Date: Thu, 15 Sep 2005 00:47:36 +0100 From: "Norris Lockley" <email@example.com> To: <Classicrendezvous@bikelist.org> Subject: [CR]Nigel Land's Bird-Bourne frame Message-ID: <006301c5b986$af81c200$b1344f51@norris> Content-Type: text/plain;charset="iso-8859-1" MIME-Version: 1.0 Precedence: list Message: 16
Now here's a long-shot at working out this frame..although I have never heard of the brand
There is a town in Lincolnshire, UK, called Bourne I think. I know that there was a family of cycle-shop owners/frame-builders called Bird who lived in Kent - there being both Alec, and Ken, who died unfortunately earlier this year. Perhaps there had been a father or a grandfather who had been in the trade in Lincolnshire at some time or other.
If you take the name Bird and attach it by a hyphen to the town Bourne, giving the term BIRD-BOURNE, it creates quite an attractive name that has quite a lightweight feel about it. Remember Bluemels "Featherweight"
mudguards and pumps?
That's just about as far as I am prepared to push the bounds of incredulity tonight.
Norris Lockley...it must have been something I drank..Settle, UK
Norris, thanks for the flight of fancy, which was remarkably close to the truth. I had the luck to hear from the original owner, Len Levesley, just this morning. He is now 90 and in 1937 was working at a small bike shop in Colindale, NW London, run by Jim Bird, who had worked previously at the Ordnance factory in London and lost a leg in 1936. Len persuaded Jim to start catering for the lightweight trade and contracted Metropolitan Machinists to build made-to-measure frames. They were, at the time, building for Claud Butler and Holdsworth. Jim's business partner was Fred Collingbourne and Len coined the name Bird-Bourne for the lightweights to give a similar ring as Rolls-Royce! Len believes there were only four bikes built before he joined the RAF and probably none after that. Mine is the first one, made in 1937 and kept by Len. He sold it in 1990 and I bought it from the second owner.The only odd feature is the Favorit brake levers, which are teamed up with Monitor cable operated brakes. The alloy Bailey bars, Conloys on Blumfield hubs and Williams chainset are all as original. The original transfers were lost during refinishing by Bob Jacksons and unless I find Nos 2, 3 or 4, will be impossible to replicate. Bird-Bourne must be the smallest run of lightweights in record, or?