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By Derek Rayner

Situated in the far east of central Germany, not far from the East German border, is the unspoilt mediaeval town of Hannover Münden. There are very many half-timbered buildings dating back to the 15th century, the town centre is virtually all pedestrianised and it is a big tourist attraction with its picturesque towers, gates and bridges. The town is located at the confluence of the rivers Felda and Werra. From that point on, the combined river becomes the Weser, renowned in folklore with its associations with Hameln and the Pied Piper. Only a relatively short distance (6 miles) from Hann Münden is the Erlebnispark at Zeigenhagen, a children's zoo incorporating an automobile museum with tractors, microcars, motor cycles and several cyclemotors, scooters and mopeds. There are over 320 vehicles etc on show as well as many other displays of items in other more rural and domestic categories.

The machines are well displayed and restored, some hanging on walls, others lined up, admittedly a little cramped but nevertheless able to be seen to good advantage. Not surprisingly for Germany, there were a couple of Lohmanns; one an early version (1949) with a Bing carburettor - obviously a petrol version. In addition to these there was a Flink, a Rex and a Victoria Vicky I; respectively front wheel friction drive, front wheel belt drive and rear wheel chain drive motors; in addition to more "common" machines like a (Vélo)Solex, JLO, Sachs, NSU Quick, Triumph Tipo and Mobylette Mofa. Two other machines which caught the eye were a Rabeneick Taxi - a German produced Cyclemaster with the conventional cast "Cyclemaster" badge on the magneto cover but with a stamped "R" in a shield in place of the more usual CM symbol - and a front wheel friction drive Ideal, which had its headlamp incorporated in the fuel tank.

Other engines on display, although not in cycles, were another Vicky I and a Mini-Motor - at least that's what it looked like in the glass case but since it was on a stand, surmounted by a tank of nondescript shape and with a very different exhaust system, it was difficult to be specific. Unfortunately it was not captioned, so whether it was a German copy marketed under another name or just a heavily modified conventional motor is not known.

The collection of bubble cars included two BMWs, a Heinkel, Messerschmitt, NSU and a Fuldamobil. It was a very worthwhile museum to visit from a cyclemotor enthusiast's point of view - with some sixteen examples in total on exhibition, even though it is perhaps a little far away from these shores. On a small scale map the location will be found almost mid-way between Kassel and Göttingen, close to the A7 motorway exit for Hann Münden.

First published - December 1989

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