History of Jaguar

The origins of Jaguar can be traced back to the northern seaside town of Blackpool in the early 1920s. It was here that a young motorcycle enthusiast, Bill Lyons (b. 1901), not yet 21 years of age, met William Walmsley (b. 1891) who was building attractive motorcycle sidecars and attaching them to reconditioned motorbikes. Walmsley had not long arrived in Blackpool with his parents from Stockport, and both families happened lived in the same street – King Edward Avenue.
As soon as William Lyons came of age, he and Walmsley formed the Swallow Sidecar Company on 4th September 1922 with a bank overdraft of £1,000. Securing first and second floor premises in Bloomfield Road, Blackpool, they commenced commercial production of the sidecars together with a small team of eight employees, including a young Arthur Whitaker. Although initially employed to help with sales, Whitaker’s strength lay in purchasing and he was to remain with Lyons for some 50 years, proving himself to be one of the most shrewd purchasers in the business.

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