1950 Harding ‘Netley’ Rotary Tricycle
Harding Rotary Tricycles are historic vehicles and they have a keen enthusiast following. Hand-propelled invalid carriages were much needed after WW1.
R.A Harding of Bath started manufacturing them in 1921 and finally closed its factory doors in 1988.
The company was one of the West Country’s major cycle manufacturers, and I recommend a visit to the Harding Museum next time you’re in the Bath area.
The Netley was the company’s mid-range model, without a reverse gear. This machine is rolling, and is ready to be restored. It’s missing its chair.
R.A HARDING (Bath) Ltd
19, Lower Bristol Rd, Bath, Avon
Founded in 1921, the R.A Harding company of Lower Bristol Road, Bath, produced hand-propelled tricycles before introducing their first motor models in 1926. In pre-war years, the powered Harding range included the 122cc Villier-powered De Luxe models A & B, the 200cc or 300cc JAP-powered Pultney and 24-volt or 36-volt electric machines.
In 1945, the company was renamed R.A Harding (Bath) Ltd, and the Pultney was discontinued. In December 1948, the “New” Harding De Luxe Models A & D were announced with larger rear wheels, a new petrol tank, and a fan-cooled Villiers 147cc unit in place of the 122cc engine.
In 1956, the company introduced the unsuccessful full-bodied Consort model, of which only twelve examples were made. In 1966 the entire range of powered machines were discontinued, but hand-propelled machines continued to be offered until 1973.
After a period of serving as a Ministry Repairer, R.A. Harding (Bath) Ltd finally closed their doors in 1988.
Like Kendrick of Reading, they also dabbled with TWS (Two-Wheeled Steering) tricycles, though the Harding models had 18″ front wheels. In the Magic Wheel magazine of July 1954, they announced their new Harding ‘Model C’ TWS tricycle with a Cyclemaster engine fitted. It is, in my opinion, the most stupid motorised vehicle ever produced.
Of course, ‘the most stupid motorised vehicle ever produced’ is a major attraction for a restorer. We’ve built several of these over the years. To see me driving the one we made in 2012…