Reg Harris (1920-1992), cyclist and Reg Harrison’s cycle shop

From: Audrey McCall
Hastings

In the early 1950s my 15-year-old brother worked in Reg Harrison’s cycle shop at 41 Queen’s Road; it had a workroom behind. They made and assembled bicycles which arrived in many pieces. The marque mentioned was then affixed to these cycles. Some were special racing bikes made to order; he also sold other brands. A special customer was Reg Harris who won five world titles. He won two silver medals at the 1948 Olympic Games. The nearness of Herne Hill cycle stadium meant the business thrived. I purchased my first bike from Harrison’s and very daring it was with semi-drop handlebars. When Mr Harrison died the business soon folded and the whole area was completely purchased by the council to enable the Acorn Estate to be built. Does anyone remember “Arthur’s” the newsagent’s shop on the corner of Pemell’s Place, 5 or 6 shops away from Harrison’s bike shop?

I delivered newspapers from “Arthur’s” to houses including the clapperboard houses in Consort Road. I hated the long gardens at the front. A man who lived in one of these houses used to give me money wrapped up in layers of paper for me to give to Arthur “when it was quiet”. They were bets so I guess I was a “Bookie’s Runner”.