Australian Motorcycles

Today in Motorcycle History

G & B Motorcycles

Motorcycles were sold under the G & B brand by Gahagan and Beddome of 133 Elizabeth Street, Hobart from 1909 and likely until 1916. They also built G&B bicycles over the same period.

In 1909 they also had an address at Huonville.

The partners purchased the cycle business from Sim King, and Beddome departed in October 1909. Subsequently the shop was usually referred to as "Wally Gahagan's". Wally Gahagan, educated in New Zealand, had been a cycling champion in NSW before moving to Hobart.

In 1912 they became agents for Abingdon King Dick motorcycles, an agency they retained until 1914. They were agents for Rover and FN in 1913, for Imperial Rover motorcycles in 1916 and agent for Harley Davidson 1916-1917.

A 3½ h.p. King Dick of 1909/1910 exists which was sold under the G & B name - it is discussed in an article in Old Bike magazine by Dick Prisgrove.

Early in 1917 Wally lodged for bankruptcy, and on Friday 2nd November 1917 it was reported that the firm was wound up.

The Beddome in the business name is probably Charles Boswell Bedomme, son of Charles Edward Bedomme, born in London 1839.

It is not generally known that Wally Gahagan (Gahagan and Beddome), local cycle builder, was at one time champion amateur rider of the New South Wales League of Wheelmen, and won some good trophies. A £50 piano was one, and it is playing still. Wally, although young, was considered a 'daddy' cycle mechanic in Sydney. He holds diplomas for lathe work in Maoriland, and is recognised as one of the authorities in the trade.

The Clipper (Hobart, Tas.) Sat 22 May 1909
(A "Maorilander" was slang for New Zealander until at least the 1940s. It was in use in NZ to refer to European settlers, and, somewhat confusingly, the term for Maori was New Zealander. The Australian slang term in most frequent use is now "Kiwi", though there is another which is avoided in polite company.)

GAHAGAN AND BEDDOME. CYCLE EXHIBIT. As usual, this firm was well to the tore, and it is safe to say that theirs was one of the most tastefully arranged exhibit on view. Here was to be seen those famous cycles, the "Rover" and "G. and B.," known throughout Australasia as the acme of workmanship and reliability. The growth of the firm of Messrs. Gahagan and Beddome has been truly phenomenal, and during the past year business has practically doubled...

Daily Post (Hobart, Tas.) Thu 21 Oct 1909



The only display of motor bicycles and ordinary bicycles on the ground was that made by the firm of Wally Gahagan, of Elizabeth street, Hobart. ... The firm also showed a G. and B. motor cycle of their own make. They make several different models of this, with fixed engines and free engines and various speed gears, and it is sold at prices to suit everybody.

Special mention should be made of the fact that Mr Gahagan has the finest assortment of motor cycle accessories of every kind...

Huon Times (Franklin, Tas.) Sat 25 Oct 1913

Wally Gahagan displays an interesting series of cycle exhibits. showing the various stages in the building up of a bicycle, and also the completed results. ... Another line shown is the chassis for motor-bicycles.

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas) Thu 15 Jun 1916

Mr. Wally Gahagan, of Elizabeth street the sole manufacturer of the celebrated "G and B," bicycles, makes a display these machines...

The Mercury (Hobart, Tas.) Thu 26 Oct 1916

Sources: Trove NLA;, Old Bike magazine.

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