Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Gold Harry Quinn

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Friend of the blog, Paul Gittins has sent in an advert of a gold coloured Harry Quinn.

Paul adds the following information:-

"The Harry Quinn advert was in the March 1978 International Cycle Sport and shows a lovely Gold machine.  However, I have a couple of queries arising from this -

What was an I.V.I.S. metalised Old Gold finish?
Who was Rene Chalaye who supplied the bars and stem?"

If anyone can help either Paul or myself with the above, or if anyone is lucky enough to own one of these splendid looking machine's, please contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Fancy Lugged Fothergill

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A big thank you again to Roger Spinks of Notts. Roger has sent in a couple of photo's of a very fancy lugged Fothergill, which will no doubt look fantastic when the paintwork has had a full restoration.

We'd really like to see your restoration of bicycles made on Merseyside. You can contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Clifton Cycles

Paddy Ward on a Clifton Cycle

Again a big thank you to Paddy & Eileen Ward who have responded to our request for more information on Clifton Cycles.

The above shot shows Paddy on a genuine Clifton.

Eileen and Paddy added the following information:-

" Here we have a Clifton built frame in the 1950's.  Notice the all black attire that had to be adhered to and the obligatory bell. They were built by George and Bill Hewitt at their shop in the Haymarket, Birkenhead opposite the Mersey Tunnel entrance. George has passed away now but Bill is still alive living in Farndon, Cheshire.  He must be in his late eighties now. It was George Hewitt who did the building of frames and we used to watch him on our weekly visit to the shop.  However there was a time that we ordered a new frame and found that it had been built by Freddie Grub with Clifton transfers!  They inadvertently left the invoice in the seat tube."

So i'm sure you'll agree, we've got some fabulous information for the blog, from Paddy & Eileen. They would like any info on the following :-

"Does anybody remember Cecil Gibson who built Ceson frames from his premises at the Birkenhead Dock exit of the Mersey Tunnel?  I doubt it, the only person that would remember is John (Jack) Thomas who is in his eighties now living in Neston.  We both had frames made by him in 1951, but sadly no photos."

So if anyone has further information on Ceson Frames, we'd be very pleased to hear all about it.
Please contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Charlie McCoy's Record Ride

25 Mile Championship

Charlie's bike

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A big thank you to friend of the blog Paul Gittins who has sent in some great scan's and information about Charlie McCoy's record ride.

Paul adds the following information:-

"I've found some photos in old Sporting Cyclist mags of Melling Wheelers star Charlie McCoy riding his Eddie Soens '55 Special' - so named because he did a competition record 55-01 riding it.  Whether the name came before or after the ride I can't say!  The record ride photo (in the May 1962 issue) was taken by Melling Wheelers stalwart Ken Matthews during his record ride on the D1 Chester by-pass course on a very wet day.   The 25 Championship start photo and the bike detail photo were in the August 1962 issue and taken by Roy Green.  It is interesting to note that the 'Eddie Soens' name has been removed on both photos in the dark room to avoid the RTTC's punitive anti-advertising legislation.  The detail photo shows the Campagnolo single chainring chainguard used to prevent the unintentional derailing of a chain when using a single large ring.  I had one once, goodness knows where it went!  Charlie rode 56 x 14-18 which was considered a very large gear in those days and is using the original TA cranks with the 'triangular' axle and a Campagnolo Gran Sport gear.  His bike is White and rumour had it (at least in my circle of friends) that Eddie would only let you have a White frame if you were a 'fast man' well under the hour.  I marshalled this event - the first 'proper' time trial I'd seen - and it was one of the very few times I saw him in action."

Any further information about Charlie, please contact merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Ward Family Race Action

Harry Quinn Track

Chrome Harry Quinn

Red Harry Quinn

Leicester Track

A big thank you to Paddy & Eileen Ward for sending in these fabulous action shots adding the following information:-
"We thought you might be interested in seeing some old photos of us on Harry Quinn bikes.
The white Harry Quinn was made for me as a favour in a week -(built and sprayed) by Harry.   If I recall it was for a track championship which was in 1970.  The picture shown was in a time trial in 1972.  Somewhere in the loft I may still have the receipt which I think was £17.
The next Chrome road bike was taken in 1975. Notice the drilled out chainring and brake levers.
The red road bike was also taken in the 70's on the Coast Road course."

The last shot is of Paddy & Eileen's daughter competing at the Leicester track sometime in the 1980's. Christine is riding a Bill Whitcomb track bike.

We'd very much like to see your action shots. Please send any contribution's to merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Is it a Fothergill ?

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Rudi from New Jersey recently purchased the above frameset, believing it to be a 1940's James Fothergill. However the serial number and location on the frame don't conform to the norm on Fothergill's.
Rudi has started a thread on bike forums covering the frameset's restoration. The tread can be found here :- http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php?698880-My-winter-project-1940-s-Fothergill&highlight=fothergill

If you can help Rudi out, contact him through the forum or contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Soens Anti-Whip Frame

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Roger Spinks of Nottinghamshire, has sent some pictures of his unusual Jim Soens anti-whip frame. The shots above show the condition of the bike when Roger purchased it. Below is a photo of the freshly repainted frame.
We believe Jim Soens was building these frames in the 1950's- the basic being one of Jim's lugless frames with the Anti-Whip tube brazed in place making for a very stiff frame.

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If anyone has any further information or photo's of the Soens anti-whip frame, we'd very much like to hear from you. Please contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

The Champions Choice

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Another one of Julian Markham's scans from International Cycle Sport 1978. The picture shows the Harry Quinn-Galli Cyclo Cross team in action.

So if you ride like a champion on a Harry Quinn, contact us at Merseysidebicycles@gmail.com 

Friday, 3 December 2010

1955 James Fothergill

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A big thank you to Steve Chambers, who sent in these photo's of his lovely 1955 "Gripmeur" model.

James Fothergill was one of Liverpool's largest and most respected frame makers from the 1930's till the late 1980's. During that period he had a large shop based in Smithdown Road, Liverpool, later moving to Wavertree Road. Before the advent of affordable cars for the general population, Fothergill's were producing a large amount of bicycles during the post-war years- at one time employing up to four frame builders, who also built frames for shop's in the local area.

If you have any further information on James Fothergill, please contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

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Thursday, 2 December 2010

H M Dickinson Restoration




Roger Spinks of Nottinghamshire has sent in before and after shot's of his H M Dickinson bicycle. This is another bike Roger bought from Pete Matthews shop, shortly before it closed. The "before" photos show the bike as Roger bought it. The "after" photos show the frame after a full restoration by C & G Finishes. The frame was finished with the last set of Dickinson transfers C & G had in stock.
We must say the quality of Harold Dickinson frame building and the quailty of C & G's paintwork shines through.

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We'd very much like to see more photo's of Harold Dickinson's work. Contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Jim Soens Restoration part 2

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A big thank you to Roger Spink of Nottinghamshire, who on seeing my restoration project on this blog, realised that the frame we are restoring, was his old bike.
Roger has sent us the following information:-
"I thought you might be interested in seeing your bike when I bought it from Pete Matthews shop shortly before he closed down. It was just too small for me so I sold the frame (at Kidderminster cycle jumble in the car park before going in, I think)."

So anyone else who has owned my frame in the past, please get in touch. Contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Harry Quinn race action

Dave Dungworth

Dave Rollinson
A big thank you to Julian Markham of Lancashire, for sending in a couple of scans from International Cycle Sport. The black and white shot shows Dave Dungworth in action on his Harry Quinn bike in 1968.
The ICS front cover shot shows Dave Rollinson of Liverpool Mercury CC in action on his Harry Quinn bicycle.
More of Julian's scans coming soon.

Please send any contributions large or small to merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Harry Quinn TT bike

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 Julian Markham from Lancashire sent in these photo's of his stunning Harry Quinn TT bike, that is near completion.
Julian gives us the following information:-

" I bought the frame and a few parts off the RTTC forum about 2 years ago, the guy lived over in Yorkshire but originally came from Manchester area and bought the frame as a junior, going to Harry Quinns shop to collect, this I think was in mid 70's.

It's original paint, very short wheelbase, built for testing with single gear lever boss.It has TA single 54 ring, 3TTT bars/stem/saddle, campag record brakes/levers/rear mech (mine from when I was a schoolboy!!) Record hubs/ambrosio rims.

I'll forward pics when all complete in future. I live ,near Blackburn and ride for Preston CC. I remember racing as a schoolboy/junior with all the merseyside clubs, Century/Mercury/New Brighton. I remember Mike Bell on a burgandy Harry Quinn with odd pale blue forks all battered up, Probably passed down through the Bell family, Tony-Mark -Mike. Good times."

Please send any contribution's large or small to Merseyside Bicycles. Contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com 

Time trial Cougar

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A big thank you to David Belcher of Hampshire, who sent in these two splendid photo's of himself competing in a Rudy Project Time Trial circa 2000. David's, Colombus SLX built Cougar was believed to have been built by Terry Dolan, around 1990.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Jim Soens restoration

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The team at  Merseyside Bicycles have purchased what appears to be a stunning 1940/50's lugless frame, built by Jim Soens. We have talked about the frame with a couple of experts on Soens frames. One was very happy that it sounded like a Jim Soens frame, stating that Jim was an excellent builder and that he made all types of frames in the cellar at Lower Breck Road:- touring, race, lugless, lugged, tandems etc. Another reliable source wasn't too sure and thought it may have been built by someone else. So the frame will be returning to Liverpool in January, to get fully authenticated.
The plans for the frame at present are:-  to have some transfers reproduced, (they are not held by any transfer makers at present). The frame will then be blasted and refinished in Liverpool by C&G Finishes. The paintwork on most of Merseyside's bicycles over the decades has been done by the team at C&G. The hunt will then begin for all the period correct equipment.
We'll be making regular updates on the site throughout the coming months..

If you have any information on Jim Soens frames, please contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Soensport advert

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A advert from Sporting Cyclist, April 1962. Eddie Soens, telling us what frames will be doing the winning in 1962.

We'd very much like to see your Soensport bicycles, and any memories you may have of Britain's greatest ever cycling coach Eddie Soens.

Send any contribution's large or small to us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Geoff Hughes & GPH

Geoff Hughes in action
Friend of the blog, Paul Gittins has come up trump's again with a photo and some more information about Geoff Hughes and GPH Bicycles.

 Paul adds the following information, quote-

"I can confirm that Chris Boardman did ride a GPH as a lad. There was a photo in Cycling once with him riding it.  It may have been in a junior championship.  I remember that he had flat bar type brake levers reversed at the end of the drops.
Geoff Hughes - as far as I know - is still alive and well and living on the Wirral.  His frames were bought in. Who built them I've no idea - but I know a man who might!
There's a photo attached of Geoff in full flight in the Potteries CC 25 on 18 July 1965 on the Woore-Nantwich road.   He's riding a Clifton who were a shop in Birkenhead near to the Mersey Tunnel entrance.  I remember his bike being dark green with chrome and it was always immaculate."

Just as a little footnote to Paul's info-  Clifton Bicycles were run by the "Hewitt" brothers.

So if you have any further information on GPH or Clifton Cycles, please let us know at the blog.
Any contributions can be sent to us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

GPH & Heswall Cycles

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A big Merseyside bicycles thank you to Tony Franklin of London, for sending in some photo's of his GPH bike.
Tony sent in the following information.
Hi there, came across your new blog & thought I hopefully might be able to contribute.

I have a very nice bike which was apparently put together by Geoff Hughes formerly of the Birkenhead North End CC. Branded 'GPH' & Heswall cycles I couldn't find any info about the shop, I tried to contact the club to see if they could point me in Geoff's direction but got no response so have limited history of the bike.
Was apparently built for an army officer whose handpainted name is still on the bike (G. R. Wisbey) he in turn gave it to a young lad who lived Derbyshire way, I then in turn purchased it from them via ebay & it now resides with me in sunny Letchworth Garden City :o) A forum member on retrobike hinted that Chris Boardman may have ridden a GPH in his younger days but I've no idea if that might be true or not.

Frame is constructed from Reynolds 531ST & forks are 531, plain(ish) lugs, not sure on dropouts but all in all very nice and handles really well. I've seen one other on tinternet but that's as much as I know.

The bike is kitted out predominantly with Shimano 600 (6200 series) plus Sakae bars & Chainset, SR stem, Sedis chain.  Nice Lyotard pedals/Christophe clips & Grand Premio straps topped off with a Rolls saddle. I love using it for leisure days out and the 6 speed block is just enough with the 50/36 rings, takes me a few shifts to get used to the friction shifting after sti & ergo but is simple, unbreakable & very elegant.

I'll be looking at the website from time to time as I had a Harry Quinn and a Quinn Brothers ladies 531 bike in the past (I think they were related but had a falling out and had separate shops).

Anyway, hope it gets an inclusion, I'm not normally one to submit a bike to a forum as such but I hope this one fills a very small part of Merseyside's fabulous bicycle history.

We would welcome more information on GPH & Heswall Cycles, please contact us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Whitcomb touring frameset

Images by Hilary Stone
Here we have a 1988 Whitcomb touring frameset, which looks quite stunning in red and chrome.
This frameset is avaliable for sale, on London fixed-gear and single-speed website.
Here is the link to the auction.   http://www.lfgss.com/thread54213.html
I have no connection with the above sale, simply showing another fine Merseyside built frame.

Please send us any contributions to us at merseysidebicycles@gmail.com

Monday, 15 November 2010

1986 Whitcomb

A big thankyou to Ken Foster of Sussex, for the two photo's of his old Bill Whitcomb bike. Ken Purchased the bike from the orignal owner who had used it for time trialing in the 1980's.
Ken wrote: It was a lovely bike, full Shimano 600 groupset. A great bike to ride, but I had other projects to complete so I sold the bike in 2009 on e-bay. The guy who brought the bike from me collected it the day before setting of for Italy and the 2009 'L' Eroica. Upon his return he left the feedback:-
 "L' Eroica rocked, bike great"

Please send any contributions, large or small to us at