Retrobike Forum Index

It is currently Sat Dec 03, 2016 3:35 am

* Login   * Register * Search  * FAQ



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 7:35 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
rider | rBoTM Winner
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
Posts: 5131
Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
Right, get your pigeons out because I may well be throwing a very large cat amongst them.

A cycling friend of mine of long standing and who has a genuine interest in the history of the sport and bikes related this to me on our Saturday ride. He works as an HGV driver and last week he was delivering to a factory in Barton-on-Humber and got talking to a guy, mentioning that he hoped he would get home early enough to get out on the bike. This guy then said that although he wasn't a cyclist himself, he worked as a 'bike builder' for many years - 'for a bloke called Ernie Clements, have you heard of him?' Friend obviously says 'Yes!' and then he got the full story.

Seems he started with Ernie at the old Elswick-Hopper works in Barton as a lug filer and gradually worked his way up to being a very proficient frame builder. When EC bought Coventry Eagle and moved Falcon production to the Brigg site he went with him and said that he built frames for guys called 'Lambert' (obviously Keith), 'Woodburn' (John), 'Hitchen' (Albert) amongst others so he must have been pretty good at his craft.

Now for the 'cat' part. He reckons that EC (as can be expected) was good mates with other people 'in the trade' (such as Gerald O'Donovan) and they built frames for many other companies - including Viking, Carlton and Raleigh. This ties in with comments I have seen that Carlton also built for other people and it would appear from that spare production capacity was moved around between them all as and when necessary. I think he said that he could tell where a frame was built from the serial number.

Now comes the killler bit. One day they had to send a van to Humberside Airport to collect a French guy who was coming over for measuring up for frames. When he arrived he was very arrogant and refused to ride in a van so a taxi was ordered. He could speak English (but wouldn't) and knew exactly what he required in the frames - which were built by the guy in question.

Oh, I forgot to say - he wore glasses and had a pigtail. Remind you of anyone?

So, true or false, what do you think?


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:22 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 03, 2008 12:31 am
Posts: 585
Location: London
Interesting!

It seems LF used Gitane branded frames up to 1988. The in 1989 the Super U team had "Raleigh" frames.


Last edited by fiks on Fri Jul 01, 2011 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 8:42 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
Posts: 1321
Location: Cotswolds
Paul, I find this completely believable.
When Falcon got the UK sole import rights for shimano, mainly to give them a source of decent cheap components, and to sell to wholesalers, a small wholesaler and manufacturers agent, Bill Butler, told me that he carefully worked out a monthly order that he could afford for the next 6 months. On receiving the whole order immediately he asked Clements how he was supposed to pay for it, and was told "We've mucked up bigger companies than yours".


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 11:49 pm 
Dirt Disciple
User avatar

Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:16 pm
Posts: 98
Location: In the Ghetto Walthamstow
Doctoring of brands happens in many sports can't see why cycling would be any different...

I worked for years for a major UK motorcycle leather suit manufactuer and in that time I re-branded more suits for top racers than I can think of..


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 3:49 am 
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
r.B.o.T.M. & P.o.T.M. Winner
User avatar

Joined: Thu Nov 22, 2007 10:51 am
Posts: 2206
Location: Camel Land
Old Ned wrote:
Right, get your pigeons out because I may well be throwing a very large cat amongst them.

A cycling friend of mine of long standing and who has a genuine interest in the history of the sport and bikes related this to me on our Saturday ride. He works as an HGV driver and last week he was delivering to a factory in Barton-on-Humber and got talking to a guy, mentioning that he hoped he would get home early enough to get out on the bike. This guy then said that although he wasn't a cyclist himself, he worked as a 'bike builder' for many years - 'for a bloke called Ernie Clements, have you heard of him?' Friend obviously says 'Yes!' and then he got the full story.

Seems he started with Ernie at the old Elswick-Hopper works in Barton as a lug filer and gradually worked his way up to being a very proficient frame builder. When EC bought Coventry Eagle and moved Falcon production to the Brigg site he went with him and said that he built frames for guys called 'Lambert' (obviously Keith), 'Woodburn' (John), 'Hitchen' (Albert) amongst others so he must have been pretty good at his craft.

Now for the 'cat' part. He reckons that EC (as can be expected) was good mates with other people 'in the trade' (such as Gerald O'Donovan) and they built frames for many other companies - including Viking, Carlton and Raleigh. This ties in with comments I have seen that Carlton also built for other people and it would appear from that spare production capacity was moved around between them all as and when necessary. I think he said that he could tell where a frame was built from the serial number.

Now comes the killler bit. One day they had to send a van to Humberside Airport to collect a French guy who was coming over for measuring up for frames. When he arrived he was very arrogant and refused to ride in a van so a taxi was ordered. He could speak English (but wouldn't) and knew exactly what he required in the frames - which were built by the guy in question.

Oh, I forgot to say - he wore glasses and had a pigtail. Remind you of anyone?
So, true or false, what do you think?


Laurent Fignon :?:


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:19 pm 
rider | rBoTM Winner
rider | rBoTM Winner
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jan 25, 2008 1:42 pm
Posts: 5131
Location: Wakefield, Yorkshire
You might like to think that but I couldn't possibly say :wink:

The bloke says he was never told his name but it sure sounds like him.

Frames were sent to the 'other companies' in the raw state for spraying etc.


Top
 Profile  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Jul 01, 2011 12:28 pm 
Old School Grand Master
User avatar

Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2007 2:04 pm
Posts: 3363
Location: Completely in the dark, thanks to me good mate Terry....
"Framebuilders of trust" were quite common on the continent back in the day but hadn't appreciated that similar arrangements existed on a wide-ish scale in the UK. One instance that stands out is the ANC-Halfords "Peugeot" bikes from the '87 TdF, apparently Brian Rourke jobs in reality.

David


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 7 posts ] 

All times are UTC [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 16 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  

About Us

Follow Retrobike

Other cool stuff

All content © 2005-2015 Retrobike unless otherwise stated.
Cookies Policy.
bikedeals - the best bike deals in one place
FatCOGS - Fat Chance Owner's Group

Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group