Your correspondent Mr. Frank Farrington mentioned this company in relation to the Wilkinson motorcycle. This was not, in fact, designed by Mr. Ogston, but by the Engineering Department of this company, and was a direct descendent of an earlier product, the Pall Mall bicycle.
Four marks of motorcycle were made by this company, the first two, between 1909 and 1911, being the Wilkinson T.A.C. (touring autocycle). The second two marks, in 1912 and 1913, were Wilkinson T.M.C. (touring motorcycle). The object that the designers had in mind was to produce the comfort of a motor car on two wheels and to produce a machine powerful enough to cope with a large and comfortable sidecar over bad roads. The first two marks failed because of the low clearance of the frame, but in the later two this was remedied and the machine had, according to the brochure, “a large and satisfied clientele in the Colonies.” One of the novel features of the machine was the final drive from the Panhard gearbox which was almost in the form of a short sword blade, which was flexible enough to take up some of the initial torque and thus make for smoother starting.
Recently, we were able to discover and purchase a T.A.C. of 1911 vintage in the Newcastle area, and we have stripped and re-assembled this machine and hope in the coming year to have it on display.
J.W. Latham, Director, Wilkinson Sword Ltd. – London, W.4.