Brockhouse Corgi Moped from Paratrooper to Pootling!

Anybody heard of the Brockhouse Corgi, a small, partly foldeable moped brought to the British public in 1948 by Jack Olding & Co. Ltd of Mayfair, London? Reynard Collectables have just listed a small collection of reviews and brochures of this fascinating machine but I can find little about it (although I did read somewhere online that one of these machines was featured in the Ealing Comedy “The Titfield Thunderbolt”!).

It seems that the machine was originally used by Paratroopers and was known then as the “Welbike”. It was fairly light and thus able to be parachute-dropped during the Normandy landings of WWII. From there it was transformed into the Corgi, and as one of my brochures puts it, “Easy Transport for the District Nurse”.

However, with just the handlebars dropping down, I am not too sure about its claim to be “easily folded”. At a fairly hefty 95 lbs, it wouldn’t be the easiest thing to fling over your shoulder.  Apparently it could also carry “Minnitt” gas and air equipment which I assume was a part of a district nurse’s kit.

Another interesting picture shows the machine with sidecar attached and with a tilt mechanism making it purely a machine for load carrying rather than for bearing a passenger, however small (unless they made a tilting passenger seat to enable you to avoid the tilting driver).

Lovely period stuff, and available in the Reynard Collectables ebay store.

The Corgi & District Nurse

1940s style & the Corgi!

All lean left just like the tilting train!?


About reynardcollectables

Married to Barbara, two boys, work from home office. Trying to build my collectables hobby into a profitable business.
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7 Responses to Brockhouse Corgi Moped from Paratrooper to Pootling!

  1. W H Pitt says:

    I owned one of those in the late 50’s. I made many modifications to it by adding ‘wind shields for the legs’ – like the Vellocette of that period. It had a wind screen and a pillion seat. It carried two – me and my gal – with not too much trouble. It had two gears – going and not going!
    I sold it, along with its petrol coupons, at the time of the Suez Crisis. Biggest mistake I ever made.

    • Certainly sounds a versatile machine what with the paratroopers, you and your gal and who knows who else! I also found out there is a club for these machines, so somebody else out there must still have one? The ephemera has been sold now, so maybe it went to one of the current owners. Thanks for viewing my blog anyway, I was wondering if I was writing to myself, so it is nice to start getting some comments. Thanks Mike

      • Hans Eberlein says:

        I own a Corgi MKI, which was in poor condition. Since then -2010- I´m searching for parts needed; not cheap, but at least help to complete the bike.
        I´didn´t found a Corgi Owners Club, to share experiences and parts to sell/buy.

      • Hello Hans
        Thanks for your comment and I see you mention there is no club for these, but have you seen the “Indian Papoose Club” which I found on line. These bikes seem to be the Corgi but rebadged as Indian for the US market. Might be worth a look, the link is here.

  2. I also had a Corgi – the basic original paratrooper version – back in the late 1950s.It cost me £25! I ditched my bike and used it to ride the 7 miles to the Bromptom Hospital research lab I worked in back then. 5 nights a week I drove from the lab after work to the Haymarket Theatre where I earned extra money as an usherette. I chained and padlocked the bike to railings just outside the Stage Door. One night I came out into pouring rain and started unlocking the bike when who should come out but Ralph Richardson! (I did not find out until much later that he was himself a great motorbike fan). He offered to get his chauffeut to put the bike in the boot of his limousine and he would give me a lift home. I guess he was a bit surpised when I said I actually quite liked riding it in the rain! I only discovered later that he himself was a great fan of motorbikes! I suppose I was a bit of a clot to miss that opportunity but that did not occur to me until later! I drove the bike everywhere – longest trip was to Cardiff and back from London – apart from a puncture it never let me down.
    Best regards to all you Messerschmitt fans out there!

  3. Peter says:

    I own a 1948 corgi it’s got pride of place in the man cave.

    • Thanks Peter, interesting little machines although my original items of ephemera were sold some years ago now. Funnily enough I just picked up another bunch of ephemera from a friend and in amongst it was a little one page review of the Corgi which was originally printed in “Motor Commerce” magazine of March 1948. Doesn’t sound very cheap though at £52 plus £14 purchase tax? Regards, Mike Fox, Reynard Collectables

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