Talbot Owners' Club

The Home of Pre-War London Talbots

TOC Visit to the Cycle Museum Walton Hall, Warrington, Cheshire 9th Jun 2024

Tremendous fun and hospitality at a wonderful venue

Arriving at Walton Hall and seeing signs directing TOC Members away from the public car park and instead through the historic entrance to park directly outside Walton Hall, indicated that something special had been arranged.  What followed was several hours of escapism and fun hosted by Paul Adams.

Walton Hall, near Warrington, was the former Victorian home of the Greensell family (later granted a peerage to become Lord & Lady Daresbury), their fortune having come from the brewery industry.  Following the death of Lord Daresbury in 1938, the house and grounds were purchased by Warrington Borough Council and have been open to the public since 1945.  The grounds are beautifully maintained and hugely popular with local residents and visitors.  Recently the Victorian glasshouses and covered riding school have been restored.

The Cycle Museum, located in the former laundry rooms adjacent to the main hall, is the private collection of Paul Adams.  However, it is much more than just a collection of cycles, with related ephemera of advertising signs and posters, oil and acetylene lamps and all sorts of period items which have caught Paul’s attention over the years.   Paul has had a lifelong interest in cycles, from the earliest machines to modern.  For his contribution to cycling history, he was awarded the Freedom of the City of London in 2018.  

Having had a brief introduction to the collection Paul then invited us to try a selection of cycles to ride – the fun then really started.  Five machines were selected – a modern reproduction penny farthing, an 1889 Peugeot fixed-wheel racing bicycle, a c1885 solid tyre tricycle, an 1893 Coventry Machinist Company hard tyre safety bicycle and finally, a superbly engineered c1910 Durkopp shaft-drive bicycle made in Germany.  


Thankfully the penny farthing was not full size, but I must confess it took me several attempts to successfully launch myself.  The racing Peugeot, despite its age, apart from being a fixed-wheel machine, looked and handled like a modern bicycle, its lightweight tubular frame being exquisitely built.  It is easy to see how Peugeot moved effortlessly into light car manufacture around 1895.  The tricycle was great to ride and also being fixed wheel was fun to pedal as fast backwards as forwards.  

The Coventry was particularly challenging to ride due to the height of the frame.  Once on the move all was straightforward until wanting to stop, having to step down from the frame at the final moment.  This particular machine has been ridden successfully by Paul’s son on the London to Brighton Run, just over sixty miles – what an achievement.  Finally the shaft drive Durkopp was tested.  By now confidence had increased and the bicycle rode and handled wonderfully, completing the circuit around the Hall with ease.  Like Peugeot, Durkopp also moved into manufacturing cars in the late 1890’s. 

I am pleased to report no machines or humans were harmed during these exploits. 

With the machines safely returned to the museum we then adjourned for lunch in the Heritage Café where Paul had kindly arranged a discount for our purchases.  The Café is located in the former stables, and the staff were most helpful and attentive.  

So ended several hours of great fun in fantastic surroundings.  Sincere thanks to Paul Adams for hosting the event.  Hopefully there may be an opportunity to return with more time to fully explore the formal gardens and grounds.  

It was a great privilege to be able to ride such a wonderful selection of historic machines.



The Talbot Owners Club magazine is published bi-monthly and contains news, updates and informative articles. It is edited by club secretary David Roxburgh.

Talbot Owners Club Magazines


The essence of the Club is to ensure that members meet and enjoy themselves; the Club is open and democratic, dialogie is encouraged. It is for people of all ages who like Talbot cars and want to enjoy the company of like-minded people and also to support current Talbot involvement in historic competition.