It was in 1864 that a name synonymous with the Berkshire music scene for more than a century first made it's appearance in the town of Reading. Trading from a residential address in Great Knollys Street, probably as tuners and repairers, the Hickie brothers apparent steady progress leading to a move in 1908 to 153 Friar Street - premises that continue to carry the family name to this day.
At the time, just a few doors away at 159 Friar Street, a music shop run by a Miss Binfield (later to become Atwells and Binfield) was managed by J.E. Hickie, who one assumes later moved to 153 with his brother, William.
Although continuing to operate under the name of Hickie, the business took a giant step forward when it was purchased in 1913 by Frank william Elphick, who was instrumental (no pun intended) in adding a piano repair workshop at 20 London Street and a radio and television workshop in Chatham Street.
Both of those operated successfully from their respective addresses until the late 1950's, then moving to Queens Road premises formerly owned by Fowler Lee, before finally opening at their present address in Livery Close, South Street, when the Queen's Road building was redeveloped as an office complex.
However, more important than bricks and mortar, the company remains firmly in local ownership, for when Frank William Elphick retired from his position as Managing Director in 1958, the reins were taken up by his eldest son, Jim, ably assisted by brothers Frank and Robert. Then through a transitional period during which Robert took over as Managing Director before retiring in 1995, responsibilities for the running of the company were invested in Robert's son, James and his brother Jim's son, John Michael. In 2003 John retired and Robert's other son William join the business and together he and James now run the business.