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  • A Waller
    to Cycling World as an improvement in design John Conway who commuted from Loughton in Essex to the City of London during the late 1940 s and early 1950 s discovered Waller s shop when he changed the route of his commute and recalls from his visits to the shop that the Kingsbury cost about 1 more than the Kingsland and that each of the frames cost less than 20 3 Waller used 531 Butted Tubing for the top tube seat tube and down tube 4 but the composition of the vertical tubes forks and stays is unknown Waller also designed a tandem but although a drawing was produced and hung in his shop with drawings of the solos 5 neither the drawing nor an actual frameset has come to my attention so far Right Image showing laminates on head tube Waller decided to register his designs and in October 1949 he received the official Certificates of Filing Application for Design Registration of the solo and tandem designs from the patent agents The actual Registered Design certificates followed early in January 1950 6 A drawing of a conventional frame with Ekla lugs was also produced and John Conway recalls seeing an Ekla lugged Waller during his visits to the shop 7 During the late 1940s there was a shortage of frame building materials and a number of builders produced their own twin plate fork crowns Waller was no exception and an example of his design appears left courtesy Peter Brown This photograph also serves to illustrate the standard of his brazing which was of variable quality Conventional fork crowns were also used when available Production of these frames appears to have commenced in the late 1940 s but it is unclear when the last ones were made since the serial number ranges vary over the very small sample notified to me so far 16 frames in total of which I have the serial numbers for 13 The most readily deciphered numbers follow the pattern of Waller s initials then the year of manufacture then the number of the frame in that year s production sequence For example the number of my own Kingsbury is AW 1949 1 i e the first frame of 1949 The earliest frame notified to me in this sequence is AW 1948 30 i e the 30th frame built in 1948 The remaining serial numbers are mostly in the 1000 range starting with 1049 and ending with 1158 although I have also been notified of frames with the serial numbers 01 135 and 22884 though the reason for these discrepancies is a mystery at present During the interview with Hilary Stone Waller stated that he had finished frame production by 1952 or 1953 so the production span would appear to be approximately five years According to available evidence the business was a one man operation and as far as I am aware Waller s frames were not marketed through other cycle shops so unlike other unorthodox

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/waller-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Welded/lugless frames
    Harry Rensch and he told me he was the first to produce welded frames here in the UK This was in 1935 after he had visited a cycle show in Paris where he had seen welded frames for the first time He also told me this is where he got the design idea for the Rensch fork crown sure he said it was copied from the aluminium Barra but it might have been the Schultz This conversation was after all a very long time ago Anyway Harry was the first here Claud Butler at least two or three years after with his Massed Start frame Harry also beat Claud on welded brazed frames or to use Butler s terminology Bi laminated Rensch were making these in 1938 and I am positive that Claud s bilaminated never came on the scene until after the war Avant Coureur or Allrounder was his first model Now back to true welded lugless frames Royal Enfield Unitize with their Bullet models and the Dayton Amalgam models were produced by the American flash pressure weld system as a by product of their war effort production Both these large factories had been engaged on war work and

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/welded-lugless-mb.html (2016-02-09)
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  • J F Wilson cyclist
    Jim Wilson Wilson Cycles the real deal rouler in the Tour of Great Britain Doug Petty Wilson Cycles ace climber Left Jim climbing for a prime Right Taking the prime at the notorious Holme Moss Another prime this time at Shap Jim behind in collar and tie in his role as manager of the Elswick Hopper team at one of many prize presentations Far left Jim s brother Sid Wilson centre Harry Reynolds right in Elswick Hopper jersey is Ron Coe Elswick Hopper riders Harry Reynolds left Ron Coe centre Syd Wilson right Another young youth who visited Jim s shop was Tommy Simpson on a couple of occasions Jim repaired Tom s bike in an emergency the day before his big races and for nowt according to Keith Marvin Jim s Tour of Britain team mechanic and regular helper in the shop Keith loved to be around Jim and all the characters that Wilson cycles attracted and he d help out his mentor for his dinner and tea and payment in kind to Keith it was a privilege and a dream job In 1953 Doug Petty signed as Independent for Wilson Cycles of Sheffield assigned the job of teaboy for Belgian racing trips They don t ave tea over there kid He suffered his first telling off when his mum bought inferior quality tea from Keighley Market WHAT S THIS bellowed Jim Wilson Er it s t tea Mr Wilson stuttered Doug We re goin to tak thi abroad kid said Jim later Whatever they ve telled thi it s six times better When they saw a huge field of rugged Belgians lined up for a race near Ghent one of the team blurted out These aren t cyclists they re bloody wrestlers Doug found himself at the front as one or two were struggling he decided I ll just slow it down a bit for the team A big hairy hand came out of the bunch and gripped me from behind and shot me backwards then another hand did the same and another and another till I were shot right out the back I forgot to tell thi kid they don t do teamwork ere Jim commented At another race the rookie as keen as ever What s tactics for today Jim Ang on as long as thi can Head down in another race Ken Stratford hit a post and fetched six riders off Jim collared Doug at the finish Kid if tha sees Ken tell im not to come back ere They re goin ter kill him Doug rode the legendary Manx Premier International Road Race in the Isle of Man on 17th June 1959 the Coppi race There were 25 continental riders in 5 teams including three Tour de France winners beside Coppi Completing the start sheet were fifty three British based Professionals The O Brien Wilson Team were 39 Dave Bedwell 40 J F Wilson 41 Sid Wilson 42 A Bladon 43 Doug Petty 44

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/riders/j-f-wilson-riders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Witcomb Lightweight Cycles
    s own pump pegs and brazed on fittings as required It costs 15gns The concern have recently introduced a steel reinforcement for rear ends which fitted on a frameset will cost around 10s 6d if specified In February of 1964 in Sporting Cyclist their advert states You are invited to call and see our new models in production at Tanners Hill where all frames are built on the premises and under personal supervision In October 1963 they had advertised What can t talk can t lie You are invited to call and inspect our works at the above address at any time without prior arrangement where ALL our framesets are made by craftsmen It would seem that there must have been rumours put around stating that Witcomb were not building their own frames Anyone researching 50 s production will be aware that the stories of who builds for who produce many conflicting accounts even to this day Witcomb Cycles had an advert in Sporting Cyclist April 1964 announcing that they had signed Dennis Farr Barry Wiloughby and Howard Cooper to ride under the famous Witcomb Lilac Black colours for 1964 They would be riding the Giro D Italia Mk II framesets price 17 9s 6d together with GB brakes bars and stems Williams AB77 chainsets Cyclo P2 gears Carlton tyresavers and Witcomb clothing They also advertised that their frames are second to none Used in World Championships 1963 and many other famous events Also that they were Suppliers to Forces Cycling Clubs http www wigworland com people barrie witcomb html for Wig Worlands slideshow of 19 images showing Barrie Witcomb at work Norman Gower recalls I remember Ernie Witcomb of Witcomb Cycles as a tireless worker for cycle sport He organised huge amounts of races I rode quite a few

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/witcomb.html (2016-02-09)
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  • S M Woodrup
    who beat Barry Hoban in the Girlington Kermesse before Hoban went to France to ride as a professional One would expect that the Woodrup team would use the Giro d Itala or Olympic track as listed below Above Woodrup advert from Sporting Cyclist December 1960 Nowadays Woodrup Cycles is owned by the late Maurice Woodrup s son Steve who still races very sucsessfully in both L V R C road races C T T time trials He is still producing high quality frames to special order Kevin Sayles worked as a framebuilder for Steve Woodrup from January 1977 to November 1999 and relates We used to make team frames for Bantel which of course had Hugh Porter decals I know for sure Hugh won at least one of his World Pursuit Championships on a frame Steve made The team was very successful with several wins probably thanks to Sid Barras and Danny Horton amongst others Later on we built the Viking team frames for Keith Lambert Dudley Hayton and the late Paul Carbutt who broke the Land s End to John o Groats record on one Also individual frames for the likes of Sid Barras Dave Raynor and I also remember building a track frame for Mick Bennett Steve also built frames for Barry Hoban when he rode with the Calder Clarion Even after this Woodrup still built his frames when he rode as a professional for Mercier The frames were badged and transferred as Mercier so it is possible that a Woodrup frame won a Tour de France stage One of my first images of visiting Woodrup cycles at their shop in Burley Lodge Road was one of Barry s Mercier bikes on display Barry used to bring certain original team clothing over from France in those days it

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/woodrup-builder.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Cyril Wren framebuilder
    sent for enamelling and in fact says he is certain he filed the magenta frame he has just bought shown below as he was particular about filing down the tangs of the lugs to a chamfer Cyril would never tell John who built the frames as he was afraid John would tell everyone so does anyone know Please email me or John I had initially thought it may be Holdsworth as they weren t a million miles away but having shown my frame to the framebuilder Cliff Shrubb he was of the opinion that it is better made than a stock factory built Holdsworth Cyril s original surname was Uren and he changed the families name by deed poll on 14th November 1955 to Wren John said this was for commercial reasons because cyclists were such a crude bunch they thought it sounded too much like Urine and he wanted to produce a frame with a recognisable brand name Subsequent to the name change John s mother Flossie became known as Jennie Wren Frames were essentially of two levels although these didn t have any specific model name The standard frame was of plain gauge tubing and plain lugs but was of a good handbuilt quality The better quality frame was built with double butted tubing Nervex Pro lugs and Campagnolo ends as standard and with braze ons to choice John says for some reason Cyril was fond of Benelux equipment and so the cheaper frame usually had braze ons to suit these and John remembers that the Benelux gears would bend really easily even if the bike was just gently leant up against something John said Cyril didn t sell a huge number of new frames as they didn t have any particular unique selling point unlike Hetchins Ephgrave or Bates or the other well known makes of the era The shop did however have a big turnover of frames for renovation as the following advert forwarded by Mick Butler shows Cyril had a good eye for detail and wouldn t allow any frames back from the enamellers that weren t of an exceptionally high standard so they gained a reputation for high quality refinishes John says the enamellers in Stoke Newington used to send a van for deliveries once a week and that sometimes frames could be turned over in a week or a fortnight this seems to contrast starkly with my experience of todays enamellers DV John told me of one day when he forgot to put a set of forks in the van and that in order not to incur his father s wrath and delay the frame by a week as they would have to be sent by next weeks delivery his and the mechanic s Wednesday afternoon training run that week was up to Stoke Newington John spent his youth working in the shop as a Saturday boy from the late 50 s but when he left school his father felt he should spend

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/wren-vines-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Classic lightweights template
    this feature but the Grandini may have stolen his thunder Not content with this Pete had manufactured his own version of the Campagnolo Gran Sport dropouts but with a screw adjuster that was purported to be a sliding block The lugs and dropouts variously described as Super Sport or Grandini ends were manufactured locally according to Dave Creasy Ray Young remembers some of them having mudguard eyes some not Two prototypes of the Grandini were made by Harry Healy who had apparently been a frame builder at Paris but all subsequent ones were built by the legendary Bill Philbrook These prototypes were taken to Italy and so impressed them that large orders would have followed until it was known that only one man was making them at the back of the shop in South London or at Gillingham in Kent Other marques were also created with their own Continental features that were called the Meridian and Metro These were advertised alongside their French and Italian counterparts during an intensive advertising campaign in the Sporting Cyclist between 1960 and 1961 see advert below The Olympic seal of approval was given to the Grandini when one was ridden at Rome in 1960 by the Trinidadian rider Clyde Rimple see photo below left Despite these accolades the firm did not last long At this time Youngs had a similar advertising campaign with the slogan The Largest Single Display in London with 100 lightweight cycles in their walk around showroom see advert below They had marketed their own series of high quality frames built by Wally Green from around 1956 7 Costing from 10 guineas for the Marksman made with Nervex Pro lugs through to 18 guineas 18 18s 0d for the Continental and Aggressor models that had Italian style lugs there was also a track model the Piste All were built in 531 tubing However their most expensive model that had hand cut curly and fleur de lys lugs called the Trophy cost as much as 19 guineas 19 19s 0d with chrome see photo left A complete bike such as the ten speed Marksman with Campag gears and Mafac brakes could be purchased for as little as 34 10 0d see image of catalogue below Their team frames at that time were described as having silver and green livery A picture of Bryan Wiltcher astride an Aggressor on the front cover of the December1959 issue of Sporting Cyclist see image below right appears to show this as silver with green panels Although Youngs had their own Italian lugged models and were selling Cinelli cycles in the early 1960s an opportunity arose to buy the rights to the unique Italian style frames conceived by Pete Benedict in 1967 at a time when Wally Green s business was on the wane From then on the Grandini name was to become synonymous with Youngs whilst Bill Philbrook was retained to make the famous marques for them The only stipulation made by Ernie was that they

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/youngs-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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  • Brazing - welding frames
    uses the process of fusing the parent metal but the term is used to differentiate it from brazing because a bead fillet is produced as in true fusion welding The same silicon bronze rods are used but often with a different flux of the non fuming type but often the rod will be changed for a nickel bronze one that has a slightly higher melting point and better mechanical properties Welding in the real sense relies on the parent metal being melted and the joint being filled with a rod made of metal similar but not quite identical usually to the metal being welded These techniques require the flame of the gas torch usually an oxy acetylene one to be set differently The setting can be a neutral one as for fusion welding where the two gases are burned in the same proportions or an oxydising flame used for brazing and bronze welding which needs an excess of oxygen or a reducing carbonising flame that has an excess of acetylene a flame setting that has no place in frame building Alloy steels such as Reynolds 531 are known to become what in the UK is known as hot short at higher temperatures that is they can become brittle and break up Anyone who has tried to remove a stubborn bent tube from a lug will know this problem Presumably the temperature required for fusion welding could cause the hot short phenomenon Right 1967 frame welded by Bill Hurlow Another problem of course with brazing or welding Reynolds and I suppose most other alloy steel tubing is the danger of using the wrong flame setting The reducing flame the one with the surplus of acetylene adds carbon to the steel thereby risking causing embrittlement that would could lead to cracks and

    Original URL path: http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/builders/brazing-welding-norris-builders.html (2016-02-09)
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