[CR] Tom Board Frame builder

Example: Framebuilders:Alberto Masi

From: "Mick Butler" <pariscyclesuk@hotmail.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR] Tom Board Frame builder
Date: Sat, 24 Apr 2004 19:07:48 +0000

Here is a little more on Tom Board master frame builder. Hopefully this will fill in a few of the gaps and add to our knowledge of this master craftsman. Tom started work in the cycle industry in 1949 at Paris Cycles in Stoke Newington London. Paris Cycles was owned by Harry (spanner) Rensch and was famous for building "continental style" road racing frames and the unorthodox Galibier. He started work there as as a lug and frame filer that's how most frame builders started. Doing the small jobs for other frame builders. After a year or so he built his own frame as a test exercise. It was nothing fancy, just the standard Paris lugless club frame. The frame was okay so I started on full time building. Tom was with Paris's until they closed in the early 50's. After the closure he went to work at Macleans in Islington which is only a couple of miles away. Macleans was a long established maker and, unlike Paris Cycles whose frames were adored by the "rebel" cyclists of the League. Macleans concentrated on making touring and time trialing frames.Tom and his fellow work mates with the exception of the senior builder, spent all their time building standard "club" frames. A very repititive poorly paid job. So when Macleans finally closed in the early 60's most of the builders left the cycle trade and went to work in better paid jobs as postmen. Preferring to stay in the trade Tom went to work for F.W.Evans in Kennington. Evans then was a highly respected cycle shop. The founder was Fred Evans former editor of Cycling and in Tom's words "was probably the most inventive frame maker of his time". When Mr.. Evans died the shop was bought by Joe Smith the former accounts manager at Macleans cycles. It was he who employed Tom to revive the tradition of building high quality frames on the premises. The basement of the shop then still held stocks of pre-war Reynolds and Chromo tubing as well as fred Evans personal frame building jig (which Tom still uses to this day). This begun his career with Evans. He worked at the Kennington shop until 1971 when he decided to branch out on his own. Next he rented a workshop behind Pat Hanlon's bike shop in Tottenham and began building frames for Pat and one other prestigeous shop, Condor Cycles. To be continued.