In addition to Chris in his letter below Bruce Robbins also expressed an interest in Hobbs.
Hobbs first started building frames around 1933 and by the outbreak of WWII were based in the Barbican area of the City of London. That whole area was completely flattened in the 1940 blitz and they relocated to Dagenham which is just a few miles to the east of London. Hence Hobbs of Dagenham. i am not sure when used Hobbs of Dagenham transfers though as I am pretty certain they used Hobbs of Barbican transfers in post-WWII years. Some Hobbs are readily identifiable date wise by frame number but there are a number of frame numbering systems. Hobbs as a company stayed in business until the 1980s - I used to go to them as a wholesaler when I had a small workshop in London but frame building ceased at Hobbs I think in the late 50s though they had frames - quite tidy ones, built by Tonard (who were trade framebuilders) in the 60s/70s. But you would really benefit from membership - and I am sure many other CR members would too of the Veteran-Cycle Club. There is a very good Hobbs marque enthusiast whose knowledge and information he has researched can be drawn upon once you are a member. Membership is just 25GBP (about $38) for international members (for Bruce there is no excuse membership is just 18 GBP) - it can be paid in cash or travellers cheques. The membership secretary can be contacted at: 31 Yorke Road, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth WD3 3DW Great Britain and a membership form printed out from the rather primitive VCC website at v-cc.org.uk
I can help any CR members with arranging payments if they want. And there are plenty of other benefits such as News and Views of which I am one of the two editors and The Boneshaker which is a three times a year journal - the last issue contained a lovely set of photos of Dick (H R) Morris in his workshop. Quite a few CR members are also V-CC members including your esteemed webmaster.
Hilary Stone in dismal and wet Bristol, England
Chris Andrews wrote:
> I hear, occasionally, of" Hobbs of Barbican". However, my Hobbs says
> Dagenham on the head badge. Is it the same Hobbs? Did the factory relocate
> to The Barbican? (Which Barbican? Need help here, Hilary!) Any Hobbs info
> you may have would be appreciated! The frame appears to be from the early
> 50's and none of the original components are left. It has Chater Lea fork
> ends, very thin stays, and a long wheelbase, and is quite light. Alfred
> LeTourneur once told me that the English preference for short wheelbase
> machines was fine for time trials where you can pick the good part of the
> road, but that in French road races with scratch starts you have competitors
> close on each side who will make sure you hit the pothole! "An English frame
> would not last out the rece!" He put his foot against the BB of a French
> bike and flexed the frame -- it seemed like an inch I remember-- and the
> chainstays were long and willowy like my Hobbs. Hetchins had his own
> approach to this idea.