City cycling essentials

Deadly nightshade lights, a rather distinguished copper bell and a basket woven from tropical elephant grass: what more could you ask for? 

Vickers Roadster Bicycle, £2,199, Made in these Isles

First things first, if you’re after a city cycling kit, your primary purchase if you haven’t yet got one, should be of course, a bike. According to Vickers, the Roadster bicycle is 'the essential city bicycle for the modern man'. It's a timeless classic and every bit of it, from the frame to the tyres is made right here in Britain.


Bookman Lights, £16.95 (choice of four colours), Godspeed

Functional and stylish, these Bookman lights are result of a clever collaboration with The Deadly Nightshades and they come in four awesome colours with awesome names; Pitch Black, Sea Foam, Velo Yellow and Spoked Salmon. They're easy to attach and have three different light modes.


Bee Bi Cycle to Commuter Jacket, Bee Clothing, £295, Made in these Isles

This genius jacket from Bee Clothing serves as both a commuter and cycle jacket in one. Wear it as a lightweight regular jacket when travelling on foot, then reverse to reveal a waterproof hi-vis shell for wearing while cycling, combining both style and functionality. Hold us back.


Sorengi Copper Bell, Godspeed, £35, Godspeed

Dinga-linga-ling. You just won’t be able to stop ringing this beauty from Sörengi in all its shiny brass goodness when politely asking those walking commuters to shift out of your way.


George the Crew Bag, £150, Millican

This limited edition crew bag is the ideal urban cycling companion. Its deceptively spacious inside, with a main compartment for holding a laptop, and two large front pockets for storing valuables. Made from weatherproof organic cotton canvas, it will withstand the great British weather too!


Handwoven Bicycle Baskets (selection), £45, Godspeed

Jazz up your bicycle with one of these of a kind baskets, woven from tropical elephant grass. Each one is completely unique and made by hand, and comes with the name of their personal weaver stitched inside it. Bring a touch of the exotic to your handlebars!


Urban Poncho, Otto London, £88 (in green, blue and grey), Godspeed

Don’t let those unexpected downpours spoil your commute to work, with this rather fetching urban poncho from Godspeed. Pack it in your kit and you'll never get a soaking again. Made from Oxford Nylon, it's lightweight and most importantly WATERPROOF, and even has handlebar straps to keep your lap dry when it's extra wet.


Iceburg Bike Hanger, £350, Godspeed

If you can't bare to leave your bike outside in the cold, bring it indoors and give it pride of place on your wall with this stunning bit of craftsmanship by Iceburg. This bike hanger is made from oak and birch and its striking angles make it a work of art in itself. Your spanking Roadster deserves nothing less, surely?


Words: Sam Young

We chose this fine array of cycling items from our directory members, a delectable troupe of independent brands, makers and artisans who can cater for every sartorial, grooming, leisure and office need. 

The Good Life Experience: 5 things not to miss

A day of axe-throwing, coffee brewing, dough-kneading, craft beer quaffing, whittling and having your moustache preened by the renowned Mr Natty: now that's what Ernest Journal calls a festival. We'll be touting our wares at The Good Life Experience in Flintshire this Saturday, so as well as dropping by to say hello to team Ernest, make sure you don't miss out on these awesome events...

The Good Life Experience, 20 September

The Good Life Experience, 20 September

Swimming the Llyns of Snowdonia
Vivienne Rickman-Poole and the Outdoor Swimming Society, 5pm, Great Outdoor Tent

Last year Vivienne embarked on a documentary journey to swim and explore all the Llyns in Snowdonia (around 250) and it was this journey that sparked inspiration and led to her featuring in the recent music video for Elbow's latest single Real Life (Angel). At The Good Life Experience Vivienne will be talking about her experiences and showcasing some of her photography. She will also talk about The Outdoor Swimming Society, of which she is a member along with 12,000 others. The society has helped catalyse a nationwide interest in wild swimming (incidentally, Ernest editor Jo's favourite hobby and the thing that gives her skin that attractive blue tinge).

Baking with fire
Tom Herbert and the Fabulous Baker Brothers, 4pm, Campfires

Forget Paul Hollywood's steely blue gaze and silver fox charm, Tom Herbert's your man for mastering the beguiling wonder that is dough. Tom is a fifth generation baker and one half of the Channel 4's Fabulous Baker Brothers, and is harbouring to 'do for bread what Rick Stein has done for fish'. We salute your tall ambitions, Tom. You can catch him at The Good Life Experience working his magic with bread, pizza dough and fire. You will be enthralled.

A time to whittle
Hatchet + Bear, 3pm, Great Outdoors Tent

We love these guys not only because they whittle, but they also happen to have one of the most beautiful Instagram accounts we've ever seen. Look at their spoons. Anyway, woodworker, woodsman and year-round shed dweller EJ Osbourne of Hatchet + Bear will be on hand to show you a thing or two about getting whittling down to a fine art. You will emerge smelling of sawdust. 

Cowboy adventures
James Greenwood, 4pm Great Outdoors Tent

Ernest loves an adventurer with a curious tale to tell. Enter James Greenwood, horseback rider and adventurer extraordinaire. James has ridden horses around the world, starting in Buenos Aries and travelling the length of South America, before moving on to Asia then crossing Europe. Along the way he escaped jail and enjoyed endless terrifying and enlightening adventures. His book No Gun Big Smile tells of his ride through South America, and at The Good Life Experience he'll be telling us more.

See out the festival with a bang
Paprika, 8.55pm, Music Marquee

We're talking foot stomping, hair-raising, nipple tingling, beer splashing, hugging strangers kind of music here. Hailing from Romania, Serbia and Britain, Paprika unite traditional Eastern European, Balkan, Gypsy and Classical music. The band have toured extensively across Europe, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, and have featured at WOMAD festivals in the UK, Spain, Canary Islands and Abu Dhabi. Recently, the band has developed both its line-up and repertoire, focusing on bringing rare and lost traditional Balkan music back to life. You will emerge sweaty and jubilant. 

You can find out more about these events and the rest of the programme at The Good Life Experience. Team Ernest will be there, too, so please do drop by our stall and say hello. We're mighty friendly. 

Doctor, are you willin', to try this penicillin?

Selina Hurley, Assistant Curator of Medicine at the Science Museum, takes a look at the personal stories behind a recent addition to their collections - a bacteriologist's travel case from the Second World War

One of the most enjoyable aspects of a curator’s job is acquiring objects that become part of the National Collections. Not only do we go out and actively seek objects but we also get offered some real gems. A recent addition to the museum in particular caught my eye: a rather wonderful wooden chest.

Major Scott Thomson (1909-1992), a bacteriologist, used this chest to carry supplies of penicillin in order to combat gas gangrene during the Second World War.

Wooden chest used by Major Scott Thomson. Credit: Science Museum

Wooden chest used by Major Scott Thomson. Credit: Science Museum

During the Second World War, Scott Thomson was a pathologist to various military hospitals, until 1943 when he was appointed by the War Office as a bacteriologist in the Penicillin Research Team. Thomson was posted to Algiers in May 1943 with surgeon Ian Fraser after undergoing special training at Oxford with Howard Florey.

He returned to Britain with the successful results of his trials, just as the MRC Penicillin Committee decided to concentrate supplies of penicillin in one area of battle activity in Italy. In December 1943, Thompson was posted to Monte Cassino and, according to his obituary in the Journal of Medical Microbiology, he was responsible for all of the world’s supply of penicillin during those months – a fact his daughters remember him retelling.

Like many of his contemporaries, Scott Thomson talked little about his time during the Second World War. However, I was lucky enough to meet Major Scott Thomson’s family who delighted me with snippets of information about his experiences.

The penicillin units, which consisted of just five people, were often at the back of every march as they were considered at the lower end of the army hierarchy. The lines between Allied and Axis forces were often so blurred that senior Axis officers wandered into the Allied camp.

Scott Thomson believed that the medical profession’s job was to cure. He determined that bacteriology was the main way of doing this and so focussed his research in antibiotics. By the late 1960s, his daughters remember him talking about the overuse of antibiotic resistance – a subject that is now always in the news.

By far, my favourite snippet the family were kind enough to share was the lyrics to Song for Penicillin, which may have been penned by Thompson's German friend with lyrics in German, English and Italian. The tune is unknown, but is believed to be based a popular German oom-pah song. I’ll leave you with the chorus of the song:


German Doctor, are you willin’?

Go and try this Penicillin

This is something else than killin’ – Penicillin!

Penicillin! Penicillin!


This article was taken from The Science Museum's blog.

You can discover more snippets of curious history and scientific discovery in the current iPad issue and inaugural print edition of Ernest Journal, on sale now.

Ernest + Odditorium at Wilderness Festival

Postal pranks, demonology, alpine time travellers, the hand of glory and more Tunnock's than we knew what to do with: read on for more about our collaboration with the Odditorium at Wilderness Festival 2014.

Now that we've cleaned the mud from between our toes, dried out our tent and had a jolly good kip, we wanted to share one of the real highlights of our summer – a collaboration with the Odditorium at Wilderness Festival. 

The Odditorium is a portal into the fringes of culture; its mavericks and pranksters, adventurers and occultists, graphic novelists and eroticists. Over three days of talks, we probed Nazi space legends, heard tales of the Church of the Subgenius, delved into the bewildering world of the KLF, sought out the hand of glory, rummaged through the history of postal pranks and were pushed out of our own tent by the vast number of people who turned up to see a talk about big willies.

Along the way, we met inspiring people, peddled copies of issue one, limited edition prints and tiny taxidermy owls and handed out tea and Tunnock's to a rather thirsty crowd.

Thank you to everyone who came along and shared the experience. If you missed us and this sort of thing floats your boat, be sure to look up the Catalyst Club in Brighton (where the Odditorium over-winters) and sign up to the Ernest newsletter for news on our upcoming events (rumours abound of a Bristol-based launch party for issue two).

We were also proud to partner up with Millican - makers of beautifully-crafted bags and accessories - to offer a bundle of goodies worth £300, including Matthew the Daypack, Joe the iPad cover, Ian the Camera Case, a two-year subscription to Ernest Journal, three limited edition sea monster prints and two rather curious card games. We're announcing the winner tomorrow so, if you entered, check your inbox!

The Sick Rose

Before colour photography, illustrations of afflicted patients were produced for 19th-century medical books. The Sick Rose by Richard Barnett compiles images from these rare texts, focusing on diseases prevalent in the 19th century, such as cholera and diphtheria, driven by industrialisation, urbanisation and poor hygiene. The book forms a "profoundly human reminder of mankind's struggle with disease."

The Sick Rose: Disease and the Art of Medical Illustration, by Richard Barnett is published by Thames & Hudson, £19.95