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Another new member interested in WW2


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Hi All,

My name is Chris. Born 20 years after the war, I have had a long time interest in WW2, particularly the British Home Front and anything relating to aviation of that period.

I have written a number of books and magazine articles on the subject of wartime bomb disposal and have a collection of BD related memorabilia/relics.

Though I’ve always been into old cars, I don’t actually own a military vehicle at present. (I have a 1950 Mercury Coupe, and an early style hot rod Model A Ford). There is an itch, however, for owning a small wartime vehicle such as a jeep or Austin Tilly. Closest I’ve got currently is this! (Photographed at Kenley aerodrome):-



This ‘reproduction’ bike came about because of the recent introduction of the extended Ultra Low Emissions Zone in London, meaning I can no longer commute all the way in to work in my modern (but not modern enough!) hatchback. I now carry the bicycle in the back of the car and cycle the last few miles. I have tried to recreate this 1940’s style RAF BD bicycle to do the job.

I know the RAF blue colour went out around the Battle of Britain, though bicycles might not have been considered for repainting anyway, (if indeed they were blue to start with), and it’s unlikely they would have bothered to paint red wings on a cycle or the other markings. But as bicycles were regularly borrowed on air bases without permission, they might have done the red wing thing to show it belonged to their unit. I’ve marked it up as belonging to a unit that operated in the Kent/Surrey area.

I needed a box on the front to carry my work’s laptop and my lunch, so using a utilitarian ‘make do and mend’ approach, I’ve fitted a period correct light-weight aluminium container (actually a bread bin!) I know there are other inaccuracies, like 26” wheels and small frame, but at the end of the day it has to fit in the back of a hatchback as a ‘practical’(?) daily commuting bike.

Anyway, enough of the fake, (though I prefer the word ‘tribute’), bicycle.

I will post some proper wartime bomb disposal vehicle photos shortly.




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