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Taking us on a ride through history

Ed Diery and Ros Keim will see their grandfather’s bike on display as part of the Warwick State High School centenary celebrations.
Ed Diery and Ros Keim will see their grandfather’s bike on display as part of the Warwick State High School centenary celebrations. Linden Morris

WHEN most people think of a stereotypical family heirloom they tend to imagine a treasured piece of jewellery, a watch or even a priceless ornament.

When the extended Diery family think of a valued family heirloom they think of the bicycle that has been in their family for generations.

Ed Diery and Ros Keim are the grandchildren of former Warwick Technical College and High School teacher Edwin Lancelat Diery and are still in possession of his bicycle from the early 1900s.

Granddaughter Mrs Keim said the bicycle had a long history and its own connection to Warwick State High School.

"It was my grandfathers and he brought it to Australia with him when he moved from England in 1910," Mrs Keim said.

"He then started teaching at the Technical College, before it had the high school, on September 1, 1911 and was earning 180 pounds per annum.

"Edwin was a teacher of carpentry and geometrical drawing, which was the equivalent of manual arts, until 1947."

Grandson and former WSHS student and teacher Mr Diery said it took some research to learn the origins of the bike.

"It is a BSA, British Small Arms, bike from the same company that used to make motorbikes and weapons as well," Mr Diery said.

"It has always been in pretty good condition but has had refurbishing done by Redback Cycles.

"The old leather on the axles to keep them clean is still on the bike and we think the leather tool bag on the back is the original one as well."

Mrs Keim recalled her mother telling stories about the use of the bike.

"Edwin would ride it to school every day from out past Eden Gardens where they used to live," she said.

"He and his wife had seven kids and they all learnt to ride by putting their legs through the bars because it was too big for them."

The two agreed that the future of the bike remained uncertain.

"The three surviving children decided to donate the bike to Pringle Cottage years ago but we have had it for the past seven because we knew this event was coming up," Mrs Keim said.

"If we donate the bike it will mean it's no longer in the family but that is probably what will end up happening."

Topics:  centenary, warwick high school


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