Being surrounded by all things bicycle for a number of years, it was inevitable that I would come across Dan Bolwell (aka Penny Farthing Dan) sooner or later. It was well worth the 7 hour return trip to Horsham to visit his home and work space, and he is such an inspiration to talk to. He is also much better with words than I am, and it only seems fitting to use his eloquent musings from our pre-visit emails.
"I read something about the space around you being a reflection of what's in your head. The essence of it was, a messy space indicates a messy head. I looked at my shed and thought, wow I must have a messy head, but then I looked harder and it turns out I just have a colourful and busy mind - so I wrote this to articulate it: I am almost always present in this space, it is quite full of many wonderful and useful things not always related to each other. I have many hand built tools and jigs to provide quality results in a reasonably time so I can free my time and mind to create.
There is plenty of light coming through because I open the doors and I always work with the big door open regardless of the weather.
Although it's quite full, the actually work space is free and the whole shed is orderly. An uninformed visitor may see it as messy but after spending a moment learning of my systems they become so fascinated and admire my hand made tools and jigs, I see it in their eyes. They are hand made because you cannot buy what I seem to be able to create. The neighbourhood kids love coming around and are often asking for a little help with their bike, to borrow a tool or sometimes they just like telling me a story. Magic happens here and my hand built Penny Farthing bicycles aren't just a combination of materials put together in a wonderful arraignment but are a device that carry and give of their own energy, it's like a soul is created here and the bikes spends it's life connecting people wherever it travels."