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Classic Lightweights UK
Reminiscences  
 

Peter Lowry - Cycling in Malaya

Author Peter Underwood


Peter Lowry was another of the cyclists from the 50's who had the good fortune (or so it seems in retrospect) to be posted abroad and yet still be able to do some competitive cycling. Peter was posted to Kuala Lumpur where he flew mahogany bombers.  'Flying Mahogany Bombers' is RAF slang - usually for Air Ministry personnel working at the War Office whose contribution to the War Effort was to sit behind a desk (mahogany) and 'win' the war! It was very, very loosely used for other clerical personnel thereafter, or alternatively, impolitely, 'shiny arses' because they sat on their bottoms all day making our trousers very shiny!!!
 
When he arrived in 1957 he was lucky to bump into someone who had just been 'repatriated' back to dear old Blighty and who owned a Henry Burton which he couldn't take back, so Peter parted with $100 (Malay) or approximately £12 and became its proud owner.  Below is an image of Peter, looking like a professional model with 'Topshop for Men', and the said Burton:

Peter Lowry - Malaya PL20794
Henry Burton frame with Campag Gran Sport front and rear mech - the first Peter had ever seen in the flesh - Campag small-flange quick-release hubs with Fiamme sprints and Dunlop tubs, Mafac brakes, GB bars and stem, Brooks B.17 Swallow saddle, Gnutti cotterless chainset with Chater-Lea pedals.

Later on, Peter progressed to a Frejus, seen here below in a 40 mile time trial from Kuala Lumpur to Seremban.  This was purchased from the same dealer in Singapore who supplied my Frejus (Readers' Bikes) which has the Singapore headbadge.

Peter Lowry - Malay PL20800

Below is Peter at 10-mile time-trial on his brand spanking new, Hetchins Experto Crede road/path, Airlite small-flange hubs on Constrictor Asp rims and Constrictor tyres, Chater-Lea chainset and pedals, GB brake, stem and South of France bars, Brooks B.17 Swallow - date April, 1956. This was taken in the UK before Peter went to Malaya with the RAF.
Peter Lowry Malaya PL20806

Peter has made many useful contributions to the site with his technical knowledge of the sort of components we can only dream about. He has also helped with some of the better images found around the pages.