Sturmey Archer doesn't lie...

Well, would you believe it. After pinning my reputation (What reputation? -Ed) on a guesstimate of 1939/40 for the F. C. Parkes in the previous post, it transpires I was out by eight years. The bike is post-war rather than pre-war.

It seemed like a good idea to clean decades of accumulated gunk off the rear hub as a way of getting some sort of confirmation of the bike's birth year from the Sturmey hub and, as the paintbrush and WD40 got to work, the date code said it all: "47 11" - November, 1947. At least, it is an AW hub so I got that bit right.

There should be a code on the front hub as well but it started raining and "sleeting" as I worked on the bike outside so I returned it to the sanctuary of my shed to spare it another drenching since it's had about ten in the last twelve days sitting against a fence.

The steering was quite stiff but a quick squirt of WD40 loosened it off nicely. The back brake, which had been seized solid, was also freed up courtesy of the spray. It wouldn't take much to get the bike roadworthy - or at least capable of a short run along a bike path. Normally, I like to get stuck in with bike projects and begin stripping the frame for a good clean-up but I think I'll get the Parkes running instead and take it for a spin.

More cleaning to come - weather permitting. Are there are more surprises lurking beneath the grime? Better not be!