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  • W & E Pollard
    mother went to a property auction bought a shop at 96 Everharde Crescent for 1375 and started the cycle business again My parents then sold up and bought a guest house at Westgate on Sea near Margate My father didn t like the hotel trade so in 1949 they returned to Coventry where he walked into a shop and talked the owner into selling it So he started again I think he paid 1500 for the lease The shop was called the Selium Cycle Co run by Mr Len Shatershaft who also sold magic goods and was the president of the Magic Circle I Edward William Pollard was then 17 years old In our first week we took 12 but it did get better We built a large workshop at the back of the shop and built lightweight frames again My father bought machinery and made parts for aircraft brakes After joining the Coventry Wheelers CC and having a little success as a junior I turned 18 and got my call up papers to do my two years national service in the army where I served in Korea in the Duke of Wellington Regiment I landed in Pusan on the day of my 19th birthday 21 June 1953 We were sent north to the 38th Parallel The first place was called Yong Dong It was a quiet place on the front line although I heard my first bullet hit the ground in front of me We defended various hlls along the ridges of the San Mechon Valley ending in a big battle at the Hook in July 53 During my time in Korea I was on a guard of honour for General A R West and President Eisenhower We waited for twp hours on the airfield at Seoul after which the Americans issued us all with gloves I then went north with a M A S H unit situated in a Olympic sized swimming pool which I was told had never been used I had two weeks R and R in Tokyo and one week in Inahon I left Korea two weeks before the end of the war My cousin Alan Milward arrived there two weeks before the end My daughter used to say You were in the Crimean war weren t you dad I was the only one in the family to go to war since my Uncle Charlie who fought in the Boer war He was my Grandfather s youngest brother My grandfather s elder brother after whom I was named lived in Borth North Wales and was secretary to Lord Leverhulme of Lever Bros in Port Sunlight I returned home via Mombassa Southern Florida and was demobbed in Halifax soon starting work again in the family business Eighteen months later we bought another shop at 96 Binsley Road Coventry and engaged Alfred Thrasher another cyclist to run it In 1968 the council demolished Stoney Stanton road Three years before we had bought another shop at 23 Newton

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/pollard.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Cliff Pratt
    book by him on cycle touring some years ago When I use to go into Hetchins in the early 60 s a lot of the Hetchins frames being made there were going to Pratt s as he was one of their largest regional agents outlets I don t know if the Cliff Pratt frames were built by them in house or by a trade builder In Stevenage again in the

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/cliff-pratt.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Frederick Pratt and Son
    solution was a frame designed with relaxed frame angles and a long rear triangle This was based upon his own racing bike head and seat tube angles about 68 and 65 respectively and Fred also gave it a long wheel base using a specially long rear triangle of 26 inches This style became known as the Frederick Jack Knife It is best to draw a line in the sand at this point as this venture never took off although some an unknown quantity probably less than 10 Jack Knife bikes were ever made They make a fascinating story but none have survived After about a year Frederick Pratt took on a new frame builder Peter Tester and from 1949 Pete was responsible for all of the Frederick bicycles made until 1967 when Frederick Pratt died and Pete left the firm Pete s building technique learnt from Fred who built the first couple of frames with him was to hand saw the mitres using as his eye became more expert just two cuts per mitre and attempting to get a perfect fit with the minimum of filing Starting first with the top tube and head then using a unique to the customer paper drawing which was taped to a plate glass the frame main triangle was laid out then brazed up with the key joints pegged with framing pins Pete recalled the lugs were Haden or plainer Prugnat type at that time with the imported Nervex lugs only available later All frames were made in Reynolds double butted 531 except where unusual tube strength was needed In the early days it was normal for a batch of frames to be made and then taken to be sand blasted in South London by a one man band company who passed the frames

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/pratt.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Stuart Purves
    In those days they use to draw the specials one offs full size on cartridge paper for the builder to braze up to Les Ephgrave built most of the specials in the billiard hall near the works Doug said that Butler s built for anyone but unless you saw them after being enamelled with transfers fitted you had no idea who I have also been told that to get tubes and frame building materials just after the war that a lot of ducking and diving fiddles were used to obtain stuff for the home market This was the period of export or die A letter in Cycling May 2nd 1982 from H E Halliday refers to a row between Stuart Purves and Claud Butler in the early 50 s Ray Bradley also told me that Stuart had worked on Government contracts during the war years at Claud s building radar and radio masts Stuart also built frames for Algurns along with another former Rotrax builder in Garrett Lane Tooting Several conversations with old cyclists came up with the story that Stuart Purves Jimmy Long Jimmy Long was one of the top builders at Bates Comely Bank he started up on his own just after the finish of the second world war and Pat Skeat s main source of income was from building steel extensions stems either for the trade or to customers specification They were all renowned frame builders but it was quicker and easier to make stems and very profitable I have an advert showing the Purves stem I have the original bill of sale for my frame built in 1951 The frame number is 51801 There is also another VCC member who has frame number 511007 Stuart numbered his frames thus year first month next and frame number So we have 1951 August frame number The other number would be same year but October The month number was allocated when the order and deposit was placed Typical delivery time from initial order to delivery was approximately eleven weeks Both of these frames are Number One Models I have also seen a Number 2 with frame number 52101 which is 1952 January 01 Stuart Purves also went into partnership with Bob Wakefield circa 1952 Bob was chief mechanic to the Milk Race for a number of years I know of only six frames still in existence How many he made I honestly don t know but I would be very surprised if it was more than 250 in total Claud Butler was heavily involved with sponsorship and the inception of the League right from the start He put up prizes lent a van and a team mechanic but with the 48 Olympics coming up he cooled a little bit with the League as the NCU riders such as Harris and Banister were on Clauds for the Wembley Olympics Everyone knows that no love was lost between the League and the NCU so it would be impossible to be involved with both at this time I think it possible that he gave Stuart Purves and perhaps the Ephgraves his blessing to do his League orders and let them go on their own I am postitive that Stuart built his own frames at first and then later on used Ephgraves I think there was a trade off as Les needed Stuart to draw the full scale drawings for him to build to that s why I think you see Ephgrave s advertising Stuart as their works manager when Stuart still had his workshop in South London Stuart Purves even sponsored a League London road race Nigel Land tells of a Stuart Purves disguised as a Les Ephgrave During a CTC GHS ride in April a friend from the north bank of the Humber was approached by a man with an Ephgrave for sale Knowing my interest in old bikes she passed on the contact details and I eventually met the owner at the Humber Bridge car park He explained that he had bought it through an advert for Saville Stores in Cycling in the early 1960s as an Ephgrave At a later date he had the frame repainted in a mustard shade of green originally it had been finished in a lighter metallic type of green and the Ephgrave transfers were lost You can see from the photograph that it was in a bit of a state I couldn t find an LE frame number but it looked good so the deal was done Later that day I completely dismantled it removing 1970s Sugino cranks and other non period components and sure enough no LE number but instead a neatly stamped Stuart G Purves on the bottom bracket and matching frame and fork numbers 501005 I already have a Purves refinished a few years ago but what startled me on checking the number was that it is 501006 Both made or ordered consecutively in October 1950 From discussions with Mick Butler and other known owners I now have a list of six frames So I know of 501104 51801 511007 and 52101 As Mick thinks that Purves started building in 1947 and continued perhaps to 1955 it is interesting to ponder why known frames span a mere three years One possibility is that he only used the year month system for a short time On the subject of total number made we know he could make at least seven in a month which would be 84 per year Over eight years that would give a maximum production of 670 way more than the 250 estimated by Mick as realistic It is also possible that some of his frames were built for other companies and bore their frame numbers As for my frame I am guessing it was refinished by Ephgrave before coming up for sale as the last owner was surprised to learn that it was more than 10 years old when he bought it If any subscribers own a Purves

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/purves.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Queree Brothers (Cycle Engineers)
    component was insufficiently strong and liable to fracture and it was withdrawn by the makers after we had made representations on the grounds of safety Many discussions took place with the various representatives who called on behalf of their firms The functions of these people was not to receive orders for goods this was the job of the traveller through with smaller firms these occupations were combined We were frequently able to pass on new ideas and current thinking among the cycling fraternity in this way to manufacturers In the course of doing this we did rather trustingly divulge a few observations that would have been better kept to ourselves and on occasions saw our own ideas mysteriously incorporated into new products On one such occasion Wint went into some detail for the proposed improvement that he had himself tried out on a well known gear system only to find some time afterwards that it had become an accomplished fact Needless to say that rep did not receive any other titbits Quite a few innovations were produced at different times including coupled cable brakes These observations are intended to show that we were not content to become just another cycle firm churning out the same old stuff and having no further interest in our chosen trade than the making of money If that had been our sole object the business would have been closed in it first year We believed very much in the principle of true customer relations and to that end became members of the new post war establishment of the Earlswood Road and Path Cycling Club where after a short while Wint became Vice President and Timekeeper when he was not himself riding in events We both took upon ourselves the editing and production of the club magazine for some years producing the said journal at home with a duplicator made up by ourselves This paper incorporated cartoons and photographs long before the arrival of modern methods of reproduction We like to think that our association with the cycling world in these ways formed a positive contribution to the pastime and also gave us a closer insight into the needs of the people for whom we were trying to cater We had always recognised the importance of variable gears on the bicycle and watched with interest the development of this component Sadly the British made devices always seemed to lack the necessary ingredients for a really attractive fast changing and reliable device When this came it was from the Continent Much effort had admittedly been put in by cycle component makers in this country but all the trouble taken had failed in those respects The Trivelox satisfied the need in the early thirties mainly for riders of the very heavy touring tandems of the period but it was a rather cumbersome device at best and because of design limitations could really not offer more than three speeds The products of the other main supplier of such gear Cyclo certainly produced fairly well thought out and workable gears though in the early days users of these devices were sometimes unkindly known as the black hand gang for obvious reasons At the time these gears were suitable mainly for the tourist It should of course be remembered that in those days road racing on bicycles was rather restricted in this country and generally road time triallists preferred to follow track practice in using fixed single speed gears sometimes in longer distance events allowing themselves the luxury of a reversible hub It was the Simplex gear from France that offered the first introduction of the new type of gear which after its use by a few riders just after the war virtually became standard on the machines at the beginning of the new mass start racing movement and for that matter on the new type of touring machine Although some work was done by a Birmingham gearbox manufacturer to design and make a form of bottom bracket gearbox for bicycles just after the war this did not succeed and the derailleur system now reigns supreme though it still seems mechanically inelegant I flirted with the idea of a variable gear using a type of expanding chainwheel but it would have required a substantial amount of development time not to say expense and with no guarantee of success this idea along with several others had to be discarded In the early days of 1948 we decided to exploit the positive nature of gear positioning on the Simplex by trying out a gear control with fixed positions as tests had indicated that the idea was feasible The control was sited in the angle above the bracket formed by the down and bottom tubes and consisted of a steel quadrant of approx 2 radius On its centre was pivoted a lever carrying a spring loaded plunger that indexed into a notch provided in a suitable position on the circumference of the quadrant which being of a larger radius than normal allowed more accurate positioning than the small diameter motor cycle type of control lever normally used The plunger could be withdrawn by operating a small lever at the top of a 9 long diameter tube screwed into the lever After trials the only modification needed was to replace the notched positions with a ratchet form of location such that the lever when pulled back would automatically engage and each gear change in the other direction was made merely by releasing the plunger This original model in chrome plated form was fitted to Wint s machine and remained there for many years We found a reasonable interest showing in the device so much so that we took the chance to go into limited production Right An early production model of the Querée Bothers gear change The production model was not quite as labour intensive as the original economically it just could not be The new version was made from aluminium castings from our patterns

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/queree-bros-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Raleigh track frames for Reg Harris (and others)
    Gallery Ride calendar Links to related sites Raleigh track frames for Reg Harris and others An extract from Cycling July 20 1955 reproduced with kind permission of the publisher Click on the above for a larger version of the drawing

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/raleigh-track2.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Raleigh SBDU
    built but hand built in batches Raleigh management decided something had to be done and Gerald O Donovan his family originally owned Carlton and then worked for Raleigh took over a small factory at Digby Street in Ilkeston Derbyshire In 1974 he created this new factory for making very small numbers of outstandingly high quality specialist frames and bicycles With only six specially selected expert frame builders from the Raleigh factory these builders were also chosen for their inventive capability as Gerald O Donovan was very much focused on future innovative developments with his new unit During the first year 1975 the SBDU was producing about 30 frames a week and was heavily involved in development work on the then new composite technologies and also components specification It is estimated that the SBDU was building around a 1000 frames a year with four builders Full details of Peter Kohler s TI Raleigh SDBU 1976 Time Trial Special including a comprehensive history of the machine and of the SBDU production facility in the period when Reynolds 753 frame tubing was introduced During the late 1970 s and 1980 s the unit was not only supplying bespoke frames to the most successful professional teams it was producing frames for discerning British riders and complete bicycles handbuilt by one builder At Ilkeston the customer consulted with either Gerald O Donovan or Mike Mullet Mike being O Donovan s right hand Gerald O Donovan s secretary at the time I ordered my frame was Mrs P Zbozen Gerald O Donovan at the SBDU works Identification of Frames Care has to be taken when identifying SBDU machines as Raleigh operated in parallel with the SBDU in Ilkeston a Lightweight Unit in Nottingham The Lightweight Unit offered not only complete machines such as the Team Replica 12 Road Ace EX 12 and the Corsa the author bought a Corsa new in 1984 which he still has but off the peg framesets not featured as complete machines these frames were the Gran Course and Gran Tour Whilst the Lightweight Unit complete machines and off the peg frames were built to a high standard they were a grade down in build quality from the SBDU machines which were always bespoke Like comparing a high quality off the peg suit from Daks to a bespoke item from a Saville Row or Jermyn Street tailor In my SBDU brochure from 1985 the framsets were built in Reynolds 531C 531 Pro 753 R or 753 T with Campag or Simplex dropouts and Prugnat or Cinelli lugs and Cinelli or Haden Bottom Bracket shells SBDU The Finale Gradually the SBDU moving from Ilkeston during 1987 to Nottingham became the Special Products division and although this was not a strategic move on Raleigh management s part they had lost the understanding of how the division might continue to fit within the organisation especially with the retirement of Raleigh s Managing Director Sandy Roberts and a champion of the SBDU at the beginning of

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/raleigh-sbdu-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Rondinella - Vic Edwards
    track or road front forks are by Roberts as they have the Roberts R on the crown I also have a Rondinella solo serial no RO78187 1978 I hope this can be of some help Martin Scott Hainault Roads Club relates It is with interest that I ve read your feature about Vic Edwards Rondinella cycles on the classic lightweights website I remember Vic as a very knowledgeable and likeable craftsman I still have 2 of his frames the number of one being RO79238 If I recall correctly all of Vic s frames apart from a budget range pretty much standard build with lower quality lugs were numbered with the first 2 numbers being the year of production Thus my frame was built in 1979 and was frame number 238 I suspect the last 3 numbers just ran on from year to year ie there wouldn t be a frame 80238 but am unsure it would be nice to know and would give an idea of total production My second frame is one of the budget ones and starts with the frame seat tube size 22 Could it be that Dave Martin s frame is RO83355 I believe that although Vic was producing under the Rondinella brand name that he continued to build frames for others including Condor I recall Vic being very proud od being granted the certificate to build 753 frames by Reynolds and building the 753 frame that Bob Cary rode in the Tour of Britain Badged as a Raleigh Matt Stokes adds I have just found your site through a link on the North Bucks Road Club website So I had a browse at the Rondinella page by David Martin In this he mentions a tandem built for record attempts I think 3 were built I have the first one of the three I think which featured in Cycling Weekly in 1978 and have the articles I bought it from Rina Brown of our club in late August last year and used it in three local 10m time trials But in the meantime please find attached a picture of the tandem late last year in full flight on the way to a 21 06 in the Bicester Millenium 10 at Weston on the Green near Oxford beating several 20 minute men by about 1m 20s to 1m 30s not bad for 2 old blokes I m 44 and my stoker is 38 There is 62 tooth ring on the back although Rina told me they used to use a 67 tooth one for a top gear of 145 The frame is still in the original colours at the moment although I am considering getting it resprayed and getting replacement stickers at the end of the season This year will see an upgrade of the bolt on components aero seatpins lower tri bars and new disc and trispoke front wheel and new campag record rear mech but I will keep all the old Campag quill pedals Nuovo

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/rondinella.html (2016-02-09)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-25