THE OLD MILL, LOW ROW, RICHMOND, NORTH YORKSHIRE. DL11 6NH
HOW IT ALL BEGAN!
AG Bikes is a relatively ‘young’ enterprise, borne from the enthusiasm and passion which Andrew George Brown, known to many as ‘AG’ has always had for trials.
The trials shop and work shop are set in the beautiful location of Swaledale, right in the heart of Scott Trial and Reeth Three Day Trial country.
Andrew is a builder by trade, keeping up the family tradition, just as his father and generations of Browns in Swaledale before him have done. On leaving school, Andrew joined the family firm as an apprentice, attending college and after qualifying, becoming more involved with the running of the family business and seeing it grow from strength to strength. In his own time AG’s passion has always been trials, watching and riding from an early age.
AG has always had an underlying desire to run a trials shop and eventually took the plunge a few years ago. Using existing premises to create a trials shop and well appointed work shop, AG Bikes was born. AG Bikes, like GE Brown & Son, the building side of the business, www.gebrownandson.co.uk , is a family affair, based at The Old Mill, just outside of Low Row, and is also home to Andrew and his family. Everyone pitches in with their own roles, with AG’s parents still staying involved with the businesses and his wife Ros working in the Office. His eldest daughter Charlotte works as Chief Coffee Maker and manages the website and social media side of the business.
As well as running the building business Andrew also carries out mechanicing and was joined in 2011 by Mick Jackson, ‘Jacko’. Jacko started trials riding in 1976 on a TY80 then moved onto Fantics, 125, 200 and 240. Jacko then took up road racing and was riding a 125 MT Honda in 1984 and won the 80cc British Championship on a Suzuki in 1988. In 1992 he had sponsorship from Carson Beattie over in Northern Ireland and raced for him for 4 years, winning the championship in 1992. Jacko finished racing in 2005 and in 2009 started working for Ian Lougher with Matt Jackson on 125 and 250 Hondas, then in 2010 with Connor Cummins at BSB Superstock 1000cc. With Ian, Jacko has done the Roads Northwest 200, TT Races, Southern 100, Scarborough and Ulster Grand Prix.
TRY AND BUY
The bike shop usually has a good stock of new Shercos and a wide range of Sherco spares. It also stocks the day to day spares for other brands and anything not in stock can usually be ordered for next day delivery. AG Bikes can also supply and brand of new bike and have a good range of second hand bikes of mixed brands. There is a good range of helmets, boots and clothing in the newly furbished shop and well appointed workshop facilities offering welding and specialist tuning, porting, etc. As established riders themselves, AG and Jacko have a good understanding of the customer’s needs. One of the big advantages of getting your bike here is that AG Bikes are fortunate to have test sections right next to the shop, so customers can ‘try and buy’.
Both AG and Jacko have an interest in restoration works and have restored Bultacos, a TY Pinky and a Fantic 240.
Growing up in Swaledale, AG’s first recollections of trialing are watching the Scott Trial at Surrender with his father Edward admiring the likes of Malcolm Rathmell, Martin Lampkin and of course local star Richard Sunter.
AG’s first bike was a BSA bought for £15 and costing another £15 to get it up and running at about the age of 10. Once 17 he could ride the famous Scott Trial himself and did so for many years before taking on a marshal’s roll.
At the age of 17 AG and his mates had heard of the SSDT and were keen to go, so set off to Fort William, not really having any idea where they were heading. This was before the days of Satnav and were armed with a map and a crib sheet of road names and junctions to get there. Today, another 30 odd years on, he could drive up there on auto pilot. AG has ridden the SSDT most years since his early 20s and if not riding has usually been up watching, one year having joined the late Norman Pickles and team for a couple of days of observing.
From an early age Andrew started going to Richmond Motor Club meetings with some of the older local lads and has had a long involvement with the Club, including a spell as Sports Secretary in the mid to late 80s. As a young newly wed in the early 90s, Andrew was also a keen supporter of the move for RMC to take over the running of the Scott Trial from Darlington & DMC and was assistant clerk of course to good friend Derek White, clerk of course for many years. Andrew’s wife Ros also became involved with The Scott, helping out in the Results Room and as treasurer for many years.
Andrew was also one of the founders of the Reeth Two Day trial, which was dreamt up over a few drinks in the Alexandra Hotel in Fort William one SSDT together with some other RMC members. Eleven years ago building on the success of the two day, the trial evolved in to the very popular Reeth Three Day Trial it is today.
Today AG is still an active member of Richmond Motor Club as one of the clerks of course for the Reeth Three Day Trial and with Ros, organises sponsorship, souvenir programmes and polo shirts. He is handy as C of C for the GE Brown Trophy Trial at Crackpot. A few years ago he was C of C for the Adult British Championship round which was run on the doorstep at Low Row. He is still involved with the Scott Trial as a committee member, marking out and picking up books on the day, as is Ros who is Scott Trials Results Team coordinator. His eldest daughter Charlotte now assists on the day as well. AG still enjoys riding both local events and still makes his pilgrimage in May each year to ride or watch the SSDT.