Jump to content
Fancy running a forum? Sheffield Forum is for sale! Learn more

Motorcycle shops long gone?

Recommended Posts

As a kid in my early teens round about '74 onwards me & my mates would spend alot of our spare time touring the many motorbike & related spares shops ( i know, i know) dreaming and drooling at the machines we would one day be riding. We'd go to places like Smiths(spittal hill), Bentleys(abbeydale rd), Grays(west st) and even go outa town to Charlie Freemans(eckington) or Pollards(dinnington) could name plenty others, all gone now though.. Well it was a hobby ... Anyone else?.. Discuss... And did you realise your dream, what bike did you get/now got?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Got my first bike from Grays, Honda CB250. When I passed my test went back and bought a CB750, great bike but had it stolen from speedway track.

Went mad after that and travelled to Coburn and Hughes in Luton to buy a Ducati 860GT, had to take my dad down on train to sign as guarantor for HP.

When that blew up it put me off biking for years till around 1999, have since had 3 BMW'S presently an R1100s

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

At one time there was also Bradbury's and Roper's on London Road, and Wilf Green's on Abbeydale Road. Syd Smith (Attercliffe Common) was one of the best places for spares, also Bill Beevers on Firth Park Road.

 

Oh, Grays... (first in Bridge Street, then from 1966 on West Street).... They were noted for buying in pounds and selling in guineas... But in 1971 I fell in love with a two year-old BSA 441cc Shooting Star that they had, though sadly it was beyond my pocket. But I was then the proud owner (well, the finance company owned most of it...) of a 250 Starfire bought from Leather & Simpson on the first day of the 'J.' registration, 1 August 1970. Leather & Simpson were on Langsett Road until the buildings were demolished in 1969, then they moved to Flora Street not far away.

 

I had started out in 1967 on an old LE Velocette (cost me £12 and did 4,000 miles before a big end went on West Bar, but it got me home on one cylinder). Then I flirted with a tiny NSU Quickly (two gears, top and bottom, would easily do 35 mph - well, maybe downhill with a following wind) and a 175cc Bantam, also from Leather & Simpson (not bad for a 175, went all over the country on it). Went further on the Starfire (e.g. Isle of Man) but then in 1972 my motorcycling came to an abrupt end at a crossroads near Worrall when a "lady" ignored give-way markings and wrote-off the Starfire, along with me, almost....

 

But it was all good fun..:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I used to be a bit too scared to go in "bobs" on Abbeydale road :/

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
At one time there was also Bradbury's and Roper's on London Road, and Wilf Green's on Abbeydale Road. Syd Smith (Attercliffe Common) was one of the best places for spares, also Bill Beevers on Firth Park Road.

 

Oh, Grays... (first in Bridge Street, then from 1966 on West Street).... They were noted for buying in pounds and selling in guineas... But in 1971 I fell in love with a two year-old BSA 441cc Shooting Star that they had, though sadly it was beyond my pocket. But I was then the proud owner (well, the finance company owned most of it...) of a 250 Starfire bought from Leather & Simpson on the first day of the 'J.' registration, 1 August 1970. Leather & Simpson were on Langsett Road until the buildings were demolished in 1969, then they moved to Flora Street not far away.

 

I had started out in 1967 on an old LE Velocette (cost me £12 and did 4,000 miles before a big end went on West Bar, but it got me home on one cylinder). Then I flirted with a tiny NSU Quickly (two gears, top and bottom, would easily do 35 mph - well, maybe downhill with a following wind) and a 175cc Bantam, also from Leather & Simpson (not bad for a 175, went all over the country on it). Went further on the Starfire (e.g. Isle of Man) but then in 1972 my motorcycling came to an abrupt end at a crossroads near Worrall when a "lady" ignored give-way markings and wrote-off the Starfire, along with me, almost....

 

But it was all good fun..:)

 

Hey hillsbro, I remember Bill Beevers opposite the Roxy. He opened the shop just after he'd won some event at the TT races (sounded like George Formby there), anyhow he had his winning 'bike in the window and us kids used to drool all over the window in admiration.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Texas - Bill was a great bloke. Motorbikes were his real passion, and as he told me "I'm the luckiest man in the world, making a living out of what I enjoy doing". Here's a 1940s photo.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

got my first bike from wraggs on gibralta st aeriel arrow flew all over cross and attercliffe on it best days of my life till i hit a street lamp top of broughton lane at about 70 m.p.h bike wrote off me on crutches didnt get back in saddle for four years then got b.s.a 650 gold flash a great bike did many miles fishing in lincolnshire

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
got my first bike from wraggs on gibralta st aeriel arrow flew all over cross and attercliffe on it best days of my life till i hit a street lamp top of broughton lane at about 70 m.p.h bike wrote off me on crutches didnt get back in saddle for four years then got b.s.a 650 gold flash a great bike did many miles fishing in lincolnshire

 

I went to Wilf GREENS and bought my second bike an ARIEL LEADER-- loved it , and like Rabbiter I was usually down in Lincolnshire of a weekend fishing/ under canves . Wrapped it up a couple of times (still have gravel rash on my rear end but it never put me off!:loopy::loopy:) Only a few weeks ago I was walking thro the Wicker and heard one coming towards me from behind,-- I didnt even have to look, I knew right away what it was. Would have one tomorrow if I had a grand or two spare:cool::cool:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Does anyone remember Sunny a one man outfit. He had a yard, in the early 70s, up a side street on the right as you went up Broad Street towards Hyde Park. He usually had an array of tatty looking bikes but there would sometimes be a gem amongst them. A Royal Enfield 250 Turbo Twin was one I missed out on. He ran an old 1950s Morris van for deliveries.

 

Also John Street Motorcycles, again in the early 70s another one man outfit. I bought a D10 BSA Bantam from him in 1971. Not the best of bikes but provided me with much enjoyment for the next 18 months.

 

As for Pollards, is it still trading. It was in 2007 when I last had a bike tested.

George Pollard was still knocking about then, unfortunately not in the best of health, but still taking pride in showing my wife and I his bike and car collection. Is he still alive?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These scans from the Kelly's Directories for 1942, 1968 and 1973 might bring back a few memories..:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Anyone remember EMPIRE garage on machon bank run by Ravi with his range of lambretta and vespa scooters and fantic motorbikes ?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.