Tag Archives: velocipede


Now, I know you’re all worried about the Tube strike tomorrow. No doubt you’ve come here looking for reassurance, perhaps even leadership. Don’t worry, my droogs, there is a Problem and I have a Solution. Check this out.

Let’s say you need to get around the Tube, it’s late at night, the power’s switched off, what do you do? Well, these bicycle things (I suppose technically it’s a quad) were the solution London Transport used in the 1940s. Probably a pretty nifty way to get about – the rails, I would imagine, are easier to ride on than a road.

Truth be told, I’ve always rather fancied one of those pump trolleys. You know the things, a couple of handles like a seesaw, a pair of guys working it.

That’s the lad. Also known as a handcart or a gandy dancer. I had a go on one of these years ago in Bideford. I think it would be just the thing for my morning exercises. Incidentally, I love the way people always look so guilty in early photographs. “What, us? No, we were just… looking at the handcart.”

Failing that, on the right – just in front of the pump trolley – is a vehicle known as a velocipede. You’d sit on the saddle and rock the handle back and forth to move the thing. I suppose it was a sort of early rowing machine.

Perhaps, though, you just use the Tube to commute above ground, in which case you can safely add an engine. Should this be the case, might I recommend one of these?

You’ll be the envy of all your friends! It is, I should point out, petrol-powered. I don’t know how that works out with the congestion charge. Boris won’t return my calls.

Anyway, I hope this has given you lots of ideas for dealing with those striking  Commie bastards tomorrow, and I wish you a pleasant journey.

Further reading

http://london-underground.blogspot.com/2010/11/3rd-tube-strike-begins-this-evening.html – Annie Mole’s take on events.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/8042165/London-Underground-strike-the-webs-best-jokes.html – Strike jokes! Yaaaay!


Leave a comment

Filed under 19th century, 20th Century, Current events, History, London, London Underground, Photos, Politics, Transport