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Mottram, Sid Cycles

Posted: Wednesday 03rd June 2020


Sid Mottram Cycles was founded in 1946 by Sid Mottram and his wife Gwen. Both were keen cyclists and with their daughters Dianne and Judith were all members of the East Midlands CC. For several years Sid ran their 12-hour Time Trial. In addition to this Sid was a member of the North Road CC for 41 years during which he ran the North Road 24-hour Time Trial for no fewer than 27 years.

Their first shop was situated in Checketts Road, Leicester, the business grew steadily and after nine years they moved into larger premises in Narborough Road, Leicester on the corner of Wolverton Road. Even today the name Mottram Cycles can be seen on the Wolverton Road side of the shop.

The early Mottram prototype frames were built by Holdsworth but the production frames were built for them by Wally Green of Hendon who produced them until 1955 when he retired. From this date onwards the Mottram frames came from Mercian Cycles at Derby. The frame transfers were designed by Dick Swann who was employed for a while at Sid Mottram Cycles. One design had the name in block letters and the other was script in the form of a signature.

In 1960 Sid Mottram advertised five frames, in order of price: Pista (£15-0-0); All Rounder; Pathfinder; Anglo-Europa and Velo-Kermesse from shops in Narborough Road and Loughborough Road, Leicester. ‘Built by Experts – Ridden by Champions’ with a ‘Pay As You Pedal’ plan.

As the business grew Mottrams formed a successful racing team of independent riders in the 50s: notable names included Alan Blaydon, Owen Blower, Jim Grieves and Jim Hendry. The team was equipped with very smart machines painted in the team colours (does anyone know what the colours were?) but by the 70s full-time professional teams came on the scene and several of the best riders absconded to these resuling in the Sid Mottram Racing team being disbanded.

The shop stuck to its policy of selling lightweights but it was becoming increasingly difficult to compete with rivals selling cheaper imported off-road bikes. Sid’s health started to deteriorate after a car accident and sadly he and Gwen passed away in 1982. Their daughters Dianne and Judith ran the shop for the next three years, in spite of having very little experience in the cycle retail trade. In 1985 they decided to close the shop and so some forty years of the family’s involvement in the cycle trade came to an end. The daughters still live in the Leicester area and Judith is actively involved in the cycling scene, officiating at the Manchester Velodrome from time to time. They were pleased to find that one of their father’s bikes was recently ridden in the Cambridge Section V-CC Meridian Ride.

One of the later, Mercian-built, Sid Mottram bikes seen recently at the Meridian Ride near Cambridge.

Note ‘shot-in’ seatstays showing that Mottram kept up-to-date with design features.

Thanks for reading

Posted: Wednesday 03rd June 2020


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