Classic Lightweights UK
Author Bryan Clarke
From a personal point of view my in-laws owned the pet shop just round the corner in Boleyn Road that was purchased a few years earlier than Jack’s shop. They always referred to him as ‘Jack Bagley’, probably the only ones to do so! My wife and her sister remember the smell of leather from the many boxes of cycling shoes mixed with that of rubber from the tyres behind the counter where Jack was often building or truing wheels.
These premises and the surrounding streets were built
in the mid 19th century and Jack’s shop had old wooden
shutters up at the windows held in place by a locked metal bar(s). I
believe these were never opened as there were probably no glass windows
behind them, so that the only natural light came from the open shop
For many years the local council had had their eye on this area for demolition and redevelopment and the axe finally came down in 1973, the year that Jack died.
Some regulars to Jack’s shop are surprised that he had bike frames made under his own name. I had seen two in 25 years, both very similar with Nervex Pro lugs. One was too small for me and one restored without head/seat decals. However, another such frame in original condition came to light about three years ago unbeknown to me, rescued it seems from a skip in the West Country. The owner very kindly let me purchase it from him recently. I think it was made in the early 1960s and has now been built up to reflect this. The down tube logo, bands and initials of the original owner’s cycle club ‘HHCC ‘are the work of a sign writer (see images below). I guess the initials refer to the Harold Hill Cycle Club.
Your memories, information and photos would be a welcome addition - Bryan.Bernard Howard ex `Avenue CRC` responds very quickly:
Another blast from the past. Jack`s was a regular
trip in 1951 for us hard up cyclists from Romford. As
you said the shop was `very basic`, not a lot of stock, from memory a
good selection of second-hand goodies mainly in the back room part of
the shop, I think the front part was bare. A good
meeting place for the boys, some coming from far and wide, I
remember meeting there some of the boys from the `Vitesse` of
Chelmsford. I am certain that on one visit there I rode
there on one bike, exchanged frames with Jack, reassembled it outside
and rode home on the `new` one possibly the CNC that I once
had. Don`t remember Jack having his own frames at the time,
that must have come later. Keep up the good work.
Bryan's Baguley built up to how it might have looked in the early 1960s, early Brooks professional saddle, Campag Record seat pin,
GB Maes bars and alloy spearpoint stem, Fiamme Sprints on Campag Gran Sport hubs, Mafac Racer brakes and Silca pump.
Close-up showing Mafac Racer brakes, GB bars and stem and 1960s bottle cage
Close-up of transmission, 5 speed block, Campagnolo Gran Sport rear mech, Record front mech, Campagnolo Record pedals,
Campagnolo early Record chainset (151BCD) 49/46 rings, Regina chain.
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