George Elrick

George Elrick

Lower Bridge Street, Stirling

1935 chrome framed Elrick - only the fifth frame George made.

George Elrick was born in Castleford, Yorkshire, in 1908 but moved to Stirling at the age of 27 to open his own bike sales shop. The premises he chose, near the junction with the oddly-named Drip Road, had little more than a glorified shed attached to the rear but this was to become George's workshop for the next 40 years.

Although what he did before moving to Stirling isn't too clear, it would appear from the quality of his early Scottish frames that he must have served an apprenticeship with an English builder or gained considerable experience building frames before moving north to Scotland.

The chromed bike in the photographs, dating from 1935 and only the fifth he made in Stirling, exhibits a high level of workmanship. He used the best components at that time, such as Chater Lea lugs and bottom bracket and many Chater Lea fittings, then the finest available.

The lugs on the frame on this page were filed to a very fine degree, blending almost seamlessly into the frame tubes. Although not in itself an indicator of quality, it does reveal that George was prepared to take a considerable amount of time over his frames and went the extra mile to produce the finest work he could.

George's widow told me that he built thousands of frames, starting early in the morning and carrying on into the evening. Many of these were sold through cycle shops around the country with which George had contracts.

He sometimes received overseas requests for frames, such was their reputation, but Mrs Elrick said all his frames were adorned with his own transfers.

His framebuilding career came to an end around 1975 when his shop was the subject of a compulsory purchase order. Mrs Elrick said the local council had informed George well in advance that his shop would have to go to make way for urban renewal. As a result, he started winding down his operation over the period of more than a year, canceling his shop contracts in the process.

When it came to paying him compensation, the council, instead of using a normal year's accounts as a reference, based their figure on his last year's accounts when the business was being wound up. Not surprisingly, this meant that George received little compensation and the council saved itself some money. George was left embittered by this sharp practice.

His frames were popular with many racers in Stirlingshire and beyond with some owners paying visits to his family home right up to his death to request Elrick transfers for renovation projects.

The above information is published in good faith and any corrections would be welcomed, as would additional information or anecdotes about George or his bikes.

Some more pics of the chrome-framed Elrick:


*** From Alistair Scott

"Hi Bruce , came across your excellent website when I was researching George Elrick frames and thought you might be interested in my example. Photos attached. I bought the frame in the early eighties for the princely sum of £20 from a young chap who had a 2nd hand bike shop in Maryhill Road, Glasgow.

"Before acquiring the shop from an uncle he'd been a refuse collector and rescued the frame from a skip complete with original wet transfer stickers tied to the cross bar! The frame was in poor cosmetic condition but sound so I had the forks and stays chromed, then I spray painted the frame and outlined the lugs in red enamel.

"The re-build was carried out by Jim Riddell of Riddell Brothers Cycles, Mount Florida, Glasgow. Jim was (and still is in his retirement) a good friend. Trust you find it of interest."
Pics courtesy of Alistair:


*** From Dave Fenner:

Hi Bruce
At the end of 1974 I returned to Glasgow and for a few weeks house sitted a vacant property for a friend. In an out house were a complete Flying Scot and an incomplete bike with a transfer label of a maker located in Stirling.

When I tried later to acquire the bikes, the Scot was gone, but I did get hold of the other, which I presume would be made by George Elrick.

Around 1978, I completed/rebuilt the bike. Any transfers were removed to respray the frame (to match my then, new Ford Cortina). Niceties such as cotterless cranks, gears, were added, and the front wheel rebuilt to take a dynohub.

After another 30 odd years, the bike is probably due another rebuild (certainly new tyres though they still hold air).

Kind regards
Dave Fenner


Another Nervex Pro-lugged Elrick, probably late 1950s/early '60s, and not unlike Dave's bike above. Pic by Hilary Stone.

A few more: