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Tamworth Herald (Page 12 - 4th September 2003)

An e-mail from this webiste appeared on page 12 of the Tamworth Herald’s letter page in the hope of gaining more information on Tamworth’s first possible 3-wheeler.

Tamworth’s first three-wheelers?

Whilst browsing through Richard Sulima's Around Tamworth In Old Photographs I noticed a very interesting picture showing the interior of the Griffith's Castle Cycle Works circa 1904-1912.

In the foreground of the picture there is clearly a three-wheeled motorised vehicle or 'forecar'. Between 1900-1906 many bicycle and motorcycle companies made three-wheeled vehicles like this so that motorcyclist could carry a passenger.

As bikes had no kick starter they were often started by running and jumping on or by pedalling like crazy so it was not practical to carry a pillion passenger. The vehicles were essentially a bicycle/ motorcycle with an engine around 6-9 hp and a large basket seat mounted in between the front two wheels.

As things developed it was these forecars that evolved into the three-wheelers that we know today.

It seems quite conceivable therefore that Griffith's Castle Cycle Works in Tamworth also manufactured their own forecar. If so Tamworth has been home to two companies manufacturing three-wheelers. I am the webmaster of a web site called that list hundreds of three-wheeled vehicles from 1769 onwards. (Naturally living in Tamworth the site has its own Reliant archives section!).

I would like to ask through your letters page if anyone knows any more about the Griffith's Castle Cycle Works and essentially whether they did make three-wheelers or not. If they did chances are they would have probably ceased making them shortly after 1906 as more robust 'cycle cars' started to appear.

In addition anyone who has any old Reliant photos I would love to hear from. I can be contacted via email at or by phone on xxxxx xxxxxxx.

Elvis, Tamworth, via email.