31st January 2003 at 00:00
The single biggest impact of personal transport is the sense of liberation which it brings. In a study of Victorians for KS2, list all the ways in which the bicycle created and fostered freedom, and directly or indirectly led to radical thoughts and actions. From this point, pupils could look through library books, collections of photographs (ideally in their local records offices), old film (perhaps from online collections like British Pathe or the Public Record Office of the British Film Institute) or feature films. This exercise would also work in KS3 units on Britain 1750-1900. The bicycle as a weapon of war might be an interesting angle for pupils looking at the KS3 unit The Twentieth Century World. Troops on all sides made use of the bicycle in the Great War, and the Japanese in particular made strong use of it in World War 2.

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