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24 September 2014

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Pedalling through history
Step back in time at the Cycling Museum

The British Cycling Museum in Camelford has more than 400 cycles and memorabilia.

The BBC Cornwall website turns the spotlight on this fascinating attraction.


The science of cycling
Find out more about the history of cycling in the UK

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites.


+ The British Cycling Museum is based in Camelford in north Cornwall.

+ More than 400 cycles are housed in a Victorian railway station.

Everything about the British cycling museum is historic.

More than 400 cycles are housed in a Victorian railway station in Camelford. The museum is owned by John and Sue Middleton who have been passionate about two, three and four wheel bikes for many years.

"We opened the museum on 17th April 1992," says John. "Everything on show is from our private collection. I am forever adding to it."

Not only are there enough bikes to make every person yearn for their childhood again, but more than 400 enamel advertising signs showing nostalgic slogans like "Mummy I want a Raleigh for my birthday."

"All my bikes have stories behind them," explains John. "People could spend all day looking at the exhibits and many do!"

A frane persil wheel bike
A frame persil wheel bike that set pulses racing at an auction.

One of the popular exhibits in the museum is an example of a frame persil wheel bike, not the most attractive item on show but one with a fascinating story.

"A similar example came up for auction recently," explains John. "It has a wooden seat, unreliable wheels and no brakes, yet it went for £90,000 in a London auction. It was unbelievable!"

John has his favourites, all are special but when asked to pick out one he walks towards the front of the museum.

One of John's favourites - the 1870 quadracycle.

"I love this gentleman's bike," he says pointing to a four wheeled bike. "This is a quadracycle from 1870. You can pedal both back and forwards. The only problem with this bike is that it is very heavy. It wouldn't be much use for cycling the hills of Cornwall."

New people are discovering the joys behind the old railway station doors in Camelford year on year. Many who came when it first opened a decade ago have returned annually since. We have produced a gallery of some of the many bikes on show at the museum.
Visit the gallery.

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