We went to a few second hand shops around London, and there were some nice bikes but they were generally all in the £150+ range, personally I thought we could get a better buy going on Gumtree or eBay as the going rate for that type of bike is about £100 or thereabouts. However one weekend when we were determined to just look at a few, we found a guy around the corner who had about four similar ones for sale.
There was one quite interesting bike here, it was an old Trent sports branded bike which was pretty unassuming however at a closer inspection it had a Sturmey Archer AM medium ratio 3-speed hub and 26 x 1-1/4 wheels, not so common. Typically this type of hub would have been found on the racing style English "club bike"which are not so garden variety, in fact they are quite uncommon these days. This particular hub dates from 1957 and appears to have an alloy shell as opposed to the standard chrome steel shell of the ubiquitous AW hub.
The 26 x 1-1/4 wheels are also a bit of an odd one as they were only also found on high end racing bikes back in the day, they are actually a rare size as well and tyre choice is limited to only a handful of tyres, they are only a smidge bigger than the standard 26 x 1-3/8 size common on English 3 speeds. The standard 26 x 1-3/8 is 590mm bead seat and the 26 x 1-1/4 is 597, the seller wasn't even aware that they were an oddball size until I mentioned it, it trips up a lot of people because they are almost the same diameter. The 7mm makes them different enough that they aren't interchangeable but close enough that people would mistake them for one another.
The trigger shifter and the double ended brake cables also mark this as something not so garden variety, however I would assume at least the wheels were taken from another bike, also the chainguard looks like it was taken from a later bike, possibly from the 70's.
For those who have never seen these, the little handle is spring loaded and pulls out with one of the rails which originally allowed you to quick release a basket. Quite ingenious and very simple indeed.
The only thing about wiring up these old dynohubs is that you have to use an extra run of wire from the dynohub to the front light and then back again to the rear. All modern dynohubs are front wheel based so you only have to run wire up the leg of the fork. However one positive is that you can upgrade to a drum brake on the front and still have dynamo lighting, without having to resort to the expensive combined drum/dynamo hubs like I have on my Raleigh Superbe.
The rear light had to be mounted pointing down because of the design of the rack struts, we may replace this rack anyway as the rat trap spring on it is broken and it looks quite flimsy. Once it was all hooked up it all worked fantastically, just in time for the dark rides home in the winter. A very straightforward upgrade for an old bike to bring it into the modern era, in fact it probably has better lights than most modern bikes you see on the road with battery operated blinking lights, testament to how long lasting these old 3-speeds are.