Horseley, Hough, Howard, Hughes,
Humber, Jackson & Beeston, Harry Lester, Lewis, Thomas Lisle, Lloyd, Melbourne, Mercury

The Horseley Bicycle Company had premises in Horseley Fields. Around the end of the 19th century they produced 'Horseley' safety bicycles and tricycles. The following photographs were taken from Hulley's Directory of 1889.

The 'Invicta' tricycle.

The 'Horseley Number 1' Safety bicycle.
The following is a short description from "Bicycles & Tricycles of the Year 1889" by Harry Hewitt Griffin:

The Horseley No.1 Spring-frame Dwarf Safety Roadster. Horseley Cycle Company, Wolverhampton. Spring forks form a special feature of the machine; these are shown in the image below. The fork foot, instead of running direct to the axle, curves out a little above and beyond it; to a stud on the end is pivoted a short link, also pivoted on the axle end. With only this connection, the fork would of course drop down; but to restrain this, and receive the weight, there is, between this and a small elbow at the back of the fork, a strong coil spring. Any concussion on the front wheel drives it backward, and these springs compressing, they absorb the shock, and relieve the rider of a great amount of vibration. The frame is a single cross one, but there is a very strong stay from the top of the seat-pillar to the neck; a strong lower stay also runs down from a lug on the backbone to the bearing bracket. There are, in addition, the usual back stays. Rudge ball bearings are put to all parts; wheels, both 30in., with tangent spokes, crescent rims, and tin. rubbers. The handlebar is curved back considerably, with 'T' grips. The machine may be relied on as a good one. Price £18; or with hollow felloes, £18.15s.

The Horseley No.1 Spring-frame Dwarf Safety Roadster.

The Horseley No.2 Dwarf Safety Roadster. A cheaper pattern of the same type, without either the spring forks or upper stay; but the lower stay is in a better position, as it runs right up to the bottom of the solid neck. It also has ball bearings all round, ¾in. red rubbers, solid rims, etc.; and the price is £13; or with hollow felloes, £13.15s.

The following description of a Horseley tricycle is also from "Bicycles & Tricycles of the Year 1889" by Harry Hewitt Griffin:

The Horseley Invicta Direct Steering Roadster. The Horseley Cycle Company, Horseley Fields, Wolverhampton). There are a few alterations from the general model of the direct-steerer. From the centre of the four-bearing axle bridge, the main connecting tube slants down, and then curves up to the neck and centres of the front steering-pillar. At the back, the seat-pillar tube starts from above the central tube, curves forward, and is supported by stout stays to above the bend of the main tube, and is then perpendicular for the 'Γ' pin. This stay greatly strengthens the frame, and, being low down,
does not interfere with a lady using the machine. To the curved front forks are fitted the spring joints (when ordered) that are so successfully applied to the dwarf safety bicycle turned out by the same firm. They remove a very large percentage of the vibration, making the holding of the handlebar far less tiring. The standard size of the wheels is 32in. rear and 30in. front, with ¾in. rubbers, solid rims, and tangent or direct spokes, an open choice. The machine is a good one, and the list price is £23; if built light, with hollow rims, etc., £24.5s. The brake is a lever plunger to the front wheel.



Howard bicycles were produced by Mr. Fred C. Poyner in his shop premises at 539 and 540 Dudley Road. The business was established in 1905 and Mr. Poyner undertook all kinds of cycle and motorcycle repairs, running a 24 hour repair service that catered for private individuals and the trade. He sold all kinds of cycle parts and accessories, and the City Cycling Club held meetings at the shop. Fred was a keen Wolves supporter and at one time he supplied the football club with its strip.

Poyner's Cycle Shop in 1921.


The following is a short description from "Bicycles & Tricycles of the Year 1889" by Harry Hewitt Griffin:

The Homo No.1 Dwarf Safety Roadster. G. Hughes, Temple Works, Temple Street, Wolverhampton.
This machine has the popular divided diamond frame, which has, with the exception of the top front upper stay, double tubes all round, with central stays, the bearing-bracket being well supported. Extra long cranks are fitted, and, the saddle being in a good position, the rider can put forth his full power. The steering-rod is curved a good deal, and has 'T' handles. There is a plunger brake, and the machine is well and strongly built throughout. Usual details, balls all parts, etc., list price, £13. There is a No.2, plainer details and a skeleton diamond frame, etc., at £10.10s.


Humber & Company Limited was founded by Thomas Humber at Beeston, Nottinghamshire, in 1869.

In 1887 Joseph Devey sold his cycle manufacturing business at Ashes Works, Pelham Street, Wolverhampton to Mr. Joseph Horton of Birmingham for £10,000. Mr. Horton also purchased the Coventry Cycle Company Limited and Humber & Company and joined them together to form Humber & Company Limited. Humber cycles were soon being produced at Ashes Works, also known as Tower Works. On 8th March, 1900 the business became Humber Limited and production moved to Coventry.

Ashes Works, as seen in 2,000. It has since been demolished.

Another view of Ashes Works. Also called Tower Works.

Humber also had a factory in Great Brickkiln Street, Wolverhampton, possibly the rear part of Ashes Works. In 1896 the company acquired a factory in Pountney Street, and also had showrooms in Queen Street. Humber later built a new works at Stoke in Coventry, and in 1900 production moved there. Ashes Works closed and remained empty until it was sold to Clyno in 1912, and the Pountney Street factory was later taken over by cycle makers Sharrett & Lisle.

In 1877 Humber went into partnership with Marriott and Cooper. This was not to last. Marriott and Cooper started producing and selling their own Humber bicycles. These were made in Wolverhampton by Dan Rudge. At this time Humber called its cycles 'Genuine Humber' cycles to distinguish them from Marriott and Cooper's products.

Courtesy of Jim Boulton.

An advert from 1898.

Some products from the early 1890s:

Jackson & Beeston

Thomas Lisle

In 1868 a cycle catalogue was produced by Mr. Thomas Lisle who had a factory at Villiers street, Moorfields, Wolverhampton. Thomas was the uncle of Edward Lisle who founded Star.

In 1858 he produced Japanned hardware and by 1861 worked as a clerk for Henry Fearncombe & Co.

His early machines were a ‘French Bicycle’, a ‘German Tricycle’, and a ‘Ladies Velocipede’. The ‘French Bicycle’ and the ‘German Tricycle’ were based on the ‘Michaux Velocipede’.

The ‘Ladies Velocipede’, a treadle operated tricycle had treadles that were connected by levers to cranks on the rear axle. Other features included a padded seat and tiller steering. He also produced a special ‘Postman’s Tricycle’ for rural postman that sold for 35 shillings.

Harry Lester

William Lewis

This advert is from the programme for the Wolverhampton Art and Industry Exhibition of 1884.

A machine made by William Lewis in 1884.

William Lewis's business was established in 1853, and he proclaimed himself to be the oldest maker in the trade.

If he started in the cycle business he would have been making hobby horses, as that's what were produced at the time.

An advert from 1884.

Lloyd and Company

An advert from about 1890.


Allan and Somerfield made the 'Melbourne' cycle at their Melbourne Street works. They produced a complete range of machines.


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