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60 Suffolk Road (formerly 2 & 3 Suffolk Road)
(Before the renumbering of this street in 1934 there may have been two different properties with the address 2 Suffolk Road. In either event, the trade directory in 1910 describes this property as 2 & 3 Suffolk Road, on the south side between Great Norwood Street and Painswick Road. The alternative 2 Suffolk Road occurs in an advertisement in 1910 where it is helpfully described as "opposite Bon Marche" which was at what is now number 54 - Armada Antiques.)
By the beginning of 1901 number 3 Suffolk Road had become a branch of the J. Wheway & Co. bicycle company. Joseph Wheway came to Cheltenham in 1892 from Tamworth and established a bicycle shop in the High Street. A pioneer of modern cycling and motor cycling, in his younger days he was a keen racer, who did much to advance the adoption of these activities in the town. By 1899 his main shop was in Clarence Street. In addition to bicycle sales and accessories, they offered a wide range of repairs and servicing. In their 1903 sale they advertised a ladies tricycle for £11.
Many of Wheways bicycles were manufactured in Coventry, with brands such as Humber, and in Birmingham by the famous B.S.A. company. At various times they also sold Gloria, Centaur, Sparkbrook and Sunbeam bicycles and made their own models called Fleetway (a motor cycle) and Promenade. In later years there were Raleighs and Royal Enfields. The company diversified briefly into motor bike sales in 1908 but made it clear that they didn't repair motors and could give their undivided attention to bicycle maintenance. By 1913 they were emphasising that they specialised in "self-propelled" bicycles only.
In the early 1930s the company sold portable gramophones and records alongside the cycles and also hired out wheelchairs. The street was renumbered in 1934, when this property became 60 & 62 Suffolk Road.
The Wheway business in Suffolk Road seems to have been sold in about 1937 to Mr S.A. Toms and Joseph Wheway died on 28th October 1938, aged 75. Mr Toms also died, in 1946, and the company passed to G. Toms. However the Wheway name continued to be associated with the shop for many more years.
Researcher: Stuart Manton (Nov 2016)
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