Have you met the fantastic Mr Phoebus?
Mr Phoebus and his unique Penny Farthing Experience has seen thousands of people ride his Iconic Machine of the Victorian era including Antiques Roadshow’s Fiona Bruce. Now he rides to The Firs, Elgar’s Birthplace for you to give it a go!
On special days throughout the year Mr Phoebus aka Simon Hayford Morris brings a plethora of Penny Farthings for you to get to grips with. A specialist in providing a unique, completely interactive Victorian cycling experience for all the family, with over 6 years and 900 hours of riding experience, he is not only a skilled demonstrator but also a film and photographic character model too, so you may recognise him from a famous fast food advert.
Watch him climb to the top of ‘Carice’ his favourite Farthing and show you just how a Victorian would do it before helping you master the technique. Will you take on the challenge?
With a Massive 52.6inch Front Wheel, the Full Sized Penny Farthing is an incredible sight. Visitors will be encouraged to learn, see live demonstrations and even sit upon the majestic machine. With Penny Farthings of different sizes, this experience is truly for everyone and anyone over 4 years of age. He brings with him a whole wardrobe of outfits to get into the spirit, even specially designed top hat helmets.
But why Mr Phoebus you may ask? When the business was created back in 2013 Mr Phoebus was helping his father Stephen Hayford Morris (volunteer at the Elgar Birthplace) develop his public presentations about the life and music of the famous Worcestershire born composer Sir Edward Elgar. An important feature of these talks was Elgar’s fascination with all aspects of bicycling, which was all the rage at the turn of the 19th century. As a passionate cyclist, Elgar had to have the latest designs as they were developed and in August 1900 he purchased his favourite Royal Sunbeam bicycle which he affectionately nicknamed “Mr Phoebus”. 40 mile rides a day were not uncommon and he often explained how they helped him think up new tunes.
‘Okay, Sir Edward’s bicycle wasn’t an “Ordinary” or “Penny Farthing” but as my father had taken so much care and attention to my ideas for my new business I thought it only fitting to name the company based on an important factor in the life of the composer that has inspired my father so much since he was a teenager. And of course it also connects this fantastic experience to the place where it was created as an idea: Worcestershire.’ Says Simon Hayford Morris – Mr Phoebus himself.
So come along on Saturday 20 July, 3 August and 31 August from 11am until 4pm to learn about these wonders of the past and give it a whirl.