BSA Star Rider

As I’m sure you know, our bike project is one of the sparkling diamonds in our treasure chest of activities. What you may not know is that repairing bikes is not the only skill the group members have. One of a very talented bunch, our very own Evelyn has a skill for writing that has had us all cock-a-hoop! So, I’ll shut up for now and let you read Evelyn’s account of bike clubs recent restoration of an old BSA bicycle… Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Dave had gone to the cattle market in search of bike parts going cheap, when he saw a man selling an old rusted to heck brown and white bike. So being the bike enthusiast that he is, Dave approached the man and gave the bike a once over.

“How much do you want for that?” Dave asked,

“Twenty quid, duck“ The man stated. Dave gave a chuckle, hoping that the man was not serious, but the man did not join him in the laughter,

“Okay, thanks, but that’s more than I want to pay for it” Dave declared, before turning to carry on in his search for cheap bike parts,

“Hey, wait! How about we play a game of coin toss?” The man called out. “The person who wins gets to decide to pay what they want, between £8 and £15” the man called, making Dave stop in his tracks.

Never the one to turn down a game of chance, he agreed. People stopped doing what they were doing and turned to watch the two grown men play a game of coin toss. The man tossed the coin in the air, “Heads” he called only to have Dave reply with a shout of “Tails.” The coin landed on the floor, bounced, span on its side for a few seconds before revealing the winner.

It was….tails! Dave had won the bike for £8. Begrudgingly, the man selling the bike handed it over and took the money. Dave pushed the rusted bike along the pavement thinking to himself “The bike crew is either going to be happy I found this, or they will be questioning my sanity once more?!”

The Bike arrives at Space

It was a Wednesday when the bike crew first saw the bike that Dave had ‘triumphantly ‘brought for the low price of eight quid. Cameron was working on another bike doing the last little touch ups, James was at the drinks station making a round of drinks, Ash was pottering around cleaning up some breaks.

Evelyn had just arrived with headphones in listening to MIC drop by BTS, she shrugged off her rucksack, giving the guys a one handed wave and Dave a fist bump, when she spotted the new addition to the collection of bikes. “What is that? And why is it here?” she questioned.

“Oh I picked it up from the cattle market last week” Dave nervously stated.

“You got it from the cattle market?” she asked, looking at Dave as he looked from the bike to her and back again, “The guy selling it wanted twenty quid for it, but I didn’t wanna pay that much, so we ended up in an epic coin toss, I won and here we are with a bike” Dave proudly stated.

Evelyn looked from the bike to Dave, “Great” she said sarcastically, bringing a hand to rub her forehead

“Does it work?” she asked, Dave chuckled “I don’t know, but it will” he replied…Evelyn said nothing.

“I’m thinking if you and Cameron probably start with stripping the bike, and sanding down the surface rust, then we can see if there is any hidden problems” Dave suggested, Evelyn agreed and grabbing Cameron they set to work sandpapering the surface rust off the bike.

Restoring the bike from brown and white to the blue BSA Star Rider beneath

Throughout the next few weeks, the bike crew set about turning the bike from the rusted brown and white mess that it was, into the BSA Star Rider bike that you see in the pictures, with a Cameron’s prowess of sanding down the rusted bike parts along with the rest of the crew’s hard work.

Cai, Evelyn and Ben were sanding down the brown and white painted bike frame, “Can you believe that Dave got this bike, Eve?” Cai questioned, as he pressed down hard on the sand paper to get the old paint off “This is Dave we are talking about!” Evelyn replied. Just then the doors opened and Tom came in holding a couple of picture’s in his hand.

“Dave, I did some research in to why we are discovering two different shades of blue under the brown and white paint, following the crew’s discovery of the BSA logo beneath the old paint, it turns out that this bike is a BSA Star Rider, from the 1950’s” Tom declared.

The rest of the crew looked at the pictures asking themselves why someone would paint over the logo and the original paint work.

The bike crew got to work putting the now freshly sandpapered bike frame, front wheel, back wheel and mud guards back together, then they set to work fixing up the other problems with the help of Bike Club workers Richard and Dave.

The Finished Product

The bike crew spent weeks checking and cleaning and repairing the bikes many components to ensure that they work properly. One day, Cai stated “It’s finished” as course of high-fives rippled through the group. “What would I do without you guys?” Dave declared, to which Evelyn replied “Probably lose your head and end up in a padded cell screaming about bikes” which is par for the course banter from Evelyn.

The bike is now finished and ready to be put back on the road, nigh on 60 years after it first hit the streets, and Dave is now banned from playing coin toss!

Head for Heights

We’ve loved the @DepotNottingham pretty much since they’ve opened, and although we don’t always have potential climbers use our service, when we do The Depot are definitely our climbing centre of choice. We currently have a group from our Radford Boulevard site taking part in a a few bouldering sessions and so far everyone seems to be really enjoying it! As well as being great exercise and helping to introduce people to new activities, climbing is great for developing confidence, co-ordination and problem solving… Not to mention a great sense of achievement. None of which would be possible without the facilities and support of everyone at The Depot. Thanks guys!

Body as Canvas Workshops

We are lucky to have a good relationship with the team at the New Art Exchange and for and we’ve
taken part in a couple of their Body As Canvas Workshops previously. The workshops are seasonal creative sessions for adults with learning and physical disabilities. Sessions are led by collaborators, experienced artists and support workers from LEVEL, a Matlock based arts space.

This workshop was based on the NAE’s current main gallery exhibition, Africa State of Mind, a group show featuring the works of African Photographers. The exhibition explores themes of identity and place, with images focusing on the urban environment in African countries and how a new generation of Africans are expressing themselves.

Poppin’ Portraits

We do some great creative projects here at Space, and a recent one that caught our eye has been happening at our Pelham Road site. Using the style of artist Julian Opie as inspiration,
our folks have been creating their own portraits using Opie’s characteristic thick black outlines and solid colours. Space clients have been recognising the simplified facial features and characteristics and producing some fantastic work.

Everything is Illuminated

On Friday a group of intrepid adventurers from our Sherwood site made the trip to the Lakeside Arts Centre to enjoy the sensory delights of the Illuminarium. Created by Nottingham based artists Architects of Air, the Illuminarium is a regular visitor and offers people the opportunity to be immersed in light, colour and offers a different perspective of the world… Personally, we’d like a small one in our back garden!


Last Friday we paid a visit (again!) to a Yorkshire Park – this time it was Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

For a day’s fun with art, it really is hard to beat the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP).

Set in a landscaped garden laid out in the eighteenth century, it’s a place to wander, discover and be amazed – and so it was for our clients.

One thing they especially enjoyed was imitating the sculptures around them to create innovative photographs. Some of the sculptures were very fun indeed, some had spiritual connotations, some were colourful and others were tactile. All were unique in one way or another, which meant that there was always something new and different to look at.

Sculpture, when it’s in a gallery can sometimes be a bit bewildering or hard to understand. When it’s set in a park like the YSP it certainly becomes more interesting and intriguing. Thank you to the YSP for giving our clients a day to remember.

A wild time

Last week a group of intrepid clients went to South Yorkshire to discover Polar bears, lions, camels and rhinos. Not typical for South Yorkshire? Well, we were at Yorkshire Wildlife Park!

Built on a former riding school and farm, Yorkshire Wildlife Park was opened in 2009. A dynamic centre for conservation and welfare, the park has over 400 animals and over 70 different species of animals.

Our clients enjoyed seeing the different animals and learning about them on the way. From the Bactrian camel herd to the the Giant Otter reserve, they were intrigued and beguiled.

One client, Zach, said “My favourite thing was the Polar bear”; and we can see why – working in association with Yorkshire Wildlife Park Foundation (YWPF) and Polar Bears International (PBI), Yorkshire Wildlife Park’s Project Polar is YWP and YWPF’s flagship project.

Overall, the day was a great success and we would like to thank the staff, keepers and animals at Yorkshire Wildlife Park for giving us a very warm welcome.

Shop Talk

There are lots of intriguing new products at Spacecraft at the moment – it’s certainly well worth popping in and having a look. From handmade notebooks to cushions, tote bags and house decorations; everything is handmade by our amazing clients.

Remember, you can also get your bike serviced there, which is pretty cool! We are very welcoming and will always be happy to make a tea or coffee for you, so there are plenty of reasons to pay a visit to Spacecraft at 102 Hucknall Road in the Carrington area of Nottingham.

We’re open from to 9am to 3:30pm on a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

Southwell so good

Yesterday a group of Clients from Pelham Road took a trip on the bus to the beautiful town of Southwell.

Our support Worker, Jen, had found an interesting exhibition of Lego sculptures at the Minster (Cathedral) and thought it would be a fun day out. And you know what? It was indeed!

The group’s first stop was a lovely park next to the Minster where they had lunch and went on a zip wire. Then it was off to have a look in the Minster itself. It’s a magnificent building – built around 1,000 years ago, it literally towers over the small town.

The group had a look at some of the gargoyles that had been carved. Some are really fun indeed – especially the ones depicting animals like sheep and cows!

Then it was on to have a quick look around the old palace of the Archbishop of York (because it was a Minster, Southwell didn’t have a Bishop in medieval times). It was very grand indeed!

Before the bus arrived the group chilled out on the lawn outside the Minster – the weather was magnificent and just the ticket for enjoying some time outside.

The day was a great success. One client, Joe, especially found the town was just right for him – “I love Southwell” he said whilst he was relaxing in the shade waiting for the bus.