June 1st 2015

A stunning selection of velocipedes, penny-farthings and bicycles from the Derby Museums collection are to go on display at Haddon Hall in a new exhibition, Velocipathy: A Celebration of Vintage Cycling, to mark the Eroica Britannia festival.

Daniel Martin, Curator of Making at Derby Museums said, “2015 is proving a great year for cycling in our region. Both the opening of the velodrome at Derby Arena and Visit Peak District’s Summer of Cycling have focused attention on our two-wheeled friends like never before.  Eroica Britannia is the marquee event of the summer so it’s a great privilege to be involved. It’s always a pleasure to get objects out of the stores for display and I hope visitors will enjoy the exhibition as much as we’ve enjoyed putting it together”.

The exhibition has been co-produced at Derby Silk Mill with volunteers from Sustrans’ ‘Bike It Derby’ scheme, part of the Connected programme. Working alongside Derby Museums staff, the volunteers have designed and built the exhibition in the Derby Silk Mill workshops, learning new skills such as basic woodwork and 3D design. The co-production method for the project uses the same principles of Re:Make the Museum project (see editors notes)

Daniel adds, “It’s been a fantastic experience to work with the Bike It Derby volunteers. Their passion and effort in designing and building this exhibition has been inspiring. The clean modern lines of the Derby Museums style will look wonderful juxtaposed with the historic, beautiful setting of Haddon Hall, in the heart of the Peak District.”

Haddon Hall is an incredible example of architecture, dating from the 12th to early 19th centuries and is described as ‘the most perfect house to survive from the Middle Ages.’

Located just minutes from the Bakewell showground where the Eroica Britannia festival takes place and directly on the cycle route for the festival weekend, Haddon Hall will host the exhibition within its ancient rooms; providing a captivating extra component to the visitor experience of this ancient site.

Lady Edward Manners of Haddon Hall said: “When we were approached by the team behind Eroica Britannia about the idea of an exhibition here at Haddon in partnership with Derby Museums, we were delighted to take part. The hall has been a place for visitors to come and enjoy for many centuries, and so this new cycling exhibition brings another, exciting, element to all that Haddon has to offer visitors this summer.”

Highlights of the exhibition include an 1870s velocipede manufactured in Derby by engineering firm George Fletcher and Co., a personal gift from George to his brother, and a Dewey ‘Express’ penny-farthing from the same period. Alongside the vintage cycles will be a collection of objects relating to cycling in the city of Derby. Many of these objects are being shown for the very first time

The exhibition opens to the public on Tuesday 2 June and finishes on Sunday 21 June.