The Penny Farthing (May Morey)
"My father started a bicycle business, he manufactured bicycles. Long before as a young man, living in Rusper with his parents, he made himself a penny farthing bicycle which he rode all the time, and took part in bicycle races in the Surrey Hills. He brought it to Henfield, and when he stared his business in the High Street he put that bicycle above the fascia board of the shop, and it stayed there from 1900 to 1936 when he retired. By then the bicycle business was also a garage: my father had the first petrol pumps, and the first car in the village. He also had the second telephone – Barclays Bank was number 1 and my father had number 2.
When he took the penny farthing down from the front of the shop, he wheeled it over to Ivy House where we lived. We had a large barn in the garden and he put pegs in the wall and hung the bicycle there. It stayed there until the Village Hall was built and Miss Lucie Bishop started the Museum. My mother had promised the penny farthing to Lucie Bishop who was a great friend of hers.
Dr John Squire thought he would be able to ride it over to the Hall, but it was almost impossible to ride: my father was a short man, about 5ft 4”, and he rode it beautifully, but my husband was considerably taller and considerably fatter and never could get on it - it was an extraordinary thing to get on. We wheeled it across the road and here wasn’t a squeak or groan from it you’d have thought it had been oiled the day before!"
And it has been in the Museum ever since...