The Hetchins sho, name and stock was bought from Alf Hetchins by a consortium of owners in 1985. This same consortium still owns the assets it bought which includes the name. The freehold of the shop was sold after a couple of years and production and sales were moved to Bob Jacksons. David Miller was taken on to manage the Hetchins side of the business. When Bob Jackson was put into liquidation Hetrchins was not affected as they were two separate businesses though with common owners. David Miller continues to manage Hetchins to this day now from Preston. There has never been a loss of continuity.
Hilary Stone in slightly wintery Bristol
Jerry Moos wrote:
> I guess I didn't previously note the bit about Millar having been shop
> manager at Jackson. I suppose that does establish a continuity of sorts,
> though a skeptic might argue that any real continuity was lost when
> production was transferred to Bob Jackson, unless of course Millar, Jackson
> himself, or someone in that firm had been involved with building the frames
> at the original Hetchins company. I haven't heard that that is the case.
> Given that possible break in continuity, I'm afraid that I might regard the
> Millar frames as more "authentic", but only just. This would change of
> course, if Millar can prove his claims in a court of law, which he so far
> seems either unable or unwilling to do. Failing that, I think I would
> conclude that the only "real" Hetchins were those made before Jackson took
> over, and that both the modern versions are "reproductions" or perhaps
> "re-creations". Which to buy then (if any)? I'd say the one that most
> accurately matches the pre-Jackson original.
> Come to think of it, trueness to the original is probably at least as
> important as legal title in establishing the "genuineness" of a classic
> marque. For example, I don't think anyone disputes the right to produce
> Bates, formerly held by Ray Etherton and perhaps still retained by him or
> perhaps sold or perhaps licensed nonexclusively to Classic Cycles UK. But
> suppose Ray had used his undisputed legal rights to have Bates TIG welded in
> Taiwan from aluminum. Would the result have been "genuine"? Not in my
> opinion. What lends the most geniuneness is that Ray had the frames built
> by a craftsman like Ron Cooper, using Diadrant forks and Cantiflex tubing.
> This would have lent significant legitimacy to these frames, even if the
> legal title had been in dispute, as now seems the case with Hetchins.
> I would have originally been reluctant to buy an Omega-built Hetchins for
> fear of abetting copyright infringement, but unless Millar presses his case
> soon, I'd become interested in a good deal on a well made Hetchins
> "re-creation" from Omega. In fact, will not Millar's failure to enforce his
> claimed rights at some point be deemed under British law as having waived
> exclusive rights, as I believe would be the case under US law?