Dennis’s First ‘Croggy’

Dennis age 3 years, tricycle - Janet Roberts
Dennis, age 3 years at Balby – September 1945

This lovely family photograph was submitted to Doncaster’s Cycling Stories by Janet Roberts née Kitson. Janet explains:

At three years of age, Dennis Malcolm Kitson loves his tricycle – probably a Triang. Here he is smiling and pedalling away in the back garden of his home at 62, St John’s Road, Balby, Doncaster. The family had moved there from Sprotbrough at some point earlier in the War. Dennis liked to wait with his Mother for his Father to appear at the top of the road on his way home from work at the Plant. When he saw him approaching Dennis would run up the street towards him for a ‘croggy’ for the rest of the way home. There were hardly any cars on the side streets of Balby in those days.

Dennis can be seen riding on his Father’s handlebars in the image below.

Douglas and Dennis. Image courtesy of Janet Roberts
Douglas and Dennis – July 1945

Janet goes on to say:

The photograph was taken on the way to Doncaster Plant Athletic Club at Eden Grove, Hexthorpe, where our parents played tennis. There is no disguising the delight on my brother, Dennis’s face when he was given his first ‘croggy’ by my father, Douglas Kitson. Surprisingly Dennis is only 2 years 10 months old, yet he is sitting sideways and gripping on to the centre of the handlebars without the safety of even a cycle helmet. Did they even make them for little children in 1945?

My Father cycled to work at Doncaster Plant all of his working life as a Brass Finisher, no matter where he lived. He treated himself to a new, dark green Raleigh bicycle after we moved to Bentley and he worked with my Mother in our General Grocery business after a full day’s work. Dennis followed suit when he also began to work at the Plant as an Electrician. He began travelling to work by car later on after he got an office job at Gresley House, Doncaster but my Father kept up his cycling.

By Janet A. Roberts née Kitson

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