Morecambeology: Harrisons favourites were the charabancs by Peter Wade

Alexandra Park is a public open space in the West End of Morecambe.

Friday, 25th September 2020, 2:21 pm

Formerly it was the location of a church and a two-storey garage built in the 1930s and home to a business, Harrison & Sons, which had made the move from Bradford in about 1910, writes Peter Wade.

The Harrisons had an ironmongers shop in Bradford where they began repairing bicycles.

Photographs show Harrison’s cycle business on Alexandra Road as a series of adjoining wooden sheds. Signs describe it as Harrison & Sons Motor Depot and a large door is marked Garage.

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1913: An early open topped charabanc taking passengers on a trip over the moors, near Whitby, North Yorkshire. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Another sign indicates the business to be a CTC (Cycle Touring Club) Official Repairer’s while window signs advertise Rex Motor Cycles, Moseley Tyres and Clincher Tyres.

Bicycles on show feature front passenger seats and upholstered drivingseats.

Re-styled Harrison & Son, the business branched out into car repairs, advertising ‘Vulcanising on the premises’. Harrisons was also one of the first businesses in Morecambe to move into charabancs (early motor coaches) which operated across from West End Road.

However, Morecambe Corporation were less than enthusiastic, only reluctantly granting licences and indicating that they ‘didn’t want these noisy, smelly machines racing up and down the promenade’.

Hodgsons Garage, Thornton Road, Morecambe

Later charabancs were painted green and known as Harrison’s Favourite Coaches with a horse’s head painted on the side.

When the new garage was built, some of the wooden buildings were sold on to Frank Chapman on Lansdowne Road in Bare.

Some garage buildings from the 1930s are still to be seen locally on Clark Street and also on Thornton Road. Another, the County Garage on Lancaster Road, once had a particularly fine corner tower.