A Brief History
In 1935 J. R. Jackson opened the first “J.R.J. Cycles” with money borrowed from his mother but upon the outbreak of World War II, the shop shut whilst Bob served in the Royal Air Force.
On his return Bob restarted his old business and soon built up a successful line of lightweight racing cycles, as well as building frames for many of the well known cycle companies of the day. The purchase of the historic “Merlin” brand in 1955 brought new life to this classic marque & soon there were parallel ranges of “JRJ”s & “Merlin” frames. By 1964 The “Bob Jackson” special edition framesets & cycles were starting to make their mark & were featured in the 1964 catalogue.1969 saw the company move to 148 Harehills Lane, soon to become famous both here & across the Atlantic when “JRJ “ cycles showed at the only stateside show at the time, New York. Massive sales were followed by subsequent trips to the states & by the early 1970`s Bob had an unrivalled reputation in the USA & the UK.
More overseas sales followed & by the early eighties more of the traditional frame builders & painters were turning to JRJ cycles for their production needs & it was to one of these companies that Bob turned to when he wanted to retire. The owners of the “Hetchins” brand had used JRJ Cycles exclusively to build their curly stayed frames from the late 70`s & so seemed a natural buyer for the company in 1986 as Bob felt he had been at the helm for long enough. Things did not go well during the following years but fortunately Bob was cajoled by Donald Thomas to help rescue the company that he had spent so long in running & in 1993 Bob Jackson Cycles started from the low point of the rented industrial unit that the old management had landed the company in.
Like a new broom Donald, with Bob advising part time, swept all the bad practice that had accumulated, out. Now all work was to be done in house, all painting to be done in house, perfection was the goal, with no shortcuts, no fudging round the edges. By 1997 the company had long outgrown the industrial unit & the hunt was on to find not only premises where the factory could continue to expand but also where there could be a return to proper retailing & service as the company had done in all the years when Bob had control.
The Station Parade on Stanningley Road , Bramley, Leeds became the new home for Bob Jackson Cycles in June of that year & since then the factory has continued to grow with new contracts, new frame designs, improved efficiency & better products. Sadly Bob died in 1999, but with Donald still at the helm the business founded in 1935 is stronger than it has ever been, offering better quality, better products & better service.