Cycling

History of Viking Part 1 – 1908 to 1950’s

To celebrate the lunch of our range of road bikes we looked back in history to see just how far we have come! We had a dig through the archives and managed to find some old photographs and memorabilia we’re keen to share.

 

1908 – 1930s

THE VIKING CYCLE COMPANY WAS FORMED IN 1908 BY ALFRED VICTOR DAVIES.

Before the turn of the 20th century he worked as a railway clerk in North Wales and was transferred to Wolverhampton.

He started earning extra money in his spare time by mending bicycles. The railway company found out about his repair business and he was told that he had to give it up immediately or leave the railway. He decided to continue with the business and so he left his job.

Sometime later a building was acquired in Princess Alley to house the works. Around this time Viking started making frames and so switched from a bicycle assembler to a bicycle manufacturer.

Alfred Davies retired just before the Second World War and was succeeded as Managing Director by his son, Reg Davies. He built the business up from a small undertaking in the 1930’s to a large scale manufacturing concern, producing around 20,000 cycles a year.

 

 

 

1930’s – 1950’s

Viking Cycles Limited was formed in 1939 when the company produced about 800 cycles a year.
After the war, production rose to 2,000 cycles a year and the company decided to form its own road racing team.

Bob Thom joined the company as a player-manager for Viking’s first lightweight cycle team and Reg Davies designed a couple of lightweight machines. The Viking road racers were introduced in 1948.

 

 

Viking’s first cycling team also included Ben Whitmore and Bill Allen but Bob led the team to victory in the B.L.R.C championship in 1948, 1949 and 1951. Another team member Ian Steele, won what was perhaps their most important triumph when he came first in the first Tour of Britain in 1951.

Viking’s name soon became synonymous with racing because of the team’s many successes. Viking had 1,250 bicycle dealers throughout the country supplying club type machines and became one of the premier names in the business.



Insync Team

Insync Team

Writer and expert