Pat Reilly

Pat Reilly

55 Perth Road Dundee

I know virtually nothing about this particular frame builder beyond the fact that he advertised in the local papers. His name was a new one on me when I stumbled across it.

It seems Pat also sold cars and motor bikes. In one of the adverts, he claims to have made 100,000 bikes between 1892 and 1937 which would almost certainly have made him the biggest ever framebuilder in Dundee.

In another advert, Pat offers his Coronation special, a shrewd bit of marketing with King George due to be crowned.

Veteran Dundee cyclist, Wallace Cameron, revealed that Pat seemed to build mainly roadster-type bikes. These, he said, were very well constructed. His father had one that was "bomb-proof".

However, Wallace couldn't say for certain that Pat Reilly never built lightweights so this page will remain active until further information comes to light.

The earliest reference to Pat's cycle business I could find was an entry in the 1898 trade directory. In 1935/36, he was listed as an "auctioneer, motor and cycle factor", so diversification seemed the name of the game. His business appears to have closed in 1962, his shop having been taken over by an antiques dealer.

UPDATE: I've discovered that Pat was the driving force behind the formation of Dundee Hibernian F.C., later to become Dundee United, in 1909 and the club's first manager! He donated a bike to the first player to score a goal at the club's Tannadice Park, the lucky guy being John O'Hara of Hibernian F.C. Pat was born in Belfast on November 7, 1873, and died in Dundee on April 9, 1937.

Pat and his family came to Dundee from Ireland in the late 1870s to take up work in the jute mills of the city. After he left school, he also worked in the mills for a short while but by the age of 20 had opened a shop selling spare parts for bicycles. Over the years, the business developed to the point where Pat started to build his own frames, with branches in Edinburgh and Perth following.