I have a Geoffrey Butler built by Cliff Shrubb, I didn't think he built for Allin after the business was sold; the last"true"Allins were built in 1980/81(by Peter Cobb). Then the business was sold.
Cliff built frames in Whitehorse Road BITD (60s) near Allin Cycles, and then he moved away. Jenson were also in Whitehorse Road, Croydon, Allin were the favoured builders and hangout of the Norwood Paragon CC.
Very nice though - especially with the"fairground"style lettering.
I had my first Allin built at the end of 1984. At that time the Shop was run by John Hutt, and Ray Moore built frames out of the rear of the shop. Ray built very good frames and was always very interested in any ideas that were slightly different.
If fact in 1985 I wanted a mountain bike but all you could get were lumbering Motobecanes, Ridgebacks, Muddy Fox and Highpaths and none met with what I wanted, so Ray built me what I wanted (73 degrres, short wheelbase, sloping top tube, OT tubing), but that is whole 'nuther story (thread and pics to follow).
John and Ray dissolved their partnership towards the end of 1985, but John kept the shop and ran it with Linda, his parter, but because they had a reputation for building and repairinf steel frames they passed their work to Cliff because he was just a few doors down. He still built of Goeffrey Butler's and also under his own name.
Because I was a regular at Allins I got to know Cliff and we struck up a rapport becuse I was interested in the whole framebuilding thing, so when I said I was thinking of a new racing frame he invited me down to his workshop for a bit of measuring and a chance to rifle through his countless boxes of lugs and crowns, and this is where this particular beauty was concieved, and eventually born.
I stayed in contact with Cliff for a while but our paths diverged. I know he went to work for pearsons in sutton, but after that the trail goes cold. I'd love to meet up with him again, but I was probably just one of a million hangers on and I doubt that he'd remember me.
At sometime in the early 90s John Hutt died from throat cancer and Linda persisted with the shop for some years with Glen Bates, but concentrated on selling cheap, easy to shift bikes but just before the turn of the millenium the shop closed and I think it is a educational book shop now.
As you say, popular with the Norwood Paragon and my club at the time, The Old Portlians. In fact whn I first went to Allins I was served by a chap called Neil (his surname escapes me now) who was the person that steered me towards the Old Ports, but everyone in the Croydon Distict Cylcing Association were a pretty friendly bunch (Norwood Paragon, Old Ports, South East Road Club, Addiscome Bicycle Club, Addington Wheelers).
So there you have it, a loose 80/90's history of a much loved and much missed LBS (dates are based on my my memory so figure a +/-2 years ajustment potential