You may recall we posted an article on the oldest bike store in Australia back in October, where Harris Cycles in Lismore staked a tentative claim and asked for feedback from other stores who feel their shop may be a contender for the title.
We have since been contacted by Grant and Anna Bull of Avantiplus in Kalgoorle, with the following email.
Regarding your quest for Australia’s oldest bike shop – I always though Super Elliot’s in Adelaide was a strong contender until we did some research on our own enterprise. We are, and have been since 1st January 2011 – Avantiplus Kalgoorlie. I purchased the business from Brian Crew who retired at the end of 2010. He operated firstly as Hannan Street Cycles from Christmas 1984, 10 to 15 years later when rents in the main street where climbing and parking access for customers with repairs was becoming difficult he moved around the corner to our current premises at 44 Boulder Rd. He dropped the “Street” off the name and traded until the retirement sale as “Hannans Cycles”.
He purchased the business in 1984 from Ken Marshall a local motorbike pioneer who ran “Marshall Motors” in Hannan street for many years. This was a motorcycle/bicycle business doing sales and repairs, this will be the hardest part to prove, but we believe that Ken brought the business that was “Armstrong Cycle agencies”(see attached photograph). We believe Percival William Armstrong arrived in nearby Coolgardie around 1894 and was asked if he could deliver a letter to Kurnalpi (80 miles away). He said he would deliver it today and “return tomorrow” – no delivery, no pay. Returning the next day he accepted another letter delivery and the Armstrong Cycle Agency was born. Armstrong had at least one cycle shop in Kalgoorlie and at least one bicycle factory (we think one of each in nearby Boulder as well). Armstrong had previously ridden from Sydney to Croyden (in Far North Queensland – a goldrush town) and returned. It looks like Armstrong left Kalgoorlie and was involved in the business that became “General Motors” and later GMH. ... But 1894 would put us about 30 years ahead of Super Elliots.
Grant and Anna Bull, Avantiplus Kalgoorlie.
Many thanks Anna and Grant.
If any stores have more information please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org