The Balham Delta

… Deltiology (from Greek δελτίον, deltion, diminutive of δέλτος, deltos, “writing tablet, letter”; and -λογία, -logia) the study and collection of postcards.

This section is dedicated to postcards that are relevant to cycling in Balham. In the golden age of postcard production (1898-1914) millions of postcards were produced. Some were of Balham and some were of bicycles and cyclists. A few were even of bicycles and cyclists in Balham. If they feature both, then they get a place in our virtual collection.

DanLenoMotor&CycleWorksSo here’s a postcard of Balham High Road (exact date unknown but between 1900-1910). Look carefully and on the left you can see a sign for Dan Leno’s Motor and Cycle Works.

BalhamHRDevonshire1905A colourised postcard of Balham High Road, South London, circa 1905 with a cyclist front and centre. The Duke of Devonshire pub on the right is now called the Devonshire. None of the buildings on the left hand side of the photograph have survived. Balham CC is connected to The Dev by the Huntley/Lilley families.


The corner of Ritherdon Road and Balham High Road c1902-1905. The bike shop is as yet unidentified but it sells Centaur bikes. The Centaur Cycle Co. was a large manufacturer based in Coventry.

RamsdenRoadBikeShop1904The Balham Cycle & Engineering Company were located at Balham Grove around 1895/96 but had moved to 1 Ramsden Road by 1898 (pictured here c1902-1904). The company was sole agents for Humber and Swift Cycles and they were makers of the ‘Furore’. AC Hedley was the manager. The buildings on the left still survive (the bike shop is currently Arlo’s restaurant).