The new bike basket.

The new basket but old bike

I have an ancient Pashley Delibike, similar to the one Granville used in the Open All Hours, television comedy programme; someone once asked me what was I doing with Granville’s bike?

The bike is used primarily for my Sunday Paper rounds but also for litter picking excursions with Whittlesey Sreet Pride and occasional shopping trips.

The large wicker basket used for carrying my papers and other goods finally succumbed to the ravages of time and the base parted company with the sides. I managed a temporary repair by cutting a piece of plywood and fixing it to the frame below the basket’s base while I searched for a replacement.

It had seen better days

I tried local cycle shops, without success, Huntingdon’s Blind Shop used to sell baskets when I was a lad but they no longer do. Finally, I tried the internet. Initial searches found basket makers well out of my area and although the price for the basket was reasonable, when carriage costs were added, things started to mount up.

Eventually, I found a fairly local basket maker, Sue Kirk, based in Kings Cliffe, near to both Oundle and Stamford.

A really great improvement

After an exchange of emails with photographs and dimensions, we agreed on a price and time scale.

Kings Cliffe is a picturesque village of stone houses and in places narrow streets.

The Old Brewery Studios is on Wood Street and itself is an old stone building

of character.

I dropped the bike off in my van and left it to Sue to sort out. Two weeks later I was able to collect my bike with its new basket.

The quality is excellent and the price was very reasonable. However, the new basket puts the rest of the bike to shame, I will have to set to and bring the bike up to the same standard as the basket.

It is great to see traditional crafts still being carried on and to find such outstanding craftspeople, if you are in the market for a willow basket of any kind Sue’s studio is well worth a visit.

Sue Kirk – Willow Baskets (suekirkwillowbaskets.co.uk)

I wrote an earlier post about delivering papers and my bike.

https://fenlandphil.com/?s=Delivering+the+news

44 responses to this post.

  1. There’s room for both my dogs in there.

    Reply

  2. Posted by hilary on April 17, 2022 at 9:35 am

    She’s made a beautiful job of it!

    Reply

  3. Great basket work, I rode a similar bike for my paper rounds back in the 60’s, hard work to ride with a couple of rounds worth of papers in the front. I don’t remember having such a well made basket

    Reply

    • From memory, the basket I had on my trades bike when I was a teenager wasn’t in very good shape either, nor was the bike come to that.
      If you haven’t read the post “Delivering the news.” you might find that stirs a few memories too.

      Reply

      • I read the piece and Sunday papers were a heavy load although so were Thursdays from memory, I think most of the comics came out then as well as the Hunts Post

  4. Yes, Hunts Post day made for a full load.
    I can fit three Sunday rounds into the basket at once, although the Sunday papers are thicker the rounds are smaller than during the week, I have helped out occasionally on a weekday if there are a lot of people off sick.

    Reply

  5. Posted by Irene Henson on April 17, 2022 at 9:12 pm

    Nice work … looking forward to seeing the bike in all it’s glory, once it’s had a makeover x

    Reply

  6. Posted by Damyanti Biswas on April 18, 2022 at 9:46 am

    I’m getting these beautiful picnic feels from the bike and basket!

    Reply

  7. Beautiful basket 👍🏼

    Reply

  8. I love this story, Phil. I used to have a paper route shared with my brother. Fond and not-so-fond memories. 🙂

    Reply

  9. Thanks, Marsha
    I am now over seventy and I still have one, well three paper rounds actually, every Sunday.
    This post might interest you
    https://fenlandphil.com/2018/06/03/delivering-the-news/

    Reply

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  14. Thanks for this Marsha.

    Reply

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