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


  1. Hello,
    I am glad that I found this web-site. I have my father's old Clifton bike in my garage. I have made some changes to it by upgrading the gears and chainset to Shimano indexed and my son occasionally rides it, but I think I still have the original cranks in storage.
    So, a Clifton bike is still alive and well, living in West Kirby!
    Best regards

    1. I had a clifton frame built by George from his shop in Grange Mount Birkenhead in 1970 and paid for it weekly while it was being put together.Remember it being metalic blue with chrome forks as was the trend back then.Cost me £31 pounds nineteen and six!Often used to sit in the shop chatting to him as he repaired all types of bikes and build wheels to order.Shop itself was a mess but he knew where everything was!

  2. I owned a Clifton in the '70s when living in The Wirral.It was a red frame, with track rear drop outs,running a fixed wheel with flip flop hub.It would be highly fashionable today.
    I have recently acquired a Clifton frame reputed to have been built in 1954.Frame number 2033,stamped on the rear drop out and steerer tube.Any info gratefully received.Any one know of any transfers for it?

  3. As I commented last year, the old Clifton bike is still in the garage, upgraded to Shimano and in full working order. I am now planning on putting it up for sale, but as it is a real collector's item, I don't really want to sell it through e-bay.
    If anyone is genuinely interested in making an offer, please feel free to contact me. My email address is:
    Best regards

  4. Your group may be interested in this CLIFTON I acquired 2013 basically as a frame with a few odd part that the seller couldn't remove. It was owned by his father from new and is in its original paint work, which the areas worn thin to the silver base coat I airbrushed in with the red translucent flambouyant as original finish. It a 1961 Model - the owners name is on the top tube I believe M Leicester of the Anfield CC. Don't appear to able to post an image???

  5. I stumbled on this site looking for something on CLIFTON CYCLES. I had a track frame built by George H and recall spending every lunchtime in the workshop watching George build bikes and wheels and tell lots of awful Goon-like jokes. Great days!! I was in the same club as Paddy Ward (Birkenhead Victoria) but he had wound down his racing by then due to family commitments and promotion at work.

    Those days can never be repeated!