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  • Jim Soens Cycles
    the rough when I was overwhelmed with orders Geoff Magnay s input is welcome but he got the dates wrong I took over the shop from Aussie Hurlen in late 1957 after completing National Service and ran it for about eight or more years Mick Butler adds to the story There were four Soens Brothers Eddie Jimmy Dougie Tommy Eddie was the more famous as he coached Tony Doyle Gordon Singleton Norman Sheil Beryl Burton Dave Lloyd and many more Jim Soens made his own frames and I believe Tommy did as well Jim was also a cycling coach and he coached Willie Moore Eddie Soens the surname is probably Flemish in origin was one of the four surviving sons of James Soens born in 1872 James Soens is reputed to have started the first racing bike building business in Liverpool just prior to the turn of the twentieth century The business closed when he volunteered for service during the Great War at the age of 42 He survived the war unscathed and lived to the age of 84 His four sons were James Thomas Edward Eddie and Douglas The eldest son James opened a cycling shop in 1936 building hand built bicycles still trading today under the name of Pete Matthews James built a standard and a non whip frame Tommy was a very good track rider as was Eddie but Eddie Soens is best remembered as one of the greatest British cycling coaches of all time Due to his influential training methods he helped win more British Worlds and Olympic titles than any other British coach Eddie Soens had a bike shop in Liverpool for several years and this was called SoenSport Their address was 110 Boaler Street Liverpool 6 During the early 60 s their frames were extremely popular especially the track models The models produced at the time were the Campionissimo road frame 55 Time Trial Special Vigorelli Sprinters Frame and the Roma Pursuit light track frame Ron Spencer of the Warrington CC who was a very good timetrialist in the 60 s rode an Eddie Soens bike There is an Eddie Soens memorable race run every year to honour his memory Other famous Merseyside builders Walvale who sponsored Bill Nickinson Quinn Brothers and H M Dickinson of 184 Tunnel Rd Liverpool B W Bentley built standard and K frames Harold Dickinson built good frames and did a lot of tandem to triplet conversions Jim Fothergill built mostly for the trade and is said to have pionneered the inch and one eigth diameter top tubes Aussie Hurlen specialised in fancy lugwork which was said to be equal to Hetchins Jack Quinn was the brother of Harry Quinn Harry made wonderful frames and also trained Terry Dolan and Billy Whitfield On losing sight in one eye he sold out to Falcon Cycles Ernie Clements but later started building again in Tenby with son Peter When Reg Harris s Macclesfield business closed Harry purchased his Campag frame jigs

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/jim-soens-builder.html (2016-02-09)
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  • John Spooner Cycles
    made at Toat Lodge Toat Pulborough West Sussex Then numbers nine to twenty five at Upper Stile Place Gay Street Lane West Chiltington West Sussex In 1979 John purchased a cycle shop in Worthing known as Pavilion Cycles which had been a cycle shop since 1901 He then changed the name to JOHN SPOONER CYCLES and extended the shop to give himself a purpose built frame building room A John Spooner bike built in 1982 from Columbus SL tubing with Cinelli lugs modified by John with an S cutout The frame angles are 74 parallel It is a lovely bike with Campag 50th anniversary groupset apart from Simplex gear levers and DiaCompe aero brake levers He was then able to produce more frames to meet the increasing demand for them so frame nos twenty six up to one hundred and sixty eight in 1993 were built at his premises at 21 South Farm Road Worthing West Sussex These were all badged JOHN SPOONER The frame numbering system gave frame number month started and year e g 0260280 was frame no 26 built Feb 1980 1680193 was frame no 168 built Jan 1993 Right Modified Cinelli headlugs on this 1982 frame All J R SPOONER and JOHN SPOONER frames were individually built by John himself using low temperature brazing and silver soldering Some frames were bronze welded nowadays known as fillet brazing including the four tandem frames built over the years Left Neat seat cluster on the 1982 frame The first of these a track tandem was very sucessfully used by Sussex sprint champion Dave Barnard at the Herne Hill Leicester and Brighton tracks John was among the first of the smaller framebuilders to pass the Reynolds 753 building test whereby a frame had to be built using very low temperature

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/spooner-cb.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Success cycle manufacturing company
    fork ends to 6 ins 12 5s 6d Model 4 TANDEM Similar construction double gents 18 18s 0d The frames were offered in all chrome or Super Electro Flamboyant finish for extra cost another extra was a brazed on lamp bracket socket with chrome lamp bracket The seat tube head tube and forks were conventional but the top tube seat stays chain stays and down tube were fabricated from continuous diameter twin tube loops which were brazed on either side of the seat and head tubes Like many such ideas the concept was not accepted amongst serious cyclists and only about 25 or so were built which was not enough to make the company viable so it went into liquidation after a few years The Yarmouth Mercury in 1948 printed the following An unorthodox type of frame is used in the experimental cycle which has been designed and built by Mr G A Cushing a Gorleston cycle repairer Instead of the usual triangulated frame of straight tubes he uses a pair of narrow tubes which run parallel to each other from the back axle to the pedal bracket then curve in a flattened S shape up to the steering column before bending back in a curve to the seat pillar and down to the back axle again The advantages Mr Cushing claims for the design are that it is lighter than the ordnary frame yet rigid and that the kink in the tubes at the front lends a springiness which absorbs shocks and makes for easier riding The model is soon to be tried out over a 25 mile course by a member of the Wheelers Another advantage is the ease with which one can change the head and seat angles to suit any requirement without the need for lugs

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/success.html (2016-02-09)
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  • P T Stallard
    UK Copied from a French design it was later taken up by other makers and the type is still available today Top of the range was the Zacopane road race model image left 1952 introduced in late 1949 and named after Geoff Clarke s Katowice Zacopane stage win in the 1949 Tour of Poland on a Stallard machine This bicycle featured 72 71 5 frame angles and 10 speed Simplex gearing probably the first catalogued British machine to do so Available direct from Percy Stallard to special order and from limited stock or through a network of approved dealers as a frameset or complete cycle some were exported with Australia a favoured market where Percy s brother Denis was the distributor Stallard cycles were well designed well made functional machines that lacked the fancy lugwork so cherished today However they were in great demand by shrewd clubmen who appreciated sound design and good quality with top equipment at a competitive price Production continued until the late 1960 s when frame building ceased Fortunately all Percy s production records from 1945 onwards survive and are held in the Archives department of Wolverhampton Library These are available for public viewing Staff will supply photocopies of original build sheets and other documents for a small fee upon receipt of the frame number This is always located on the left hand rear dropout and steerer tube 1948 Stallard Montlhery equipped with Osgear 5 speed gear South of France Bars CLB brakes etc Built as a BLRC racing machine in tribute to Percy Stallard who was the founder of the League Full details in Reader s Bikes Early frames feature a 3 digit number without a letter prefix Later models are identified by a one or two letter prefix followed by a 4 or 5

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/stallard.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Jack Taylor Cycles
    and lighting not usually seen on a British machine Touring machines were similarily well equipped and both widely used French equipment indeed the tandems used a Stronglight French threaded headset rarely used in Britain otherwise The Taylor Brothers touring machines certainly come closest to the classic French Constructeur builders such as René Herse and Alex Singer In the late 1950s a catalogue was issued with beautiful line drawings done by Brian Walker a quite well known illustrator This catalogue with a few text changes and the drawings of the various models with 50s kit remained as the main catalogue into the 1990s This catalogue showed the Curved seat tube model as featured in the photos this must have been introduced around 1950 and was designed according to the catalogue for hillclimbs and time trials The Taylor Brothers built a wide range of models over the years and quite a few specials trikes with two wheels at the front a Flying Gate design frame Paris Galibier design frame plus many small frames for children chhild trailors and what is excepetionally pretty and very French a luggage trailor for use when camping The works was closed in 1990 but Norman continued building frames in very small quantities until 2001 And so ended quite a unique and special British framebuilders Thanks to Pete Lowry for the 1952 Jack Taylor Curved Seat Tube Model featured Joel Metz has an extensive section on Jack Taylor Cycles at http www blackbirdsf org taylor Models Curved Tube lugless curved seat tube International lugged or lugless round section fork blades mid price for road racing or long distance time trial bike Ladies lugless Marathon racing frame a lugless Tour of Britain Sports lugged or lugless for fast club riding and hilly tours or time trials Super Clubman lugged or lugless Super Track a lugged track 1970s on Tour of Britain lugged oval section fork blades Campag dropouts road racing model Track lugged or lugless until 1970s when lugged became Super track Super Tourist a lugged Tourist Nervex Pro 1970s on Superlight Tourist Super Tourist later Super Tourist Tourist lugged or lugless until 1970s when lugged became Super Tourist oval sections forks w wide pattern crown front rear carriers dynamo mounts w concealed wiring Marathon Racing Tandem Sports tandem lugless oval section forks open design or double diamond mid priced tandem Super Touring tandem Touring tandem lighter components Touring tandem lugless oval section forks double diamond design front rear carriers dynamo mounts concealed wiring full brazed fittings Track tandem lugless oval section forks double diamond or twin lateral design Frame Numbers Almost all Taylor Brothers are numbered in a simple sequential numbering system which started at 1 in 1936 The post war frames at about 635 whether all the previous numbers was used is probably doubtful In total about 8700 frames were built Threads As mentioned in the main text most tandems come with a special metric sized headset but the bottle cage bosses on earlier machines are 10

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/designs/hsjacktaylor.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Thanet Cycles
    seat stays was developed by Les during the later war years and in mid 1945 a shop premises was located in Bristol The first Silverthan frames were produced late in 1945 Jack Denny came and worked for Thanets in early 1946 and taught Ernie Janes how to build frames He was to be their main framebuilder until 1949 This was followed in 1947 by the Silverlight frame which was said to be based on aircraft design principals in that the bottom bracket was suspended in a cradle in the same way that aero engines were The early silver soldered bottom brackets were not without problems however and later frames used lugs to strengthen the joints Frame builders in later years included Frank Butterworth John Hayles and Dave Oliver Virtually all the frames were custom built and Les went to great pains to satisfy customer s requirements A close up of the Thanet head tube showing the lugwork headbadge and the letter T incorporated in the fork crown Always expensive and controversial Silverlight frames sold very slowly and with very little development until in 1957 The last few Silverlights were built by Rotrax Cycles of Southampton from the middle of 1954

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/thanet.html (2016-02-09)
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  • The Upton - J.J. Cooper
    and other members of the Upton Manor One such occasion in the early 30 s which became an annual event was a ride from the shop to Buckhurst Hill near Epping Forest on Boxing Day The collection was sold in the early 60 s for the sum of 50 to the founder of the Harlow Cycle Museum Prior to opening the shop he had worked as an engineer All frames were built by Jack There was a forge in the basement below the shop Tubing and lugs were obtained from Brown Brothers in Great Eastern Street and he had a good relationship with another local firm Constrictor whose parts he often fitted to cycles Sturmeys often FWs and Williams C34 were pretty much standard fittings Jack cut the lugs himself and the enamelling was done by Saunders in Leytonstone All frames were built individually and there was no catalogue Jack had strong views about frames being the right size for the rider he disliked a large amount of seat post showing This went against the trend for much of the inter war period of having as small a frame as possible JJ also invented a quick release for Resilion brake blocks to facilitate swift wheel removal and replacement something which could be awkward with type of brake Unfortunately he did not patent this innovative idea In 1965 when JJ died and the business closed he left savings of 87 Design remained consistent comparing a 1939 frame with one built in the 50 s the overall design and lug work is similar although a frame built in the early 60 s had Nervex lugs Pre and post war 531 was used and the majority of cycles were black The head and set transfer was a very attractive figure in white similar to Eros on a winged wheel Earlier transfers have the words supplied by and then the address The Upton in script completes the transfers on the down tube The first two letters of the frame number on left rear drop out and steerer is the year followed by the build number for that year left Pre war version of the head and seat transfer Supplied by Later versions had Made by Extract from Bicycling News and Motor Review 27 November 1935 Here we have what is almost a rara avis nowadays an agent in the person of Mr Cooper who is as enthusiastic about riding as selling a bicycle consequently he knows what his customers kindred spirits require in the way of a mount and is thereby enabled to cater for them with his justly famous Upton machines They embody all the best features and are first quality lightweights built on the premises in both single and tandem types The best and lightest accessories are stocked Constrictor specialities Bayliss Wiley featherweight hubs etc besides oilskins touring bags and other necessary accoutrements for club riders BSA and Standard machines are sold and these with the Upton make a fine show in

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/upton.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Walklings - AW Cycles
    was At Genner s He told me that Genner s frames were made by a Ted Jennings who also made frames for Wakefields and Ernie Chambers These two makes seem to have gone off the radar although I can remember Wakefields shop near Tooting Junction Station It is possible that when I show Richard the list of Classic Frame builders and Readers Bikes listed on the Classic Lightweights website he may well be able to add to the list of frames made by Ted Jennings The odd thing is that nobody seems to know anything about Walklings Cycles The business was started in the early 1900 s Alfred Walkling retired and sold out to the present owners father in 1954 His son Ted is still running the business at it s original premises and I attach a photograph of his workshop at the rear of the shop it is an absolute time warp They even have a stoving oven photo right large enough for a tandem frame and apparently they also had a small factory in Grove Road Merton where frames were constructed The oven is about 8 feet square and 6 feet high and is now just used as a storage area They still have some old unpainted frames hanging up in the ceiling having found the hand built bike business unprofitable during the 70 s Richard used to run errands between Walklings and Genners they tended to scratch each other s backs and I do wonder if Walklings sprayed and stoved Genner s frames Walklings seems to me to have been quite a big player in the 30 s 40 s and 50 s They even had their own cycle club the Merton Wheelers There are references on the internet to them taking part in Cycle Polo matches

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/walklings.html (2016-02-09)
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web-archive-uk.com, 2016-10-27