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Monday 17 September 2012

Raleigh RSW 16 Bicycle

 Well do I not look the bees knees! Like the Mini-Moke I am contemporary to the series of 'the Prisoner,' and was mass produced between 1965 and 1968. But then some bright spark had the idea of adding a canopy to my frame. Fair enough the canopy doesn't afford that much protection from the elements, but at least I am still ridable in my up-graded state, unlike that Penny Farthing with it's canopy which makes the thing completely un-ridable, and therefore was turned into a symbolic symbolisation of both progress and health and safety! And I don't need a pair of stabilising wheels to help me remain upright on my own. I have a specially fitted metal stand to help me do that. Oh yes, the canopied Penny Farthing might be important as the emblem or logo of the Village, but can it get you from A to B, or carry cargo? I have chunky 2 inch tyers with a diameter of 16 inches. Lights front and back. A rack has been fitted to my frame over the rear wheel, upon which a case or basket can be strapped. But mostly I'm fitted with a large check carrier, in either colour of flame red, or green, which makes me completely functional. What's more I'm an all terrain bicycle, good on the beach as I am being cycled around the streets and paths of the Village. Raleigh's literature at the time decribed me as being "The most modern way to get about town."
   So there I was, and I was by no means the only RWS 16 bicycle to have undergone such an upgrade, then packed up in a van and taken to the seaside town of Portmeirion. I appear in many of the episodes of 'the Prisoner' series, mostly in the backgound, but on occasion in the foreground.
   Today fans of 'the Prisoner' like me so much, that some have constructed retro models of me, and take me to Prisoner Conventions, and ride me about the Village. I don't see anyone doing that to a Penny Farthing bicycle, do you?
   Now if you don't mind, I think I'll just pedal off, be seeing youuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu

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