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 

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

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

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

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

GPH & Heswall Cycles

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Please click on image for larger version
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

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.
I have no connection with the above sale, simply showing another fine Merseyside built frame.

Please send us any contributions to us at

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

Saturday, 13 November 2010

60's Race action

National 50 TT Championship 1968

Deeside Olympic road race 1966

Rhos - On - Sea 25 TT 1967
 A big thank you to friend of the blog, Paul Gittins, for these three wonderful photo's. The photo's show Paul in action on his Harry Quinn and Eddie Soens machines.

I'm attaching some photos of me on my Eddie Soens and Harry Quinn machines.  The HQ is the same bike but it was resprayed in '67.  Originally it was a plain darkish Kingfisher blue flam shade and C&G's inimitable hand painted lettering.  The 'new' colour was Dark Flam Green with White panels and Gold HQ transfers.  The Eddie Soens was Light Blue with a Dark Red panel and the name again in C&G handpainted lettering.
The 'blue' HQ photo is taken in a Deeside Olympic road race in March '66 with a field comprising most of the top Merseyside riders and a few 3rd category riders to make up the field.  Guess which category I belonged to!
The 'green' HQ photo was in the 1968 National 50 TT Championships on the Bath Rd when I did my (still standing!) personal best 50 of 2-0-40.  Never did quite manage to get inside 2 hours even when living near 'Boro!
The ES photo is in the Rhos-on-Sea 25 in May '67.  I remember riding out with wheels on sprint carriers from Wrexham to near St Asaph and then riding home over Moel Famau with a group of clubmates, most of whom hadn't raced.

I'm sure Paul, and all us at the blog, would love to hear from any fellow cyclists who competed with him in the 1960's.

Please send any contribution's to us at

Friday, 12 November 2010

Dave Lloyd Bikesport

A big thank's to  Ross Boulton of Cheshire, who sent in this scan of a advert for Dave Lloyd bikes, from 1992.
Any reader's that are lucky enough to own a Dave Lloyd bicycle, we would love to see your photo's here on Merseysidebicycles.
Please send any contributions large or small. to us at  
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Thursday, 11 November 2010

All that's missing is the "Diddymen"

Left to right. Harry Quinn, Ken Dodd, Bryan Newman and Stan Brittain.
A fabulous photo from the 1960's publicity launch of the Harry Quinn race team, which featured the great Stan Brittain. Stan hailed from Ken Dodd country, Knotty Ash. During his career he achieved many successes including-  2nd and a 3rd place in the awesome Peace Race in Eastern Europe. He also competed in, and finished the Tour de France.
Anybody recognize the venue?.
We welcome any contributions regards, Merseyside made bicycles. Contact us at
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Paddy & Eileen Ward added further information:-

The photo of Ken Dodd & Co. was taken at Kirkby Track and in the background is the late Kenny Hill, Liverpool Mercury CC.

Harry Quinn restoration

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A couple of photo's taken from Chris Wallard's blog, which will cover the restoration of his Harry Quinn bike.
Chris's blog can be found here.

Bill Whitcomb

1984 Bill Whitcomb

Bill Whitcomb and "Whitcomb bicycles" were made in Liverpool.
Barrie Witcomb and "Witcomb Cycles" were  made  in London.
(a common mistake made by many, it's all in the "H")

Not a huge amount is known about Bill Whitcomb, based on fact anyway. Many rumours abound on the internet. Basically Bill spent most of his career working with other frame builders, or building for local bike shop's.

The things we know for sure are that Bill started out as an apprentice to Harry Quinn at Walton road, Liverpool and carried on building with Harry up until Harry sold the business around 1979. In the same time period he also designed some frames with the Soens's. This may have included some frame making, but as yet, we can't confirm that.  We know Bill spent some time in the USA and built bikes while he was out there. For whatever reason , Bill returned to the UK and Liverpool in the 1980's. He then had a spell building frames, under his own name, and developed a fine reputation, building "road", "touring" and "time trial" frames. We also know that Bill was reunited with Harry Quinn and Peter Quinn, his son, building Harry Quinn bicycles again in Wales.
We have so far ascertained that Bill built under his own name here, and in America. We can confirm that he also built frames for Harry Quinn, Walvale Cycles- Liverpool, Cyclesports- Bangor, North Wales, and Ron Spencer Cycles, Warrington There maybe many more?
So the search goes on to find out more about this fine Merseyside builder, Bill Whitcomb. If you have any further details about Bill and his framebuilding career, photo's of frames, or complete bicycles, etc. Please contact us at

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Merseyside bicycles, for owners, fans and enthusiasts of bikes made on merseyside

Chris Boardman and his Cougar 1991

Welcome to "Merseyside Bicycles Blog" :- a place to celebrate bicycles made on Merseyside, past, present, and hopefully future.
I invite you, to help build a one stop blog, for all the Liverpool and Merseyside bike makers of the past and present- from the Quinn's and the Soens's right up to Cougar and Corrado.
So we'd love to see your pictures, old adverts, to hear the history and old stories about the bikes and racers of Merseyside.
Please send any contributions, to us at

1960's Jim Soens