I bought my first MTB, in 1994, from Norman Hiller, owner of Covent Garden Cycles (CGC) in Neal St. Covent Garden. It was a black "Saracen" marketed by The London Bicycle Company in Floral St., also in Covent Garden. I still have it but I had it painted BRG (British Racing Green) and a lot of replacement parts. It was used in an advertisement photo by Ever Ready for their bike lights and was in a few of the cycle magazines of the time.
Working for Norman at the time was a 16 year old cyclist/trainee bike mechanic named Darren Barber. Darren, myself and a small group of early MTBers including James Walters, the son of the then Chairman of BP, Sir Peter Walters, would ride regularly on weekends and holidays. Norman and his wife Hillary wanted to semi-retire and sold the business to James and Darren. This partnership dissolved after a falling out and the business was sold to Debbie De Meritte. At some point before Debbie bought it, CGC moved to Nottingham Ct. Just across the road from it's previous location. During my association with CGC, I had an MTB frame built by Tom Board. This was when he was in the basement at Ninon's retail shop Bicycle Workshop. Prior to that Tom was at the second shop of CGC in Islington where Dave Hiller, Normans son, worked. Tom also built a hybrid frame for an Australian girlfriend of mine, later to be my wife. Both the Tom Board frames were made from chrome-moly Aeronutical air-frame tubing at my insistence. Both frames were lug-less, brazed, with what looked like lugs but which Tom called "Laminates". Both frames were of very high quality associated with Tom's workmanship. We move to Australia in 1994 and brought both bikes with us. My Tom Board MTB bike was stolen in 1995 but I still have the Hybrid.
Darren Barber bought a shop in Hackney and started up Chain Gang Cycles, no relation to the Hereford company. Darren then went to work with Tom to learn frame building. They tried to use the name Paris but there were right issues. I don't know what the outcome was/is. Tom finally stopped building and Darren "inherited" a lot of his equipment and started building frames at home in Rainham, Essex. The last time I saw Darren in about 2005, he was excited about building them and offered to build me one. He was also intending to use the Paris name.
A picture of Tom. Not sure which workshop this was taken in.http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Britis ... rd_Tom.htm