For the past 23 years the name of Pashley has been accepted throughout the world as a guarantee of a thoroughly reliable tradesman’s vehicle, a vehicle which includes in its construction special fitments which research has shown necessary to withstand the rough treatment to which nearly all tradesmen’s machines are subjected.
Unfortunately, during the five years which have passed since the end of the war a certain amount of delay in executing orders has been unavoidable; but we are now very pleased to announce that, owing to the fact that raw materials and component parts are now in much better supply we can offer immediate delivery of carrier bicycles; and delivery within a few days for tricycles.
– Pashley’s first postwar sales brochure, October, 1949
After WW2, there was a shortage of motorised vehicles for sale in Great Britain: all available new stock was exported to bring in much-needed foreign exchange. Pashley was too busy supplying coach built bodies and motorised carriers to supply carrier tricycles for the home market. So this Pashley Carrier Tricycle was therefore a bit of a novelty in 1950, when it was purchased for local light deliveries by a grocer.
In the early 21st century, it was immortalised in the well-known Trevor Mitchell painting reproduced below. Trevor turned it into a baker’s van by adding signwriting on the side. With its front opening door and lightweight metal body it is ideal for bread as well as other light deliveries. The sales brochure suggests it is ‘…a really handsome, well built and strong Light Delivery Vehicle for Confectioners, Egg Deliveries, Grocers, Accumulater Charging Stations, etc.’
Pashley Carrier Tricycle
Grocer / Baker Light Delivery Body
26 x 1 /2″ Wheels
Front Brake + Coaster Rear Brake
(No 2 Chassis: Brakes on all Wheels)
I owned a 1949 motorised Pashley Carrier Tricycle in the 1980s, but this was the first pedal-powered example in my collection, purchased from a museum in 2005 when they ran out of space. I fell in love with its original yellow paint and delivery signwriting which make it totally unique. At first I threatened to fit a Cyclemaster engine into the rear wheel, but resisted the temptation as I couldn’t bear to disturb its patina.
I did a road test with it against a Warrick Ice Cream Tricycle that I also owned (and can be seen via the link at the bottom of the page). Though I displayed it when I fist acquired it, the Pashley has been inside my storage for many years now.
Below you can see it is identical to the Model CT2 body illustrated in the 1935 Pashley brochure, except it does not have the earlier-style rail on top of the box. The 1935 price shown is £15 17/- 6d, while it was sold for £44 in 1949 and £55 in 1952.
W.R PASHLEY Ltd
Chester St, Birmingham 6
Pashley Cycles is a British bicycle manufacturer based in the town of Stratford-upon-Avon. The company has been making bicycles for over eighty years.
Pashley Cycles was formed by William ‘Rath’ Pashley in 1926. Previously, he had ridden as a dispatch rider in the First World War and gained engineering experience as an apprentice with Austin Motors. Initially the small company called Pashley and Barber (his wife’s maiden name) manufactured all manner of bikes, but it was in carrier cycles that Pashley made their name.
The first premises were set up in Digbeth in Birmingham, but due to increasing demand larger premises were acquired in Aston. In 1936 the business, then known as Pashley Carrier Cycles, was incorporated as a limited liability company and became WR Pashley Ltd.
Originally almost every component was made in-house. Only the tubing and lugs were bought in. This allowed constant product development and a very high level of quality control.
After the depression, Pashley supplied the Wall’s ice cream Stop Me and Buy One tricycles, with two wheels at the front and one at the back. Other businesses began to take advantage of Pashley’s carrier cycles. Two-wheeled load carriers like the small front wheeled ‘Deli Bike’ became favourites with butchers, milkmen and vintners amongst others.
With the advent of the World War II, bike production was turned over to the war effort and Pashley’s production line was halted in order to manufacture munitions. Coach-building work was also undertaken to convert Rolls-Royces and Daimlers into ambulances for use in civil defence.
After the war the company began making small motorised vehicles. The Pashley Pelican was a rickshaw-styled transporter of goods and people utilising Royal Enfield or BSA motorcycle front ends. These vehicles along with the standard carrier cycles proved popular abroad with exports to Denmark and Holland in Europe and South Africa and Argentina further afield. The Canadian Police made use of the motor rickshaw to collect money from parking meters.
1949 PASHLEY CATALOGUE
PASHLEY v WARRICK
1952 PASHLEY CATALOGUE