iPlayer Radio What's New?
On Now : Inside Health
Antibiotics, Winter Flu, NHS Continuing Healthcare, Snoring
Image for Macmillan's Marvellous Motion Machine

Sorry, this episode is not currently available on BBC iPlayer Radio

Macmillan's Marvellous Motion Machine

45 minutes
First broadcast:
Thursday 19 May 2011

Written by Jules Horne.

Young Scots country blacksmith Kirkpatrick Macmillan is a man of ideas, like the velocipede - a clanking, pedalled contraption that's the ancestor of the modern bike.

The cranky, smoky voice of the velocipede is our narrator, and Kirkpatrick's constant companion. Kirkpatrick has been working on the velocipede for the past two years. Dreaming of fame, he's oblivious to girls' attentions, smitten instead with his velocipede, he's going to ride the 70 miles from Dumfries to Glasgow.

It's the summer of 1840, and a long way to go cross-country without brakes. But he'll get there quicker than the stagecoach. They'll see. First, he meets Gavin Dalziel, an engineer. Dalziel takes a mighty interest in the velocipede, measures it up and rushes to his workshop, but Pate is too naive to notice. Pate and the velocipede clank to the top of the final hill and then: Glasgow! In the city, he grazes a small girl and is hauled up in court for dangerous driving.

The velocipede is seen as a treacherous contraption, and he's found guilty and fined for dangerous driving. He's mortified and finally crushed. When he and the velocipede eventually arrive home, the shameful news has got there before him. Fury drives him out in search of a wife. He strides into the kitchens at Drumlanrig Castle and asks the maids who wants the job. And there's one who laughs and takes him up on it. Gavin Dalziel becomes rich and famous as the inventor of the pedal bicycle. The bicycle is delighted. Kirkpatrick stops inventing and has a grand life.

Kirkpatrick MacMillan ..... Scott Hoatson
Machine ..... John Kazek
Catherine ..... Gabriel Quigley
Duke ..... Gavin Mitchell
Duchess ..... Isabella Jarrett
Wee Toddy ..... Leo MacNeill

Director: Rosie Kellaghe.



  1. Image for Drama of the Week

    Drama of the Week

    Every Friday we bring you a new drama from Radio 4 or Radio 3. Exercise your imagination with some…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss