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  • Condor Cycles
    enter a team in the newly established Tour of Britain Condor Cycles supplied the frames rebadged as Triumphs However Raleigh bought Triumph in 1954 and the days of being the London agency for Triumph were over Monty had been in contact with a very talented framebuilder Bill Hurlow who had had a brief involvement with Paris Cycles before it had closed in 1953 Bill Hurlow had started framebuilding in the 1930s and had built frames for both F H Grubb and Holdsworth previously He moved to Condors early in 1954 Bill Hurlow set about designing some new frames which were to set Condors apart from the opposition Fancy lug frames started in England with designs from Hobbs and Claud Butlers in the 1930s Bill s designs were highly refined and with a wonderfully precise and clear cut edge to the lugs There were essentially five standard designs the WBH No 1 the Superbe the WBH No 3 the Fleur de Lis and the Italia The No 1 as illustrated in the photos and Superbe were the top models From 1958 Bill Hurlow branched out on his own but still continued to build Condor s top frames until 1968 The Italia featured simple plain single point lugs very much in the style of the Cinelli Super Corsa Three images of the head lugs of the W B Hurlow No 1a showing the characteristic Hurlow design The 1960s was era of the Condor Mackeson team which nurtured many top riders such as Colin Lewis and Dave Bonner Many were riders who were just starting out in their careers and some such as Hugh Porter 1968 World Pursuit Championship had significant successes under their colours The 1970s saw a number of new models which adapted quickly to the changing and expanding market especially

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hs-condor.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Joe Cooke - Imperial Petrel Cycles
    process of patent application that would be needed before manufacture could commence Disaster struck during WWII when Joe s only son Raymond who was a Flying Officer in the RAF was killed on active service Not unnaturally this affected the family a great deal but they persuaded Joe to take on his daughter Henrietta s son David to work in the business and this helped in some way to enable it to return to an even keel The grandson took on the tasks of wheel building lug filing and the cleaning up of bare frames preparatory to them going the Rossiters a local finishing firm for spraying lining etc In the early 50s Joe decided to retire from the cycle trade and the business was sold to Alf Curnock for 2000 Tommy Godwin an Olympic medalist had been interested in purchasing the business but was pipped at the post A sample of frame numbers related to estimated year of manufacture 5031 1930 6031 1933 6269 1935 6843 1938 Customers memories of Joe Cooke and Imperial Petrel Cycles Walter Smith a keen member of the Midlands CTC owned two Imperial Petrels and built up a friendship with Joe Cooke His first was purchased in 1935 a CTC De Luxe Superigid He paid 12 9s 6d for it including a discount of 5 6d the frame was finished in black with the traditional blue head tube and was fitted with blue anodised bars He used steel HP rims for touring and also had a pair of cane sprints for racing In 1937 Walter was Chairman of the local CTC section and their fixture card had an advert on the rear stating Come to Cooke and Ride an Imperial Petrel and see the difference Walter s friend Miss Aileen Bone later to become Aileen Smith also purchased a Superigid in 1938 It had a 21 frame finished in green lustre with chrome fork and rear ends It was fitted with chrome 26 rims on BSA hubs secured by wingnuts Williams C34 chainset quill pedals alloy bars cantilever brakes Brooks saddle white celluloid mudguards and pump Lucas Challis bell mileometer and lamps Walter eventually sold his machine but Aileen kept hers until 1991 when it was acquired by the Marque Enthusiast who restored it to its original glory see image on left Charles Woodcock purchased his first Joe Cooke cycle in 1928 and noticed that several details were similar to Rover Cycles of the era The frame angles were 68 parallel and the wheels on this machine were 26 x 1 3 8 Endricks with John Bull Speed tyres A few years later he got Joe to build him a lighter frame with super resilient forks On taking delivery of it he found that the forks had too much give for his liking so he had them changed for a more rigid pair Around this time the fashion was for very small frames with some makers such as Selbach using taper tubes and others

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/joecooke.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Dave Davey
    script on the down tube is of the type that Davey used and the head badge has been authentically reproduced albeit in vinyl as opposed to paper These were costly to be done but the good news I have a good stock of them and I can supply anyone who requires them and if I charge 3 each it will help to recover the outlay an image of the headbadge is at top of this page History of my Dave Davey purchased second hand from Dave Davey s shop in 1964 for 17 10s originally built in 1960 for Sid Pateman Whitewebbs C C in 1960 and sold back to Davey when Sid married Iincidentally Sid tried for some time afterwards to buy it back off me and only a month ago I managed to recontact him to catch up on old times I started racing on it on grass track organised by the late Pete Whelan well known North London official of Whitewebbs C C and also raced on track and time trials carrying my race wheels to events on front wheel sprint carriers As it was my only machine it was used for general riding and training and I once rode it from Swansea to London in 18 hours through Gloucester as there was no Severn Bridge then I have retained the Stronglight 5 pin steel cranks with a T A ring Unica saddle with a 2 bolt Campagnolo seatpin The Cinelli bars and stem are of the later allen key type and the h p wheels are modern as I was unable to obtain Campagnolo or Airlite hubs from that era Below Two images of Rod using the Dave Davey in 25 mile time trials c 1966 on the F4 course in both instances on fixed wheel showing how popular this was even well into the 60 s Nigel Moody tells us Martin Walton bought the complete bike shown below from Dave Davey in 1967 for 40 The frame number on the underside of the bottom bracket shell looks like 191 It was second hand but as good as new His interest in cycling had been renewed by watching the Finsbury Park CC circuit races nearby Phil Liggett s old club Martin also recalls a member called Allan Dunn who was Dusty Springfield s manager at the time He joined the club and began riding the time trials on the North Road The following season he rode in the West Suffolk Open 12 hour and lifted the Finsbury Park CC 12 hour Cup Also around this time the Dave Davey was taken on holiday to Switzerland and ridden over some of the major climbs of the region About once a month he used it to cover the 130 miles from his home in London to visit his parents in Ludham Norfolk where he now lives Some of the equipment is original including the Stronglight chainset Mafac brakes and GB stem The black paintwork with gold panelling set

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/dave-davey.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Fred Dean
    spokes but 14 16g on the gear side Regina 5 block 13 15 18 21 24 Regina chain Rear tub D Alessandro cotton Imperforabile which punctured Front was a Dutch Radium Criterium Lovely tubs very well made and always went onto the rim dead true They were hard to get in this country Chainset Campag Record 48 52t pedals Campag record track brakes Mafac Racer stem Ambrosio Grand Prix 5 with Phillipe Franco Belgebars The gears were Simplex Prestige with Campag bar end control These gears were new in 1963 Previously I used Huret Allvit they always worked very well but I felt like a change Saddle Brooks B17 French with Ideale Competition clip with that clip you could get very fine adjustnent GB stainless clips Paturaud tie end straps EDCO nitrogen pump with Terry clips under down tube in image above TA cable guide on stem bolt with Watney Red Barrel good luck charm attached Tressorex cloth tape TA crac d t bottle cage The frame was Orange flam with Blue panels and chrome front ends The rider was 21 years old and here is in Brighton Velo yellow Unis Sport jersey Raxar shorts Hector Martin shoes Rider looks tired as he had punctured and took 2 laps 22 miles to regain leaders and then attacked straight away There were four left on last lap I finished 2nd in the final sprint Webmaster adds that in response to my request for the above information John replied Hope this is interesting I kept a record of everything when I raced I wasn t really an anorak that was the jacket scooter Mods riders wore Actually I had a Vespa 160cc GS scooter to get to races in those days and as I came from Brighton where all the Mods Rockers had their battles I was often stopped by the police asking where I was going A bit stupid really as I had the bike and wheels strapped to the upright rear carrier Right Dave Bedwell in Fred Dean colours aged 34 here he is followed by Brian Robinson St Raphael two Ryall Raxars riders one possibly Tony Mills and Jim Grieves Heylett competing in the 1962 Isle of Man Road Race Bedwell being quite short always rode small frames with very little distance between head and down tubes as can be seen here Thanks to John Spooner for identifying these riders Left Another image of John on his Fred Dean at the start of the Dulwich Paragon Road Race 1962 Lee Strugnell writes I have just read the story on Fred Dean Frames I used to live in Wandsworth and owned a Fred Dean for about ten years as did many of us in the South Western Road Club It was a great bike and served me well in many races Fred told me that my frame was built by a guy named Brian Packer I don t think there was room at the shop for framebuilding and I never saw any sign of it Sadl y I don t know where Bran Packer built the frames His signature was a curved brake bridge at the rear which followed the shape of the brake stirrups very cool Right Here is a picture of Lee in SWRC colours on his Fred Dean taken in 1966 at a race in Ashdown Forest Although Fred s frames always had the transfers on the top tube Lee had his re sprayed with the name on the down tube just to be different This machine was built with Oscar Egg lugs Lee tells us that Fred was a wonderful character who always gave therm loads of credit which led to his downfall Lee rembers that Fred and his wife always showed up at races in his red 1956 American Ford Thunderbird He was a real extrovert Roger Pratt on his Fred Dean Quite why I bought a London frameset in Spring 1960 when I lived in Cardiff I m not sure However Dave Bedwell rode one and we had a Bedwell lookalike in the Ajax Jimmy Mathers who was also one of my heroes Jimmy rode The Oats in 1956 The frame cost 12 19s 6d from memory my take home pay was about 4 50s a week It was made to measure with a 25 seat tube The complete bike would have been about 25 00 It travelled to Cardiff by British Railways It was 531 had plain Nervex or Prugnat lugs and Campag ends It was finished in gloss black with powder blue head and seat panels and gold lug lining very tasteful It had Gold Fred Dean transfers on the top tube which was usual rather than the down tube This photograph was taken by Len Thorpe in the Severn Road Club 50 in July 1961 when I was eighteen Equipment Campag large flange hubs Fiamme rims Pirelli Leggero tubs Stronglight cranks TA Criterium rings steel Cinelli badged stem and 17B bars Brampton pedals Brooks Professional saddle Mafac Racer brakes Campag front and rear gears HB control for the front changer five speed block Christophe toeclips and straps Detto Pietro shoes TA clip on cage and bottle Bluemel s pump with a Campag adaptor and pump clip There were no braze ons not fashionable at the time except the rear brake bridge The frame was built up for me at Charlie Alexander s shop in Cardiff docks Charlie and his frame builder Cliff Smith built his own frames as C W Alexander and they were quality products he built me a frame in 1966 for the Milk Race I cannot remember what happened to the Fred Dean I began road racing in 1962 and several of us in the Ajax bought Eddie Soens frames from Liverpool built by his son Billy Soens Team mates later went for George Brooks frames from Bristol and then Ron Coopers if anyone remembers those names Roger Pratt of Cardiff Ajax since 1959 photographed on his Fred

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/fred-dean-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Classic lightweights template
    included repairing punctures while her father concentrated on the workshop situated over the back of the premises As in Eden Street the family home was part of the same property Attention to both the customer and technical detail resulted in appointment as CTC Official Repairer soon after opening at 184 Tunnel Road Advert from CTC magazine Already famous for the quality of the wheels he built Harold began to build lightweight frames sometime before WWII A stock book dated January 1943 lists tools and materials used for that purpose which would have been virtually impossible to buy by a new builder after 1940 Regrettably no records have been found that give details of type or quantity built Harold Dickinson wife Doris and daughter Val on triplet c 1948 Frame production was carried out in a variety of places within the confines of the property As Valerie says Originally work was done in the attic at Tunnel Road this was during the war years I can remember standing on a chest and seeing the city centre which was about 1 miles away in flames I still have the chest After the war dad worked in the air raid shelter in the back yard which was a smaller edition of the street shelters I have no recollection of it being built but when that happened I suppose I was only about two He had the brazing hearth and later on welding equipment in there After the war Harold s brother John began working as frame builder in premises rented from wheelwrights T F Jack s Son John Dickinson Else and Pat outside the shop c 1947 Valerie Thomson neé Dickinson still owns and rides the bike built for her in 1955 when she was eighteen Dickinson Cycles continued to trade in Tunnel

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/dickinson-builder.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Ducketts (A G Duckett & Son)
    reputation for his frames made in a hearth at the back of the shop The failing of his vision led to this work being passed on to other builders Herbie Stokes from 1950 to 1958 and Vic Edwards from 1958 to closure of the shop It is said that Les Ephgrave made some frames for Duckett s though this has not been proved There is one surviving example which is clearly an Ephgrave No 1 Super with a 1953 frame number obtained by its current owner in 1970 with battered paint and Duckett transfers In the 1950s some felt that the Art Deco Duckett Superlite head transfer was rather dated so ordinary models were given the round pre War Elite transfer complete with obsolete address These can be seen on frames hanging on the shop wall The photos of the shop were taken by Alan and June Polley around 1957 They were professional photographers and customers of the shop in the 1950s they were regular callers as often for social visits as for business Albert Duckett was a small well built man always wearing a brown warehouseman s overcoat in the shop He was addressed as Mr Duckett but is remembered as a very nice man always kind and jolly and a real gentleman For many years he was a popular president of two local cycle clubs The shop became a sort of informal clubroom where people would stay after hours Tragedy struck this small family business when Jack was killed in a scrambles motorcycle race at High Wycombe on 11 September 1955 He was an able mechanic and a popular figure Around 1960 Albert Duckett retired and David Whiting left to manage another cycle shop leaving Tommy Smith to run the shop on his own until its closure around

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/duckett.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Ellis Briggs cycle frames
    Possibly one of the firm s first claims to fame came when Ken Russell sponsored by Ellis Briggs but riding as a lone entry won the 1952 Tour of Britain competing against works and national teams Ken had been trained in frame building at the nearby company of Whitaker Mapplebeck having started there at the age of 17 1948 before moving to E B in 1952 No doubt he spent time working in the business as well as training and racing as was common back in the 1950s Ken s results in this race were 1st overall Tour of Britain winning Stage 2 Southsea Weymouth 85 miles Stage 5 Aberystwyth Blackpool 179miles Stage 11 Newcastle Scarborough 88 miles A very detailed and interestig insight into Ken s early years and his solo win in the 1952 Tour of Britain published by the Daily Telegraph In 1953 Ellis Briggs produced five framesets including International 16 5s 0d see page from catalogue below showing details of their top frame Superbe 14 5s 0d Allrounder 11 5s 0d Allrounder all chrome 15 5s 0d Competition 12 19s 6d Which makes one wonder why they produced the cheapest frame as an all chrome model bringing its price up almost to that of the dearest Other well known Ellis Briggs riders included Beryl Burton Brian Robinson Peter Procter Danny Horton and Arthur Metcalfe There are several Ellis Briggs machines in Readers Bikes including the 1947 ex Des Robinson see image below the 1951 ex Ken Russell as well as later 1969 and 1978 models Des Robinson riding his Ellis Briggs in the World Selection Race at Donnington Park 1950 Doug Fattic from Michigan relates It was nice to see Ellis Briggs frames included in your website I m an American that apprenticed there in 1975

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/ellis-briggs-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Elswick-Hopper Convincable
    He also had ideas on a back pedalling brake a gearbox within the bottom bracket and a shaft drive The answer to all these problems was seen by Ben as a twin tube frame with a longer than usual bottom bracket axle that could accommodate an inboard chain wheel which would move across so that it was always in alignment with the selected rear sprocket Having obtained the patent Ben offered it to Raleigh who declined due to the cost of retooling for production and to Elswick Hopper who decided to build a bicycle based on the patent The new design was launched at the 1955 annual Cycle Show held at Earls Court where Elswick Hopper revealed what the cycling press of the time described as the sensation of the show The catalogue describes it as having a duplex frame built with Reynolds 531 tubing including seat and chain stays and forks It had a 37 inch wheelbase considerably shorter than the 41 inch conventional model There were two very similar cycles the Hopper Vampire Convincible and the Elswick Avenger Convincible Unfortunately for Elswick Hopper by the time they produced their cycle the alignment problem had already been resolved by the development of more flexible chains by the French and Italians Cyclists obviously did not consider the extra weight that the design had incurred to be worthwhile and the project was a failure It is not known how many were produced but ex Elswick Hopper employees think it was six or less The few models made were produced by highly skilled Tool Room mechanics and were totally hand made The company records stored in the Grimsby archives show that in 1956 there were over 1 900 transfers still in stock all of which had the spelling Convincable It is also

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/elswickhopper.html (2016-02-09)
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