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Classic Lightweights UK
Classic Frame Builders  
 

W & R Baines - builders of the famous Flying Gate

Derek Kitchener and Peter Underwood


Derek's love affair with Baines started in 1946 with an all chrome VS 37.  

The history of Baines is rather thin as the frame book was thrown away in the move from Eccleshill.  According to Dave Murgatryde who knew the brothers, the frame numbers did not always run in sequence.  

Many wartime frames were lugless as the special lugs were not available.  During 1940-1945 Baines were officially on war work but some frames were built and came out of the backdoor.  In Derek's opinion the best frame was the VS 37 which had a 37.5 wheelbas.  He has two of these: a beautiful 1937 track frame and a nice postwar version.

The International TT has a longer wheelbase to accomodate a rear changer.  The VS38 was unusual in having the gate configuration but with only one set of seatstays and was only made for a short time.

The gate design first appeared in Cycling in 1936 and proved popular.  The lugs were neat but not flashy. The longer wheelbase TT model appeared around 1937 when Jack Fancourt won the Isle of Man mass start race.

A pre-war Baines catalogue lists the V38 as a 'road' and 'TT' model and the VS37 (With additional light struts or stays) as a 'road' or 'track' model.  Both of these frames gave an ultra short-wheelbase.  It also listed the following conventional  frames: WRB Path-Track model (£6 15s 0d);  WRB Continental Championship model (£6 7s 6d);  WRB Valkenburg Continental (£5 10s 0d); 'Eccolite' (£5 5s 0d) and the WRB Westfield (£4 19s 6d).

Post-war the only model available was designated the Whirlwind, which offered a choice of wheelbase, and the production of which ceased in 1952.   In 1979 the rights to produce this frame were bought by Trevor Jarvis who produced it as the Trevor Jarvis Flying Gate. Trevor produced brazed frames which were then fitted with ornamental bi-laminated lugs.

Trevor has now become the Marque Enthusiast for the Veteran-Cycle Club and is in the process of updating the Baines register and  would be pleased to hear from anyone who has a W.R.Baines frame or bike including those who may know they are already on the register to contact him, or if you know of someone who has Baines would you please let him know or ask them to contact him. The more information I have is useful in putting this register together.
 
Trevor tells us :
"The W.R.Baines record books unfortunately were destroyed when the company closed and it is proving difficult to establish a good comprehensive register.  Frame numbers and any bills of sale or an approximate date for when the frame was purchased through family connections, etc. would also be most helpful.
I will look forward to your replies.
Trevor Jarvis.  1 Northwich Cottage.   Rhyse Lane.  Tenbury Wells. Worc, WR158NH.
Tel; 01584 811451  or email; jarvistandp(at)aol.com

As I am now passed the age of 75 it is time to think about the continued build of the “Flying Gate” hence a young frame builder, Jeremy Cartwright, has joined the company to take on the building of the frames and to see that the company (T.J.Cycles) progresses.  I will still continue to build and be involved for as long as it is practical.

Jeremy is fast learning the trade and doing many restorations of old classic lightweights in a new workshop with new precision frame building jigs, large surface table, shot blasting cabinet and all the rest of the tools associated with frame building, the company will also offer a nickel and chrome plating service for parts as well as for the frames.

The new address and contact numbers will be announced shortly, but will be updated on the web site:-  www.tjcycles.co.uk    in the mean time the above address can still be used and details of current production are on the website.   27 December 2009." 

 

Baines Flying Gate

1938 Baines Gate VS 37 complete with period components.
 
It is fitted with Highgate Bars; a swan neck stem and a headclip headset; Chater chainset & Chater 'tommy-bar' pedals; Wheels are Tabucchi sprints on Chater hubs. At the moment the brake is an 'out of period' Universal, with a GB lever.











 

 

Baines Flying Gate 1939


1939 Baines Flying Gate VS 37 with Sturmey Archer K type rear hub and early 50's trigger;
Williams chainset; GB Hiduminium brakes with early pattern GB levers;  Pellisier bars;
26" Alumlite rims; Wrights saddle; Lyotard pedals and Atom front hub









Whitaker & Mapplebeck Flying Gate 1950sA Flying Gate built for Bill Baines by Whittaker & Mapplebeck in the 1950s.  There is a story that Bill Baines had decided to stop production of the Gate due to lack of orders when according to Sod's Law he received an order for six from USA.  W & M stepped into the breach and built the frames, identifiable by left hand lamp brackets on the forks.   With the frame components left over they made a few more which were sold in the UK.  The transfers were W & M as shown on this frame.  Both companies were situated in Bradford UK.  Johnie Mapplebeck has confirmed that they built some Gates but he cannot pinpoint the date.



Right is an image of the head lugs, down tube transfer and head transfer on a Baines, believed 1937, frame number 343. 

This frame has track ends and the round fork blades so popular on track frames.  Derek says it has the best lugs that he has seen.

It may seem strange that this track frame has brazed-on pump pegs but many frames in this era were used primarily for time-trials and had most unlikely braze-ons.
Baines DK s






For more information on Baines see Hilary Stone's Classic Designs > Baines