Hobbs was not taken over for war work - their original shop (including the framebuilding shop) was in The Barbican in the City of London. These premises were quite small. They moved out to Dagenham, it is said, because they were bombed out of their original premises. Post-war it is easy to determine Hetchins production numbers for the years 1946-1966: Jan-Dec 1946 198 Jan-Dec 1947 188 Jan-Dec 1948 145 Jan-Dec 1949 154 Jan-Dec 1950 229 Jan-Dec 1951 303 Jan-Dec 1952 434 Jan-Dec 1953 890 Jan-Dec 1954 540 Jan-Dec 1955 486 Jan-Dec 1956 295 Jan-Dec 1957 454 Jan-Dec 1958 329 Jan-Dec 1959 475 Jan-Dec 1960 340 Jan-Dec 1961 190 1962 199 1963 166 1964 171 1965 165 1966 136
Hetchins took a long time to get their production numbers back to pre WWII levels after WWII and then it only lasted for about four or five years. Hobbs at Dagenham had much bigger premises than pre-war and geared up with not only the fancy lug models but more budget priced bronze welded and planer lugged models. However Hobbs essentially closed frame production in 1953. Mervyn Cook the veteran-Cycle Club's Marque Enthusiast for Hobbs has done lots of work on Hobbs but cannot determine post-war production figures. However the Dagenham works had framebuilders who built the cheaper bronze welded and cheaper lugged frames and another set of builders for the top end Superbe and later on Blue Riband models. Mervyn reckons that Hobbs essentially turned into a production builder post-war especially with bronze welded frames which were exported in good numbers.
Hilary Stone, Bristol, England
> Purely from a cyclists observation I would have to say there were far more
> Hobbs of Barbican frames produced than Hetchins. I have been cycling solo
> since the age of eight and prior to this either on the back of a tandem or in
> a sidecar with my cycling parents. My recollections are that Hobbs were far
> more numerous in numbers than Hetchins. Surely they were the far larger firm.
> This is why Hobbs was taken over for war production work. Cant quite picture
> the shop in Tottenham making parts for Lancaster bombers.
> Be lucky Mick Butler Huntingdon UK
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