Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Geoff Hughes

A big thank you again to Geoff Hughes (Geoff helped us with information on Clifton Cycles) , for getting in touch with the blog. Geoff was and still is a very fine cyclist, ran his own bicycle business and has served as secretary of Birkenhead CC for many years.

Geoff Hughes in action.

Geoff sent the following information.

"After my partner Wendy sent you the email on my behalf earlier, I got to looking at the website and was surprised to find the bit about my shop and self.   About Heswall Bicycles, I opened the shop on 1.4.81 (prophetic!) and it closed in ‘89. Various factors with which I won’t bore you.   The frames I had made (some were bought in and transfers added mostly ‘sports bikes’) were in fact for about the first five years made by Terry Dolan’s team at his Cougar Cycles shop Liverpool.   Terry moved on and then I used Keith Coppull who I think had his business on the way to Ormskirk (Maghull?).   If I can find the folder, I have the details for all the hand-made frames and the number on bottom btackets would indicate the builder.   I think about 65 only were made for me.   Chris Boardman did in fact ride the frame I had made and gave him and in his book ‘Fastest Man on Two Wheels’ on page 21 there he is riding the Junior National 25 (1984).   Of course he was only about 15 and moved on framewise eventually to the famous Lotus.   The frame was used afterwards by his racing sister and more recently by his dad Keith.   I presume he still has it.   Must ask him as I see him regularly in the Eureka.   Incidentally, I still have both stick-on and sprit transfers for those who wish to  preserve their GPHs during ministrations by C&G.

I have had three Cliftons: my first back in 1951; second my track bike 1960; and the one mentioned by Paul Gittins my road/TT bike plus a Harry Quinn TT bike.   With the shop, I had/have two GPHs (both Dolans) TT and a road racing machine.   I now have a GPH all-weather bike (frame by Norman Roberts who built I think for Walton Cycles but now freelance in his garage) and a beautiful Longstaff which is a touring bike (do a bit of that now) built with racing features and is the nicest bike ride of all of them.   George thought it a ‘bit flash’ but it was interesting that when he rang Gerry C&G (12 years ago now) and requested the colour I had asked for ie flam claret over tobacco, Gerry said ‘ that wouldn’t be for Geoff Hughes would it?’   My TT frame is that colour combo – once seen never forgotten!

I must compliment Paul Gittins on finding a racing pic of me AND giving the event and date!   I checked my racing records and he is spot-on.   I finished second by 20 secs 59.47 and my comments were at the time – ‘tailwind to the turn 13 mls 28.30 – hard back into SE wind – should be called “hilly” ! – Ron (Corden) punctured doing 1.1. - cost us the team.   The prize for second place was thirty shillings!   £1.50 in new money!   I was in the Birkenhead North End then (for 35 years) but am now Sec of the Birkenhead CC – Wirral’s oldest club 1898.   I think second oldest on Merseyside only beaten by the Anfield.  

Better stop, sorry to go on but that is what memories are about!   My cycling has been halved in every way – time, speed,distance since I had a knee joint replacement two years ago.   But still turning the pedals which is what counts.   Paul Gittins I met in Wrexham after a number of years last August at a memorial service for Derek Johnson Chairman of our Club and a long-standing friend.   I finished racing in 2007 (by then Club 10s only) after a clubrun fall. I was then 73."

Geoff was, Liverpool and West Cheshire TT Champion 1962/63 and more recently with the veteran racing community, won several age-related National championships. 

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