Author Topic: What has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs?  (Read 3375 times)

I had to go trawling through past threads to even find the name and the link, Google giving me a lot of totally irrelevant stuff (and the Azub Origami!).
So what has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs since the dreaded lurgy ceased to be an urgency in society's eyes? The blog site still has a 2023 copyright even though last updated in 2020.
Has the Folding Society folded? Are all the organisers deceased or worse (I sincerely hope not but nothing can be taken for granted, not even life)? Anyone know anything, please?

LittleWheelsandBig

  • Whimsy Rider
Re: What has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs?
« Reply #1 on: 13 August, 2023, 08:09:39 pm »
I was part of the FoldSoc in years past. http://www.foldsoc.co.uk/

A to B magazine was originally called the Folding Society. When the magazine’s name changed, Mike Hessey started the Folding Society website with a tighter focus on folding bicycles. Mike was a good bloke but a touch idiosyncratic. Photography and industrial revolution history were other passions. Unfortunately he died some years ago. https://flickr.com/photos/59590960@N06

The Origami Rides were John ‘Pinky’ Pinkerton’s baby involving short rides based on Meriden-in-Arden, mostly on folding bikes, often with some historical inspiration. At the time, folding bikes were quite rare and enthusiasts would show off their latest homemade modifications and improvements to their fellow geeks at the monthly rides. My first Origami Ride was early 2001 and at the finish Pinky easily persuaded me to buy a couple of books coauthored with Tony Hadland who lived nearby then. Hard to say no when all three of us had been chatting away during the ride! Unfortunately Pinky died from cancer quite soon afterwards. He was a legendary figure amongst the cycle history community. https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FpONZUAqyE0

Luckily, Paul Evans was a regular rider and he stepped forward and revitalised the Origami Rides, creating the template of curated rides from various locations (mostly in the Midlands) with several organisers. There were also well-planned invitational FoldSoc weekend trips for several years, usually chasing steam trains and industrial heritage, almost always with public transport being integral to the ride’s concept. I feel immensely privileged to have enjoyed so many Origami Rides and proud of having organised some of them.

Unfortunately Paul is unable to cycle any more and the regular ride organisers mostly moved on to other things with few volunteers stepping up to fill their places. Covid just put the nail in the coffin. The website remains for historical interest and I imagine that Paul would be happy to see Origami Rides revived (as would I) but it hasn’t happened to date.
Wheel meet again, don't know where, don't know when...

Re: What has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs?
« Reply #2 on: 14 August, 2023, 09:30:15 am »
Where's the 'like' button?

There is so much that will be lost when these 'old timers' slip off this mortal coil.

Re: What has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs?
« Reply #3 on: 14 August, 2023, 09:33:54 am »
Thanks LWaB, that answers my query and quite a bit more. I was interested because it is likely I will find myself occasionally in Oxford with a folder. But not in a position to help organise rides!

I once met Mr Pinkerton, at the Great Midland Bike Ride in 1981. One of the Meriden tourists thought he might know what make of tandem I had but his reply was 1930's industrial, could be anything!

Re: What has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs?
« Reply #4 on: 14 August, 2023, 03:46:36 pm »
Have joined and even led some Foldsoc rides over the years.

John Pinkerton's son Doug built the frame centre section for my Moulton ATB tandem conversion, he is still working based in the Redditch area.

The annual Moulton Preservation ride in Richmond Park is this coming Thursday, meet at Roehampton Gate (free car park) for an 11.00 am start; there's a cafe there too.

Re: What has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs?
« Reply #5 on: 25 October, 2023, 11:47:24 am »
Thanks LittleWheelsandBig for that information.  I was a very occasional attendee on the monthly rides.  The last ones I attended were one December starting at Stratford-upon-Avon (Morrison's) and then the following month (?) starting at Cosford (RAF Museum).  Always enjoyed the rides when I turned up.  So sorry the rides aren't functioning any more.   :'(

rogerzilla

  • When n+1 gets out of hand
Re: What has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs?
« Reply #6 on: 29 October, 2023, 08:43:30 am »
AtoB was always a bit like the Brompton house magazine and is now obsessed with e-bikes.
Hard work sometimes pays off in the end, but laziness ALWAYS pays off NOW.

sam

Re: What has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs?
« Reply #7 on: 29 October, 2023, 10:01:43 am »
I had a pleasant visit with the publishers of AtoB some years ago after publicising my lack of enthusiasm for said Brompton…


Sacred Folding Cow

Arellcat

  • Velonautte
Re: What has happened to the Folding Society and the Origami Runs?
« Reply #8 on: 29 October, 2023, 12:33:09 pm »
AtoB was always a bit like the Brompton house magazine and is now obsessed with e-bikes.

I imagine that even David Henshaw is finding his limits of enthusiasm for all things Brompton in an era of modest technological improvements tempered by endless paintineering.  But AtoB was always about transport, not just bikes, and not just Brompton bikes (even though we know it kind of was).

When I was the lead organiser for Bromptonites – which is a kind of Scottish central belt equivalent of the Fold Soc Origami rides – it was very apparent how people's lives evolved and ebbed and flowed, and the group's activities were quite heavily reliant on a few core members.  Covid was nearly the final nail but we are still soldiering on, albeit at a much reduced level.
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