Recently we have had the Swan/n saga. With Dick Swann claiming David K Swan’s business was his. This brought forth those who said they knew both of them and they were one and the same person, that they even added a little bit of juicy scandal to support their intimate knowledge. Of course later we find that while Dick Swann who lived in Berkshire died in September 2003, David K (Ken) Swan was reported still alive and riding around his Hampshire home in 2004, and was still a paid up member of his club, and still alive (it is presumed and hoped) in early 2005.
– Bob George, commenting on the mystery surrounding D.K Swan
[News & Views magazine, August/September, 2005]
When I bought this ‘Swan Sports’ bicycle recently I was told by the seller that there was some mystery surrounding its manufacturer. As it’s in such superb original unrestored condition, with its transfers (decals) proudly declaring its parentage, and it has an interesting and unusual feature on its frame, I found that hard to believe. Nevertheless, ploughing through old copies of the News & Views magazine, I can now see that there were, in fact, two gentlemen involved in cycling at that time with very similar names, and it was believed that one of them, Dick Swann, used the name of D.K Swan (the builder of this bicycle) as one of his pseudonyms.
The mystery deepened when various vintage cycle enthusiasts claimed that they had met Mr Swan(n) – and that there was only one of them – and researcher Bob George could not turn up any definite information on the D.K Swan cycle shop at 101 Station Rd, Croydon.
Eventually, the truth came out – and it was proven beyond a doubt when Dick Swann died in 2003 and it was discovered that D.K (Ken) Swan lived in Ringwood, Hampshire, and was still a keen cyclist. (He died in 2008, aged 92).
1949 D.K Swan ‘Swan Sport’
24″ Frame. 22″ top tube length. 33″ standover height
Simplex 3 speed gear
Chater Lea chainset
Chain lubricator in the seat tube
The magazine got his name wrong in the advert below!
D.K SWAN – at last, Keith Mitchell reveals the truth