DFA Staff Pick: Old Bicycles (1964)

DFA Staff Pick: Old Bicycles (1964)

Date: 04/08/2023 09:00

The history of bicycles was littered with many dead ends and wrong turns before the early inventors of two wheeled transport settled on the form we are familiar with today.

Back in 1964, UTV's roving reporter Charlie Witherspoon, set out into the townlands of Co Antrim to track down some of the more bizarre examples from the bicycle evolutionary tree. There, he found the Meharg brothers, who collected these strange devices at their home in Ballyboley near Ballynure.

Starting the report perched upon a penny farthing, Charlie soon progresses to a highly unusual tandem where the co-riders sit precariously side by side rather than behind each other. He then looks in danger of his life as he fights to control a machine which features a rather awkward looking steering wheel instead of handlebars.

The much-loved Witherspoon was a veteran of the more off-beat UTV reports from around the Northern Irish countryside, always game for a bit of fun. The always impressively attired reporter, with his famously luxuriant hair, cuts a contrasting figure in this piece donning goggles and strugging with the dangerous-looking museum pieces.