Author Topic: Barr and Stroud mystery bike  (Read 11562 times)

Offline JFerg

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #30 on: May 11, 2019, 03:54:24 AM »
And the original mystery bike is a Praga, made in Prague, of course.

Offline JFerg

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #31 on: May 11, 2019, 05:22:13 AM »
Response to R's comments re B&S and binoculars.

B&S are a precision optics company; they still exist as a subsidiary of Pilkington Glass.  Their primary business was binoculars, telescopes, periscopes and range-finders.  Come 11 November 1918, this business just ceased, so they looked for other things to do.  The proprietary engine business was booming, so they took a crack at it.

Offline R

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2019, 07:52:53 AM »

Offline murdo

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #33 on: May 11, 2019, 08:14:34 AM »
Ha Ha. Which tooth?

Offline cardan

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #34 on: May 03, 2021, 08:47:26 AM »
Hey JFerg and others,

Continuing the theme of "Barr and Stroud engines in Australian-made motorcycles", I have another entry.

In October 1922, Elliott Bros in Adelaide - best known for their Villiers-engined lightweights - advertised an "Elliott Barr & Stroud, 3 h.p., 110"

Do we know how many B&S engines went to Elliott? Or was this a lone beast?

Cheers

Leon

Offline JFerg

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #35 on: May 03, 2021, 01:06:38 PM »
I can get very close, Leon, but not quite claim the cigar.

One engine, #290, was sent to Adelaide.  It was ordered on 12 May, 1922, and despatched on the 19th, to Roy Hill & Co, in Adelaide.

Subsequent research showed that Roy Hill & Co became Roy Hill and Sons, and were suppliers to the Adelaide motor trade.  They had a link to Empire Cycles through Charles Ramsay, who apparently was a manager of both firms.  No demonstrable link to Elliots, although the dates match very nicely.  Despatch Anniesland in May, arrive Adelaide August or September.

Would be fairly sure it was a one-off.

However.....  Warren maintained that Allparts had a V twin B&S as a window display circa 1937.  A then 13 year old engine thought worthy of a window display.  Hard to imagine it then being scrapped; is it under an Adelaide bench somewhere?

Offline cardan

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #36 on: May 03, 2021, 02:02:53 PM »
Thanks for the quick reply.

I had to look up Roy Hill: no relation to James Hill, one of the bigger motor houses. But he had a long history of high-level positions with first Eyes and Crowle, Ltd, then Cornell, Ltd, so he would have been well connected in Adelaide. No doubt he, or one of his reps, knocked on the door of Elliott Bros and offered them a 350cc B&S, which they built up into a bike.

An article, on the same day that the B&S was advertised, listed the B&S as one of three bikes entered by V. P. Elliott for the Sellick's Beach races a few days later. He also entered an Elliott JAP and a New Imperial JAP, and it seems he didn't race the B&S. Another Elliott rider also entered a B&S (also an Elliott JAP and BigX, for which Elliott were agents), but I'd be sure there was only one Elliott B&S, and the multiple entries before the race meeting were convenience.

Re the B&S twin in Adelaide in the 1930s: sorry I have no knowledge, but I promise to let you know if I come across it!

Cheers

Leon

Offline JFerg

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #37 on: May 03, 2021, 10:27:26 PM »
More jigsaw pieces, thanks Leon.

Can you point me to that article, I need a copy of that in my file.

cheers,
JFerg

Offline cardan

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #38 on: May 03, 2021, 11:37:17 PM »
The two snippets attached.

The spectrum of engines (and gearboxes) built into Australian-made motorcycles is quite amazing: more-or-less any engine or gearbox from the UK and the US - and some from Europe - found its way into the local product at some stage. B&S and oil-cooled Bradshaws were not exactly "popular" in the early 1920s, but they were built up into quite a number of different makes of bike. Still, the only Australian B&S photo I have is of a GCS-B&S single in Melbourne. Any other photos?

Cheers

Leon

By the way, the wording "A SUPER Elliott" in the advert is not linked to the later (post WW2) "Super Elliott" brand of bicycles here in Adelaide. SUPER is just a random advertising adjective, like "A SUPERIOR Elliott" in another advert.

Offline JFerg

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #39 on: May 04, 2021, 08:39:03 AM »
I have that Harry Beanham photo of the 350 GCS, too.  It's the only photo I have of a B&S engined bike in Oz, other than Ever Onward, of course.  And New Onward.

Two 350cc B&S came to Melbourne.  One went to Mairs, ironmongers who became the McEwan hardware empire, the other went with two 500's and a V twin 1,000cc to consignee unknown, but Stillwells must be a good chance.  Norm Maplestone bought two V twins, but there's no record of him building a bike out of them.  If he had done, it would have been reported.  A B&S V twin cycle car emerged in Surrey Hills (Melb) in 1928, then vanished, but that would have to be one of Maplestone's engines.  Norm McCubbin reportedly had a V twin B&S as a mantel-piece ornament, which one I don't know.  His wife finally protested, and it went to Moorabbin tip in 1965.  Despite extensive excavations by Warren, it's probably still there.

In Sydney, P&R Williams bought a 350 and a V twin 1,000cc, but there are no reports that I have found of a B&S Waratah....  A second Sydney shipment was a 500 and a V twin 1,000cc.  The 500 found it's way to Wilcannia, and thence Ever Onward.  No record of the twin.

A load of 350's went to Perth.  All the loose engines went to the WARailways.  Stotts in Fremantle moved a number of 350 B&S engined Coventry Bicycles machines, but they were imported as complete machines.  Registration records suggest at least a dozen were on the roads over there.  They were registered as "B&S", or "Coventry B&S".

All jigsaw pieces gratefully accepted......

JFerg

Offline cardan

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #40 on: May 05, 2021, 01:27:01 AM »
There's some pretty good "B&S in Australia" stuff in this thread!

As part of research for the book, I've done some work on A.N. (Norm) Maplestone. He built the Maple motorcycles prior to WW1, but when he came back after the war - and a stint with F. E. Baker's Precision works - it doesn't look like he made more bikes. He did some work promoting the Beardmore Precision - including racing a "TT" version that I've yet to see - and he ran the Balaclava Garage & Engineering Works in Melbourne. The business seemed to be mostly for repairs to cars and bikes, but of course he could have built up a bike or two. Back in 1914 he gave evidence to an inquiry into duties on imported motorcycles, where he pointed out that building motorcycles in Australia was not particularly profitable, and that by 1914 "he built very few of them". Later Maplestone Motors was in Elizabeth St, then Latrobe St, selling Beardmore Precision motorcycles. The business closed in 1927, with 3 Beardmores in the final sale, but no mention of B&S that I've seen. Where were the Maplestone B&S engines sent? The Elizabeth St premises were damaged in a fire... [Edit: It was 205 Latrobe St damaged by fire - see below.]

I have no real idea of why so many B&S engines and bikes went to WA; I can only guess that the local agents over there very enthusiastic! In addition to the Coventry B&D/Coventry B&S bikes, and the loose engines, there was also at least one Diamond fitted with a 3 h.p. B&S, handled by M. S. Brooking & Co in Perth in 1923.

"Coventry" is an interesting name that has come up in another context. T.W. Henderson in Sydney - maker of Carbine bicycles and motorcycles - advertised Coventry JAPs from about 1911 until 1917, and at least one Coventry Precision. The book "Coventry's Motorcycle Heritage" by Damien Kimberly discusses Coventry B&D, Coventry B&S and various other things with Coventry in the name, but has no likely candidate for the Coventry JAPs and Coventry Precisions that "landed" in Sydney. Sigh.

Cheers

Leon
« Last Edit: May 24, 2021, 01:42:09 AM by cardan »

Offline JFerg

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #41 on: May 23, 2021, 02:14:43 AM »
The two Maplestone V twins were definitely exported, with the payment having been received on 15th October 1924.  Given Maplestone's profile, we'd expect that had he done anything with them, or even canvassed a plan, it would have been reported in the Melbourne press.

The engines would have arrived in Melbourne early in 1925.  Mapletone's workshop at that stage was the ground floor of a three-storey building in LaTrobe street, the whole lot destroyed by fire in July.  There was a plater's shop above, and the report is that the whole of the machinery and stock was destroyed.  You'd assume those engines went with it, yet one turns up in Surrey Hills....

There's an explanation for the sales of B&S in WA.  Motorities, in Wolverhampton, offered the "DeLuxe" range, which was built from whatever they could gather up from liquidation sales of true manufacturers.  The father of AE Bradford, the principal,  had been to Perth at some stage, saw a market opportunity, and Motorities sought to exploit it.  Certainly they introduced the B&S engine to the WA Railways, and I suspect that the machines registered just as "B&S" were from Motorities.  Perhaps there was some issue with "DeLuxe" as a brand in this market.
JFerg

Offline cardan

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #42 on: May 24, 2021, 03:28:18 AM »
Hi JFerg,

I re-read the articles about the fire: first I realised it was 205 Latrobe St and not Elizabeth St (as I said above) that was damaged, and I'm pretty sure that while the ground floor of Maplestone Motors was damaged at the back where a brick wall tumbled from the gutted building behind them, the Maplestone building was not itself destroyed. In fact the firefighters were on the first floor of the Maplestone Building while fighting the fire in Knox Lane. Sadly a firefighter was killed by a falling bricks - the first fatality in the history of the Metropolitan Fire Brigade.

There are a few adverts at 205 Latrobe St after the fire, but later in the year the address was 213 Latrobe St, so maybe 205 was being repaired.

The B&S twin engines most likely survived the fire.

The area around Knox Lane/Little Lonsdale St/Latrobe St is interesting, lying between the old motorcycle mecca of Elizabeth St and the State Library. Not much left now, but the old Shot Tower was saved and built into the large building that now covers the site. https://www.melbournecentral.com.au/visitor-info/our-heritage

Cheers

Offline cardan

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Re: Barr and Stroud mystery bike
« Reply #43 on: June 18, 2021, 12:51:35 AM »
By the way, the wording "A SUPER Elliott" in the advert is not linked to the later (post WW2) "Super Elliott" brand of bicycles here in Adelaide. SUPER is just a random advertising adjective, like "A SUPERIOR Elliott" in another advert.

Wrong. Doing the 'E's at the moment, and it turns out there is a twist to the story of Elliott motorcycles in Adelaide.

The standard story is that Elliott motorcycles were made by Elliott Bros: true before 1918, but in that year the two brothers went their own ways.

After 1918, Elliott motorcycles were made by Laurie Elliott at Payneham, trading as Elliott's Garage and Cycle Factory.

Brother Bert Elliott began to build Super Elliott bicycles at what was previously the Norwood branch of Elliott Bros. He continued to trade as Elliott Bros.

In 1922, Bert and another brother Vic opened a new branch of Elliott Bros in Gawler Place, Adelaide. Here they sold American Excelsior (Big X) motorcycles, and Super Elliott bicycles and motorcycles. So in fact the Barr and Stroud engine went from importer Roy Hill to Elliott Brothers in Gawler place, and the motorcycle was, in fact, a "Super Elliott Barr and Stroud" as advertised. Elliott Bros could have built it up (they had a cycle factory), or it may have been built up elsewhere in Adelaide.

I have adverts for Super Elliott Villiers and Super Elliott JAP, so it's likely that the advert for "Superior Elliott JAP" is for a Super Elliott JAP.

A new entry has been made for "Super Elliott".

The things you learn.

Leon