1940 Elswick Tradesman’s bicycle

The Elswick Cycle Co. took over an existing cycle maker, Newton, William & Co. in 1891. Elswick is a suburb of Newcastle on Tyne. The premises were at Elswick Court, off Northumberland Street. By 1908 the company was in financial difficulty and went into liquidation. The patents, trademarks and goodwill were purchased from the liquidator by Fred Hopper in 1910, with others, and began trading as the Elswick Cycle & Motor Mfg. Co.

Fred Hopper had started a whitesmith’s business in 1880 at Brigg Road, Barton on Humber. Following rapid expansion and a sale of the business he subsequently bought it back in 1898 and resumed trading as F. Hopper & Co. making cycles.

Run as two rival companies, in 1913 Hopper bought out his fellow investors and closed the Elswick site, merging the two companies at Barton-on-Humber in 1914 as the Elswick Hopper Cycle and Motor Company. Production boomed producing both bicycles and many of their own components. Fred Hopper died in 1925 and his son Fred Hopper junior took over. Production eventually ceased in Barton in the mid 1980’s , bringing to a close over 100 years of bicycle construction in the town. Having acquired Falcon in 1978, production of Falcon’s continued at Brigg, ten miles south of Barton.

The Collection’s exhibit

Elswick Hopper produced a variety of different carrier cycles which broadly break down into two bicycle types: the Tradesman’s with equal-sized wheels and the Low Gravity with a smaller front wheel for heavier loads. The Exhibit is a Tradesman’s model with girder fork support.

vcc_supported This machine is supported by the Veteran-Cycle Club

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