Classic Lightweights UK
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Viking  Severn Valley - c1962

Author: Alexander von Tutschek

Viking Severn Valley 1

Profile of a fine cycle No 3

: Circa 1962 Viking Severn Valley Frame no 178186

Owned by
: Alexander von Tutschek

How it was acquired
: Bought at the Preston cycle jumble in 2005

Viking Severn Valley 8The Features that make it special:

This machine is a “time warp” machine. All the original green paintwork is in quite remarkably good original finish. I suggest that this is probably the finest surviving original Viking Severn Valley from this era. It was sold new by Henry Gregson of 213 Blackburn Road, Accrington Lancashire & has his dealers label on it, always a pleasing touch
Although the frame is made of Reynolds 531 double butted tubing and has Campag dropouts it has obviously been rigged out with the then new delrin Simplex Prestige gears since new. Machine like this were the best money could buy in the early 1960’s, it is exactly the sort of machine that doting parents would have bought their son when he passed his 11 plus exams….if he was really lucky. Note, the only cycle this writer ever had new was a very similar green & white Carlton Flyer in 1962.
The equipment on this machine is quite ordinary for the period, only the brake mechanisms are unusual, they are Milremo centre-pulls imported and made under the Milremo marketing name for Ron Kitchen in Harrogate. These are quite rare now, I don’t know of another pair in this condition. The saddle is a brooks B17 Competition Standard , the top-of -the-range saddle before the Professional was introduced.

Anything else?
Many lightweight cycle collectors seek to collect unusual frames or makes that take there fancy.  My own collecting taste is very much towards machines that are the rare survivors, the ones that turn up like this one.

Viking Severn Valley 2
View of head showing later type Nervex Professional lugs and rare Mil Remo brakes
Viking Severn Valley 3
Side view of lugs and fork crown

Viking Severn Valley 4
Seat cluster plus bridge for rear brake cable

Viking Severn Valley 5
Close-up view of the front Mil Remo brake.  Also shows 'fishtail' of the later type Nervex Professional lug
Viking Severn Valley 6
Original 531 transfer blended with that of the original seller

Viking Severn Valley 7
Close-up of delrin Simplex Prestige gear and Campagnolo long rear-ends with long adjuster

For more information on the Viking Cycle Company visit http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/Museum/Transport/bicycles/Viking.htm