A to B magazine started life as The Folder, the newsletter of the Folding Society in August 1993. Specialising in news and reviews of folding and separable bikes, the magazine went from strength to strength.
In August 1997, with 1,200 subscribers worldwide, David Henshaw decided to float the magazine on its own. The new magazine had a new title ‘A to B’ and a new brief – to explore new ways of traveling from point A to point B. Naturally, as the most efficient transport integrator, the folding bicycle continues to feature in the magazine, but we also cover electric cars, electric bikes, green energy, bike trailers and public transport. Around 1,500 magazines are sold by subscription every three months, plus a large but indefinable number of digital issues by all sorts of means, giving an estimated readership of 6,000 worldwide. Subscribers include public utilities, train operating companies and bike manufacturers and distributors.
Production of a small magazine would be impossible without a dedicated team. This is ours:
WRITER & EDITOR
Now around 56, but increasingly vague
Writes threequarters of the total of 20,000 words per issue and edits and proof-reads the rest. Responsible for producing all photographs and maps unless otherwise stated, and is one half of the magazine packing and dispatch team.
Has authored and co-authored several books on railways and cars, but has specialised in folding bikes since 1993, and electric bikes since 1999. His book on the Brompton, and the jointly-authored Electric Bikes were published in 2010, Brompton being reprinted twice since. The 1993 book on the ‘Beeching’ railway cuts of the 1960s, The Great Railway Conspiracy, was revised and reprinted in April 2013.
Born in the New Forest, brought up in Weymouth, Dorset, and educated at Weymouth Grammar School. Went on to under-perform at a number of jobs from Miniature Railway Operator to London Van Courier, before discovering the world of alternative transport. Joint editor of ‘The Folder’ magazine from 1993, before staging a non-violent coup, relaunching the magazine as ‘A to B’ in 1997. In 2006 David launched a second magazine ‘Miniature Railway’. This does more or less what you’d expect it do to – ‘A to B’ on rails, but without the politics.
Once regarded as an enthusiast for motor cars, but car-free since 1993. Since then, all long trips have been by rail, usually accompanied by a Brompton folding bike, while shorter trips are usually undertaken by Brompton, Kalkhoff Pro-Connect or whatever happens to be available at the time. Having said that, is taking a definite interest in cars again, testing several electric cars for A to B. Who knows where this will lead?
Some journalism for other magazines, plus cycle map surveying for Cycle-City Guides (including Mayor Ken’s Greater London contract – quite proud of that). Formerly on the National Executive of the Railway Development Society before the railway lobby imploded, which made things rather less interesting. Has backed all the main political parties at various times over the years, but tends now to gnash teeth at politicians of all shades. Primary interest is annoying the Department for Transport and working towards a saner transport policy, with or without politicians. Actually, any kind of policy would do.
Does everything else, from advising on content, to banking cheques, and helping to pack and dispatch magazines.
An experienced cyclist and cycling-model, with an ability to make almost any machine look good, which is more difficult than it sounds. Also helps to guide the general direction and shape of A to B.
Born in Weymouth, Dorset, and educated (‘poorly’, according to Jane) at Broadwey School. A children’s nanny and house-sitter before discovering the Brompton and other ‘alternative’ transport.
Enthusiastic advocate of car-free living, and experienced train-user and cyclist. Rides a Giant Lafree Comfort (occasionally), Brompton (rarely) and Gazelle Something-or-other (daily).
Arts and crafts, mainly involving fabrics. Has produced a number of stylish Brompton pannier bags and rain covers over the years. Currently producing children’s costumes, large and small art installations, and so forth.
Status Essential member of personnel, providing feed-back on all wheeled machines.
Specialist Subjects Anything with wheels, but trains top the list. Currently showing promise in music, and has been studying the church organ and percussion at the Wells Cathedral School for three years. Plays anything and everything with several local bands and orchestras.
Transport Unusually, travelled to the hospital by bicycle and train as a fetus, and came back by train and car as a very small baby. Graduated from North Barrow toddler group to four-mornings-a-week at Galhampton play school, Somerset in late 2002. Alexander was the only child to arrive by bike trailer at Galhampton, or possibly anywhere else in South Somerset. Graduated to Castle Cary Primary School in September 2003, travelling by Brompton trailer bike, bike trailer, Puky 18-3B and ‘junior’ Brompton. After we moved to Dorchester in 2006, Alexander became a pupil at St Osmunds Middle School, but he now boards at Wells Cathedral School where he specialises in the church organ and percussion, with a little bit of academic work on the side.
Status Orlando enjoys testing small bicycles.
Specialist Subjects Piano, performance cars, performance cars, modified performance cars and piano. Started at Manor Park Junior School, and moved on to Sunninghill Prep School in early 2015.
Transport Has been cycling unaided for some years, but generally rides to school on the back of our Brompton trailer-bike.
Age Must be well over 50
Status Essential proof-reading abilities as David claims to be dyslexic. Also writes occasional A to B articles, makes judgments on test bikes and gives advice in specialist areas.
Specialist Subject Motorcycles, scooters, folding bicycles, tractors, trains and cars, in order of expertise.
Background Born and brought up in Weymouth, Dorset, and educated at Weymouth Grammar School, then Oxford Poly and Warwick University. Took things easy for a bit, then sub-editor at Haynes Manuals (yes, really), editor at Diesel Car and Motorcycle Sport magazines, before turning freelance.
Transport Peter and partner Anna don’t own a car out of choice, but would like everyone to know that living without a car is not at all easy. You have to choose between train, bus, an Enfield Robin diesel motorbike, Suzuki Burgman scooter, a tandem, two electric bikes, a couple of Bromptons, a Birdy, Bike Friday and assorted tourers. They reassure us, it’s no picnic.
Other Work/Interests Peter says he ‘scrapes a living’ writing about motorbikes, scooters, bicycles and tractors – even cars, sometimes. Also offers a sub-editing/rewriting/proof-reading service for any words on any subject.
Useful Links E-mail
Age Early 80s
Status Jane’s father, and an essential member of the team, testing bicycles, packing magazines, and standing in where photographs of a distinguished-looking tall, older gentleman are required.
Specialist Subjects Microsoft computers (we’re 100% Mac at A to B), motorcycles (particularly Vincents) and bicycles. Said to be able to master anything on two wheels.
Background Born and raised in Weymouth, Dorset. Educated at Weymouth Grammar School, worked at Ministry of Defence, Portland.
Transport Longer trips by car or train, and Brompton for local journeys.
Other Work/Interests Gordon was formerly Machine Registrar with the Vincent Owner’s Club, but now keeps busy enjoying himself.