[CR] Info on G.Brooks, D.Davey & C.Butler Pt.1

(Example: Framebuilding:Brazing Technique)

Date: 22 Aug 2004 08:15:46 -0700
From: "Michael Butler" <allondon@rock.com>
To: classicrendezvous@bikelist.org
Subject: [CR] Info on G.Brooks, D.Davey & C.Butler Pt.1

Have enclosed a letter on George Brooks and other lightweight makers which may be of interest. The first contact I had with George Brooks was in the early 1930's he was manager of G.A.cycles whose premises were situated in Downhills Parade, Great Cambridge Road, London N.17. The business was owned by an accountant named either George or Gerald Astbury, who inherited upon his fathers' death. It was just a bicycle repair shop then, Astbury changed its function. I understand he was very interested in cycling as a sport. My wife's first bicycle was a G.A. sold to her by George Brooks in the early 30's, she rode with a local club called the North Eastern Wheelers. She was only 4ft. 11ins. in height and very petite, the machine he sold her was 21" with a top tube length of 22" plus, with all things a 2" inch handlebar extension! She was spread out like a drying kipper when riding! I came on the scene shortly after her purchase and pointed out to her the, to me obvious errors. Her reply was that George had it made especially for her so it must be right. Fortunately, I was able to convince her how wrong the machine was for her and she agreed to let me put things right. George brooks was a real "ladies" man, but he did me a very good turn. Mollie my wife,and I courted from 1932, were married in 1939 and then had 52 years together until she died in 1992. she was a natural on a bicycle and we covered many thousands of miles both home and abroad, but not on that G.A. I hope you will excuse my diversion. Now back to George Brooks, he continued with G.A's for some years and left them to take over the management of Claud Butlers shop in Harringay, London, N.4. He was very popular there for some years, then he left Claud's to take over the business of Dave Davey another ex manager of Claud Butlers who left to start another lightweight outlet also in Harringay, at Wordsworth Parade, N.4. about a mile from Claud's shop. Dave Davey ceased business to take a job in an engineering firm, where tragically a structure fell on him and left him crippled. George Brooks put the shop in his name and traded there, again for some years when he sold up to got to the Bristol area. His old London premises now deal in computers. George told me himself that he was taking over a newsagents and tobacconists but at a recent luncheon I attended I met Joe Whisker ( Whiskers of Cuffley) and asked him what he knew of George Brooks, and he was quite certain that George opened up another bicycle business in Bristol, so perhaps he changed the premises to accommodate that. So far as I know George never built his own machines perhaps Wally Green built for him I have heard his name mentioned but am not certain this is true.