St Michaels Motors Brewery

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Thread Topic: St Michaels Motors Brewery
Topic Originator: reg hornby
Post Date August 3, 2016 @ 6:38 PM
 St Michaels Motors Brewery
  St Michaels Motors Brewery
  St Michaels Motors/Norman Bailey
 St Michaels Motors Brewery
 St Michaels Motors Brewery
  St Michaels Motors Brewery
 St Michaels Motors Brewery
 St Michaels Motors Brewery
  St Michaels Motors Brewery
 St Michaels Motors Brewery

reg hornby
August 3, 2016 @ 6:38 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi kate..I have been reading of the exploits of motorcyclists and St.Michaels Motors in Ironmonger Street and have a few points of possible interest for your readers.
I started an apprenticeship at St Micks in 1953 and served my time there under the management of Tom Story & Don Wright.The premises at the time were being used as a cycle repair shop plus sales and spares by a lovely old couple,Mr & Mrs Dickenson.Mr Dickenson was well past retirement age and had a nickname of dustpan as he used to fabricate dustpans for sale out of galvanized sheet.he showed me how to make one and I still have it in use.
A fact probably not known is that the premises were originally a brewery with the main workshop floor being under the huge vat.The area had a vertical wooden ladder up the wall in the door side corner to a gallery overlooking the vat.All this  had disappeared when I arrived there and a glass roof put over the whole area which was the workshop space for myself,Norman Bailey and Nick Barlow employed as mechanics.
I believe Mr & Mrs Dickenson had the premises for over fifty years as the upper floors were akin to a time warp,seven brass dialled grandfather clocks were on guard around the main floor area with an old Rover car engine driving an even older lathe in the centre plus two cycles made from bamboo all being surrounded by wooden cubby holes filled with various bits and pieces.And adjoining there was a huge old battery charger blocking a door and when opened up the room behind was full of old gun cases and cherrywood baseboard radio sets.we used to charge sixpence each to charge "cumis"which was my forte as the junior.
All this was happening in the first few weeks of my being set on and as there were a great many old cycle frames(would be worth a mint now) and other stuff in the way of progress a certain Harry Martin from Barnack,who later became a great friend,obtained a Bedford tipper which we filled time and time again for tipping.
We all had a motorcycle each,at the time I had a 1932 Rudge which had a policeman at a loss when I was stopped for alledged speeding,speedo's were not fitted until 1933 so my mate was told off instead,Norman had a BSA Gold Star and Nick had a BSA B33.
Tom rode a lovely Vincent Comet and Don had the works recovery byke/chair, well, two planks a 1939 Panther Sloper 600cc..girder forks which I ended up owning and then selling to a tall mate...what happened to my panther LOFTY.

Hope some of this is of interest to any mid fifties bykers/customers
Thanks for that Reg.  Sounds like another world up there. Any photos?  K

August 5, 2016 @ 5:08 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Lovely memories Reg, I bought my 1955 Royal Enfield 'Bullet' from their shop in Red Lion Street, and they had a work shop at some time down in Water Street, if my memory serves me right, also nice to remember those names from the past.

Roger Partridge
August 5, 2016 @ 9:10 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Sadly Norman Bailey died last month at the age of 82

Roger Partridge
August 6, 2016 @ 8:40 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Around 1960 Tom Story's son, John and I were good friends, we must have been around 10 yrs old at the time. I remember Tom gave us a lift to school on a Lambretta scooter, I was on the pillion, John standing on the scooter floor in front of his father. No head protection, wasn't required by law in those days.

Richard Rollings
August 6, 2016 @ 11:28 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top


Which shop in Ironmonger Street was St Micks.

Reg Hornby
August 7, 2016 @ 2:15 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

Hi Syd,Tom & Don took over the premises in Red Lion Street from Ross Motors and it became their showroom as Ironmongers St,was too small.
Norman Bailey and a chap called George were the mechs at that time with Ross Motors and had a small cave of a workshop half way down the central pics passage.imagine moving bykes up and down that narrow walkway.It was bad enough to heave bykes up and down into the Red Lion St. doorway,it was two big steps up from the pavement.
The Enfields are making a comeback and my good friend Mick Farrell has one now..swears by it.

September 13, 2016 @ 10:44 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I think you will find that Norman Bailey had the workshop down Water street it was behind an old barn which his dad used to keep his wood lorry in, it was opposite where Frank Sawyers garage was, he then moved up to Ironmonger street and used to have a Yamaha franchise, after he left I believe St Michaels used it as a stores, the chap from Ryhall used to be storeman can't remember his name, I still see him on his pushbike

Steve earl
September 14, 2016 @ 8:28 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

I think the storeman was called frank edgley, as quoted often push biking to and from ryhall

September 16, 2016 @ 10:42 AM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

St micks was between Humberts and Paul Johnson businesses in Ironmonger Street where the Yard area is now.
I was always led to believe that a lane ran from that entrance through to Star lane, which would be the backs of High Street and Broad Street.

Roger Partridge
September 30, 2016 @ 8:32 PM Reply  |  Email  |  Print  |  Top

As well as motorcycles and scooters, St Michaels Motors also sold Reliant 3-wheelers from their Broad Street premises. They ventured into 4 wheels by opening the SM Service Station (now Hindmarch) on Uffington Road in the late 1960s which sold Jet petrol and a little later had a Fiat agency.