Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Boy on a Bicycle

The boy on the bicycle in the picture above is my Dad, aged about fourteen. I've no idea whether he owned the bike or whether he was borrowing it. It's an unusual pose, with the brick wall as a backdrop. He looks as though he's going somewhere special, wearing smart casual clothes and with his hair Brylcreemed into waves. The advertising jingle for the product went:
This boy on a bicycle is courtesy of Flickr Commons

Bryl-creem, a little dab'll do ya,
Bryl-creem, you'll look so debonair.
Bryl-creem, the gals'll all pursue ya,
They'll love to run their fingers through your hair!

I think Mum must have overdone it over the last seventy years as she can only affectionately kiss his shiny pate these days. I can't tell the make of bicycle either, but at a guess it's a Raleigh which was manufactured in my home town of Nottingham.

I chose the title for the post as it's a track on one of my favourite albums by Terry Oldfield, and was used as a theme for a TV programme called, 'Great Railway Journeys' (1980)*

The picture below shows my great aunt outside her shop and has appeared before in my post about my family of shopkeepers, Open All Hours, where you can read more about the brothers on the right and the time-travelling youngster on the left.



The film director Ridley Scott's first film was called 'Boy and Bicycle', made in 1962 whilst he was a photography student at the Royal College of Art in London. Shot in black and white in 16mm on a budget of £65, It featured his younger brother Tony. The whole film can be viewed on You Tube. Both brothers went on to be hugely succesful film directors. Ridley used the 'boy on a bicycle' motif again in his iconic 1973 TV advert for Hovis bread. Apparently this is the nation's favourite ad of all time and an updated version was made in 2008.  American viewers may have difficulty with the West Country accent. The ad was filmed on Gold Hill, Shaftesbury, Dorset and the music, known as 'Going Home', is Dvorák's largo from his Symphony No.9 (The New World). 


Why not  hop on your bike and race on over to this week's Sepia Saturday to see what other enthusiasts have made of the prompt below.

*The album is called 'In Search of the Trojan War and Other TV Themes'

22 comments:

  1. Hello Marilyn:
    What absolutely splendid images and your informative text really does fall into the category of 'Home Thoughts from Abroad'. The music to the Hovis advertisement is simply wonderful.

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  2. There are some classic poses in these photos. I remember the grocery store photo well. I used to have a Raleigh bike. I loved it, but I had no idea where they were made.

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  3. I was fascinated by the Brylcreem. I am not even sure how one would manage to get one's hair into waves like that. I wonder if that fashion will ever come back - I think it looks rather nice!

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  4. You have the neatest photos, Nell! Your Dad is looking great, and the picture with our aunt and the little boys is one of those "a picture is worth a thousand words" kind of photo. Lovely post!

    Kathy M.

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  5. The Hovis ad is super nostalgic. I'd never guess Ridley Scott would produce something so sentimental but I guess a good director can work in many genres.
    As usual, an informative and entertaining post.

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  6. I wonder what the collective noun for bikes is? A spoke of bikes perhaps. Whatever it is this is a fine collection. Given the Nottingham collection and the home of Raleigh bikes, I thought this subject would be a good one for you.

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  7. Great post, even without Queen :-)
    On the picture showing your great aunt, I admire the casual pose of the boy to the left. Also the boy on the right and his bike are clearly a few years apart. He has to be supported by a woman but isn't that always the case with men?
    By the way, Raleigh was sponsoring Dutch Tour de France winner Joop Zoetemelk in 1980.

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  8. Oh Yes! I Remember that Hovis AD (I think,maybe ,another one was shot in Hebden Bridge?) Bikes are a great means of Time Travel ! I had a Raleigh Explorer as a child , maybe that's one too?

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  9. Brylcreem - now there's a blast from the past! The bikes in the store photo seem unusual to me, as if the frame had been stretched out of proportion to the size of the wheels. But I suppose that's just the style, not something I've ever seen before. The Hovis commercial makes me wish we had Hovis bread here.

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  10. I'm glad you warned for the West Country accent :-). I can see why people like the ad, it is difficult to imagine that the same director would release the SiFi horror movie Alien only 6 years later.

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  11. That little film really captured the freedom and joy of riding a bike at that age especially. Thanks for steering me to it.

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  12. Marilyn, great to have this picture from your dad, he looks so smart on the bike, happy. I do remember that pose with the hand on the wall, it was quite common when sitting on a bike!

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  13. I bet your dad was going to see a girl. What nostalgia that Bryleen creme jingle is and I loved the film.
    QMM

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  14. A perfect theme balance of family, photos, story and cultural history. The Hovis commercial was new to me and reminds me of stories my dad tells of riding his bicycle making deliveries.

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  15. Your Dad looks like a real character and I remember my father also Brylcreaming his hair. I always like the old adverts and it is great that you have such a photograph of your family's shop.

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  16. I wonder if it was Brylcreem that made me go bald at an early age. I always wanted a Raleigh but never succeeded in getting one. I never tire of that Hovis ad.

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  17. That's a wonderful idea! I'm off to get some more wheat germ! Wonderful video, very inspiring ....but very clearly our young lads are up to other things these days...almost sad, don't you think. I see where you get your good looks from, you sure do take after your father! Beautiful post to bike through!

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  18. Should rephrase that as attractive (wide smiling) good looks! I am going to have to share that video for my Facebook friends....! Do enjoy your weekend!

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  19. Wonderful photo of your dad! Brylcream was a bit before my time, but I don't think I'd be one of the girls wanting to run my fingers through Brylcreamed hair. Sounds kind of messy, don't you think?

    Oh, and that bread looks yummy in the commercial!

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  20. Wonderful picture of your father - looks like he's off to have fun. Enjoyed seeing the various bicycles, learning about Brylcreem and Hovis bread. Well done advertisement - I listened carefully and understood most of it. :)

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  21. Damn! I wanted to watch the video! I well remember Brylcream and the ad, but wonder about any girl wanting to run her fingers through such gooed down hair!

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  22. Love the picture of your dad, but didn't Bryl-creem make the hair stiff? Or could you indeed run your fingers through your hair? I have pictures of my father, totally Bryl-creemed, and I always thought it must have been hard. Though I do use some wax to tame my goatee and it's soft... Who knows?!?
    :)~
    HUGZ

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