1951 Cyclemaster Roundsman: Elswick Hopper Model ‘W’ Carrier…

3 Фев 2015 | Author: | Комментарии к записи 1951 Cyclemaster Roundsman: Elswick Hopper Model ‘W’ Carrier… отключены
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1951 Cyclemaster Roundsman: Hopper Model ‘W’

1951 Cyclemaster Roundsman: Hopper Model ‘W’

I’m keen on commercial of all sorts, but particularly two-wheeler and commercial variants. In America, a such as this is called a Delivery or ‘trade’ cycles once the mainstay of local deliveries, and that was particularly the in 1951 when this W Hopper was new – just all new British vehicles were So, although, a 26cc or 32cc bicycle with a rack on the might not now seem the ideal for delivering to your customers, in it was an absolute godsend.



The story close to the River Humber in when Fred Hopper a Whitesmith’s shop in Brigg Barton on Humber. He was born in the son of a local tallow chandler and an apprenticeship in Hull and at Marshall’s in

He worked on a variety of machinery for local businesses, including the and brick works and soon an interest in bicycles, firstly by them, then by selling Singer and Humber models and by making frames and complete The 1880’s were a time of development in bicycle design the Safety model took from the penny-farthing in popularity.

The on Brigg Road expanded adjacent buildings, but money for development was not available. In 1896, sold his business to an investment which retained him as manager of the A.B.C. Cycle Fittings Ltd.

This did not work out and he left the year to set up a new factory in Butts at the North end of the town, called the and Barton Cycle Manufacturing In this business he was assisted by prominent Hull and Barton who were clearly impressed by his to become a major manufacturer. the long-running “bicycle boom” to an end and the A.B.C Cycle Fittings went into liquidation.

in 1898, Fred and his partners back the original business, was resumed trading as F. Hopper Co. in 1898.

Over the following 14 the business grew dramatically, to Fred’s ingenuity as an engineer and due to the of his salesmen in developing both a and an export market for their Though far from the main centres in the Midlands, Barton had the of a cheaper work force and access to the port of Hull for the export markets.

Fred heavily in new technology and was using brazing in 1904 and had developed and his own design of electric stove ovens by 1908. He also saw the of motor cycles and was an early of NSU machines from Germany, basing his own Torpedo motorcycle on the NSU but using bought-in engines. planning ahead he ventured car assembly on a small scale in

All this expansion meant the work force had grown to 400 in and to 800 by 1912. This involved investment in factory buildings and accommodation and the main production was transferred to a grass roots called St Mary’s Works off Lane. This factory was with the best lighting and available and the employees conditions also considered with the of a social club that a reading room as well as facilities.

This was at a time bathrooms did not exist in many

The administrative centre remained in Road at the offices built in still standing opposite the Hotel. Packing also at Brigg Road, which it necessary to transport finished through town on horse-drawn and back again to the railway in crates.

The patents, trademarks and of the bankrupt Elswick Cycle of Newcastle were bought in and Fred and his partners decided to and market under the separate of Hopper and Elswick, using dealers to give greater penetration. Unfortunately, all this more capital than the could raise through offers on the London market and the Banks became so concerned at the level of overdrafts that called in a Receiver in 1913.

This was at the end of a year when Hopper and his partners had struggled to attract investors and it must been a bitter blow the Receiver took control. using the scheme of reconstruction had already been agreed the Banks lost confidence, a new emerged, called The Elswick Cycle and Motor Company first registered in June The assets of Fred Hopper Co. and the Cycle Company were by the new Company and adequate funding was put in

The new company undertook several for the government during the First War and had to release many of its work to the Army and Navy, some to return. Fred died in at the age of 66, stuck down by a chill developed complications. He had become a figure in Barton, was a Justice of the and Lord of the Manor.

He had built up a manufacturing business in the town, had markets in all parts of the British in North and South America, in and even in Japan.

Business between the wars, with tough years during the depression. Fred Hopper Jr. had over as Managing Director, he did not have the same attributes or as his father, leaving the day to day running of the to the management team. Exports still a major factor in and the classic roadster remained a favourite, especially in Asian and countries, where it was appreciated for its and ruggedness.

Indeed, old Elswick and Hopper can be found still in daily use in countries. With minimal in new equipment the company enjoyed a export boom after the World War, as most had been deprived of products for years. However, many of the old countries that had previously importers found that could produce their own much cheaper.

Tariffs imposed on bicycles imported Europe and exports from slowly declined.

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New management control in 1958 and set about the slump in earnings. They in an Italian design company to a new model range and formed a successful racing team, with the Lincoln Imp racing

Despite new models and a foray scooter sales and the moped through an associate company, declined through the 1960’s and Hopper started to diversify other products. Like bicycle makers at that they found it increasingly difficult to compete on price imports and more and more were bought overseas for at Barton, although frames still built in house.

With falling production the looked for tenants to lease of the spare buildings and discovered Coventry Eagle were to move from their in Smethwick, due to redevelopment plans. A was struck and for the next 10 years the two continued side by side as with Coventry Eagle its name to Falcon in 1970, in racing models.

Elswick reluctant to invest in an aging saw an opportunity to buy a modern assembly in Alverley, Shropshire, through the of the old established Wearwell company, had originated in Wolverhampton in around In 1972 Falcon also that the Barton site was not long term and moved of their production to a redundant, but facility in Brigg, just 10 south of Barton.

Six years in 1978, Falcon was acquired by The next few years saw a further in sales of Elswick-Hopper bicycles and in the Falcon brand. The logical was taken to build on the strength of the name and so the Falcon brand as the successor to the old Hopper companies, growth continuing through the of such well-known brands as Butler and more recently,

Production eventually ceased in in the mid 1980’s, bringing to a close 100 years of bicycle construction in the Barton’s loss was Brigg’s and Falcon, as part of the Tandem plc, goes from to strength.



bicycles is not always easy. managed to date this because I have a 1951 that illustrates this (below), which is how I know a 1951 Model W.



Elswick are a brand of bicycles I like. I have a 1938 Gents in my collection, so I jumped on this Model W Trade Bike I found it. The wonderful thing it is the faded original paint and all its and decals still there 58 after it left the factory

Sachs Roadster 800
Sachs Roadster 800


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