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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 6:34 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
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The Thorn adverts in the CTC magazine until recently had a photo of their 'resident' frame builder Kevin Sayles (who learned his craft in Leeds) but I'm sure I heard that he was no longer there.

This could tie in with them sourcing frames abroad.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:05 pm 
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Old Ned wrote:
The Thorn adverts in the CTC magazine until recently had a photo of their 'resident' frame builder Kevin Sayles (who learned his craft in Leeds) but I'm sure I heard that he was no longer there.

This could tie in with them sourcing frames abroad.

This blog entry mention Kevin Sayles who apparently is no longer with Thorn, and has returned to Woodrup:

http://paulmor.wordpress.com/2010/06/14 ... in-sayles/

I'm struggling to remember when I was last in Bridgwater - it was more than five years ago, but less than nine. I was shown cases of unfinished tandem frames that had been damaged by salt water in shipping from the Far East. I think (but I'm not certain) that the frames had some braze-ons applied in the UK, but they were certainly substantially foreign built.

I don't doubt that Thorn did have a framebuilder on the premises until recently. The question is where they sent their outsourced work before it went to Taiwan. I'm still betting it was sent to Coventry.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 7:15 pm 
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Robin from SJS posts sometimes, on the CTC forum I think...


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 Post subject: Framebuilders
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 10:14 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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This has generated some interesting discussion, perhaps the thread should be renamed 'Who builds Thorn Frames now?'

I might have time to call in at SJS over the half term week, perhaps I should ask the question directly?

flyingfinn


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 Post subject: Re: Framebuilders
PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2010 11:31 pm 
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flyingfinn wrote:
This has generated some interesting discussion, perhaps the thread should be renamed 'Who builds Thorn Frames now?'

Apologies for leading your thread astray, but the British framebuilding business is so involute sometimes it seems useful to put information on the table and see what can be added or subtracted from the pile.

Quote:
I might have time to call in at SJS over the half term week, perhaps I should ask the question directly?

I suspect they wouldn't tell you. If Lee Cooper won't explicitly name his former employer it's probably because he agreed to confidentiality. AVG were always very cagey about who was building their Caribous, presumably because they knew that any potential customer could simply go direct to the builder and cut them out of the picture. Though if Thorns are all built in Taiwan now, that wouldn't be such a threat.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2010 8:59 am 
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Quote:
Apologies for leading your thread astray, but the British framebuilding business is so involute sometimes it seems useful to put information on the table and see what can be added or subtracted from the pile.


I did not consider it to be astray; the reason I finally joined retrobike was to have this sort of engagement and exchange of information. The suggestion to rename the thread was genuine so that others could pick up on the additional subject matter.

I feel there is a need for more people to be involved in handcrafted frames, yet to make it a viable profession we need to have more people guided to realise the difference it can make so that they are prepared to apportion their money appropriately when buying a bicycle.

As a champion commonwealth rider Colin Lewis recognised a great framebuilder in Tom Bromwich and accorded him a great deal of custom in the early to mid 80s. How many bike shops now even offer custom built frames, most just look at their profit margins and haul everything off the shelf from Taiwan or South Korea. I am not saying that it is wrong to offer a simple solution, just that the higher end should be supported too. With the additional benefit of maintaining a small craftsmanship area of British Manufacture.

flyingfinn


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 16, 2010 12:02 pm 
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Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
flyingfinn wrote:
How many bike shops now even offer custom built frames, most just look at their profit margins and haul everything off the shelf from Taiwan or South Korea. I am not saying that it is wrong to offer a simple solution, just that the higher end should be supported too. With the additional benefit of maintaining a small craftsmanship area of British Manufacture.

flyingfinn


I'm sure there are one or two builders that use this compromise solution of UK made for the high-end stuff and Far East for the cheaper stuff in bigger quantities (Paul Hewitt??). It's certainly the case on a larger scale with Orange, whose cheaper MTBs come from Taiwan with the really expensive high-spec ones still being made in Halifax.

David


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 3:55 pm 
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Flyingfinn.....
I have just being looking through a old VCC club magazine, and there was a letter about Tom Bromwich, from a local coventry member. The letter was mainly in reply, for information about a George Stokes bicycle, that was supplied to Stokes's cycle shop by Bromwich cycles. He stated that Tom Bromwich, died about 2006. And that Lee Cooper and someone called Alan, helped him out, when he was still in business. And when he retired Lee and Alan set up on there own, as LA cycles. As stated elsewhere, retirement did'nt suit Tom, so he started helping Lee in his business. Looking through some adverts in the Cycling weekly, from the early 90's, the LA cycles adverts, state all the types of frames they make, and at the the bottom of the ad,they put "assited by Tom Bromwich".

Please let us know the full story, if you speak to Lee.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 9:47 pm 
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mavesyn wrote:
As stated elsewhere, retirement didn't suit Tom, so he started helping Lee in his business. Looking through some adverts in the Cycling Weekly, from the early 90's, the LA cycles adverts, state all the types of frames they make, and at the the bottom of the ad, they put "assisted by Tom Bromwich".

That's great. Many thanks for the confirmation.


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 Post subject: Tom Bromwich
PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2010 11:08 pm 
Dirt Disciple
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Many thanks, excellent info. I have a busy week ahead so if I do not get time this week I will try and find the time to follow up on this the following week.

ff


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