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Tony Booth
All Terrain Cycles, Saltaire
Thursday, December 15, 2011 07:55
Riley Brothers Cycles History
As many of you will no doubt recall Riley Brother Cycles, which was founded in 1907 , and has a very long association with Crosshills High Street.
The Company was renamed All Terrain Cycles in 1998 .
Now based at Salts Mill ,we are very keen to trace and record the history of the Company.
Does anyone have any old receipts or even pictures showing the shop as Riley Brother Cycles?
Any information or documentation would be very welcome as currently we have very little other than personal recall.
Many thanks
Tony Booth
Tel 01274 588488
Howard Barrett
Wednesday, February 1, 2012 21:10
This won't help you much but it might jog the memories of those regular contributors that are much older than me and were familiar with the business earlier than I was! I was raised in Crosshills and remember 'Dick Riley's Bike Shop' down the 'back lane', the local name for Park Road, Crosshills. I recall there being a corn mill and a bike shop adjacent to each other. In fact the bike shop could well have been part of the corn mill building. A single petrol pump at the corner of this building comes to mind. Referring to Google maps, I think the property(s) was between North St and Church St on the Coop side of Park Rd. That's between the Coop car park and the rear entrance to what is now the Methodist Church, formerly Ebenezer Church at that time.

I assume Dick Riley was the founder and possibly the father of Ralph, who ran the business when I was a lad. The shop opening time was whenever Ralph arrived, often to be greeted by a line of irate customers carrying punctured inner-tubes or buckled wheels to be repaired. The shop was a cycling version of Ronnie Barker's 'fork handles' shop, strewn with old bikes either awaiting repair or having been repaired. Every size of nut and bolt ever created was available - if only they could be located.

At some point, perhaps in the early sixties, the business transferred to what is now Tam's Chinese Restaurant and take-away (I think), probably due to the demolition (or collapse) of the former premises. I can remember seeing a line of brand new bikes in the windows of the shop, with plenty more inside.

Tragically, some years later, perhaps around 1970, Roger, the son of Ralph and his wife, believed to be called Marjorie, died as a result of a road accident, ironically whilst on his bike. He failed to take the dog-leg bend in Park Road, just below the main entrance to Glusburn Park.

I don't know when the business closed at the Main St location but it could well have been Roger's untimely death (their only child) that caused Ralph's interest in the business to wane.

It was before my time, but I think that Ralph was a member of one of the local dance-bands. A saxophonist I believe.

As for old receipts - I'll be surprised if any were ever written, let alone survive!
David Laycock
Thursday, February 2, 2012 10:42
Just a bit of trivia, I remember My Uncle (Edward Bracewell) promising me abike if I pass my 11 plus and going round with him to pick my new blue bike.
Brenda Whitaker
Queensland Australia
Thursday, February 2, 2012 21:02
Hi Tony - as one of the above mentioned 'older than me' folks I cant offer much but I do have a copy of the Baptist Church Recipe Book from October 1967. It is only a cyclostyle print but in the middle pages is an ad for RILEY BROS. Main St Crosshills. Here it is, remember this was in a recipe book...
1 Gents Bike (for dad)
1 Lady's bike (for mum)
1 sports Bike (for Junior)
1 Small Wheel Bike (for fashion conscious teenager)
1 Fairy Cycle (for younger than Junior)
2 Tricycles (one small - one large)
1 Perambulator
1 Push Chair
1 Cot
1 High Chair
1 Assortment of Bouncers, Baby Walkers,Bath,Potty,Reins,Nets, etc
1 Train set
1 Racing car set
1 Doll's pram (with dolls to taste)
1 Pedal Car
1 Spring Horse
1 Collection of Models
1 Sprinkling of Fireworks (in season)
1 Collection of quality toys
Allocate to correct member of family, according to age,sex and requirement
Saving on bus fares, improved health, contented baby,joyful children, occupied youngsters, exciting Christmas, exhilarating 'Plot night' and satisfaction all round. In short.....a very happy family!

N.B. All the above ingredients can be purchased from RILEY BROS.

I think they managed to get their complete stock list on one small page don't you?
I could scan it for you and email if you are interested Tony but it is only cyclostyle (if that is the correct terminology) ..

Barbara Chapman
Monday, February 6, 2012 15:08
Sorry I don't know the history of the Bike shop or have any receipts but you may be interested to know that I have a collection of the Poems which Marjorie Riley composed as Adverts for the shop and were published in the 'Crosshills Advertiser' by Dixon and Stell Ltd. local Crosshills printer, for many years.
The Rileys lived next door to my Mum and Dad at Eastburn and Mum had saved a good number of these poems and pasted them in an old book which I found after Dad's death. If anyone is interested I could scan and post them on here.
Barbara Chapman
Monday, February 6, 2012 17:54
Just had another look at Mums old book and there are 82 Poems dating from August 1982 to December 1984. Quite a bit of history recorded as Marjorie based her poems on various current affairs of the day, eg. fashion, sport, politics etc. Allen, my hoarding husband, has also found a receipt dated June 1940 for purchase of a second hand cycle from Mr. Richard Riley from his shop in Lothersdale Road, Crosshills. Cost of cycle 1- 5s - 0d. !! Barbara
Maurice Atkinson
Monday, February 6, 2012 19:14
I used Dick Riley's shop many times in my youth---we used to make "Track bikes" out of wrecks and rubbish ("cow horn" handlebars made from old piping for instance!) I remember the poems in the Advertiser and would love to see some of them. Scan and post please Barbara??
Paul Wilkinson
Tuesday, February 7, 2012 09:43
Scans received from Barbara...

Tony Booth
All Terrain Cycles, Saltaire
Wednesday, February 8, 2012 07:14
Firstly thank you everyone for their contributions.
IFor those that have receipts or copy of ads i would greatly appreciate if you can send them to me directly at
Desperately want a photo of the old original shop if anyone out there has such a thing
Many thanks in anticipation
Tony Booth
All Terrain Cycles, Saltaire
Thursday, October 17, 2013 10:56
Barbara Chapman very kindly posted some examples of Marjorie Rileys Poems a few years ago.
We are desperate for more examples of these gems that advertised Riley Brothers Cycles so uniquely.
Does anyone have more examples they can send to us ?
Tony Booth
All Terrain Cycles
Barbara Chapman
Sunday, November 10, 2013 14:53
Have just seen your request Tony. There are a lot more where they came from. I have many more of the poems like the few above pasted in an old diary by my late Mother. I thought I had sent more to you previously. I will try and scan some more pages and post them on to you so you can read them more easily. Barbara.

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