 27 pounds in 1947. Pictured in this post is a scan of the bicycle my father ordered from the Humber catalouge of 1947

1 comment:

Peter said...

Can you or your father tell me when the park lock for the mens 28" frame was introduced to double bladed fork models?