Re: [CR] Hobbs & VCC/TONARD!!

(Example: Framebuilders)

Date: Wed, 9 Jan 2002 20:53:06 -0500
Subject: Re: [CR] Hobbs & VCC/TONARD!!
From: "Richard M Sachs" <>

>>>I think in the late 50s though they had frames - quite tidy ones, built by Tonard (who were trade framebuilders) <<<

hilary... tonard??!! there's a name from the past! we used to import their frames in the early 70s. we inventoried many alec bird frames that keith at tonard made. some of our dawes team frames were also made by them because dawes, then, didn't have a pro builder that could handle the specs, even though dawes was our team's title sponsor. we also imported knight fabrications from wolverhampton, another 'for-the-trade' frame shop. some were badged as knights, and others were badged as, well, never mind! are these shops still around? did they make the leap into the nonferrous era? tonard and knight were two of the major frames-for-the-trade suppliers that i can recall; basically existing on private label contracts. were there others? e-RICHIE in Chester

On Wed, 09 Jan 2002 22:59:21 +0000 Hilary Stone <> writes:
> 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
> 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.
> Regards
> 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.