Bobby on a Bike exhibition

The grim exterior of the Police and Prison Museum in Ripon Prison & Police Museum
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Bobby on a bike

A new exhibition at Ripon’s Prison & Police Museum, Bobby on a Bike celebrates the role that bicycles have played in patrolling our streets over the years.

The exhibition includes a fantastic selection of historic police bikes, including a rather uncomfortable looking 1950’s Raleigh complete with a Lucas ‘King of the Road’ bell, leather saddle and original inner tubes! A far cry from the carbon framed thoroughbreds which will be racing across Yorkshire’s roads this summer as part of Le Tour Yorkshire’s Grand Départ 2014.

As well as a superb display of police bicycles over the decades, discover more about the lives of bobby and their bikes through memories, vintage photographs, and a host of archive documents (from lubrication charts to newspaper clippings) which reveal a treasure trove of facts.

The introduction of police bicycles in the latter end of the 19th century was a large step in improving the mobility of police constables when patrolling their beats as prior to this they had to walk everywhere. Only inspectors and higher ranks had the benefit of old fashioned four-legged horsepower.

Ralph B. Lindley, Vice President of Ripon Museums Trust said: “This exhibition explores the use of bicycles and other pedal powered contraptions by the Police from their introduction through to the start of the 21st century. I feel sure our visitors will enjoy this display – I still smile when I look at some of them.”

The Prison & Police Museum, is in the former House of Correction and Liberty Gaol and contains a fascinating selection of artefacts from the Trust’s extensive collections of police and prison memorabilia – from a pillory and whipping posts to a prisoner in a Victorian Cell. Find what it is like to be in a cell, what punitive exercises which were used in prisons and lots more.

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