BSA Courier

Some years back, a friend told me of a sit-up-and-beg type bicycle that had been abandoned outside her place. So I collected it, put air in the tires, replaced cables, and put new batteries in the lantern. I haven’t used it much, and think it’s been more than a year since I last rode it. So it’s time to find it a new home.


It’s a BSA Courier; a 23 inch 5-speed, apparently from when that company was owned by Raleigh, probably in the 80s. I thought there might be a web-based record of production dates and numbers – as there are for Pashley, so did a bit of searching. I haven’t found any such details, but did come across a photo of the same model at a site called Re-Buy-Cycle. I also found some other sites dedicated to retro cycles, including, where ‘if it’s old school, it’s in’. Cool.

I guess that means the thing might be worth £20/£30. But I’m more inclined to find it a charitable use, so may make enquiries at some of the bicycle charities.

3 April 2011: in the end, I gave it to the splendidly conceived and newly-formed Birmingham Bike Foundry co-operative, some months back. I’m sure it got loving attention and a good home.

Knackered Shredder

Three days ago one of the neighbours put some electronic gear on the street for passers-by to scavenge. It was an old Apple printer and monitor, a box of cables, and a Woolworths paper shredder. There’ve been times a shredder would have been useful, so I snagged it. The feed was jammed, so I reckoned it just needed opening and cleaning.

I took it home, plugged it in, and as expected, the spindles weren’t turning. I opened it, cleared out the paper, and sure enough, the thing started working. So I closed it back up and tested it on a piece of paper. It jammed. One one piece of paper. Hmph.

I guess that means the nylon gears have worn, or their grip on the spindles has slipped, or maybe the motor itself has lost torque. So I’ll have to explore further.


I’ve entertained visions of a hand-cranked shredder – while wondering how I might fit such a thing – and of turning into a compost cruncher – not that it would be much good at it.

There’s also the prospect of gutting it, using the motor for something else entirely.