Wednesday, November 25, 2020
News & Updates

Archive material

In clearing the shop, we have come across massive amounts of paper (and other stuff!). It is expected that some of this will be exhibited in the new cycle shop if all goes to plan, but in the meantime, we have shown a few items here which we found really interesting. We have found such a lot of material relating to the Talbot Moped and the Talbot Trailer, we have created subpages for them. We have also found material related to the Talbot's experience of cycling in the 1950s - and it looks fun!

The Talbots made bicycles - though we have yet to find a complete one we found a tricycle frame in the basement and this transfer in the office.

Badge 'H J Talbot & Son - Cycle Builder Upper Norwood'

Quality Engineering
Most people who remember the Talbots think of them as people running a cycling and vacuum store. However, Central Cycles and Auto Stores was also a garage and carried out work on cars as well as bikes and Hoovers.

The letter reproduced below shows that the Talbots were diligent and competent mechanics - so competent that one owner of a recalcitrant Morris Marina wrote to the Chairman of British Leyland, Lord Stokes praising the work of the Talbot family.

Letter describing how the Talbots fixed a problem with a Morris Marina which the main dealers had failed to sort out.

We found this photo of a parade in Upper Norwood some 60 years ago. The caption read:
'13th June 1951
This was staged by JW Brown, HJ Talbot of Central Cycle Stores, and, The Arundel. It represented the years 1851 - 1951'
Small parade with various bikes being towed on a trailer and some cyclists following.

Shown below is a copy of the Talbot's letterhead. Although it is headed 'H.J. Talbot & Son' this dates from the period after H J (normally known as Jack or John I understand) had left the partnership (presumably he had passed away) and the Talbots in the partnership were G.J.A. (Geoff) and M.E. (Margaret). On this letterhead, there is no mention of cycles or vacuums (other than under the heading of 'etc') which became the main part of the business towards the end.

Letterhead for H.J. Talbot & Son

We found two photos of Margaret which will chime with many as it shows her behind the counter where she spent so much of her life. One appears to be from the late 1950s - the other from 1996 taken by David Fenwick. David recently visited the shop and described how the photo had taken rather longer than it probably should have as he, Margaret and Geoff talked so much! David took other photos of shops and businesses in the Triangle and is trying to set up an exhibition of photos in the next few months.

Margaret Talbot in the 1950s

Photo 1996 Copyright David Fenwick

This photo may have been taken at the same time as the earlier of the two above.

Margaret serving two young men in the 1950s

Finally, the comment in the box on this document appears to have been taken a little literally. These tax tables, along with lots of others from proceeding years, were simply kept in the bottom draw of a desk in the office until we cleared it almost 50 years later.

Tax tables 1963-64 - boxed text says 'Do not destroy these tables - they may be needed again'

For the future of the Central Cycles shop look at our other website:

Copyright (c)2011 Central Cycle and AutoUK Web Hosting