The Spoke February 20, 2010

Pearson Bikes celebrate 150 years of cycling heritage

In 1860, a Victorian chap called Thomas Pearson started a blacksmith business in Sutton High Street. By all accounts, Mr Pearson sported a tremendous beard. As well as providing support for horses, he also fixed a relatively new invention called the bicycle. In those times there were no bike shops as such - rather, it was the job of the local blacksmith to provide 'team support'. Bicycles became more popular throughout that decade with the growing appeal of the 'Penny Farthing' which provided this means of transport mass appeal. The development of the bike was aided by the advent of the pneumatic tyre helping to establish it firmly in the public's conscious. By the time Tom's second youngest child Harry took over the business, the blacksmith-come-cycle shop had ditched it's interest in our four legged friends. Instead, it's attention was firmly on the bicycle sales and repairs. At the turn of the century Harry Pearson was stocking models by Sunbeam, Swift and Triumph as well as a bike made by himself called the 'Endeavour'. In addition, you could also take cycling lessons if you felt inclined - and hire a bike once you've mastered the art of staying upright! 

With the advent of the Great War and the subsequent Inter-War period saw a boom in cycling's popularity. Arthur and Len, Harry's sons, took over the ownership of Pearson's bike shop in the 1930s. As with the previous war, the bike shop held reserved status during the 1939-45 conflict. This meant that the staff were protected from being pressed into military service on the basis that they were providing an essential public service. During this time theshop was protected by sand bags and the staff kept a nightly vigil for air raids alongside the Home Guard.

Post war, the shop diversifed into mopeds and scooters. In the 70s, Roger Pearson managed to secure a Raleigh 5 star dealership, at the time, a much sought after accolade. In the early to mid 80s saw the rise of the BMX, another two wheeled phenomenon that Pearson embraced. It's more technologically demanding big brother, the MTB closely followed and by this time Pearson where in a position to suppoprt the demands of any modern day rider - regardless of what they were riding. The current owners, Guy and Will are the fifth generation of Pearson's to run the family business. And to support the demands of the modern day consumer, Pearson now offer a range of precision road bikes that will thrill all types of cycle enthusiasts. You can choose from a selection of road, fixie and touring rides.....but for you speed demons out there, look for the Carbon's breath-taking. Full carbon frame, Shimano Dura Ace Group Set and Mavic Cosmic Carbone wheels....well you get the idea. Oh yes - Pearson can still be found in Sutton High Street. Have a look at their website, for more details. You can also join Pearson Cycles on Facebook.

Sources: Pearson Cycle Speacialists - celebrating 150 years

Registered No. 6993486

38 Salisbury Road
West Sussex
BN11 1RD