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Horsefair statue ‘fitting tribute' to fun-loving Alf
Buy this photo Memories: Peggy Baynton with her father's bikes.
THE daughter of late Kidderminster bike-maker, Alf Tabb, is “delighted” there are calls for a statue of him to be erected in the town’s Horsefair.
Mr Tabb, who died in 1976 aged 93, was famed for his miniature bicycles and held the world record in 1971 for riding the world’s smallest bike, at four and a half inches high.
A debate has been raging on The Shuttle’s letters pages in recent weeks over whether local personality, Johnny the Cobbler, should be given a memorial.
Mr Tabb was then put forward as a “more suitable” candidate by Wyre Forest musician, Al Boden.
Mr Tabb’s daughter, Peggy Baynton, performed cycling tricks with her father at a number of functions, including the Scouts jamboree.
“I’m delighted – I think a statue is a wonderful idea and it would be really fitting,” she said, “He had his workshop in the Horsefair until he was 72 and people still took him work to do for several years after.”
Mr Tabb appeared on TV shows, including ATV Today in 1972, when he was interviewed by a young Chris Tarrant, who then attempted to ride the tiny bike. Born in 1883 in London, where his father owned a cycle manufacturing company, he moved to Kidderminster with his wife, Alice, in 1921. The first 12-inch bike he made was ridden by a toy Santa as part of a Christmas display in his shop window.
The manager of Kidderminster’s Central Cinema asked if Mr Tabb could ride it himself, leading to his debut performance, between films during a Friday night double bill.
He last took to the stage at Kidderminster's Mayor's Ball in 1974 where, at the age of 91, he could still wow the crowds with his cycling tricks. When interviewed by Popular Mechanics magazine in 1967, Mr Tabb said of his bike: “I’m afraid to use it in heavy traffic as it is difficult for motorists to see me when I’m so low down.”
Mrs Baynton added: “He was great fun – always ready for a laugh.”
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