Photo:King's Sports Store, Leeming Street, Mansfield, c.1895.  Bicycles are for sale in the window

King's Sports Store, Leeming Street, Mansfield, c.1895. Bicycles are for sale in the window

A.S. Buxton

Photo: Illustrative image for the 'KING & BIRD' page

Printers, Stationers (and Car Manufacturers?) of Mansfield

Amongst the list of locally-made motor cars contained in the first Nottinghamshire county Registrations for Motor vehicles in 1903, is a curious entry for a car said to have been manufactured by the Mansfield business of Messrs King & Bird.

Car owners first had to register their vehicles in 1903*, and from the surviving Vehicle Registration list of cars and motorcycles owned by local people in Nottinghamshire, we find the following entry concerning Messrs King & Bird's vehicle.

 Messrs King & Bird, Leeming Street, Mansfield: - 4 1/2hp car.  Own make with de Dion engine.  Dogcart body; painted green, picked out with straw and black weighing 9cwts, licensed for Trade and Hire*

Curious, because neither Mr King nor Mr. Bird is known ever to have previously or subsequently dabbled in the construction of motor vehicles, and because it appears to have been built for business purposes.

True, James King did, in the first years of the 20th century, run a "Bicycle Hospital" at his premises in Leeming Street, Mansfield, but prior to that he appears to have been a printer and stationer; there would appear to be no automotive engineering in his background. 




1885 - Edward Bird - Shopkeeper, 6 Leeming Street

1885 - James KING - printer, stationer, bookbinder, dealer in cricket, lawn tennis & football requisites and patent medicines, emigration and insurance agent, 10-11 Leeming Street (Home address 22 Woodhouse Road)

1901 - J. King - Cycle hospital, Leeming Street

1902 -J. KING - Cycle hospital, Leeming Street

1903 - King & Bird - Printers, Leeming Street

1904 - King & Bird - Printers, Leeming Street


* Taken from "Nottinghamshire Register of Motor Cars and Motor Cycles, 1903" in The Thoroton Society Record Series Vol.XXI (1961) pp.65-79

This page was added by Tim Warner on 03/05/2014.

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