My name is Tim Millard and I am the current MD of Millard & Co Ltd, in Guernsey.
I wondered if you would be interested to find out about a recent Facebook campaign we started, to find the oldest motorcycle shop in the world.
The campaign has currently received about 40,000 views and shares worldwide and a lot of informative feedback. However, to date, no one knew of, or could suggest, a motorcycle shop that is as old as Millards, and still in existence.
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This all came about after the recent passing of one of our family and the discovery about an article in the Wiltshire Times on February 26, 1896, reporting my great-grandfather, Thomas Millard, selling the first motorised tricycle from his shop in the area.
The customer paid about £100 for this machine and the article reports him taking delivery from the shop in Fore Street, Trowbridge, and his subsequent ride to Beckington.
The event attracted a crowd of onlookers so large, it blocked the wide road in front of the premises.
We therefore wondered if you would like to offer this ‘challenge’ up to your readership – to find a motorcycle shop that is still in existence that has documented evidence of its first motorcycle/tricycle sale dating earlier than February 26, 1896.
If there is a motorcycle shop anywhere in the world that can beat that, we will happily concede our claim to the title.
As a little bit of background… Thomas Millard started out in business in 1887 selling cycles.
Six years later, he was manufacturing pedal powered two-wheelers and at some point prior to February 26, 1896 started selling motorcycles/tricycles.
The business continued and moved to Guernsey in 1908. The shop has been involved in the manufacture and sale of motorcycles and became a BSA dealer in 1917. It is still owned and run by the same family.
Tim Millard, Guernsey.
Read more Letters, Opinion, News and Features in the April 2020 issue of The Classic Motorcycle – on sale now!