[CR]was harry Quinn; now Wales.


Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme:2002
From: "Norris Lockley" <Norris.Lockley@btopenworld.com>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Tue, 15 Jun 2004 23:11:52 +0100
Subject: [CR]was harry Quinn; now Wales.

In their earlier message Paul and Maureen Williams enquired about other frame-builders in Wales in addition to Harry Quinn. I'm glad they didn't use the adjective "Welsh" framebuilders because Harry was a "scouser" ie Liverpool bred from Irish stock, and he might not have appreciated his change of nationality.

Phhew! What a question! It feels like the last one on the "Who Wants to be a Millionaire" TV quiz.

Well.. for a start there was Reg Braddick down there in Cardiff, and Nelson Engineering not too far away. They were active through into the 90s. Then... if you count Deeside/Chester there was Dave Quinn.. possibly a relation to Harry, but different shops entirely. In very recent years and building some good road racing and time-trial frames in steel there was/is Dave(?) Bruce in the Swansea area as I recall. But the best known of all... and a real "hands-on" craftsman, was Tony Oliver who worked from the island of Anglesey, just off the NW tip of Wales. Tony was very active in the 80s through into the 90s and he built up a tremendous reputation for quality-built bronze-welded frames, the most talked about being his tandems and his randonneurs, although he built various other types as well. Based in the IT industry his framebuilding was largely, I understand, a hobby type business. It was very knowledge- based, with Tony expounding profusely about the advantages of an Ishiwata tube over a Columbus one for a given application. He was heavily into triple-butted tubing, and like my own frames, he would combine the products of various tube manufacturers into a frame. (For the record I am a GREAT believer in the merits of Columbus SL seat-stays!). There were no series frames with Tony just one-offs. He became regarded as the "guru" of frame-building... the oracle to be consulted. His belifs were strongly held to such an extent that he produced a manual encapsulating his theories. Although this book was in the inventory of my regional library I never managed to borrow a copy... perhaps they were the ones that were never returned.. and are now propped up on some grease laden frame-builder's bench somewhere.

Added to this list for a short while was Wes Mason (Ex MKM) who also bought a small farm in rural Wales after he had finished working as a consultant in fork-building to the Falcon company at Newtown. This factory also produced bikes in the 80/90s under the Coventry Eagle name, bought the rights to the Harry Quinn name ( see my earlier post)... and produced a top-of the-range frame/bike ( but not REALLY top-of-the-range!!!) bearing the name of Barry Hoban, the long time and very successful Pro rider and team mate of Poulidor at Mercier.. At that time Barry was in charge of sales for the company.

Britains largest retailer of bicycles, Halfords, used to have a factory in Wales as did a German company that manufactured bikes with the Saxon brand in the early 80s.

For the $1.000.000.. I will conclude with none other than Trevor Jarvis,, of Flying Gate fame.. based at Tenbury Wells, I think.

I must have missed out one or two backwoods builders and back-gardeen shed ones too, but that's all for now.

Norris Lockley... Settle. UK