Southend Standard – 10th June 1966
A trick bicycle last seen at Canvey Carnival 30 years ago will be used again in this year’s procession. It will probably be ridden by a young man from the 10th Southend Company of the Boy’s Brigade, who lives on the Island.
The bicycle is only 18 in high, with a Dutch clog fixed alongside the front wheel, giving it the name “The Dutch Clog Bike”.
Behind the idea is Canvey baker Mr Aubrey Stevens, a member of Benfleet Historical Society, who run Canvey’s Dutch Cottage Museum. He plans to exhibit the bicycle in the Museum.
Mr Stevens bought six trick cycles from 76 years old Mrs Rose Cranston of Chamberlain Avenue, Canvey. Mrs Cranston and her first husband, Mr Frank Keegan, were a music hall team who toured the country and France, Holland and South Africa during the 1920’s and 30’s.
Mr Keegan used to ride his trick bicycles in Canvey Carnival, and when he retired, left the bicycles in the attic of his home.
Preparations for the Carnival are going well. Response to the Carnival Queen and Princess competitions is most encouraging, reports Mr Rodney Vinall, Warden of Canvey Youth Centre, who is arranging the Carnival social activities.
Twenty-four girls will line-up at Canvey Secondary School on Saturday, June 18th, to contest the right to wear the Carnival crown held at present by Miss Lynn Smerdon, of Beverley Avenue, Canvey. And the Princess competition has attracted 16 entries in its first year.
All entries will be briefed by Mrs Vinall and will take part in two rehearsals.
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This isn’t the same Lynn Smerdon who lived in Beverley in the 50s and 60s, whose Dad alerted us of the floods in 1953. Wonder if she remembers me from the bungalow on the corner of Craven and Beverley?? Be great to hear from her if it is!! Thank you!
Sorry, just realised the age of Lynn. But is she related to Valerie??
I was at Fryerns School Basildon with Lynn Smerdon in the 60’s and believe, through info from Friends Reunited, that she is now Lynn Collard, living in North Essex. I have alerted her of this posting on the Archive, through FR, but do not know when, if ever, she’ll get my message.
Thank you for that Tony. I’ll let you know if she makes contact at any stage. Thank you.
Have been searching the family’s collective memory about these bikes but we can’t remember more than three of them. My brother Chris immediately remembered the ‘clog bike’ and another that had ‘square wheels’ (well’ odd shaped’ certainly not round) but the one we all recall most clearly was the ‘uni-cycle’ which must have remained in my Dad’s garage at No 1 Gafzelle well into the 70s. My youngest brother Trevor became quite proficient at riding the thing and even I managed to stay on it on a couple of attempts. Nobody can remember if the ‘clog bike’ was ridden by the Boys Brigade boy in the Carnival.
I remember seeing a bike like this in the last carnival I saw before I left for New Zealand in 1961, my dad took a photo, will have it somewhere I’m sure. Brought back a lot of memories, I used to travel sometimes on the train to Southend Technical College with Valerie Smerdon and a load of others, was mates with Ian Marsden, I was known for catching the last bus and having to run like mad from the bridge where the bus then stopped to catch the train.. over the level crossing and up the steps, and getting dragged on board often when the train was leaving, often got yelled at by the porter.Does anyone have contact with Valerie or Ian out there, it would be nice to say hello from NZ.
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