Our Heritage

The shop was built in 1854 by Mr R Abrahams who was a draper and tailor. Mr Abrahams later closed the shop in 1902 and sold the premises to Charles and Gerald Richards from Manor Farm, Branscombe. Sidney J Soanes came to work for Richards Bros in 1910 in answer to an advert requiring a motor cycle mechanic.

Cycles were produced at the Colyton shop. Frames brazed up from bought-in fittings, the frames were taken to a shed lined with galvanised sheets and stove enamelled. Cycle manufacture in Colyton stopped in the early 1920’s as a result of the competition from factory made cycles. During the 1930’s mass production meant cheap cycles became readily available.

A new cycle company, Norman Cycles, started in Ashford, Kent producing cheap cycles. As there were remaining stocks of the original Swan Cycles transfers available, they were sent to the Norman Cycles company who applied them to their cycles. They sold for £3 -15 shillings for a standard Ladies or Gents cycle, plus £1 for Sturmey Archer 3-speed. Other makes sold were Raleigh, BSA, Elswick and Sunbeam.

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