PRE-WAR British Frame

tachometer

Retro Newbie
I received this frame from a good friend. The frame is badged as a Ephgrave, but the steerer number and frame number do not have LE within the number. The serial number 5698 for the frame is located on the top of the seat stay.

Can anyone identify the frame ? I am going to respray the frame and re-badge the frame. Thanks.20210710_003128.jpg20210712_003145.jpg20210710_002204.jpg20210710_001853.jpg20210710_002553.jpg20210710_003520.jpg20210713_020209.jpg20210712_001657.jpg20210710_003647.jpg20210712_001622.jpg
 

Jonny69

Senior Retro Guru
The paint is very thick, but the lugs still look very thin. Is there any chance they are in fact bilaminate? You'd need to take the paint back on some of them and see if there's a fillet of braze at the joint. If so, it could be a Claud Butler. I'm not an expert, but the things that are inconsistent with it being a Claud are the head badge holes and the seat stays. There's also the Claud Butler serial number thread, which suggests the frame number is a digit short for it to be a Claud: https://www.retrobike.co.uk/threads/claud-butler-frame-number-identification.392124/

Other than that, it has early frame fittings and what looks like a Russ bend in the fork, or at least it's quite low down in the fork. These are consistent with a late-30's / early-40's bike. The lack of head clip style headset would suggest it might be slightly after 1930's as these were becoming obsolete by then, so maybe more likely 1940's. The lack of chrome might also suggest that it is wartime or slightly post-war period, as there was a chromium shortage and you often see chrome plate on pre-war frames but not on post-war. The lugs are slightly more fancy cut than you usually see on a 1930's bike.
 

tachometer

Retro Newbie
I have checked serial numbers for Cluad-Butlers and Holdsworths. Pre-war Holdsworths stamped the serial numbers on the upper portion of the seat stay. 5698 would place the frame in 1939. A catalogue insert for a 39 Holdsworth Cyclone states that Chater lugs throughout, all expertly cut out to the latest 39 designs and the feathered right down to the tube. As shown from the attached picture, there is no fillet of brazing. The lugs are rounded down smooth to the frame stock.20210713_020209.jpgHoldsCats.jpg
 

Jonny69

Senior Retro Guru
Seems a pretty good fit with the Holdsworth. If you trawl classiclightweights on the Holdsworth page, you might find a match for the lugs. That’ll be your confirmation.
 

tachometer

Retro Newbie
First of all, thanks for all the information that you have given. I went through the Holdsworth section, but was unable to find a pre - war Holdsworth.
 
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