W R Morris
William Morris’ first commercial premise, making, selling and repairing bicycles.
48 High Street, Oxford, OX1 4AP
1901 - 1908
In 1892, William Morris set up his own cycle business, using the back of his parents’ home as a workshop, and the front room as a showroom.
In 1901 he moved the business to a shop in the city centre, at 48 High Street, from which he sold touring and racing cycles. William Morris was himself a keen cyclist, and it was through his membership of a local cycling club that he met his wife, Elizabeth Anstey.
Two business partnerships followed, neither of which was successful, but they did enable William Morris to expand the business first into motorcycle sales, and later motor car sales and repairs.
In 1905 he launched a taxi-cab service, and reportedly (Collins and Stratton) pioneered a driving tuition service in the City. William Morris gave up the shop in 1908, although the premises still exists today – selling shoes.
• Making Cars at Cowley, Gillian Bardsley and Stephen Laing, published by Tempus Publishing, 2006, and the History Press, 2009..