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 Post subject: Ray Clarke
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 8:03 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:54 pm
Posts: 38
Hoping to find out some info about Ray Clarke frames - Ray Clarke had a bike shop in Weston-super-Mare and as I understand it built frames in the 40's and 50's - Was lucky enough to be given a a 1949 Ray Clarke frame and a few bits last weekend so I'd be glad of any info,

Many thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Ray Clarke
PostPosted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 11:22 pm 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
Posts: 1321
Location: Cotswolds
I was recently remembering Ray Clarke and Bill Martin, was it 40 Moorland Road, Weston? I used to see Ray sometimes when picking up parts from our local wholesaler in Bristol. Many of the local club riders from the Bristol area had his frames.
In the late 40's to early 50's they built mainly bronze welded, Bill was an artist with the torch, and unlike some others, used a huge flame about 6 inches long, and produced the finished joint without needing any further reheating or filing. He had one alignment tool which he made, a tee square with 2 vertical pins and a pointed end. This was all he needed to build frames, particularly bronze welded. There were also lugged frames.
It was Bill Martin who reckoned to true up wood rims with a wood chisel, I always preferred a more traditional approach.
When Ray Clarke finished Bill went to Gardiners in Bristol welding aluminium window frames, using his huge flame. A true artist with it.
Keith


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 Post subject: Re: Ray Clarke
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 5:35 am 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:54 pm
Posts: 38
keithglos wrote:
I was recently remembering Ray Clarke and Bill Martin, was it 40 Moorland Road, Weston? I used to see Ray sometimes when picking up parts from our local wholesaler in Bristol. Many of the local club riders from the Bristol area had his frames.
In the late 40's to early 50's they built mainly bronze welded, Bill was an artist with the torch, and unlike some others, used a huge flame about 6 inches long, and produced the finished joint without needing any further reheating or filing. He had one alignment tool which he made, a tee square with 2 vertical pins and a pointed end. This was all he needed to build frames, particularly bronze welded. There were also lugged frames.
It was Bill Martin who reckoned to true up wood rims with a wood chisel, I always preferred a more traditional approach.
When Ray Clarke finished Bill went to Gardiners in Bristol welding aluminium window frames, using his huge flame. A true artist with it.
Keith

Thanks Keith - Thats extemely interesting and a lovely bit of detail, I really appreciate that. It was 44 Moorland road, Weston (now a launderette), I know that as its on the headbadge. This is a lugged frame the guy had from new. He said it originally had chrome lugs and was a Cambridge blue with a white bands on the seat and head tubes, lugs picked out in dark blue - Looking to get it back to how it would have been as it was repainted in the 60's I beleive - Many Thanks again for the insight and if you think of anything else I'd be glad to hear it!


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 Post subject: Re: Ray Clarke
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 8:29 am 
Retro Guru

Joined: Sun Aug 22, 2010 7:07 pm
Posts: 1321
Location: Cotswolds
If you can give me a name I might possibly remember him.
After I posted "40" I thought it was 44, oddly I never visited the shop.
In the early post war years frame materials were not too easy to get, and the lug angles were very limited, bronze welding (fillet brazing) was a useful option, when lugs were available they were considered a better option.
Keith


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 Post subject: Re: Ray Clarke
PostPosted: Fri Jul 05, 2013 3:41 pm 
Dirt Disciple

Joined: Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:54 pm
Posts: 38
PM'd


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 Post subject: Re: Ray Clarke
PostPosted: Sat Jul 06, 2013 7:55 am 
retrobike rider
retrobike rider
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Joined: Sun Feb 19, 2012 10:08 am
Posts: 6842
Location: Nth Somerset, UK
Although not born here, I have lived in W-s-M for over 30 years and I had no idea about the shop in Moorland Rd. I have just mentioned it to my wife, who is Weston born and bred and she said that she remembers visiting the shop.

There must be a few of those frames hidden at the back of sheds locally, I shall have to keep my eye's open for one.

Look forward to seeing pictures of your bike.


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