1950’s Pashley Grocer’s Delivery Tricycle
This Pashley 3-wheeler was used for a grocery shop’s local deliveries.
I bought it some years ago from a museum that had run out of space. It’s in good working order, though I’ve not ridden it for a long time.
Pashley Cycles is a British bicycle manufacturer based in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. The company has been making bicycles for over eighty years.
Pashley Cycles was formed by William ‘Rath’ Pashley in 1926. Previously, he had ridden as a dispatch rider in the First World War and gained engineering experience as an apprentice with Austin Motors. Initially the small company called Pashley and Barber (his wife’s maiden name) manufactured all manner of bikes, but it was in carrier cycles that Pashley made their name.
The first premises were set up in Digbeth in Birmingham, but due to increasing demand larger premises were acquired in Aston. In 1936 the business, then known as Pashley Carrier Cycles, was incorporated as a limited liability company and became WR Pashley Ltd.
Originally almost every component was made in-house. Only the tubing and lugs were bought in. This allowed constant product development and a very high level of quality control.
After the depression, Pashley supplied the Wall’s ice cream Stop Me and Buy One tricycles, with two wheels at the front and one at the back. Other businesses began to take advantage of Pashley’s carrier cycles. Two-wheeled load carriers like the small front wheeled ‘Deli Bike’ became favourites with butchers, milkmen and vintners amongst others.
With the advent of the World War II, bike production was turned over to the war effort and Pashley’s production line was halted in order to manufacture munitions. Coach-building work was also undertaken to convert Rolls-Royces and Daimlers into ambulances for use in civil defence.
After the war the company began making small motorised vehicles. The Pashley Pelican was a rickshaw-styled transporter of goods and people utilising Royal Enfield or BSA motorcycle front ends. These vehicles along with the standard carrier cycles proved popular abroad with exports to Denmark and Holland in Europe and South Africa and Argentina further afield. The Canadian Police made use of the motor rickshaw to collect money from parking meters.