Salisbury in Wiltshire was hardly a hotbed of cycle manufacturing. However, in the late 1890s, a cycle agent named James Goldsworthy made small quantities of bicycles for the local market. This convertible child’s bicycle would most likely have been commissioned specially.
Its convertible part is a queer affair; whereas these bars are normally raised to create a crossbar, thus converting the bicycle into a male machine, the bar on this one is removed to turn it into a female machine. So in its current configuration it is a sort of male loopframe, which makes it somewhat unique in design.
It has been dry stored for many decades. The canvas tyres are perished, and the saddle is broken. But it is otherwise in remarkably sound condition, with its maker’s transfer intact.
1895 Goldsworthy Juvenile Convertible
22″ Wheels with Pneumatic Tyres
THE CONVERTIBLE FITTINGS
50 High St, Salisbury, Wiltshire
Goldsworthy had their works dept in Crane Street, Salisbury, in 1898 and the made a bicycle called the ‘Salome’.
With regard to Salisbury, the earliest reference in Kelly’s Directories is in the edition for 1880: Singer Manufacturing Co., 56 Fisherton Street; manager: Charles Hope (the previous reference is for one William Robert Moore, who was an agent for the sale of five different makes of sewing machine at 17 Fisherton Street, in 1875). Singer also had a shop in Swindon. By 1885 the company had moved to 51 High Street, under the management of James Parks, and the firm had branches also in Devizes, Swindon and Trowbridge, where they maintained a presence until at least 1939 and probably until the 1970s. From 1889 until at least 1891 John H. Osborne was the manager, and in 1891, diagonally opposite at no. 50 there was James Goldsworthy, the agent for Bradbury’s, Eclipse and Wheeler and Wilson sewing machines, and also for Singer safety bicycles. Some time between 1895, when he was listed as a sewing machine dealer and 1897, Goldsworthy concentrated his attention on cycles, as in Langmead and Evans’ Directory for the city of that year he is listed as a cycle maker. But he died in October 1901, being buried on 1st November. His widow Alice Mary continued in business from 50 High Street, but as a dealer in antique furniture, according to Kelly’s Directory, 1903
By 1895, the Singer Manufacturing Co’s depot in Salisbury had moved to 49a Silver Street and was under the management of John Partridge, and by 1897 the firm had moved again to 56 Catherine Street, where it was to remain until at least 1907. The managers of the depot were Arthur William Stent (1897 and 1898) and Wilfred White (1903-07). By 1911, the business had moved to its premises with an entrance at no. 12 Minster Street and on the Market Place, at no. 20 Oatmeal Row.