About Peter Mann

The Formal Bit

Born 1945, educated Manchester Grammar School and King's College London, graduating in mechanical engineering 1968. Worked Rolls-Royce Aero Engines, Derby and British Rail Research Dept, Derby (on the ill-fated Advanced Passenger Train).

10 KB photo of AEC tankerJoined the Science Museum, London in 1973, first as a Research Assistant in the Aeronautics Collection, then curator in charge of the Road Transport Collection 1978-1993. Where else could one do work as diverse as exhibiting the minimalist subtlety of the LotusSport bike on which Chris Boardman won Olympic gold, and restoring and driving a brutally practical AEC Mammoth Major 8-wheel tanker of 1934? Or flying to Seattle to have a one metre long section of fuselage sliced out of a Boeing 747 for exhibition in London?

Took early retirement at the end of 1993 at the age of 48.



11 KB photo of MoultonWhen colleagues asked me what I would do with all my time I jokingly replied, "If the worst comes to the worst, I can always rent out my flat and go travelling!" A year later, that is exactly what I did. A vague idea of seeing parts of Britain I'd never seen before suddenly became the irresistibly good idea of cycling around the coast of Britain. No matter that I wasn't a cyclist! That took up most of 1995. The following eighteen months were spent writing a book to make sense of my journey: "Postcards From The Edge Of Britain - a 5,000 mile journey around the coast", published 2000 by Country Books, price £9-99 UK.

In 1997, a leisurely cycle tour in France. Camping in the sunshine, coasting along the rivers and canals, mapping out a great arc from Calais to Marseilles, avoiding the cities. An itinerary of this tour is available from the Touring Department of the Cyclists' Touring Club.

Then 1998. Studying an atlas of Europe a route leaped out of the page. I saw Europe bisected by two great rivers passing within twenty miles of each other in southern Germany: the Rhine flowing westwards and the Danube flowing eastwards. Extending the route to include the British Isles, I embarked on a journey west to east across Europe from the Atlantic coast of Ireland to the Black Sea. Work is in progress on a book of the journey.

11 KB photo of LongstaffThe British and French tours were on my first bike, a Moulton APB with small wheels and suspension - very comfortable. These bikes are designed by
Alex Moulton and made under licence by Pashley Cycles. Read Tony Hadland's books about the history and development of Moulton bikes. Then I bought a 1956 Raleigh Lenton Sports, the first conventional bike I felt happy on, which I use for outings with the Veteran-Cycle Club. I cycled across Europe on a touring bike custom-built for me by Longstaff Cycles in Staffordshire.



Walking and Running

9 KB photo of EverestAlthough I am a newcomer to cycling I have walked extensively in the Lake District and Scotland, trekked in Switzerland 1990 and Nepal 1989 (Everest Base Camp) and 1992, and run three marathons - London 1988 & 1989, Los Angeles 1989 - each in about four hours. Slow and steady, just like my cycling.





15 KB photo of RaleighAssociation of Independent Museums, Newcomen Society (for the Study of the History of Engineering and Technology), Cyclists' Touring Club, Moulton Bicycle Club, Veteran-Cycle Club , Globetrotters Club, Youth Hostels Association. I am a member of the Advisory Council of the National Motor Museum, Beaulieu, UK.