GRIGG MOTORCYCLE COMPANY
MUCH APPRECIATION TO PETER BIRKETT FOR THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION & PHOTOGRAPHS.
INFORMATION ON THE GRIGG MOTORCYCLE COMPANY EXTRACTED FROM TNA FILES AT KEW ON 6 SEPTEMBER 2006.
Sources: BT31/25904/167300…..Grigg Ltd 1920
BT31/28386/196237…..Grigg & Griffiths Ltd 1924
J13/10475………………Grigg Ltd 1924
J107/17 (2 files)…………Grigg Ltd 1924
On 10 May 1920 Harry Grigg founded the Dunlop ( London) Engineering Company with a capital of £10,000 in £1 shares. The Memorandum of Association states that the object of the company was to aquire the business of engineers and manufacturers carried on by Harry Grigg at the Winchester works, Winchester Road, Twickenham.( the Grigg & Griffiths prospectus states that the Winchester works was erected in 1919 and expanded in 1921). The only other director was Howard Grigg of 21 Beaconsfield Road, St Margarets, Twickenham. Harry Grigg’s address is given as the Winchester works. Both Harry and Howard are listed as engineers.
Note: the Institute of Mechanical Engineers has no record of them.
Three months later on 4 August 1920, the company directors voted to change the company name to ‘The Grigg Motor & Engineering Company Ltd’ and this was duly approved by the Board of Trade on 28 August 1920. The nominal capital of the new company remained at £10,000. On the 25 November 1920 the old Dunlop company was valued at £9,798 and further purchases of land and property adjacent to the Winchester works were to be undertaken. The nominal value of the company was increased to £15,000 on 24 December 1920 with Harry owning 13,500 shares and Howard 1,500. By this time Harry had moved to a property known as Wynberg, Broomwater, Teddington and was calling himself a Consulting Engineer.
The company capital was increased again in July 1922 to £20,000 and two new shareholders appear; Herbert Gilbert, an advertising executive with 100 shares and earnest Leanard, an engineer, with 1200 shares. The capital continued to increase and by February 1923 four more shareholders were aquired and two new directors. On the 23 June 1923 the company changed the name to Grigg Ltd and by the end of 1923 the capital had increased to £60,000. A £1,500 mortgage was taken out presumably to purchase the Sanderstead works at Croydon, Surrey, as this name first appears as the registered office of the company in December 1923. By this time there were 45 shareholders and a 22% dividend was reported for the year ended 30 June 1923 from a turnover of £105,000.The company was clearly successful and looking forward to the future because the Sanderstead works had an area of 50,000sq. ft. compared with only 7,000 sq. ft. at the Winchester works.
A decision was taken by the board of directors to transfer all the assets to a new company to be known as Grigg (1924) Ltd with a nominal capital of £150,000. Subsequently a notice appeared in the London Gazette of 22 April 1924 putting Grigg Ltd into voluntary liquidation and a summons was issued on 14 May 1924 in the High Court of Justice to wind up the old company. The reason for this decision does not appear in the surviving documentation.
The Memorandum of Association of Grigg (1924) Ltd survives and was incorporated on 7 March 1924. The aim of the new company was ‘to aquire and takeover as a going concern and carry on the business of Engineers, manufacturers & merchants now carried on by Grigg Ltd at Sanderstead Works, Croydon, Surrey and Winchester Works , Twickenham and elsewhere’. 7 directors are listed as having 500 £1 shares each, 6 being former directors of the old company. Harry Grigg is now recorded as living at 8 Elgin Mansions, Maida Vale, W9. Howard Grigg’s name does not appear and he appears to have severed links with the company at this stage. The nominal capital of £150,000 was to be issued in £1 shares.
A prospectus for the new company dated 8 March 1924 outlines the state of Grigg Ltd as it was about to be taken over. It states that the new company was about to take over ‘Grigg Ltd, manufactures and dealers in motorcycles, power units, electric lighting sets, gears and sprockets, lathes, drilling machines, electric signs, steel folding tables etc.’
The assets to be aquired were;
Sanderstead Works, Croydon…50,000 sq. ft.
Winchester Works, Twickenham..7,000sq. ft…erected in 1919
Freehold of the branch establishment at 4 Cecil Street, Margate
Leasehold showrooms at London, Birmingham, Manchester, Hull, Glasgow, Bristol, Watford, Westcliff, Bournemouth, Plymouth, Cardiff, Brighton, Leicester, Leeds, Southampton.
The prospectus states that there is enough work to keep the company going for 2 years and the following contracts have been secured;
Contract for the George Mckenzie Motorcycle up to 50 machines per week
Contract for the Wooler Motorcycle up to 50 machines per week
Contract for the Metro Tyler Motorcycle for 5 machines per week
Contract for the Metro Tyler 8/10hp light 2 seater car complete at 5 cars per week
Sufficient contracts and orders in hand for various types of motorcycles (including the Grigg motorcycles)..claimed to be sole manufacturers of the above.
The prospectus goes on to sat that the vendor company was formed in 1919 and is devoted to the manufacture of motorcycles.Because of the prosperity of the vendor company, there is a need to increase the company capital. Net profits for year end 30 June 1922 were 15% of paid up capital and 22% for 1923.
At 21 March 1924 Grigg Ltd was valued at £92,387. This was to be purchased
by £65,780 of shares in the new company and £26,607 cash. A works manager, Donald S Anderson had been appointed
However something now goes disastrously wrong because by the end of 1925 only 7,000 shares were taken up in the new company and 3 of the directors had resigned. A letter of 23 March 1926 to the Companies Registration Office says that Grigg (1924) Ltd has never transacted any business because it has never taken over the assets of Grigg Ltd. On 11 August 1926 Grigg (1924) Ltd changed it’s name again to Grigg & Griffiths with Board of Trade approval.
Grigg Ltd was finally wound up on 27 February 1929. A liquidator was appointed on 6 September 1927 to dispose of Grigg & Griffiths and the final winding up meeting was held on 14 March 1928.hg
EARLY GRIGG ADVERTISEMENT FROM 1923 GRIGG MOTORCYCLE UNDER RESTORATION BY PETER BIRKETT
GRIGG MOTORCYCLE ON DISPLAY AT THE NATIONAL MOTORCYCLE MUSEUM
PHOTO OF GRIGG SCOOTER (C.1922) FROM GERMAN MAGAZINE "MARKT", Sept 9, 1987, FOUND ON EBAY
1921 GRIGG 161cc SCOOTER, BELT DRIVEN 2-STROKE
ON DISPLAY AT RECENT VINTAGE MOTORCYCLE SHOW IN UK.
GRIGG LOGO ON ORIGINAL FUEL TANK