Major Nichols

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Major Nichols Cycle in 1990

Major Albert Nichols (17 September 1914 – 3 August 2005) was the last of the craftsmen cycle makers of the West Midlands of England. He was born in West Bromwich in his father's cycle shop at 5 Reform Street.[1] Major was a frequent name in Birmingham and the Black Country.

He trained in the electrical industry and served in the Royal Navy during the Second World War. On the death of his father in 1947, he took over the business and taught himself lightweight cycle-frame building, which he carried out in West Bromwich from the early 1950s until 1971 when the area was redeveloped.[2][3]

Nichols moved to a former shop at 48 Durban Road in nearby Smethwick. His last frame was built in 1995. He was a vice-president of the Hill Top Cycling Club and at its 21st anniversary dinner in 1956 he presented one of his early track frames to the first Briton to finish the Tour de France, Brian Robinson.[4]

His cycles were ridden to success by Anthony Taylor,[5] Paul Carbutt, Roy Cox, Ray Ward, Phil Bayton and others.


  1. ^ The Black Countryman Vol 38 no 4 Autumn 2005 p59, Obituary. Alvin Smith (Black Country Society, Kingswinford)
  2. ^ The Black Countryman Vol 39 No 2 Spring 2006 pp59-64, Master Craftsman or just the Master. Part I. Alvin Smith (Black Country Society, Kingswinford)
  3. ^ The Black Countryman Vol 39 No3 pp15-20, ibid., Part II. Alvin Smith (Black Country Society, Kingswinford)
  4. ^ Cycling, 6 December 1956
  5. ^ Cycling, 15 November 1969

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