Frank Wellington


Frank Wellington lived in Danbury and as far as we know never lived in Goldhanger, however he was related to several members the Page family who were Goldhanger farmers. Frank’s wife, Ellen Maude Bailey, was Ethel Beatrice Page’s sister, who lived at the Old Rectory, Goldhanger, with her husband Charles Page. In his day Frank was a well known automotive engineer, vehicle manufacturer, dealer and motor racing enthusiast. Although he lived in Danbury and later in London, judging from photographs available he was a frequent visitor to Goldhanger and is perhaps best known in the village by a picture still hanging in the Chequers Inn and which has been there for many years…



below are extracts taken from many sources which effectively form a biography of Frank

some newspaper cuttings come from…

at the end of this page there is also a  brief résumé of Frank’s career  based on this material



from…  Grace’s Guide

Frank Frederick Wellington (1868-1917) Motor Engineer and Employer.

Born in Clifton (Bristol) in 1868, the son of James Russell Wellington (1844-1907) a Timber Merchant and his wife Frances Elizabeth Newcombe.

from…  Ten Years Of Motors And Motor Racing, by Charles Jarrott (published autobiography)

In 1890 ... the first person I went to was Frank Wellington, who had had some experience with motor-cars; in fact, he had already been through one very bad smash, which had something to do, I believe, with running into a brick wall in the middle of the night, at the full-speed capacity of his car, somewhere about ten miles an hour.

Wellington was an expert on ignition burners (so he informed me). He proceeded to light the ignition lamps for the motor. His methods were drastic, novel to me, and terrifying to the bystanders. There was rather a big blaze, but, as he explained to me afterwards, that was a detail and it really was not dangerous.

Anyhow, when I say that he turned on the petrol tap, flooded the whole of the engine with petrol, turned the tap off, lit a match, dropped it inside the bonnet of the motor and then ran away.

One can imagine that my criticism of his expertness was somewhat more forcible than my expression of the word "primitive", and having assured the bystanders that the aid of the fire brigade was not necessary and the flames having subsided, we got the burners to work with the aid of some mentholated spirit, and proceeded to start the motor.

From… Essex Records OfficeT/P 507/1

A photograph with the “date of creation” of 1897 that has these words hand written on the original:

“The first motor car run from D’Arcy to London on 30 March 1897

The text given as “Content” in ERO records:

The driver was Frank Wellington

and the three passengers were

Eleanor Bailey,

Charles Jacobs Page of Old Rectory, Goldhanger,

and Ernest Page of Beckingham Hall, Tolleshunt Major.

The car has been identified as a 1896 3½ hp Peugeot Double Phaeton.

In 1998 Mrs Winsum Hopwood, Née Page, allowed members of the Goldhanger History Group to copy this and several other photographs on this webpage for potential use in the village Millennium calendar. She later donated the originals to ERO.

From…  Motor Sport magazine (in 1963)


The 1899 Mors “Petit Duc” with air-cooled heads and water-cooled barrels to its flat-twin engine, it was the former love of an Essex parson, whose friend Frank Wellington imported it for him, and is reminiscent of the cars brought to Biggleswade by Shuttleworth before the war by the young man whose memory the Collection preserves.

a two seat 1899 Mors Petit Duc

similar to the one in the Shuttleworth Museum

Could the “Essex parson” friend of Frank Wellington be the Revd. Frederick Gardner ? He was Goldhanger Rector from 1893 to 1936 and was known to have had several expensive cars in the same period of time.

from…  Autocar magazine 17 June 1899





WANTED to purchase immediately, six Daimler cars to carry four to eight passengers; must be cheap.

WANTED, twelve De Dion motor tricycles, 1¼  or 1¾  must be in perfect running order and good condition.

WERNER Motor Bicycle to be sold, cheap, perfect order.

ROOTS and Venables’ latest paraffin car, hold two; to be sold, £100.

MOTOR Char-a-bane, by Daimler, or can be used as a lorry, will carry twenty persons ; to be sold cheap.

ONE Daimler 5½ h.p. Delivery Van, fitted with spare  pleasure body, winner of silver medal Crystal Palace, new in August; to be sold cheap. Apply:-

FRANK WELLINGTON 58 Roselyn Hill, N.W.




from…  Grace’s Guide

1894 – May 24th. Frank Wellington married Ellen Maude Bailey at Chiswick

from…  The Story of C.S. Rolls’ 8hp  Panhard et Levassor – by Barre Funnel

In May 1897 C S Rolls hired his Panhard to Frank Wellington, who claimed 12mph overall at 25 miles per gallon on a 300 mile run. Wellington later fell out with Rolls, who went into print, trying to claim some credit for the exploit.

From…  The Automotor And Horseless Vehicle Journal in May 1897




PATENT 12360

Variable Gearing for a Vehicle driven by Motive Power.

Frank Frederick Wellington of 100 Queen Victoria Street,

and Edwin Percival Allan, 14 Hatton  Gardens, June 1896




This invention  refers  to improved  means  whereby  the speed of a motor-driven vehicle may be readily varied or regulated.







from…  Bonhams Collectors’ Motor Cars And Automobilia (in 2010)

Lot 319 – 1898 PHEBUS 2¾HP MOTOR TRICYCLE, Sold for £31,050

French-built Aster proprietary engines were used to power Phebus motor tricycles, one of which, ridden by the pioneering racing motorist, Charles Jarrott, achieved the then astonishing speed of 39mph at the Crystal Palace velodrome. Jarrott’s racing companion on the day was the UK’s Phebus importer, F F Wellington…

2¾Hp Phebus Motor Tricycle

from…  The Phebus-Aster Story

Noe Boyer & Cie, from Suresnes, Paris, named their 1899-1903 Automobilette after Phoebus, the Greek god who drove the sun across the heavens each day. It was powered by a 3.5 hp Aster engine. Charles Jarrott, partnered by F.F. Wellington, achieved 38 mph at the Crystal Palace velodrome, establishing Aster-engined Phebus tricycles as fast and powerful. Wellington was the English importer of Phebus tricycles.

from…  Wikipedia

F. F. Wellington was a British manufacturer of automobiles. In addition, vehicles were imported from Phebus.

The London Company began in 1900 under the direction of Frank Wellington.

The brand name was Wellington. Production ended in 1901.

The only model was a small voiturette – An air-cooled 2.5 horsepower single-cylinder engine mounted in the rear, propelling the rear axle.

from…  The Eastern Evening News, 27 April 1900


At the Motor Car and Motor Cycle Race held at the Crystal Palace, Mr. F.F. Wellington, late of Norwich, was the winner of the solid silver champion’s vase. This handsome vase, with other valuable prises, and several gold and silver medals, were afterwards exhibited at Mr. Wellington's stand at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, these having been won by him in London, Paris, and elsewhere, with his motor car and cycles of French and English make.

from…  The Hampstead & Highgate Express, 5 May 1900

Mr. Risling has on view in his shop window, in the High Street, a number of handsome prizes won recently at motorcar races. Amongst them is a beautiful solid silver cup weighing over 460 ounces and standing 4ft.7inches in height, presented by the Crystal Palace Company, and won on Easter Monday by Mr. F.F. Wellington, of St. George's Square, Regent's Park.

from…  The Sporting Life, 30 May 1900


The Whitsuntide competition for the Palace Motor Brassard promises to be the most interesting of the series decided, and if the usual jump in the distance is forthcoming we shall probably see the English one hour motorcycle record put up to forty miles. The present record stands at 38 miles 868 yards by C. Jarrott, the bolder of the Brassard, and as he is to be opposed by the pick of the English chauffeurs, including F.F. Wellington, who has been driving well of late, winning the recent motorcycle races at Catford and the Crystal Palace in good time.

from… Autocar magazine,  March 1900


The Motor Car Club held their annual general meeting at their club rooms on the 21st March. Under the chairmanship of Mr. F. F. Wellington. The business was got through in an expeditious and unanimous manner.

[In 1907 King Edward VII gave the club a royal charter and it became the Royal Automobile Club the RAC]

From an advertisement in The Autocar. 10 March 1900...




TWO powerful Benz Vans, newly painted, suitable for grocer, baker, or mineral water manufacturer ; £76 and £125.—FRANK F. WELLINGTON, 36, St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park, N.W.

DAIMLER Lorry, to carry 30 cwt., floor space 9ft. x 411. 6b2., can be made into char-a-bane ; L235.—Frank F. WELLINGTON, 36, St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park, N.W.

BOLLEE, to carry three, a really grand machine, equal  to new, perfect working order ; call and see it ; price £65.—FRANK F. WELLINGTON, 36, St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park, N.W.

PHEBUS-ASTER motor tricycles, quadricycles, and auto-mobilettes, 1900 pattern, can now be seen at the address of the London agent.—FRANK F. WELLINGTON, 36, St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park Road, N.W.

YOU should try one.—Wellington’s sparking plugs, 4s. each ; anyone can refit them. Send P.O. 4s. 3d. for sample.—Fanix F. WrnixoTozi, 36, St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park, London, N.W.

WELLINGTON’S motor car register and advertiser, posted free to any address.—Send postcard for copy to Frank F. WELLINGTON, 36, St. George’s Square. Regent’s Park, N.W.




from an advertisement in 1900 ...





36, St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park, N.W.

Sole Agent for the PHEBUS – ASTER

also 2½  h.p. tricycles, quadricycles,

automobilettes, and Gladiator machines.

Winner of the Crystal Palace Brassard one hour race, 38 miles 868 yards, on Easter Monday, beating all English records ; also first and second in all other races on the same day.

Winner of the Two Miles Motor-tricycle Race at Catford on Saturday, May 5th. Beating the English record by twenty-two seconds.




From… Autocar magazine 19 May 1900



ONE hundred and ten Motor Cars, Tricycles, and Ballées for immediate delivery; send postcard for Wellington’s motor car register:-


36, St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park,N.W.




From…  Herbert Austin His Wolseley Years – by Norman Painting and John Brindley

Austin continued work on his motor cars and in August 1900… In the same month a letter had been received from a Mr F. F. Wellington who had bought a Wolseley “Voiturette”. It is thought Mr Wellington was a member of the Committee of Management of the Motor Users Defence Association, a body set up for the protection of motorists against proceedings or legal actions, and he was probably the proprietor of Frank F. Wellington Ltd., a motor dealership in St. George’s Square, Regents Park, London.

[The Motor Users Defence Association merged with the Automobile Association (AA) in 1910]

from…  Autocar magazine 15 September 1900

Mr. Frank F. Wellington, the autocar engineer, of 36, St. George’s Square, tells us he has been so busy for the last two years that his staff has had to work from 8 a.m. till 9 p.m. daily. He has been unable to obtain a sufficient number of good English repair men, and has had to fall back upon French mechanics. This should be encouraging to all young English apprentices and improvers, and should be taken to heart by everyone engaged in the autocar industry.

It cannot be too strongly impressed on all who undertake the repair or manufacture of these machines that there is no room for bad work or incompetent workmen in connection with them. It should also be noted, too, that there are no really good autocar mechanics in want of employment. Those who are not fully qualified should either make themselves so or turn to some other branch of engineering work where such exactness is not required.

From…  Autocar magazine15 December 1900


The New Wellington car is of taking outline. This machine will take part in the 1,200 miles run next year, and it is designed throughout with an idea of being suitable for use in any weather, and on the worst roads, the gearing being most carefully protected throughout.

from…  Autocar magazine 22 December 1900

In our brief reference to the Wellington car last week we omitted to say that it was made by Messrs. F. F. Wellington, Ltd., 36, St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park Road, N.W.

from…  The Beaulieu Encyclopaedia of the Automobile, 1900 – 1901

Frank Wellington built a very light voiturette powered by a 2.5hp air-cooled single-cylinder engine.  He presumably hoped to commercialise it but apparently did not do so.  He was an agent for Phebus-Aster and other makes of car.

From…  Bonhams Veteran Motor Car auction, (in 2005)

Lot 201 – 1900 3½ hp ‘Automobilette’

Taking its name from Phoebus, the Greek god who drove the sun across the heavens each day, the Phebus was built between 1899-1903 in the Parisian suburb of Suresnes by Noe Boyer & Cie, who also marketed the Boyer car. Phebus was initially known for its very powerful and fast Aster-engined tricycles, one of which achieved the then breakneck speed of almost 39mph on the Crystal Palace velodrome ridden by Charles Jarrott. His racing companion on that occasion was F.F.Wellington, who imported Phebus machines into England.

Frank Wellington on a Phebus-Aster racing tricycle

from…  Grace’s Guide

1901  - Frank F. Wellington (age 31 born Bristol), living at 36 Georges Square, London:

Motor Car Engineer, with his wife Ellen M Wellington (age 29 born Leyton)

and their son Roy H. Wellington (age 2 born Hampstead). Three servants.

from…  The Electrical Engineer, Volume 27, 1901

Patent 3488 – Improvements in or connected with electrical ignition apparatus particularly applicable to explosive engines (sic). Frank Frederick Wellington, 33 Chancery lane, London.

from…  The East Anglian Daily Times, 5 January 1901


Frank F. Wellington, of London and Danbury, who drove with the defendant from Chelmsford, deposed that they started from the White Hart Hotel, Chelmsford, at three o clock, and arrived in Ingatestone at twenty minutes to four, so they covered six miles in forty minutes. The witness, who had been a judge at all the motor-car races in the country last the few years, knew it was absolutely impossible for anyone to measure the speed of a motor-car by guesswork.

from…  The Chelmsford Chronicle, 11 July 1902


Sale at Elm Green Farm, Danbury

THE Well-made household furniture, comprising walnut and ash bedroom suite, brass and iron bedsteads, bedding, walnut sideboard, grand piano, antique carved oak and other chairs, grandfather clock, mahogany and other tables, carpets, pictures, bronzes, etc. Also breech-loading guns, garden tent and tools, several bead of poultry and ducks, and numerous miscellaneous effects. Messrs. Kemsley are instructed by F.F. Wellington, Esq. who is leaving the neighbourhood, to sell the above by auction, on the premises, on Thursday, July 17th, at one o'clock precisely.

From an advertisements in 1902 ...





30-37. St. George’s Square. Regent’s Park. N.W.
Offer:  3 cash prizes to users of the Wellington Sparking Plug.

The prizes will be awarded for the plugs that have travelled the greatest distance, and been in use for the longest period. To participate in future competitions, buy the wellington sparking plug, 4/3, post free with plate for BENZ CARS, 7/9, post free.

Wellington’s Motor Car Register and Advertiser contains particulars of hundreds of Motor Bicycles, Trioycles, Voiturettes, Cars, Vans, etc., monthly post free, 1/6 per annum.




From…  The Times, 22 May 1902



FRANK F. WELLINGTON, Ltd., Motor Car Engineers and Experts, 36 St. George’s-square, Regent’s-park. N.W., now have a VACANCY for a Gentleman pupil. Fee 150 guineas.



From an Autocar advertisement in 1902 ...



provisionally protected

No car complete without one

Send for full particular:-


36, St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park,




[ A Sprag was a mechanical operated “chock” on rear wheels to prevent vehicles rolling backwards on hills ]



from…  The Surrey Mirror, 19 September 1902


Frank Frederick Wellington, St. George's Square. Regent's Park, London, was summoned for driving his motor car at Leigh a greater speed than twelve miles per hour. Inspector Collins stated that on August 2nd he timed the defendant driving his motor car on a straight piece of road at over a tenth of mile stretch. He covered the distance in 19 secs., equal a rate of 18 miles an hour. The offences were committed on the day when the motor test trials took place to Brighton and back.

Mr. Llewellyn Davies, solicitor, who appeared for defendant, stated that his client contended that his machine would not travel at that rate. He was one of the pioneers of the motor car business, and for a number of years past he had driven on the Continent and also in England, and not a single complaint had been made against him. The defendant, was very careful driver, and assured him that at the time he was stopped, he could not possibly have been travelling at the rate of 24 miles an hour as alleged. The defence had no weight with the bench, and was fined £2 and costs.

from…  The East Anglian Daily Times, 27 March 1903

Only some of best exhibits were alluded to preliminary notice of the Automobile show at the Agricultural Hall, Islington, and a second visit enables one to draw attention to other prominent cars of both English and foreign origin. Messrs Brooke and Co., Ltd. of the Adrian Works, Lowestoft, have a spacious stand in tha centre of hall, and their cars, which are neatly and effectively decorated and finished, bear favourable comparison with those of any other maker. It is noteworthy that the cars are made exclusively at Lowestoft, the sole concessionary being Messrs. F.F. Wellington, Ltd, of St. George's Square, Regents Park.

from…  The Yarmouth Independent, 18 April 1903


Parade, Procession, and Photography

The Coming of the Motor Car

The members of the newly formed Norfolk Automobile and Lunch Club, had the very best of reasons for the congratulations they expressed to a heartily Yarmouth on Saturday afternoon, when they brought off their first parade...  Mr. Frank F. Wellington, of London, drove a smart 14 hp Brooks car.

from…  The Leeds Mercury, 14 May 1903

Considering the number competitors and the trying nature of the day, the incidents on the journey were comparatively few, and none were of really serious nature. Probably the worst accident of the day was sustained by Mr. F.F. Wellington, who was driving 6- cylinder 14 BHP Brook Tourneau car, though he   managed the journey. Mr. Wellington broke his gear fork, so will not among the starters for the second portion of the journey.

from…  The Belfast News Letter, 24 September 1903

The second number of the "Car Magazine" contains the following articles...

How to Buy a Second hand Car

by Frank Wellington

There are numerous illustrations

from…  The Automobile Club Journal, 19 November 1903


Messrs. Frank F. Wellington, Ltd., 151 and 153, Wardour-street, London.   6bhp Pick.

Makers’ description: 2 cylinders, cooled by pump, radiators and tank. Fixed electric ignition.

Transmission: Chain from motor to gear, chain from gear to wheels. Seats two.

Speed on outward journey: Up to legal limit. Speed on return journey:Up to legal limit.

Hill-climb speeds: Aston Hill – took two passengers all the way up in 8mins=12miles per hour.

Observer, report: Stopped to replace four broken sparking plugs.. No other trouble.



From an Autocar advertisement in 1903 ...




36. St. George’s Square, Regent’s Park


All British manufacture

perfectly silent vibrationless hill climbing powers

We shall Exhibit our new and improved types at the


Jan. 30th to Feb. 7th.

STAND No. 98




A typical early 1900s Brook automobile



There were many other advertisements in the early 1900s,  more examples are in…

from…  Grace’s Guide

1904WELLINGTON, Frank F, 151 Wardour Street, London,

Caswell House, London Road, Iseworth. Car: Pick. Hobbies: Shooting, fishing.

Commenced motoring before the passing of the 1896 Act, and has handled over seven hundred cars of different makes. Has won four gold, two silver, and two bronze medals, and seven other prizes and certificates. Has built both electric and petrol cars. Drove the first electric car one hundred miles on one charge without a stop in 1898. Was judge of motor-racing for two years. The managing director of Frank F. Wellington, Ltd., who are the agents for the Pick cars…

a 1902 6HP Pick Motors Voiturette

from…  The Automotor Journal,  9th December 1905

Mr F. F. Wellington, representing the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate Limited, will be at the Paris Show on the stand of Messrs. Spyker Brothers, of Holland.


Among the least dusty of all the cars present were Mr. Wilson’s Spyker, Mr. F. Wellington’s 15-20hp Spyker. And Mr. R. C. H. Harrison’s 12hp Sunbeam. All these cars were noticeable for their high open build. The Spyker cars are of the live-axle type and on the Sunbeam car the side-chains were enclosed in cases. As a final test, the judges asked Mr. Wellington to remove the front mud-guards from his car, and under this condition there was a noticeable improvement in its performance.


Another good race was that between Mr. F. F. Wellington, on a 20hp Spyker, and Mr. Sharp, on a Thornycroft.


Could it be Frank Wellington in the prominent positions in these Spyker cars  in London and Brighton?

From… Essex Records Office – T/P 507/10

A photograph with the “date of creation” of 1906 and a title of:

The Chequers Inn, Goldhanger showing Frank Wellington in the motor car

and William Page of Follyfaunts in the horse and trap.

The car has been identified as a 1903 Pick Motors 6HP Voiturette. The Pick Motor Company produced cars between 1898 and 1922 in Stamford, Lincolnshire. Frank F. Wellington, Ltd., were the London agents for the Pick Motors.





This picture is perhaps best known in the village through the large copy that has been hanging in the Chequers Inn for many years. It was also issued as a postcard in several forms in the past…





At around the same time a postcard was produced of the Mill Beach Hotel which is just a mile from the centre of Goldhanger.  The postcard shows a very similar, if not identical car, which could have Frank Wellington in the driving seat…



From… Essex Records Office – T/P 507/9

A photograph with the “date of creation” of 1906 and a title of:

Photograph of Charles Jacobs Page of Goldhanger at the wheel of motor car F1658

These words given as “Content” in the ERO record:

Register of motor cars states this was a 6 HP “Orleans” motor car

First registered on 2 February 1906

Charles Page was the owner





The Orleans Motor Car Company Ltd. was based at the Orleans Works in Orleans Road, Twickenham. They initially used a design and imported many of the parts from a Belgium automotive company Ateliers Vivinus S.A. The similarly between the two vehicles can be seen below.

The Orleans is on the left  - the Vivinus is on the right

The Orleans Motor Car Company was later re-named as The New Orleans Motor Car Company Ltd.

In 1998 Mrs Winsum Hopwood, Née Page, allowed members of the Goldhanger History Group to copy this and other photographs for potential use in the village Millennium calendar. She later donated the originals to ERO.

The car was most probably supplied by Frank Wellington, whose London based business were agents for the Orleans Motor Car Company, and who was Charles Page’s brother-in-law.

From… Essex Records Office – T/P 507/11

A photograph with the “date of creation” of 1906 and a title of:

Photograph of Frank Wellington and Eleanor Bailey in motor car

Eleanor Bailey was another Frank Wellington’s sisters-in-law. Mrs Hopwood, Née Page, allowed members of the Goldhanger History Group to copy this photograph before she donated the framed original to ERO. The picture is not sufficiently clear to see the occupants in any detail, but the front of the automobile and its radiator design is distinctive enough to identify it as a 1903 12hp Gladiator.

Advertisements that appeared in 1900(an example is shown above) for Frank F. Wellington’s St. George’s Square business declared that he was the “sole agent for Phebus-Aster and Gladiator machines”. Gladiator was a French manufacturer of bicycles, motorcycles and cars. In 1902-3 three quarters of their vehicle production was sold in the UK.


from…  The London Evening Standard, 9 January 1906

Mr. F.F. Wellington, of the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate, does not mince matters in giving his views on the question: "Should foreign cars taxed".  His opinion of the domestic product is far from flattering.


from…  The Automotive Journal, 3 March 1906

To the Editor,

SIR, - I think it would not be amiss to call the attention of your readers to the advisability of paying special attention to the methods now universal in driving cars with Cardan shafts. It has frequently come to my notice of late that drivers and owners are ignorant of the fact that to use a foot-brake that is connected to the propeller-shaft, or to the projecting shaft from the gear-box, is disastrous and destroys more quickly than anything the life of the small pinion.

Yours faithfully,



from…  The London Evening Standard, 1 May 1906


Greasy pavement and slipping wheels made the lot of motor omnibus drivers anything but pleasant one, not speak of the feelings passengers and policemen. The matter has now become serious that the police authorities have sent circular the leading members of the motor-car trade, inviting suggestions for remedy. Already one answer has, we are informed, been sent to Scotland-yard by Mr. F.F. Wellington, who has devised simple means to obviate side-slip. This consists of a stout chain fastened around each rear wheel between the double tread, the metal links of the chain protruding slightly above the outer surface the solid tyre. To test its efficiency, the designer will equip twenty motor omnibuses with the device on the condition that a detailed report of any side-slip is made at the end day's run. A feature of this simple solution is that it can be remover in dry weather, and when there is no likelihood skidding, and moreover when one side of the chain wears smooth it can reversed, so doubling the period of usefulness.

from…  The London Evening Standard. 18 July 1906



 “Trace all these defects to their original source" said Mr. F.F. Wellington, of the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate, one of the pioneers among motor engineers, "and you will find it is carelessness the driver ninety-nine times out of one hundred. I would rather have a good driver with inferior car than a good car with poor driver. The fool driver will quickly spoil the best car ever made.”

the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate stand

at the 1903 motor show

from…  Morning Post 3 October 1906


Mr. Charles and Mr. O. McRobia Turrell convened a gathering of pioneer British motorists at 45, Great Marlborough-street yesterday afternoon with view to nominating a committee and taking steps to celebrate November next as  Motorists "Emancipation Day", being the tenth anniversary of the 1896 Light Locomotives Act, when a band of pioneers set forth for Brighton. The following committee was elected undertake the necassary work of organisation : Messrs. G. McRobie, Charles Jarrott... and Frank Wellington.

from…  The Pall Mall Gazette, 11 October 1906


There are few men who possess a wider experience of the motor trade than that pioneer of the industry, Mr. F.F. Wellington, the manager of the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate, and to him, therefore, I went for enlightenment on the agency scheme situation:

“The agency scheme of the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders,” he explained, “is an attempt to deal with a very difficult problem, but it is an impractical attempt, because the evils it is supposed to correct are too deep-seated to lend themselves to treatment on the lines suggested. It would be futile to try to bind the agents. Agency districts are very clearly defined, and an agent must be allowed within reasonable limits to do as he pleases in his own district. It would be absurd to say, for example, that at the end of the season he shall not, if he wishes it, be allowed to clear his stock at under list prices. It should be understood, by the way, that the sphere of influence of an agent is so well recognised that if the agent of one district sells to person merely living in the district of another agent he must pay to the second agent a commission on the sale.”

from…  The Pall Mall Gazette, 26 November 1906


Prominent exhibitors express their views...

Mr. F.F. Wellington, that pioneer motorist who now has the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate in his charge and handles the output for this country of Spyker Cars, he remarked:

“The arrangements for the show next year must be altered. The show now overcrowded with sub-agents, with the consequence that many of the large manufacturers are relegated to out-of-the-way corners”. Mr. Wellington suggested that the principal spaces in the building should be reserved for the manufacturers and sole concessionaires only, and that exhibits should be limited to four cars. “Olympia”, he said, “is not big enough to allow carriage builders and small agents to exhibit cars already shown elsewhere. Carriage builders already have their exhibits on every stand, and the fact that there can be duplication has resulted in a combination that has become an abuse”. In reply to my inquiry as to the business done, Mr. Wellington stated that his difficulty was to keep his agents supplied fast enough to satisfy demands, and that in the matter private buyers he had no cause to grumble.

from…  The Pall Mall Gazette, 23 May 1907


In the last few days I have had particularly favourable opportunity of judging the merits the Spyker cars, for thanks to Mr. F.F. Wellington, I was a passenger both to and from Bexhill on one or other of those comprising the team of five which competed with such success in the races there. Perhaps the two points which struck me most about them were the astonishing speed which even the smallest of them was able to attain (due, doubtless, to carefully-studied timing, and the use of ball-bearing crank-shafts), and the ability of the cars to take almost all the hills without change of gear.

On the return journey a curious incident happened. We reached Tunbridge Wells in good time, and had begun to calculate what hour should be in town, the cars following in line behind the leading one. So interested were that we scarcely noticed that the road Tonbridge was unusually long, when we ran into Uckfield, and found that the leading driver, not knowing the country, had taken a wrong turning, and was heading direct for the sea. An attempt was made to attract his attention, with such little result that a little later, instead of being in London, we were lunching the Old Ship at Brighton.

from…  The Preston Herald, Lancashire, 8 June 1907

Mr. F.F. Wellington, until recently manager of the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate, has taken the management the Spyker business at Amsterdam, Holland. The deserved popularity of the Spyker car throughout Great Britain has been largely due to Mr. Wellington’s personal efforts, and in his new capacity he will carry the best wishes all users of the famous dustless car.

the Spyker factory in 1907

from…  The Pall Mall Gazette, 10 October 1907


Intermittently one hears rumours of attempts that are made to improve the transport facilities In this country by development of our canal system, the principal item in the development being the employment of motor vessels. Of course, there would be the opposition of the railways to overcome, and one would imagine that this would be the biggest difficulty in the way of the scheme. Mr. F.F. Wellington, now manager of the Spyker works in Holland, who is over on a brief visit London, recently remarked:

“You speak of motor boats over here,” he said, but you if you came over to Holland I can show you 5,000 motor-boats on the Dutch canals doing practically the whole the transport work of the country. What is more, too, they use nothing but paraffin fuel. Thanks to this water transport, I am able to deliver chassis in London at £1 apiece, which is less than would cost to convey a chassis from Coventry to London.

Our works are just twelve miles from Amsterdam, and I can transport a chassis by motor-boat over the intervening distance at 1s a piece. Now you know one reason why it is that I am able to bring four-cylinder Spyker cabs into London considerably cheaper than anyone else is able to and even sell two-cylinder cabs.”

Manchester Courier and Lancashire General Advertiser, 18 October 1907


The popularity of the Motor Cab, by J. P. Holland

One of the most interesting developments of the motor is the rapid displacement of the hansom cab by the motor-cab in the streets of London... It goes without saying that the number of motor-cabs will be enormously increased in London within the next twelve months. Already there are a number of new models on the streets, one of these a 10-12hp Spyker, afforded me a very serviceable object lesson in this method of travel the other day. I had occasion to make a hurried trip to Crystal Palace, and mentioned the fact to Mr. F.F. Wellington, manager of the Spyker works. "You can have my car for an hour," he said, “Vaughan will get you to Crystal Palace and be back again by that time." It looked rather an absurd proposition, seeing that the railway takes nearly forty minutes. But I accepted the offer, and we set out from Piccadilly. Without exceeding the legal speed limit we reached Crystal in ample time to allow the return journey being made under the hour.

a 1907 Spyker taxi


In 1907 a 10/15HP Spyker special model appeared with a completely new engine. It was purposeful developed as a taxi for the English market. It was one of the few taxis on the market at that time with a 4-cylinder engine, most had 2-cylinder engines. This taxi became reasonably popular because of its well-built bodywork and roomy passenger compartment that could seat four.

from…  Daily Telegraph & Courier, 16 November 1907

Mr. F. F. Wellington, one of the oldest motorists in England, lately left his position in this country to take up the appointment as manager of Spyker Car in Holland. He writes stating that up to the present he has not been installed there, owing to the differences existing between the Debenture holders and Mr. Spyker. The result that the business has been placed the hands of the Dutch Courts, and the matter will not be adjusted until after Christmas.

from…  The Morning Post, 6 December 1907


Mr. Frank Wellington states that Mr. J. Spyker has resigned his position as managing director the firm at Trompenburg-by-Amsterdam, where the Spyker cars are made.

from…  The London Evening Standard, 5 June 1908


Mr. F.F. Wellington, who has at last finally severed his connection with the "Spyker” makers, will back in England at the end of the month.

from…  The Sphere magazine on Saturday 6 June 1908


We regret to hear that Mr. Frank Wellington has severed his connection with the Spyker company. He made heroic efforts to restore the fortunes of that famous car in the UK.

from…  The Preston Herald, 8 July 1908


Mr. F.F. Wellington

On returning from the 2,000 miles trial one of the first men I met in town was Mr. F.F. Wellington, formerly manager the B.A.C.S., and, exploiter in chief of the Spyker car. He has now returned to London after year’s absence in Amsterdam, to be sales manager to the Suddautache Automobilefabrik. of Gaggenau, Baden, who are opening a branch business at 14 Baker-street, W. It will not long before the Geggenau car will soon be household word in motoring circles, especially the provinces, as Mr. Wellington was one of the first to recognise the superiority the provincial press as a direct medium bring before buyers the advantages of cars. The firm he represents is amalgamated with the celebrated firm of Mannheim, Germany, the Benz being the most successful of all cars produced the Fatherland.

from…  The Preston Herald, 14 November 1908


Owners of Spyker Cars will be gratified to that the famous Dutch firm have now surmounted their recent financial troubles and the introduction of fresh capital the business has now been placed a sound, financial basis. A new Board of Directors and a new Managing Director are at the head affairs and Mr. Spyker is longer connected with the business. It is the intention the Trompeoburg Works re-open business in England, the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate being no longer their agents. For this purpose they have taken temporary offices 64, Wellington-road, N.W, and Mr. F.F. Wellington, whose name has been so closely identified with the success of Spyker Car in England for the past five years, will be at the Spyker Stand, No. 135 in the Annex at Olympia. Mr. Wellington is one the most popular men the trade and has hosts friends who will be sure to take this opportunity of welcoming him back England.

from… The Daily Telegraph & Courier, 17 November 1908

The Great Exhibition of Motor Cars at Olympia


In the Annex under the charge Mr. Frank Wellington, who has has been associated with Spyker Cars since their introduction into this country, is a racy-looking little two-seater 10-15hp car, with a dickey seat behind, that can be raised or shut up as required.

Probably the car that will attract most attention to visitors exhibited on the stand is the 10-15hp single landaulette suitable as a taxi-cab. Londoners already have four of these cabs running on the streets, which are remarkable for their comfort and, having a four-cylinder motor, are rather more powerful than the usual taxi. The vehicle makes a very handsome single brougham, fitted with a speaking-tube and handsome cloth upholstering. It looks far too good for a cab, and will no doubt, find many purchasers among doctors and business men who require a convenient, fast, and economical carriage.

from… The Army and Navy Gazette, 26 November 1910

Mr. Frank Wellington in conjunction with Mr. Bowring, has just opened motor show rooms in Great Portland Street, is one of the best known members of the motoring industry. He commenced actual motoring before the passing of the Act of 1896, and in his commercial capacity has handled over 700 cars of different makes, both of the electric and petrol types.

For many years he was manager of the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate, Ltd., and general manager of Spyker's in Holland. His wide practical experience should therefore prove invaluable in the operations of his new company,Frank Wellington and Bowring, Ltd., which will cover selling, exchanging, valuing, and expert advising in all branches of the industry. The firm will not be bound to anyone make of car, but any make or parts thereof will bo obtainable at the premises in Great Portland Street, whilst repairs of all kinds will be carried out at works in Bolsover Street.

from…  The Northampton Mercury, 2 December 1910


An addition to the list of motor firms which will welcomed by most of the old timers the business is that of Messrs. Frank Wellington and Limited, who have just opened a sales room at 62, Bolsover-street. As the title of the firm would suggest, everyone speaks of the head of the concern as Frank Wellington, just as in the old cycling days it was Frank Wellington who officiated as judge at race meetings, or was the arbitrator in disputes in many ways, but always with a tact and discretion which made everybody his friend.

As the pioneer advocate the provincial press for the exploitation of motor car business against the exclusive use of the trade press, which previous to Mr. Wellington’s innovation had been considered the only possible medium for advertising cars, he has certainly deserved well the provincial agent who may thank him that his business now exploited as should be, and where his customers may learn of it.

The new venture in which Mr. Wellington is engaged has associated with him Mr. Bowring, who has been connected with the motor trade for some eight years. The business of the new firm will consist at the start in buying and selling cars, valuations and expert advice, but later on they will take up the agency of a car or cars manufactured out of London.

from…  The Scotsman, 20 March 1911


Mr Frank Wellington , M.I.A.E., of the firm of Messrs Wellington & Bowring, Limited , of 220 Great Portland Street, the well known motor expert and valuer, has valued the business a going concern at £40,000. This figure does not include the value of the Foreign Patents, which he reports should yield a considerable sum.

from…  Grace’s Guide

1911Frank Wellington living at 15 Cecil House. High Street. St. Marylebone, with his wife Ellen Maude Wellington and their son Roy Newcombe Wellington (age 11 born Hampstead).

from…  The Aberdeen Press and Journal, 14 November 1914



The many friends of F.F. Wellington will be pleased to know that he has recovered from the long illness resulting from motor accident. He was the first recognise the value the provincial press medium for selling motor cars, the popularity of the old Spyker car some years ago being the result of judgment in this respect. He has now severed his connection with the firm Frank Wellington and Bowring Limited, pending other association when the motor trade revives.

from…  Grace’s Guide

1917 – Frank Wellington died (age 49)

from… (in 2016), two advertisements from 1919 and 1920


from…  The Times,  4 November 1919




220, Great Portland Street

Beg to announce that they have been appointed solo concessionaires for the British Isles for the famous 25hp SPYKER CARS

and would be glad to answer enquiries.




from…  The Western Times, 6 July 1920


... they decided to resell the Backet Court, and accordingly they entered into a contract with Messrs. Frank Wellington and Bowring, Limited, motor engineers, for the sale to them of the premises for £7,000.

advertisements for Frank Wellington & Bowring Ltd. continued to appear in the press until 1923

from…  The London Gazette, 2 December, 1924

Notice is hereby given, pursuant of the Companies Consolidation Act of 1908, that the names of the under mentioned Companies have been this day struck off the Register and the Companies are hereby dissolved…

Frank Wellington & Bowring Limited.

from…  The Derbyshire Advertiser and Journal, 3 April 1925

How Accidents Happened

The late Frank Wellington, who was one of the earliest and ablest mechanical experts in the motor world, used to say: “Find the weak spot of your car and your repair bill be out half”. It is only another version of the old adage of an ounce of prevention being better than a pound cure, but it is not always easy to put one's finger the weak spot of a car, at least until after that same weak spot has disclosed itself by accident, after which it may serve as a guide against future troubles.

In 1953 the British made film “Genevieve” used a 1905 Spyker car

The film, which was a comedy about the annual London to Brighton run, used a 1905 model Spyker car as one of the two main featured cars. As the main importer of this make of car at the time, F. Wellington Cars Ltd probably originally imported this car...

The spyker car is on the left

The same car last completed the London to Brighton run in 2013 and it is now in the Louwman Museum in The Hague, Holland. Expensive sports cars are still produced by Spyker in Holland today.




A brief résumé of Frank Frederick Wellington’s career

based on the above extracts

1890  The first mention of Frank Wellington in a newspaper: “he had already been through one very bad smash”

1894  He married Ellen Maude Bailey at Chiswick

1897  Frank Wellington was photographed in “the first car through Goldhanger”

1897  He registered a patent for “Variable Gearing” for a motor vehicle

1898  He drove the first electric car one hundred miles on one charge without a stop.

1899  First advert in  Autocar magazine  for cars wanted

1900  He began production of  the “Wellington car” in Regent’s Park Road, London

1900  Winner of the Crystal Palace Brassard one hour race, beating all the English records

1900  Was the winner of a solid silver champion’s vase at Crystal Palace

1900  The vase and other prizes were exhibited at Wellington's stand in Islington Agricultural Hall

1900  He became agent for Phebus-Aster, Gladiators and other makes of cars and tricycles

1900  Mr. F. F. Wellington chaired the  annual Motor Car Club meeting

1900  He was a member of the Management of the “Motor Users Defence Association”

1900  There were many Wellington adverts at this time

1901  Production of the Wellington car ended

1901  He was living at 36 Georges Square, London, with his wife Ellen,son Roy and 3 servants

1901  He registered a patent for “improvements to electrical ignition apparatus”

1901  His private addresses were given as of London and Danbury

1902  He sold Elm Green Farm, Danbury and its contents at auction

1902  Many adverts for Wellington’s sparking plugs and “hundreds of Motor Bicycles, Tricycles, Voiturettes, etc.”

1902  adverts for the “Sprag” mechanical operated “chock” on rear wheels

1902  Fined for exceeding the 12mph speed limit on the London to Brighton run

1903  F.F. Wellington of London was sole concessionary for Brooks Cars of Lowestoft

1903  He drove a 14 hp Brooks car in a Great Yarmouth auto show

1903  He published a book entitles: “How to Buy a Second hand Car”

1903  F.Wellington Ltd showed Brooke Cars at the Crystal Palace Automobile Show

1903  There were many adverts for Brooke Cars for sale by F.Wellington Ltd

1904  “He built both electric and petrol cars”. “He has been a judge of motor-racing for two years”.

1904  Frank F. Wellington, Ltd., “agents for Pick Motor Cars”

1905  F. Wellington of British Automobile Commercial Syndicate was at the Paris Show on the Spyker stand

1905  He raced Spyker cars in the UK

1906  Several letters/article from him appeared in newspapers at this time

1906  “Frank Wellington has the British Automobile Commercial Syndicate (BACS) in his charge”

1906  He was photographed outside The Chequers Inn, Goldhanger in a Pick Motors Voiturette

1906  He was photographed with Eleanor Bailey of Tollesbury (his sister-law) in a 12hp Gladiator automobile

1907  Hendrik-Jan Spijker was killed which led to the bankruptcy of the company

1907  “F. Wellington, until recently manager of BACS, has taken management of Spyker Cars in Amsterdam”

1908  He  severed connection with Spyker. “He made heroic efforts to restore the fortunes of the famous car”.

1908  He is in London as sales manager of Suddautache Automobilefabrik, Gaggenau, after a year in Amsterdam

1908  “F. Wellington will be on the Spyker Stand, at Olympia”

1910  Fank Wellington & Bowring Ltd, opened showrooms in Great Portland Street

1911  F. Wellington, M.I.A.E., of F.Wellington & Bowring Ltd, valued the business at £40,000.

1914  He recovered from a long illness resulting from motor accident.

1917  Frank Wellington died, aged 49

1920  Frank Wellington and Bowring, Limited sold their Torquay property for £7,000.

1923  Advertisements for Frank Wellington & Bowring Ltd. continued in the press up until this year

1924  Frank Wellington & Bowring Limited was dissolved and struck off the Register of Companies

1953  A 1905 model Spyker car was used in the film “Genevieve”




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