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British Industrial History

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1897 Motor and Cycle Exhibition (Brighton)

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LAST week a cycle and motor-car exhibition was held at the Brighton Aquarium. The number of motor-cars on view was not overwhelming, but Brighton is much enamoured of the new vehicles, and already has several firms and companies established ready to take advantage of any good carriages or vans placed upon the market.

The Girling Cycle and Motor-Car Company (Limited), 185, Western Road, Brighton, can claim to have one of the finest shows in the whole exhibition, and Messrs. A. and E. Kessler and Co., 27, Trafalgar Street, Brighton, include in their collection a motor-tricycle.

A feature at the Brighton Cycle and Motor Company's stand is a motor-tricycle and a motor-tandem, and they have also in the exhibition a Daimler motor-carriage, on which visitors were able to take frequent trips.

The opening ceremony took place in the theatre in the presence of a large audience. Sir Joseph Ewart, M.D., J.P., presided, and was supported by Alderman Brigden, J.P., Alderman Davey, J.P., Alderman Farncombe (Lewes), Messrs. R. Clowes, W. H. Baseden, W. Ling, G. J. Lenny (Chairman Sussex Centre N. C. U). C. J. A. Rumbold, A. J. Kessler (Secretary), and W. Nicol Humphreys.

Sir JOSEPH EWART pronounced the exhibition one of the finest he had seen anywhere, and warmly congratulated the promoters upon it. He pointed out that the cycle industry was one of the many enterprises initiated and developed during the Queen's reign, and said that whereas 10 years ago there were only 70 factories in the country for this particular industry, there were now 70 in Great Britain. The motor-car industry had also come to stay, and both would add materially to the prosperity of the country. He looked upon cycling as a great sanitary invention, and believed the motor-car would create a great industrial revolution for the benefit of the country.

At the conclusion of the ceremony, Sir Joseph Ewart, Dr. Marcus Allen, and Mrs. Braithwaite were driven to Montpelier Hall in a motor-carriage. The experience, all agreed, was unaccompanied by smell from the motor, and there was comparative freedom from vibration, while the carriage was under perfect control. The ride in the brilliant weather may be well expressed in one word—delightful.

We are glad to know that this exhibition is being energetically engineered to what looks like a successful result. Mr. A. Villers, is the mainstay of the executive, and, although still quite young in years, has already earned an excellent reputation for practical work in organising and carrying out various schemes which require a man of strong character to pioneer to a commercially successful end. Mr. Villers has gained most of his practical knowledge at several of the best known Polytechnic Academies of Europe, and a pleasant personality assists him very greatly in obtaining the co-operation of leading gentlemen in connection with the various undertakings with which he associates himself.

At the present time Mr. Villers is applying his very best energy to organise and ensure the future success of the International Exhibition of Motor-Cars, which will be inaugurated on May 1st next at the Royal Aquarium, and it is very satisfactory to hear from the promoters that they have received the most encouraging promises of support from various firms and gentlemen who are associated with the motor-car business, and their prospects of being able to let the public see some practical results of the working of several leading British engineering firms seem in a fair way of being realised.

A number of private owners are also inclined to come forward and assist in making a good display, and we trust that the work which has now begun so well will be carried out to a successful conclusion with the co-operation of the makers and gentlemen who have already undertaken to accord it their active support.

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Automotor Journal of 17th March 1897