This is a rare tandem. According to the book Sunbeam Cycles, the Double Gents tandem was introduced for the 1936 season, with a Lady-back version offered in addition the following year for 10/- extra. It was named the ‘Model U’ Royal Tandem in 1938. By 1940, with the outbreak of war, the model was discontinued.
As you can see from the original receipt, below, Leslie and Marjorie Williamson bought this double gent’s tandem on 1st May, 1939. It was priced at 16 guineas, but George Hulse allowed them £5 10/- as a trade in price for their old tandem, so their payment was £11 6/-. You can see them, above, enjoying a ride on the tandem.
The tandem was put into a local auction by their daughter Pam, which is where I bought it. Pam told me she has fond childhood memories of creeping into the big shed where the tandem lived, removing the dust-sheet and ringing its bell.
1939 Sunbeam ‘Model U’ Double Gent’s Tandem
Frame: 21″ front; 20.5″ rear
Frame No 4/296