[CR]Denton Cycles, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Example: Framebuilders:Alex Singer

From: "Norris Lockley" <norris@norrislockley.wanadoo.co.uk>
To: <classicrendezvous@bikelist.org>
Date: Wed, 24 May 2006 01:49:24 +0100
Subject: [CR]Denton Cycles, Newcastle-upon-Tyne

I think this response to Chris Wright's enquiry about his recently -acquired Denton frame is going to be something of a double-edged sword.

Denton Cycles was owned in its later years, certainly from the early 70s onwards, by Colin Davidson, a very "mean", racing man who, like so many other keen sportsmen, wanted to turn his hobby into his living. Presumably he bought an established business from a "Mr Denton"

His shop was a Mecca for the local club and racing lads, and his frames were well known in the NW of the UK and into the Scottish Borders. His road frames often had a large "D" engraved into the fork-crown. As to who built them for the shop, I could not be sure. Certainly there were several jobbing builders in the north who built for other lightweight shops, and there were also the likes of Bob Jackson, possibly MKM, who did trade OEM frames. In the early 80s Colin asked me to supply his frames, probably because at that time I was building quite a lot of my own "Bespoke" frames for riders in his neck of tghe woods. From my conversations with Colin, he never built his own frames.

Unfortunately for Colin, in the late 80s a very large lightweight shop, and competitor, opend up in Newcastle, and made in-roads into Colin's customer base, but he continued to trade, presumably comfortably enough until a redevelopment scheme in Colin's part of the city, not too far from the centre, needed to pass a much wider road right through Colin's showroom. It appears that Denton Cycles were forced to close down at that site..and rumours are that Colin took the opportunity to get back on his racing bike..in the Veteran category..and is in serious training again. I will check to see if he relocated.

As for Chris' frame, it looks nothing like any Denton that I ever saw...but I have never seen a 1950s Denton. Clearly the frame appears to be of excellent quality..someone has taken the time to modify the Nervex Pro headlugs..etc etc.

The thing about it that really attracts my attention is the very stylised full wrap-over top-eyes, a feature that often acts as a builder's type of "trade-mark". I have seen this type before..have admired it.. but cannot place it accurately. I thought it might be an E.A.Boult..but I don't think so now. It looks a bit like a Urago-style from the 50s...

I know I have one like it somewhere in my collection..and it will just be a matter of time before I find it. So keep your fingers crossed, Chris. Do you think you could email a close-up photo of it? Meanwhile I will talk to my local "experts" up in Newcastle.

Norris Lockley...settle, UK