Moate Cycles, Mount Cycles, New Tower, Olympic, Onward, Parkdale, Peerless,
Pan, Price, Raven, Robinson

Moate Cycles

Wednesbury had at least one cycle maker.

S. J. Taylor is listed in Peck's 1896 Trade Directory of Birmingham. The address given is Apsley Place, Pritchard Street, Wednesbury.

The advert opposite is from Ryder's Annual, 1909.


The advert opposite is from Ryder's Annual, 1911.

Mount Cycles

Harry Jones, a foreman frame builder at the Star Cycle Company set himself up in business when the company closed in about 1915. He started building cycles at works in Church Lane under the name of Mount Cycles.

By 1925 he had moved to premises in Cleveland Street and built machines and frames to special order for specialised cycle makers.

Mount Cycles stayed in business for many years, and is listed in the 1951 Wolverhampton Red Book, but not in the 1956, or subsequent editions. It seems that the business closed sometime between 1951 and 1956.

New Tower


From the Illustrated Towns of England Business Review of Wolverhampton, 1897.

S. lllidge and Son, General Brassfounders. Manufacturers of every description of Locks, and Makers of the "Nimbus" Cycles, Alexandra Foundry, Great Brickkiln Street, and Alexandra Street. Telegraphic Address: "Illidge, Wolverhampton." Telephone No. 7214.

The extensive business carried on by Messrs. S. Illidge and Son, as General Brassfounders, Lock and Cycle manufacturers, etc., is clearly entitled to prominent notice in this review, It was founded as long ago as 1826, and has had a career of prosperity clearly indicative of a management of unusual strength and ability.

This firm are general brassfounders, and among their numerous manufactures in this line may be mentioned: every description of cabinet, brass and iron pad, rim, mortise. and dead locks; combination, lever, and Bramah night latches; water closet, pulpit, shutter, pew, ships and other latches; flush and barrel bolts; sun blind furniture; rack, pulleys, sash and casement fasteners; brass butt hinges, cabin hooks, lifting and cash box handles, stable fittings, etc. They are also patentees of fanlight openers, indicating fasteners, the "Eclipse" sash fasteners, etc.

All these productions are in large demand, and are renowned for best quality of material, great utility and superior finish. Messrs. Illidge are, we believe, the only firm in the district who mix their own metals on the premises, hence they are most advantageously situated to ensure both uniform high quality and economy of production. Their works cover a considerable area of ground at the corner of Great Brickkiln and Alexandra Streets; they are of substantial construction, conveniently arranged throughout and equipped with all the requisite machinery and appliances of modern type.

Last year the firm embarked in the cycle manufacturing trade, building new works of a commodious character, and equipping the same with special improved machinery for carrying on all operations successfully, including the manufacture of component parts, plating, enamelling, etc. The name given to their cycles is the "Nimbus," and the large demand which already exists for these machines proves them to be equa1 in design, speed, light running, and high-grade quality to any in the market.

This firm manufactures ladies' and gentlemen's safeties, juvenile safeties, racers, roadsters, tricycles, and tandems, which are fitted with the best makes of tyres, gear cases, and saddles to order. The "Nimbus" is a thoroughly modern "mount" at a reasonable price, and is sure to gain in popularity as it becomes better known among cyclists of both sexes. Messrs. Illidge employ from 150 to 200 hands in the different departments of their business, and are admirably placed to execute all orders in the promptest style. For a business so excellently managed in every respect, we can safely predict continued success.

Olympic Bicycles

Frank Heynes Parkyn.

Frank Heynes Parkyn, the son of Robert Buckingham Parkyn, a draper, and his wife Mary Ann Heynes, was born in Truro in about 1859.

On 22nd August, 1889 he married Winifred Ellah Stallybrass at the
Stoneway Congregational Chapel, Bridgnorth. Her father was the Rev. H. M. Stallybrass, of Bridgnorth, formerly the pastor of Truro Congregational Church.

They are listed in the 1891 census as living at 339 New Hampton Road, Wolverhampton. The entry is as follows:
Frank Heynes Parkyn, age 32, born in Truro, cycle manufacturer and employer.
Winifred Ella Parkyn, wife, age 23, born in Saltaire.
Dorothy Heynes Parkyn,
daughter, age 7 months, born in Wolverhampton.
Harold Stallybrass, age 15, born in Wirksworth, Derbyshire, an apprentice. Also two servants.

Frank and Winifred had four children, Dorothy Heynes Parkyn, who died young, Gerald Frank Parkyn, born on 30th April, 1892, Dorothy H. Parkyn, born in 1901, and Herbert Martyn Parkyn, born in 1910. Gerald Frank Parkyn emigrated to Canada in 1912, and after serving in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in World War One, married Isabel Winnifred Tessie Grant, and they had three children.

Frank Parkyn started producing Olympic bicycles in Green Lane in the early 1880s and moved the business to Granville Street in 1896. Mr. Parkyn introduced the latest machinery and manufacturing techniques at the works and became the Liberal member of the Town Council for St. George's Ward in 1897. At this time the family lived at 10 Rectory Terrace, Wolverhampton. In 1901 they were living at 342 Wolverhampton Road, Wolverhampton, and in 1911 they were living at 337 Newhampton Road East, Wolverhampton.

For several years Frank Parkyn was a partner in Daniel Smith and Company, Engineers, Machinists, and Tool Makers, at Castle Works, Raglan Street, Wolverhampton. The partnership was dissolved in 1884. He also became Vice President of the Motor and Cycle Trades Association, a Justice of the Peace, and Chairman of Walters (Wolverhampton) Limited, maker of cycle gear cases and chain covers, based in Melbourne Street, Wolverhampton.

An advert for the 'Olympic' 
No. 1 bicycle which sold for £12.10s.
The 'Olympic' No. 1 had curved semi-hollow front, and hollow back forks, elliptical handle grips with 27" bent back, and hollow, adjustable, and detachable handlebars. The frame was made of 1.75", 15s.w.g. weldless steel tube. Both wheels had mudguards and the machine weighed 43lbs.

An advert from 1899.

Courtesy of John Parkyn.

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

The Olympic Diamond Dwarf Safety Roadster. Frank Parkyn, Granville Street, Wolverhampton.

A skeleton frame machine composed of strong tubes. We believe the central stay has been added since we inspected it; if so, it will make an excellent frame.

Chain adjustment is made by a sliding carriage, taking the crank axle, on the end of the lower rear forks. The cranks are detachable, and the forks are curved.

There is a plunger lever brake to the pilot wheel; and with all the usual etceteras, the list price (both wheels 30in., balls all parts), £15.10s.

There are also some lower-priced machines, with single frames.

The report of a serious fire at the factory, from the Wolverhampton Journal. The fire broke out on 27th July, 1908.

After the First World War the business became the Olympic Cycle and Motor Company Limited. Olympic motorcycles were produced from 1902 to 1905 and from 1919 to 1923, when the business closed, due to falling sales.

In 1931 Frank Heynes Parkyn became liquidator for Walters (Wolverhampton) Limited:

Frank Heynes Parkyn died in 1939. At  the time he lived at Springhead, Sedgley.

I would like to thank John Parkyn for his help with this section.

Onward Bicycles

Onward was one of the many component suppliers to the bicycle industry. The bicycle on this 1886 advert is printed from the same block as was used in the 1886 advert for the 'Wulfruna' Safety No. 4 bicycle, and so may have in fact been made by Wulfruna Cycles.
The photograph on the right was kindly sent by Emma Matthewson and shows her Great Grandfather Samuel Cotterill.

It is believed that this is the Samuel Cotterill who founded 'Onward Bicycles'. He was born on 17th April 1861 at Townwell Fold, Wolverhampton and his Marriage certificate, dated 30th March, 1884 states that his profession is a bicycle maker.

If anyone has any further information about the company please contact me, I will be delighted to hear from you.

The Parkdale Cycle and Machine Tool Company

From an 1897 trade directory:
This firm manufacture the celebrated Parkdale cycles, and their productions hold an eminent position not only in the home markets, but also abroad. The large works are situated in St John's Square; the modern plant and machinery being on the most up-to-date principles, and the productive bowers of the concern are very large. The cycles manufactured by the Parkdale Cycle and Machine Tool Co. are of the highest grade, their make displaying an embodiment of all the latest improvements applied in the best possible manner. Their ladies' machines are of the latest design, and are very popular, being made with a nice dress clearance, which is very acceptable to the rider. Their No.105 is a magnificent mount, and is the result of much time and study given during the recess. The works have been greatly extended to meet increased demands, and the company are now enabled to give the most prompt delivery of orders.

Agents would do well to communicate with this firm, whose goods are of the most reliable order. The Parkdale cycle fittings, saddles, gear cases, valises, etc., all display the same amount of excellent workmanship, best quality material, and elegant design, and bear silent testimony to the thought, care, and practical skill brought to bear in their manufacture. By sheer enterprise and ability this firm has attained their present high position in the cycle world, and are deserving of the highest congratulation on the fact that not only have they been able to hold their own in the go-ahead race for place, but they have made considerable strides, which can only be accomplished by the utmost energy and tact.


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

The Peerless Direct Steering Roadster. S. Goodby & Son, Petit Street, Wolverhampton.
Those who cannot afford a long price, and are content with a strong-built machine, will find in the Peerless a good and remarkably cheap mount. It is built on what may be described as regulation lines for a direct steerer, with dropped 'V' frame and the very necessary four bearings to the axle. The front forks have a nice curve, and the brake is a direct plunger. The standard size of the wheels is 36in. and 28in., and, except pedals, ball bearings are put to all parts. The price is only £14. There is a capital Juvenile Peerless, for youths or girls in their teens, with 36in. and 18in. wheels, at £5; it is enamelled and part plated, with adjustable parts.

Courtesy of Jim Boulton.


Courtesy of Jim Boulton.

Peter Pan Bicycles

Peter Pan was founded after World War 1 in Stewart Street. It became a well known manufacturer of juvenile bicycles. Sales were good and the company moved into part of the old A.J.S. works at Graiseley Hill. After World War 2 production moved to works in Temple Street and for a time toy cycles and pushchairs were added to the product range. John Whittingham who had been cycle production manager at Sunbeam was the company's managing director. In the late 1940s they moved to works on the corner of Salop Street and St. Marks Road. The company closed in the mid 1950s.

Price Cycles

George Price, a well known lock and safe maker in Cleveland Street produced a range of bicycles. The most expensive model was the 'London'. The cheaper model 'Liverpool' sold for £9.10s.

The following two descriptions are from "Bicycles of the Year 1877" by Harry Hewitt Griffin:

The London (Price's). George Price, Cleveland Larger Works, Wolverhampton. These are of superior construction to the others by the same firm, and have steel rims, red rubber tyres (wired on as well as cemented), steel spokes, gun metal hubs, roller bearings, Sheffield bone, and ditto head, neat lubricators, and well made, but even with this high priced machine, oil can and spanner are charged for, things that are given with the commonest and lowest priced machines made. The system is unique, and not to be admired. It is to be regretted that the maker should have chosen for his machine a name which has already been adopted by a London firm.

The Wolverhampton. George Price, Cleveland Lodge, and Lock Works, Wolverhampton.
A cheaper class than "The London", having an iron backbone, and 'V' rims, gun metal hubs keyed on the axle, bearings (cones) screwed to the fork, red or grey rubber tyres, the spring bows out in front of the fork head, which is either socket or centres, the rear wheel is adjustable, and there are usual details. A remarkable fact is that spanner and oil can are charged extra. A lower class machine, the Liverpool, is made at £2.10s. less.

Raven Cycles

An advert from 1921. Courtesy of Jim Boulton.

Regal Cycles

W. Shepherd built Regal bicycles at his premises in Sedgley Street. They were well built machines with hollow steel or Firbanks wooden rims. George Whale, an ex-Coventry cycle maker was in charge of production. Mr. Shepherd started as a coal merchant, then turned to brick making in the 1860s, with works in the Dudley Road and Green Lane area. He also became a builder and by 1897 had erected over 500 houses. Mr. Shepherd also served as a local councillor.

From the Illustrated Towns of England Business Review of Wolverhampton, 1897.

W. Shepherd & Co., "Regal" Cycle Works, Sedgeley Street.

The manufacture of cycles is carried on very extensively in Wolverhampton, and the town has a high reputation both at home and abroad for the high grade quality of its productions. Among the numerous firms engaged in this flourishing branch of industry, we must mention Messrs. W. Shepherd & Co., makers of the "Regal" machines, whose works are situated in Sedgley Street, off Dudley Road. Though of but recent origin, this business promises to assume a very successful career.

Being assisted by a skilled staff of hands, under the personal direction and supervision of Mr. George Wale, a gentleman of large experience gained with celebrated makers of Coventry. Messrs. Shepherd & Co. have no fear of being able to place upon the market machines that will occupy a very front rank for beauty of design and finish, speed and light running, combined with great durability. The special makes are The "Regal" Model A, Lady's Safety; the "Regal" Model B, Lady's Safety; the "Regal" Model C, Light Roadster; the "Regal" Model D, Full Roadster; and the "Regal" Model E, Full Roadster. These are fitted with joint-less hollow rims or Fairbank's wood rims, and with the most celebrated makes of tyres, gear cases, etc., as desired.

Every care is taken to ensure that none, but the most perfectly constructed machines leave the premises, while as regards price it will be found on reference to the firm's handsome catalogue that no better machines are placed on the market at more advantageous terms. With the excellent manufacturing facilities at command, no difficulty is experienced in meeting all demands promptly. Knowing the resources and enterprising spirit of this firm, we can safely predict a substantial and gratifying measure of success for the coming season.

Robinson Cycles

In 1877 J. & A. Robinson were building bicycles at their premises in Waterloo Road. The machines were made to order using the 'Robin' and 'Wolverhampton Challenge' names. The cycles had both ball and roller bearings, came complete with tools, a tool bag and oil can, and were well priced at between £8 and £9. A racing machine based on the Grout Tension wheel was also produced.

The following description is from "Bicycles of the Year 1877" by Harry Hewitt Griffin:

The Robin, or Wolverhampton Challenge. J. and A. Robinson, 6, Waterloo Road, Wolverhampton.
These are made of varied types and forms, in fact, "to order." There seems to be no fixed class, the Stanley, Socket, Centres, and all being brought into play as the guiding power; Spider wheels, spokes lock nutted into solid or gun metal hubs, hollow backbone, good tyres. The makers are now fitting either ball or roller bearings without extra cost. The shape of the spring is regulated by the make of steering gear and ends with roller. The trailing wheel runs on cones. All extras, such as trouser guard, brake, satchel to saddle, etc., are given free. The firm also makes a neat looking racer, with better materials and bearings, similar to those on Grout's Tension in the early part of 1875. The bearings are plain, but part is cut away, so that the actual friction is reduced to two edges, running easily.

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