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dealer lays down the challenge to find the oldest motorcycle shop in the world

Guernsey dealer Millard wants to pick your brains. The family business reckons it may be the oldest motorcycle shop in the world, and recently launched a Facebook challenge to confirm its claim.

The campaign has currently received about 40,000 views and shares worldwide and has apparently generated a lot of informative feedback. However, to date, no-one has come up with an existing motorcycle shop as old as Millard’s.

Tim Millard told BDN: “This all came about after the recent passing of one of our family and the discovery of an article in the Wiltshire Times dated 26 February 1896, reporting that my great-grandfather, Thomas Millard, had sold the first motorised tricycle from his shop in Fore Street, Trowbridge. The customer paid about £100 for this machine and the article reports that after he took delivery he rode to Beckington. The event attracted a crowd of onlookers so large that it blocked the wide road in front of the premises.

“As well as our Facebook investigation – which generated good feedback from the US Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe and parts of Asia – we would like to invite BDN readers to take up the challenge – to find a motorcycle shop that is still in existence that has documented evidence of its first motorcycle/tricycle sale pre-dating 26 February 1896.

“If there is a motorcycle shop anywhere in the world that can beat that, we will happily concede our claim to the title.”

Thomas Millard started out in business in 1887 selling cycles. He was manufacturing cycles some six years later and at some point prior to the 26 Febraury 1896 started selling motorcycles/tricycles. The business continued and moved to Guernsey in 1908. The shop has been involved in the manufacture and sale of motorcycles and became a BSA dealer in 1917.  It is still owned and run by the same family.

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