Brooks Factory Visit – Urban Cyclist

Dave and I have quite a good thing going – seeing as he’s a photographer and I’m a writer, we often team up to produce features for magazines and websites, and as such get to visit some rad places. When we first started doing this, I felt a little awkward when whichever PR team/Editor I was dealing with was booking our accommodation – how would they know that Dave is my fiancé, they might just think I’m ‘doing’ my photographer, either that, or just trying to blag a free trip for my boyfriend!

Luckily we’ve now established ourselves as a reliable, professional team (most of the time..) and often get to work together, which is bloody ace.

So, earlier this year, we both went up to the Brooks factory in Smethwick to capture the essence of the gaff for Urban Cyclist Magazine. What follows is an excerpt – go grab a copy for the full shebang.


“Winding our way past canals and boozers, it’s easy to spot traces of Smethwick’s industrial past, the cobbled streets and warehouses settled with an air of resignation, ghosts of a noisy, dirty and profitable history; a different age with different values.

We’re on the outskirts of Birmingham in the Black Country, once at the heart of large-scale development during the Industrial Revolution. It’s an area that’s moved with the times without shrugging off it’s past, it’s heritage an asset and a tribute to what it does well. So it’s fitting that this is where we find Brooks, one of the oldest manufacturers of bicycle saddles in the UK, themselves adept at balancing tradition and the needs of our modern society, and a triumph of pared down design and British engineering…”

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