Thanks (Re: [CR]Norris' report about the 1953 Ellis-Briggs "Superbe")

(Example: Events:Cirque du Cyclisme)

Date: Thu, 30 Mar 2006 09:39:26 -0800
Subject: Thanks (Re: [CR]Norris' report about the 1953 Ellis-Briggs "Superbe")
To: Doug Fattic <>
From: "Brandon Ives" <>
In-Reply-To: <>

Doug I need to say a public thanks for your memories. Over the years I had lamented the lack of real information about British bikes on the list. Because of you, Norris, and Mick's regular injections in the list the breadth and depth of information about British Isles bikes increases with each post. keep up the good work fellas, Brandon"monkeyman"Ives Vancouver, B.C.

On Wednesday, Mar 29, 2006, at 20:57 US/Pacific, Doug Fattic wrote:
> Dale asked several questions about the lugs used on Ellis Briggs
> frames like
> the one on eBay right now. Since I have had personal experience with
> them,
> I thought I should stop my busy work schedule long enough to write
> what I
> recall. The lug puncher that Norris described was a press with what I
> remember to have 17 different male and corresponding female dies. A
> handle
> activated the plunger that held these interchangeable dies with
> different
> patterns on the end which lined up with a same shaped hole that was
> placed
> on a round dole coming out of the body of the press at 90 degrees that
> held
> the lug. There was a typed set of steps in a protective cover next to
> the
> press that described in what order to punch out the blank lugs. I
> don't
> remember who made these lugs (Chater Lea?) but in know they weren't
> Haden
> nor Nervex that also made blank lugs (plain squared off ends without
> sculpted sides). I believe they were English made. Because Jack
> Briggs
> knew I liked cutting out patterns in blank lugs, he gave me most of
> the rest
> of the stash left over from the old days. These now are part of my
> inventory of lugs in my shop. They are what I use when I make a fancy
> cut
> out lugged frame.
> This tool got relegated to the paint room on the 2nd floor and I would
> play
> with it while eating lunch with Rodney and Bill the enamellers and
> Andrew
> the frame builder/apprentice. The windows overlooked the Leeds
> Liverpool
> canal. On the first and second frames I made there, I used one of the
> dies
> to punch out a pattern on the side of my Prugnat lugs. This pattern I
> used
> is not on the Suberbe model frame Hillary is selling but is on the more
> elaborate International model. I remember it was hard to position the
> lug
> just right because it was hard to see where the punch actually landed.
> It
> had been damaged some and one or two of the dies were either lost or
> broken
> in 1975. I remember looking for it when I was there the last time in
> 2000.
> I took my daughter to see the place I learned to build frames when we
> were
> coming back from Ukraine. By that time it had been scraped to who
> knows
> where. I felt a bit of loss with it gone. I remember one other time
> when I
> visited after I was there and thinking how could I get this thing to
> the
> states?
> I think that device represented a cleverness that Briggs frames had.
> Quite
> a bit of engineering and thought went into making a distinctive
> pattern in a
> cost effective manner. It was a unique design unlike the thousands of
> frames made with Nervex Pro (including some E-B frames) lugs. It does
> not
> represent to me a short cut or cheap way of doing something fancy but
> rather
> ingeniously. It was a significant outlay of capital to make nice
> frames
> better. In a small way, this example illustrates whey I have always
> been
> extremely thankful to have been able to learn at Ellis Briggs. They
> had/have a very nice system with excellent tooling for frame building
> and I
> was very fortunate to have started under people that not only made
> very good
> frames but were very good people themselves. My timing was right
> because
> Richard Sachs still has his rejection letter (as I still have my
> acceptance
> letter) from them. Fortunate indeed my request came just a little
> later.
> My memory is not the best but what I do recall Jack telling me is that
> it
> was Jack Brigg's father that started the business in 1934 with Mr.
> Ellis and
> Jack began building in 1938. Briggs had two sons that still own the
> place
> and the younger one is named Paul (not Peter). In 2000, Jack's wife
> would
> still stop in to see how things were going in the store. Jack died
> Christmas time in 1999.
> Remembrances of cycling around that area including on the moors will
> have to
> wait for another time. It is not like southwest Michigan. It is very
> nice
> country but not a place tourists go. My thanks to Derek Davis of
> Phoenix,
> AZ who mentioned this listing to this list today. He was the one
> American I
> saw at Briggs when I was there in 1975 when he came up to pick up his
> frame.
> Doug Fattic
> Niles, Michigan (but for a time lived in Esholt while working in
> Shipley
> which is 3 miles from Bradford which is near Leeds, West Yorkshire, UK