A Short History of Bullock Cycle Works

Although it relates solely to the bicycle side of the business, this short history of the Bullock Cycle Works is worth reproducing, if only to illustrate the profile of the company in Adelaide in the pre-WW2 years. This particular version is taken from the 1935 Catalogue, a 48-page, gloss paper affair with card cover, detailing bicycles, wheel chairs, parts and accessories. Similar versions of the history appeared in other 1930s catalogues.

Bullock's Cycles

In the year 1896 John Bullock, a rising young mechanic employed by W. Tyler (one of Adelaide's oldest bicycle and tricycle makers, and also a champion rider) decided to enter business on his own account.

He began by building bicycles at his home, and so quickly did he become known for the excellent machines that he built that it became necessary, in order to keep pace with the demand for his product, to open a workshop and showrooms in the city. He accordingly took a small shop in Hanson Street, but shortly afterwards removed to larger premises in Pine Street. So great was the demand for the Bullock Cycle that, in a very short time a staff of mechanics were working at high speed and the Bullock premises became a hive of industry.

Besides building the ordinary roadster and touring bicycle, as it was known in those days, he specialised in racing machines and practically every racing cyclist of note rode the famous "Arrow", the name by which his machines were known. So highly esteemed was the Bullock Racer that, apart from the great number of local racing men, many visiting riders at the big cycling carnivals on the Exhibition and Adelaide Oval tracks, preferred to ride a Bullock, and many records were established on this speedy machine.

And, coming to recent times, a galaxy of speedy riders has selected the Bullock bicycle, realising that it is the speediest machine built in South Australia. It would be difficult to enumerate the many records established on Bullock bicycles and the many hundreds of riders of this remarkable machine, but it may be interesting to recall a few performances.

K. L. Osborne, first S.A. Championship, first scratch race, 28th December, 1934, Mt. Gambier.

Other Champion Bullock Cycle Riders.

Willie Spencer and Frank Corry, world's champions and record breakers, selected Bullock Cycles for all their S.A. engagements.

Arnie Bate used Bullock Cycle to defeat H. Opperman in five-mile Pursuit Cycle Race at Payneham, and many of his other best performances.

Other Riders.

Billie Griggs, winner twice of 100-mile Burra Road Race.

Billie Dale, winner Norwood-Noarlunga Road Race and record to Milang and back.

Archie White, winner of Norwood-Noarlunga Road Race.

Frank Mariner placed Noarlunga Road Race several times.

Jack Bullock, first and fastest time to Victor Harbour.

J. Bullock and B. Dale won every road race of any importance that season on Bullock Cycles.

Alan James, A. Biddle, S.M. Binning (winner Norwood-Noarlunga Road Race), W. Fitzpatrick (cup winner, most consistent rider Norwood-Noarlunga Road Race), L Fitzpatrick, Alex Fulton, Alan Dale (winner twice of Norwood-Noarlunga Road Race), C.V. Hood (Winner Norwood-Noarlunga Road Race), R. M. Merkel, D.A. Roesler, R. Woolston, S. and F. Short, M. and V. Kielan, C. Wilton, W. Trosser, H. Crooper, F. Kennilwell, H. Eland, Alf. Hickman, Percy Hickman

Gordon Jenkins, Gordon Spears, G. Bate, A. and E. Arnold, V. Moyse, V. Wallmann, L. Gant, E. Hines, E.A. Coventry.

B. Wheater, B. Bawden, and K. L. Osborne, of Mt. Gambier.

Miss M. Hood, winner first ladies' amateur cycle race in S.A., and Miss L. Trieby.


Sunday, August 8th, 1935.
Athelstone 20-mile Road Race: E. Arnold, first and fastest time; G. Spears, second; A. Arnold, third. All on Bullock Cycles.

August 27th, 1935.
Mt. Gambier, 60 miles: B. Wheater, fastest time. Athelstone, 10 miles : E. Arnold, fastest time. Torrens Club, 61/2 miles: G. Spears, fastest time. Other placed men : L. Barnden, G. Arnold, and J. Gittens. All on Bullock Cycles.

After nearly forty years in the bicycle business, Bullocks Ltd. still carry on the traditions of the founder of the firm, and the same skilful and careful methods adopted in the building of the early Bullock cycles are embodied in the present machines, and the ever-increasing number of riders is evidence that for durability, speed, and scientific construction no better cycle is built in Australia.

It is interesting to recall that Mr. Bullock was the first man in Adelaide to establish chain stores, and from the humble beginning at his home in 1896 he had in a few years well-stocked cycle stores in Gawler, Kadina, Port Pirie, and agencies in every large country centre, besides three big stores in the city.

The extensive business of Bullocks Ltd. has been built by integrity and keeping faith with the purchaser, and by building a machine that ensures the purchaser the fullest confidence in its endurance and reliability, every machine being passed by a special supervisor before entering the enamelling department and later passing to the purchaser.

Although Bullocks Ltd. can supply machines from 4 to 24, there is only one standard of quality and dependability.

September 1st, 1935.

Bullock Cycle Works, c1903

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