Archie Wilson has been a resident at Newton Dee for over 40 years now, a self-taught bicycle mechanic who was never lacking sagacity. From a small shed grew a big dream, subsequently with a lot of grease and oil. Newton Dee had 19 bikes to rent, all maintained by Archie. Like a Shaman to the spirits, Archie to this day still keeps track of all things bicycle related. Time however flows on, skills can be forgotten when not recycled.
In Archie’s day, he would go to Bill Reid’s bicycle shop at 44 Broomhill Road (now closed) or to Anderson’s on Rosemount Viaduct, which is now a bread maker. It seems larger companies can leave the smaller struggling for sunlight, which is why we need more people like Archie, who have a love for the craft, apposed to having a love for the money. Archie deservedly has now decided to hang up his chain breaking tool and leave the fate of Newton Dee’s bicycle culture in the hands of the future, so what next?
Archie is more than happy for others to dust off the old truing stand and follow in his footsteps. He has left behind a very nice shed, fully equipped with all the basics to get maintaining and repairing, with thanks to the encouragement and support of his house coordinators at the time, Maggie and Russ Pooler. Newton Dee, however, no longer has a bicycle renting scheme or dedicated mechanic but the demand is still there.
With opportunities like the School of Learning, bicycle maintenance is being taught, bikes repaired, money saved, parts recycled, as well as knowledge shared. It may feel like ripples in what seems to be an even vaster ocean, where environmental issues are concerned, but it takes every drop of rain to fill the river. More bikes means less cars, less pollution, less waste, improved fitness and health as well as the positive social implications.
We can see it like the flow of a river - it has its journey’s beginning and journey’s end, only to repeat its natural cycle with fresh water. It is clear that there are many doorways in Newton Dee, thanks to people like Archie - now it’s just up to others to walk through them.