Back to the Future

Camille McMillan reveals the inspiration for the Demi-Porkeur

1 Jul 2015  |  Posted by GUEST  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Correspondence, Curiosities, Friends, Monthly highlights

In 1957 Roland Barthes published  ’Mythologies’ , a collection of essays .. the best known is “The New Citroën” the ”Goddess”.

The Citroën DS 19 replaced the Citroën Traction Avant, the Citroën Traction Avant was old fashioned… pre World War 2 tech and styling.  The DS according to Barthes was perfection.

The DS was perfection of Modernism, the high watermark of French design and ethos. World War 2 was in the history books along with the old aesthetics of the La Belle Époque ”Beautiful Era” and Art Nouvos.  The Citroën DS was the future manifest in an object.

French style, aesthetics engineering was at its height… for me it was a high point for French’e'ness, French bicycles and bicycles in general.

More

Temporary Header

Rowan Frameworks Interview

The Bespoked Best Newcomer tell us how he learnt his trade

15 May 2015  |  Posted by jim holland  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Correspondence, Events, Friends, Monthly highlights

Another newcomer that caught our eye (and many others!) at this years Bespoked was Timmy Rowan of Rowan Frameworks. Astonishingly he picked up both best Best Newcomer & Best in Show, which was fairly unprecedented! A staunch Brooks supporter…His bikes are a stark contrast from the recent trend of monster tubed speed machines and have a wealth of small touches and unusual uses of mixed materials. Who knows what’s in store for Rowan Frameworks…but they are certainly off to a good start! We swapped a few questions and answers to learn a bit more about the finer points…

More

Temporary Header

Hartley Cycles in Her Own Words

Juliet Chats To Award Winning Female Frame Builder Caren Hartley

30 Apr 2015  |  Posted by Juliet Elliott  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Stories

In my previous post for the Brooks blog, I chatted to photographer Camille Macmillan and new frame builder Caren Hartley about the intriguing sounding steel machine the latter was hand-crafting for the former, something the pair had nicknamed the ‘Demi-Porkeur.’

More

Temporary Header

Big Guv’nor, Little Guv’nor?

Testing the Pashley Guv'nor Twenty-Six on the Tweed run.

24 Apr 2015  |  Posted by Tim Gunn  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Events, Friends, Heritage, Style & Fashion, Urban Cycling

Little Guv’nor – Big Guv’nor

While I ride along the serpentine in Hyde Park, the mood is mellowed to the sound of 70’s disco. ‘Ring my bell’ by Anita Ward, plays from a makeshift stereo; crudely strapped to the back of a bicycle in front of me. I glance back, and I’m confronted by a sea of tweed; with faces beaming in the glorious spring sunshine. My stead for the tweed run this year was equally mellow; it was the latest offering from Pashley Cycles in Stratford-upon-Avon.

More

Temporary Header

Bespoked 2015 Gallery

A small selection of what we enjoyed at the show

23 Apr 2015  |  Posted by jim holland  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Events, Monthly highlights

The dust is now slowly starting to settle on Bespoked 2015 and it was great to see the event return to it’s spiritual home of Bristol and the show spread out into two venues, Brunel’s Old Station and Contemporary Art centre Arnolfini. Brunel’s was devoted to bikes and Arnolfini to extra-curricular items like Clothing, Bike Luggage, Art Prints and Publications.

More

Temporary Header

The Tweed Run 2015 Gallery

Our favourite pictures from a day of tweed and picnics

20 Apr 2015  |  Posted by Oliver  |  Categories: Art & Design, Correspondence, Curiosities, Events, Friends, Monthly highlights, Style & Fashion, Urban Cycling

This Saturday saw the Tweed Run take place around London.  As with years gone by, we were again a sponsor of this marvellous celebration of cycling.  Here we share our favourite pictures from the day.  Enjoy!

More

Temporary Header

Bespoked The Interview

We catch up with Bespoked founder Phil Taylor

16 Apr 2015  |  Posted by jim holland  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Correspondence, Events, Friends, Monthly highlights

With Bespoked returning to its spiritual home in Bristol this weekend, we took the opportunity to ask founder Phil a few questions about what inspired the event, and the changes he has seen in handmade bicycles over the last few years. 

More

Temporary Header

Camille McMillan & Hartley Cycles Present The Demi-Porkeur

Juliet lifts the lid on a very special bespoke machine

2 Apr 2015  |  Posted by Juliet Elliott  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Events, Friends, Stories

I first met photographer Camille McMillan at Eroica Britannia last year, where he cut a dashing figure swaggering around in a silk scarf shooting images and taking rides on a motorbike under the Brooks England banner. I was immediately curious about him; he appeared to play by his own set of rules with no pussy-footing about. Certainly as a man, he’s intriguing and enigmatic but believe it or not, I was unaware of his serious pedigree as a photographer and cyclist.

More

Temporary Header

Riding through the lens

Jack Thurston compiles some top tips for photography on the move

19 Mar 2015  |  Posted by Jack Thurston  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Correspondence, Friends, Monthly highlights, Travel & Adventure Cycling

“Photography as a fad is well-nigh on its last legs, thanks principally to the bicycle craze.”

So wrote the great Alfred Stieglitz, one of the pioneers of photography, back in 1893. He was wrong of course. Both these novel technologies of the late nineteenth century are still very much with us. And more than that, they seem to go hand in hand.

Throughout that decade cyclists were earlier adopters of Kodak’s new ‘hand camera’. Kodak boss George Eastman himself rode a bike to work and made long sight-seeing cycle tours of Europe. He knew that the last thing cyclists wanted to carry was a hefty tripod and a saddle bag full of heavy glass plates. His company sponsored round-the-world cyclists Thomas Allen and William Sachtleben, who sent back more than 1,200 circular images on 3.5-inch nitrate negatives, a selection of which are currently on display at an exhibition in the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles.

Photographs by Thomas Allen and William Sachtleben

More

Temporary Header

Sven Cycles of Weymouth. A Breath of Fresh Air

Touring in your fathers footsteps with a modern twist

12 Feb 2015  |  Posted by Tim Gunn  |  Categories: Art & Design, Bicycles, Heritage, Monthly highlights, Saddles, Bags, Etc., Style & Fashion, Travel & Adventure Cycling

Every once in a while the cycle industry re-invents itself to follow fashions which come and go. Meanwhile, the ancient spirits of quality and style sit on the fence and watch, lending a helping hand to those who allow them through their doors. The recent resurgence in the hand-built British bicycle is a fashion that was once an epidemic. Almost every town had a cycle shop, with an often rudimentary building attached where a skilled craftsman would be building frames for local cyclists.  

More

Temporary Header