Company History of Roland Priestley Pty Ltd
Roland Priestley Pty Ltd was founded by Roland Priestley in the early 1970s. Back then the company was importing and distributing gift ware items.
In the late 1970s early 1980s Roland contracted Multiple Sclerosis which was affecting his mobility. Roland decided to close the gift ware business and retire. The company although still registered went into hibernation. Roland did not like retirement, he spent many hours at the MS society and looking at everyone else with all of their difficulties and thought, “there must be something I can do about it”.
In 1988 Roland saw an advertisement in an American publication for Rascal Scooters. Roland contacted Electric Mobility in New Jersey to ask them if they had any Australian distributors. Roland imported 2 machines, 1 a Rascal 230 Scooter and a Front Runner from Electric Mobility. Roland was so impressed with the Rascal he thought that he may be able to distribute the Rascal in Australia as well at the same time help his own mobility. At that time there was not a lot available in Australia. In 1988 Roland Priestley Pty Ltd sold its first Rascal Scooter. It had a take-apart aluminium frame, solid state controller, spring suspension and an on board charger which was revolutionary for a mobility scooter in its day. At that time Roland Priestley Pty Ltd was operating out of Roland’s home in Pymble NSW.
Later on the convertible front section was an optional extra. Another Rascal first, the ability to interchange front end sections to convert a scooter into a motorised wheelchair, a feature unique to Rascal. Shortly after was to come the heavy duty model 245 with its class leading 205KG carrying capacity. In 1993 Roland Priestley moved into a Shop in Roseville Chase NSW.
Along the way Roland was able to take on the Australian agency for Stand-Aid of Iowa and PVI ramps to name a few and many more Rascal models were to come and go through the years. Roland also acquired a number of dealers across Australia to sell and support his products.
Roland worked in the business up until of October 2005 and passed away in December of that year. Today the the business is still run by family. Anthea Priestley has been working with Roland since the late 80s in the mobility industry and the company continues in Roland’s memory.
In 2011 Roland Priestley Pty Ltd moved into a factory unit at its current location at 26/12 Cecil Rd Hornsby which offers easier customer parking and level access.