King Dick Abingdon

Abingdon High Street
I sometimes look at images of Abingdon from Ebay where postcards and other collectibles are for sale. Very occasionally I will buy a vintage postcard.

Search for ‘Abingdon’ on Ebay and you will also find: MG memorabilia, Abingdon Town Football programmes and badges, Abingdon vases, and books produced by the Abingdon Press.
King Dick of Abingdon
There are also a lot of King Dick Abingdon spanners and wrenches.
King Dick of Abingdon
Somebody today is trying to sell a 1950s advert for King Dick tools. They were made at the Abingdon Works in Birmingham.
King Dick of Abingdon
Going further back you find vintage motorcycles called Abingdon King Dick or AKD.

Does anybody know the missing link between Birmingham based King Dick Abingdon and Abingdon-on-Thames?

15 thoughts on “King Dick Abingdon

  1. hester

    A bit of Googling found “The company started in Birmingham, in 1856, as tool manufacturer Abingdon Engineering. ‘King Dick’ was added to the company name because their logo featured the owner’s bulldog – whose name was King Dick.”

    However the same blog article has another version from that learned journal “100 Years of Adjustable Spanners in Birmingham” which agrees with Capt K’s version i.e that it derived in the late 1880s from Coxeters cycle company..

    The Company’s own website goes with the former version – but doesnt explain the Abingdon link.

    PS if you want to see what they made in the 1870s take a look at

  2. James Dunn

    The assembly of the Kerry motorcycle was switched from East London to Coxeters in Abingdon in the early 1900s and became the Kerry-Abingdon. The name King Dick came from the association with the Kink Dick spanner makers. Production moved to Birmingham at the outbreak of the First World War. (Abingdon Herald 24.07.2003)

  3. hester

    Capt K – that narrows the field quite a lot!

    Still, not to worry – all the youngsters who have been born here since the expansion of the last 30-40 years count, even if someone who moved here just before that doesn’t. Lets just hope that they continue to honour the history of the town in the same way that you and the other “real” Abingdonians do, and not like us interlopers!

  4. Dave

    It was named Abingdon Works Co Ltd when opened in 1865 byThomas Mabbut, who had lived at some time in Abingdon on Thames.
    There is a link to Coxeters and tricycle manufacture at the turn of the 20th century, which involves a patented rear axle, and again includes the Abingdon name, and Bulldog image
    A trawl through Google sites revealed an interesting part of Abingdon engineering history.

  5. ian d

    I am afraid the answer may be a bit more mundane. The purchasing of tools until the days of the internet was done with a variety of trade catalogues (i worked in this business) and Abingdon was the best bet to be in pole position in the listings. Same logic as Aardvark skips etc…..This was the version I heard back in the day…

  6. Pingback: Abingdon Blog » Abingdon King Dick motorcycle

  7. Dick

    I have recently aquired an 1910 Abingdon King Dick motorcycle. Needs a little work to bring it back to life. But I am sure it will be worth it.


  8. Garry

    The connection is that Thomas Mabbutt who started Abingdon Works in Birmingham was born in Abingdon. His family moved to Birmingham when he was about 12.

  9. rodney Beauchamp

    Thomas mabbutt was my great grandfather who livid in Abingdon oxford moved to Birmingham and started the Abingdon works his trade mark was his prize winning dog king dick he made all sorts of engineering and weaponry he also patented a breach loading rifle many parts for motor bikes and bicycles were made at the Abingdon works

  10. David Coxeter

    I believe Coxeter & Sons Abingdon Cycle Depots were located at Ock St, Abingdon. 9 & 10 Broad St, Oxford – founded by my great-great-great-grandfather Charles Coxeter in 1836.

    Initially Charles and his sons Charles (Junior) and Job Coxeter (my Great-Great-Grandfather) sold tricycles and penny-farthing bicycles. 3 years after opening they started advertising a more modern design appropriately named ‘The Abingdon’.

    Coxeter & Sons Ltd became Abingdon Works Co Ltd. and for a portion of time, made military ammunition.

    In 1875, Abingdon Works Co Ltd later merged with Ecco Works Ltd (Albert Eadie Chain Co.) into Abingdon-Eco Ltd with manufacturing in Abingdon, Tyseley and Birmingham.
    ‘King Dick’ tools were manufactured by Abingdon-Eco Ltd. In 1907 Abingdon-Ecco Ltd moved the factory to a new site in Tyseley.

    In 1921 Abingdon-Eco Ltd change the company name and revert to Abingdon Works Ltd. The following year the Abingdon ‘King Dick’ car is produced – a 11.9 four seater.
    In 1928 Abingdon Works Ltd produce a new range of motorcycles – new styling includes livery as AKD, with a range of six ’The King of the Lightweights’.


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