The inventor and his bike
Andrew Ritchie was a young engineer who believed in a better way to move around the city. In 1975 in the bedroom of his flat overlooking the Brompton Oratory, he invented a bike with an ingenious 3-part fold. A vehicle that transformed into a small package and could go anywhere with him. A 'magic carpet' for the city.
The first Brompton Factory
"Bollo Lane" or the Brentford Factory was housed inside two old railway arches. The team hand-built 60 bikes a month—all-steel, black and fitted with a rack.
Customers could choose 3 or 5-speed hub gears. By 1991 Brompton had 56 outlets in the UK and an even bigger export market.
Andrew is pictured (far left) with his team outside Bollo Lane. Mark, 4th from the left, (and his son) still work at Brompton today. He no longer wears a shell suit to work.