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  • Gillott 2: The Post-War Years
    believe was introduced in the 1960 s possibly when the company was bought by Edwardes more on that later As with many other builders business peaked around 1950 1 and by late 1951 over 2500 frames had been built Five frame builders were employed at the peak Jim Collier Bill Philbrook Len Hart Len Truman George Holt and Ron Cooper I say five because Ron had been conscripted to do his National service in the RAF where he rode for the RAF cycling team Most of the employees were racing men as was the case with many cycle companies in this era Ron was in the London Team in the 1952 Tour of Britain but he had a serious crash on Stage 12 Scarborough to Nottingham suffering a double fracture of his arm which meant that this was to be the end of his racing career Another character in the shop Ron Brown had only one arm He had lost it at the age of three I don t know how In spite of this he was a formidable racing man and had the knack of wrapping parcels and building bikes literally single handed With the end of petrol rationing in 1953 the roads began to fill up with smelly noisy smoke belching things and so the Golden Age of cycling was eclipsed Gillott s carried on thanks to a loyal clientele and a fine reputation for quality The frames were finely made the emphasis being on craftsmanship in all their catalogues There was no piece work unlike many of the London builders Each builder had as much time as needed to make sure the best quality was delivered No freelancers were used and Harry insisted that no frames were built for other shops apart from one for Buckleys Harry

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/gillott2.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Gillott 3: Lugs and frames
    men so this informed the product Recommended styles were offered for the different disciplines such as track grass track mass start time trials touring and general Club work The variety was subtle mainly centred on frame angles wheelbase and bracket height The essence being on versatility in a time when a cyclist often had but one bike which had to be pressed into service for perhaps a time trial on Saturday then a club picnic on Sunday Harry was also very proud of the bicycles that they built for disabled riders I have seen a photo in Cycling Plus of a disabled rider at an early 50 s Isle of Wight rally on a Gillott If Roger St Pierre reads this I would love a copy for this website please He had probably lost his legs in WW2 and used his left hand to turn the crank the bracket and chainset being somewhere above the top tube The frame was totally unconventional but shows the care and patience the company put in to cater for all comers Harry also stressed that some of his customers were extremely fastidious and would come in to the shop brandishing angle templates to hold against their new frames Others came in with totally unbuildable specifications and Harry had gently to persuade them that the thing would be unrideable He always maintained that comfort was essential for speed so ultra short wheelbases and steep head angles were not recommended but if the customer insisted then that is what he got within reason They also specialised in frames for tall riders where taper tubes were recommended note that taper tube is not a model name They also offered a very neat looking frame for short persons and recommended 26 wheels for it NUMBERING The frame numbering

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/gillott3.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Gillott 4: Stems and more lugs
    have distinct Hobbs style but later Gillotts standardised their designs On the way to this they offered the Curly Cut four examples are known to exist Right Spear headlugs Images Peter Brown Their most popular style is the extremely elegant Spear with its parallel element on the top tube down tube and bracket sockets carrying the eye all round the triangle in a flow which makes the bike seem to move even when standing still They offered this with windows calling it the Connoisseur The Fleur de Lys was the most expensive if to my taste a little fussy and was also available with or without windows or as a bi lam The Bi lam sleeves were cut out of tubes not flat sheet stampings as with other makers They were tacked steel to steel to the main tube then mitred together The assembly was then fillet brazed together with perfect contours flowing from tube to tube The torch was held in a certain way so that radiant heat did the work Len Hart was a master at this having spent the war building aircraft assemblies Below Spear seat lugs The Continental frame used an off the peg Oscar Egg lug but as with all lugs they were finely thinned and polished prior to enamelling The most specialised model was the Alpine Tourist De Luxe I have an original example bristling with braze ons including Resilion brake pivots and cable stops lighting wire loops front and rear carriers front derailleur and the piece de resistance the frame number on a little plate brazed on next to the headbadge This was so you didn t have to turn your fully laden touring bike upside down to satisfy the border guards A few ladies frames were built several tandems most for racing

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/gillott4.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Gillott 5: The Final Years; The Business Sold
    the tooling but Reynolds would still have the right to sell to other customers Harry then tried to patent the idea but was told he could then hold the furniture industry to ransom He dropped it but at least 2 frames were built 2 Gillotts were also built with Paris Roubaix toothed dropouts Harry had shut the Atlantic Road shop when Southern Railways dissolved into British Railways who promptly trebled the rent and doubled the rates The Portsmouth shop opened in 1950 also shut in 195 Harry had recently married and he had been run by down working 7 days a week trying to run 3 shops with 25 employees and he was also active in the Catford CC Harry reckoned that the business could have survived if he had reduced the number of staff and concentrated on the top end of the market The frame making side never made money the business surviving on sales of equipment and accessories THE BUSINESS SOLD So in February 1963 Harry sold the business to Edwardes of 221 Camberwell road He had gained full control of the business after Arthur s death Ron continued to build in the Southampton Way shop and Harry stayed on as manager to support him I believe that Edwardes invested in the business New block transfers appeared a range of Gillott badged accessories also existed silk jackets and wool cycling tops as well as wheel covers and musettes with A S Gillott on them Order books were full with many frames going to the USA Ron was on permanent overtime The cracks started to show when some less than deserving frames came in for part exchange and Harry saw them re appear from the enamellers with Gillott badges and transfers on them He also had issue with the glossy catalogue issued in 1964 If you look closely at the catalogue you will see wheels fitted badly i e quick releases on the offside with their levers pointing forwards He told me that he had lost control of his baby that he had spent years nurturing This catalogue shows 4 models The Velo du Jour was favourably tested by Nimrod in Cycling and Mopeds August 1964 Others were Le Monteur Le Vainqueur track grass and TT models and Tour de Bretagne road racer see images below The French theme continued All could be built with 4 different lugstyles Fleur de Lis Nervex Pro Geminiani or Italo The latter 2 were either Prugnat or Bocama lugs The Italo had a sloping fork crown Harry left in 1966 having had enough he never returned to the cycle trade He had seen the once fine reputation of Gillott marred by greed and it would get much worse Here are some images of a 21 1964 Tour de Bretagne with the Southampton Way headbadge script downtube transfers and Nervex Professional lugs Frame No 645704 64 1964 The frame is in its original purple flam finish with silver bands Thanks to Bob Johnson for

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/gillott5.html (2016-02-09)
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  • The birth and life of a 1952 Gillott
    with 26 wheels Wheelbase Front Rear 17 Fork ends Front Our special Rear Our special track Head fitting Continental type Lytaloy Front forks Round 1 rake RJB crown Width of front ends 3â Rear 4 Size of wheels 27 with mudguards Brazed on attachments Mudguard eyes Make of fittings Baylis Wiley Chainwheel set and sizes Rims Hubs Spokes Tyres Chain Pedals Gears and sprockets Saddle Mudguards Brakes Handlebars and stem Colour and finish Super Electro Flamboyant Majenta White P O L C P Fork all over stays all over Block transfers White P O L white paint on lugs C P chrome plating Accessories Price 18 17s 6d plus 7s 6d Deposit 1 0s 0d Balance when ready Special notes Rear ends 2 slot 5 8 seat stays Rapid taper chainstays The end result Keith Tubby NABC at speed in a 72 Restricted Fixed wheel event in March 1953 on the Gillott ordered via the above form It was a stunning machine with the beautiful Fleur de Lys lugs finished in polychromatic magenta on nickel plate with chrome forks and chrome rear triangle The frame had A S GILLOTT in block letters on the down tube and the lugs lined

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/gillottorder.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Gillott Bronze-brazed frames
    giving added strength larger mitres and a more symmetrical appearance 2 Seat and down tubes are set apart on the bottom bracket shell for deep mitreing and neater brazing again increased strength and rigidty 3 Neat seat bolt arrangement with top of tube reinforced thereby avaoiding distortion and possible splitting 4 1â top tube for increased rigidity 5 Curved bridge with sleeve for brake bolt to prevent crushing 6 Distinctive

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/gillottlugless.html (2016-02-09)
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  • R.O. Harrison - his life
    before Whitsun Mrs Harrison continued to run the retail shop and Reginald a faithful assistant completed all the outstanding work and the business was closed and all stock sold I continued to meet enthusiastic New Star cycle owners and it would appear from the website ROH s fame is still there His grandaughter adds R O Harrison a story from his grand daughter Sally Kidall I ve just had a chat with Mum Muriel Kidall née Harrison She is thrilled that her dad s bikes are still popular and that the enthusiasts are still out there She talked about the crowds of clubmen that would hang out in his shop on Saturdays This shop that is mentioned on your web site in Nunhead is a mystery to her as her mother Winifred Harrison Allard did not sell the business name etc only the stock so I wonder who was operating a shop using his name and if some of the bikes sold at that time were copies of his and not orginals Right is an image of R O H in his scouting days Mum says that they held very little stock of frames as most were built to order R O H had a fellow helping him in the shop called Reginald too no surname known who kept working for Winifred after Reg Reginald Oliver died early in 1955 I wonder if he had something to do with this R O H died of lung cancer Mum reckons he worked and smoked himself into the ground during the war He worked at the Woolwich Arsenal during the day in the war and at night he built bikes Mum hated the business of course as it took her father away from the family He was always working It was very tough financially he lived and breathed the business Mum reckons it killed him he was only in his early 50s He was committed to keeping it going during the war and Winifred took the frames during the day to somewhere in London to have them enamelled while he was working at the Arsenal She helped with the business book keeping etc and the three of them lived upstairs over the leased shop which Mum also hated with the noise of the tram points right out side the window Winifred died in 1992 aged 91 years having moved to Bath after the death of her husband then to Suffolk Mum has some cups and medals that he won for racing He used to do a lot of time trials etc Apparently he excelled at maths and had won a prize from the LCC She mentions how his parents rode a tandem too There is a photo somewhere I ve seen of them so this generational love of cycling is very evident He was a very small man but broad only about 5 feet high his wife was 4 ft 10in He was very active in the local community the Chamber of

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/harrison2.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Lipscombe folding bicycle
    by Frank Lipscombe for himself and his wife Rita to use on holidays and to be the only two built However Rita Lipscombe has explained that there were about twelve of these machines built to order specifically for customers The cycles hinge in the middle and the two sections are locked by three adapted quick release levers operating through the hinged plates which are brazed on the the ends of the junction of the main tubes where they split see image below The two levers one above the other hold the plates together and the third at the bottom stops the frame from folding like a jackknife when under pressure from hard riding maybe not necessary if the plates were thicker but then they would be much heavier The Compactas are built up with classic lightweight components the unusual stem looks like a Merkens droopy lapped stem with the lapping unbrazed and then re brazed the other way round front to back to get the correct angle and also inverted to raise instead of droop The large TA chainring is to compensate for the small diameter wheels The frames are numbered 6633 and 07001 pictured on this page If the number 6633 was the first followed by 07001 and the first 0 of this number discounted it would suggest some 368 frames built between The last and second owner thought that they were built in the mid sixties John is now looking for a source of 20 tubulars are they still used in Italy does anyone know Reinforcing ring brazed at top and bottom of the headtube Frank Lipscombe headbadge on the folders Thanks to Frank s wife Rita and his daughter Pam for background information on these unique machines John Clark adds Remarkable machines ahead of their time Regarding

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/lipscombe-folder-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2017-12-15