Fred Hanks

Hanks For The Memories

Fred HanksFred Hanks motorcycles on Slade Road in Erdington, Birmingham has closed its doors after 60 years of trading.

“In December I just decided that enough was enough,” Roy Hanks, the son of the founder told BDN. “We had plenty of work, that has never been a problem. But I will be 70 soon and after I had the ‘flu my sister Beryl had it and her husband Gerald, who worked at the shop with her, had an operation that went wrong affecting his mobility. The younger generation are not interested, so we closed up.”

The street corner shop carried out repairs, servicing and MOTs as well as selling parts and accessories. Fred and Maisie Hanks, who opened the shop in 1958, sold Norton and later Honda, Puch and Tomos. A well-known sidecar racer, Fred raced in 12 IoM TTs and bought the TT Specialnewspaper, which changed to annual book form in the 1980s.

“We have people interested in buying the building and will clear most of the stock by having someone do a complete strip,” Roy said. “There’s a load of BSA engine parts from the racing days that have been stored away for years. TT Supporters Club paperwork (Roy is chairman) is being taken away, along with our stock of ACU Benevolent Fund TT year badges going back to 1947.”

Having just missed the deadline for the March issue, the full story will appear in the April BDN.

Pictured is Roy Hanks and passenger Vince Biggs at the 1982 TT, when third and a fifth places in two races put them top on aggregate. The Fred Hanks shop front was orange and black as well. [Keig Collection]