Jack Taylor Cycle Maker

Jack Taylor Cycles on Church Road in Stockton were well known for the cycles they made. The business was run by three brothers Jack, Norman and Ken. Jack started building bicycles in 1936 in a little shed at the back of his mothers house. In 1942 Jack bought some land in the centre of Stockton from Stockton Corporation and in 1945 Jack Taylor Cycles became an official business .The business was run in Church Road until 1990 when they ceased to trade. The Taylor brothers belonged to a cycling club the Stockton Wheelers. There were several cycling clubs in the Stockton area below are the names of a few:

  • Stockton Wheelers started 1898 and still going
  • Stockton Old Castle Cycle Club started 1893
  • Stockton Teeside Cycle Club started 1890
  • Stockton Weslyan Cycle Club started 1891

(The above cycle club information and memorabilia courtesy of Mr Bob Hutchinson)

 

 





46 thoughts on “Jack Taylor Cycle Maker

  1. Jack Taylor sprayed my 531 bike frame. Great job 54 years ago when I was in Thornaby Wheelers and met at the 5 lamps Thornaby, Cafe 10am every Sunday. Mike Whyman.

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  2. Legendary Bike Maker Jack Taylor of Stockton On Tees.
    Jack sadly died on Sunday the 2nd November 2014 peacefully, leaving behind his loving and caring wife Peggy. Jack was Known for the “Jack Taylor Cycles” which have been sold worldwide.

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    • No Norman died maybe 5 years ago. Jack is still about and in his mid 90’s living at the rear of Newham Grange Park on the Darlington Back Lane. Don’t know anything about Ken.

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      • I saw ken taylor entering stockton library. He looked well for his age and he still had that smile that i always remember when i used to visit their cycle factory and watch him put the bikes together. Great place to visit if you liked bikes.

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      • My Dad Stephen Hogarth used to ride out with Jack, Ken and Norman he is still in touch with Jack and his wife Peggy, I believe they rode as far as Greta bridge sometimes. I remember visiting the factory on Church Street when we returned to Stockton to visit relatives after moving to keswick. My dad is 89 now and I think Jack will be in his 90s.

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      • Hi Bob
        You mentioned Jack Taylor in your email, my family are still in touch and regret to say Jack has died,the funeral is at the church at the top of Church Lane next Thursday .

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        • Hi there – can you tell me if Ken is still around as I used to do odd jobs and lost his address where he lives. Would like to chat to him, hope you can help me. Regards Robert.

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    • I wonder if you can remember the Hogarth family from keswick visiting the factory sometimes, my dad is Stephen and he was big friends with Jack, Ken and Norman. We are still in touch with Jack and Peggy.

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      • Hi there – I’ve just read your comment about Jack and Peggy. I used to do work for Jack and was hoping to meet up with him – I build little vans and have one to pass along. Would you be able to put me in contact with him or pass along my details? Please email pictures@stockton.gov.uk for my contact details. Kind Regards Robert.

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    • Just been reading about the Taylor brothers my family are still in touch with them but regret to say Jack has now died. The funeral is next week at the church at the top of Church Lane in stockton .

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  3. Are these ‘Taylors’ forebears of a Peter Taylor, Cyclemaker, of Webheath? He is said to build a multi-speed trike- the ‘Victorian Solo’ having two steering tires in front and a single drive tire in the rear.

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    • Peter Taylor and his “Victorian” tricycle were featured in a two page article and pictures of the actual Victorian in the “Encycleopdia” (Edition 1993/1994) on page 54-55. The “Encycleopedia” (ISBN 1 898457 00 X) was published by Open Road Ltd.

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  4. Whenever I used to go past Tilstons Cycles, at the Five Lamps in Thornaby, I used to always want to own one of the Holdsworth bikes in the window, but never did. The lads from Harlepool wheelers used to come to Tilstons and leave their bikes outside the shop, they wouldn”t be able to do that these days.

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  5. Peter Boiston, a.k.a.”Injun Joe”, and I did a lot of cycling together back in the seventies when the summers always seemed to be long and hot. Me and Des Hart among others would also spend time now and again watching the Taylor brothers at work building and spraying the bikes etc and listening to their words of wisdom in all manner of cycling matters. I reckon a Jack Taylor bike must now be something of a collectors item.

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  6. I remember Don, Martin and Babs from the old days and went out cycling with them quite regular. I also remember the accident to one of our group on the Stokesley Road when a lovely girl from Thornaby went straight over the small bridge on that road and never came round again. A very sad day which shattered the entire group of riders. Sad to hear Martin has passed away.

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  7. There was a club called Stockton Globe. Don Proctor & Martin Devaney & his wife Babs were members. Our paths would often cross on Sundays. Don & Martin would often do a 25 mile time trial early Sunday morning then off to join the rest of the club. Both families emigrated to Australia in the 60s. I am led to believe Martin passed away a few years ago. Whilst on the subject of cycling – the Taylor Bros were involved with the BLRC (British League of Racing Cyclists) which was associated with massed start racing. Most of the Teesside clubs were affiliated to the NCU ( National Cyclist Union) which controlled Time Trials (often described as violent exercise in the middle of the night). Most popular being 25 mile. 120 riders at 1 minute intervals, starting at 7am, from just outside Stokesley on to the A19 before turning back for Stokesley. There were a few who were capable of just under the hour. Reg Merritt from Thornaby Wheelers being one of them. The NCU also controlled track racing for which you needed a licence. Also, there was the CTC (Cyclist Touring Club), a very well organised club who had their own handbook, similar to the AA, with recommended B&B”s – excellent alternative when you could not get into a YHA hostel. Anybody else with memories of those good old days?

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  8. I was a member of Stockton Wheelers. I remember Harry and Horace Bishop and I knew Harry and Billy Bishop, Harrys sons. I used to work in Bill Beatties Cycle shop and on my day off I would watch the Taylor Brothers building the bikes. I remember racing into Osmotherly with Norman Taylor after doing the 50 mile ride on a Sunday. I jumped of the bike quickly and got cramp for the first time. Norman Taylor told me it was a knotted muscle. All three were a pleasure to have met.

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  9. I seem to remember a Syd Hutchinson working at Pickerings Lifts when I was an apprentice there, is it the same Syd? I also worked with the fouth Taylor brother who was a very good moulder at Head Wrightson Steel foundry in Oxbridge. While I was at Pickering”s a group of the apprentices got together and formed a cycle club which I think was called The Globe Cycling Club. I dont think it lasted all that long.

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  10. Sad news on Syd Hutchinson, who was a great Teesside Sporting identity. Not only was Syd a well known Cyclist, he was also a very good Stockton CC cricketer with whom I played many games for Stockton CC at the Grangefield Ground and all the other NYSD Grounds in the area. My last meeting with Syd was about fifteen years ago in Stockton High Street, where Syd remarked on me wearing glasses, saying he never thought to see me wearing glasses, but as I remarked “we all get older Syd”. Syd was always super fit and a credit to the younger players in the team, by setting a great example. He will be sadly missed by all his cricketing friends.

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  11. Re. Jack Hood. He died some time ago in the USA. He was my brother in law, Horace Bishops, best friend. Jack Hood stood reference for him and he followed Jack to Cleveland, Ohio before crossing the Country to California. They were both members of the Stockton Wheelers and raced for them. Many a time at the Richmond Meet. My brother in law, Horace, still does his 30 miles plus per day on the bike, weather permitting, and he”s 89.

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    • Jack Hoods wife Doreen, is still alive, living in America, she is my aunt, the twin sister of Albert Snaith who was general manager at Head Wrightsons, Alberts wife is still alive and was a Norton girl. I have been in the workshops of the Taylor Bros. I have also been told that they are part of my Family Tree, which I know has Rachel Anne Taylor, this I will have to check out. And as for Lance Bell I have watched him build bikes at Beatties In Church Row. He was married to a pal of mine’s (Derick Richardson) sister

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      • Hi Alan, are you the Alan Hopkins who was a member of the Stockton Co-op Youth Club. Also my brother-in-law Horace Bishop was a best friend of Jack Hood and Lance Bell.

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      • Yes it is the same Alan Hipkins who was a member of the youth club. I remember a couple more cyclists from Richard Hind: John Buffham, Jim (Flim) Wallace, I gave up cycling when I was 16 and got my first motor bike. As for the youth club I still remember some of members and our weekends away camping, Oh happy days,Best of Health and Good luck to everyone

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      • Alan, I also remember as some years later probably between 1967-70 as having a shop on West Row. I went in there one day for parts for a treadle Singer sowing machine.. BTW. Jack Hood was best man for my sister/brother-in-laws wedding. Jack also sponsored Horace when he also emigrated to America. In their cycling days Jack, Horace and Jack Taylor raced against each other for Stockton Wheelers. Lance Bell became a handyman for a chap who rowed the Atlantic. He owned an island off the west coast of Scotland. I believe Derek (Dyke) as we knew him was at the F Nattrass junior school in a couple of years ahead of me.

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      • Hi there,
        Just sitting here in Canada sharing some of these names with my dad, David Lewis. He used to ride for Jack Talyor in the 40’s with Don Foster in the NCU. He still has his custom made Jack Taylor bike from Jack and had it shipped to Canada. Last used was through the Rockie Mountains in BC.

        He also went to Freddy Nat and enjoyed reading all the posts.

        He also worked at the Stocton Headwrightsons branch.

        He would love to hear from anyone who may know him as he left England in 1958.

        Cheers
        Neville

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      • Hi there,
        Just sitting here in Canada sharing some of these names with my dad, David Lewis. He used to ride for Jack Talyor in the 40′s with Don Foster in the NCU. He still has his custom made Jack Taylor bike from Jack and had it shipped to Canada. Last used was through the Rockie Mountains in BC.

        He also went to Freddy Nat and enjoyed reading all the posts.

        He also worked at the Stocton Headwrightsons branch.

        He would love to hear from anyone who may know him as he left England in 1958.

        Cheers
        Neville

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      • Jack Hood was my father, and passed away in 2000. Mum still lives in Katy Texas and is doing well at 91! I remember hanging out at the Taylor’s workshop as a kid when my folks used to visit the UK.

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      • Alan, I have a bicycle with the name A W Beattie and address 24 Norton Road. Would you have any information please on this business?

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        • I remember Beatties. My uncle (John Doughty) who I think was in Stockton Wheelers used them and I recall being sent there in the mid fifties to collect parts for him. The shop was on the left hand side as you approached Maxwell’s corner going towards the High Street. Another source of parts was Billy Tillson on Mandale Road in Thornaby.

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          • David my Wife Joan bought a Daw’s Bike at Bill Beatties it was one down from owning a Jack Taylor hand made bike. Our first full date after meeting at the Maison De Dance was the Richmond Meet, we joined a group cycled to Richmond watched the races then cycled home. Joan cycled home in her element as I struggled and arrived home sore blistered and whacked out having gone and bought a new bike for the event. Somethings you never forget and that was one of them, the upside over 60 years of happy marriage to Joan.
            Frank.

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  12. What a sad day, the passing of Syd Hutchinson. I remember Syd very well as we both lived in Londonderry Rd we also had in common cycling. So sorry to hear of the passing of one of life”s gentlemen. He will be missed.

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  13. Regarding stockton wheelers, does anyone know if Jack Hood is still alive? He emigrated to America in the 50″s and I remember when he used to come home on holiday he went cycling with the Taylor brothers.

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  14. First and foremost a couple of things relevant to Teeside Cyclists. Today, 26th November 2008 a legend of Stockton Wheelers died and passed on. Syd Hutchinson, timekeeper, treasurer, wheelers stalwart and dare I say legend. Syd – we Salute you from the bottom of our hearts. Thanks so much. Also, earlier in the website, it states that Stockton Wheelers was formed in 1892, in actual fact it was 1916. A small but very important point.

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  15. If you remember the sixties as they are portrayed today then you were never there. My teen years went from 1960 to 70 so I can give an accurate picture of the era. Psychadelic clothing, camper vans, flowers in your hair, the taking of drugs didn’t just happen when the calendar rolled over to 1960 and end as 1970 fizzled out. It all came in gradually from something else, as in this case the rock and roll era, beetle crushers made way for winkle pickers then chisels, drain pipes made way for bell bottoms then to flairs and so on. Now who can give us stories of this era or any other, come on get your thinking caps on. During this period my best mate Peter White and I spent a lot of time camping at Whitby and the surrounding area and if anyone with a flower in their hair was cooking egg, sausage and bacon then peace brothers, bring it on, ill just get me plate. We used to get there by cycling independently, until I bought a tandem from Anthony Wright in Rounds Ave Roseworth, the elder brother of Howard and Lesley Wright the non identical twins from the same address who I went to school with. This was much easier as Pete was a big strong lad and sat at the rear pedalling whilst I steered. (Well I knew the way there) Roy.

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  16. Thanks Colin, that is the man and I do remember Tilstons moving further down Mandale Road and then into Yarm Lane for bigger premises to sell motor bikes. My Brother in Law Horace Bishop is still a member of Stockton Wheelers and raced for the Club. He raced with Jack and Norman Taylor. He is still cycling at the age of 87. Usually doing about 30 miles a time when cycling from Fairfield to Middleton one Row and back. Not bad EH!

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    • Bob, you mention Horace Bishop, well, I used to work with him at the Evening Gazette in Middlesbrough. He was a linotype operator.. Is he still around?

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      • Yes at 92. He was still cycling up till the beginning of this year but with the illness of my sister he has been unable continue. He was doing about 30 miles at a time.

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    • Bob, glad to hear Horace is still ” going strong “. Give him my regards and tell him I used to work in the Readers at the Gazette and does he remember these names Alan Reeve, John Walshaw, the late Wally Howe and Horace Calvert. to name but a few!!

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  17. Bob Irwin, with reference to Bill Tilstons Cycle shop. Norman Calvert is still around I rang him from Sydney about 6 months ago. He is still living in the same house he bought after he married. He was secretary of Yarm Road Club. He ran the club from around 1951 till its demise around 1958. In that time he did a terrific job. Tilstons changed over to motor bikes due to lack of interest in cycling. There are still a few of us ex Yarm Road Club around.

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  18. I saw Norman Taylor last Sunday outside the Aldi store in Norton, whilst I was doing shopping there. I loaded my shopping into the saddlebag on my retro bike and across the car-park was Norman in his mobility buggy. He was gleefully looking at my bike and as I rode away, I smiled at him. Thinking later how often I used to see him on his bike around the back lanes.

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  19. David Gibson. Yes it was Bill Tilstons shop in Mandale Road. I bought my 1st racing bike there. I used to go and watch it being built at the back of the shop, I believe by a chap called Norman. It cost me £100 in 1957. A lot of money then. I had a card and paid for it on a weekly scheme

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  20. I believe my late uncle, John Doughty, was a member of Stockton Wheelers, and took part in time trials, later being a time-keeper. In the mid fifties he aquired a Higgins “Plus Parfait” racing bike, which later became mine. It is still in my posession. I also recall collecting parts for him from a shop on Mandale Road in Thornaby – would that have been Billy Tillson”s?

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  21. May I add to the list of Cycling clubs in the area. I was a member of Yarm Road Club (formally Yarm Wanderers). we met at Yarm Town Hall every Sunday for our Sunday ride. During most of its life it had 2 divisions, social for slower riders and touring for the faster riders, this included those riders involved in competition. A normal run in summer would see us covering a distance like riding to Scarborough via Whitby then return via Hemsley. During the 6 years I was a member 1950 to 1956 saw many changes in membership, however during this time Norman Calvert was the secretary, he had a great input to the club. I would love to see some more comments by ex members.

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