Mark Stevens, Marque Enthusiast for Gillott
in the VCC
For more pictures and information see http://flickr.com/photos/makfreak and http://www.flickr.com/groups/1054380@N21/
Gillott Spear head on a very
small frame where the two lugs are blended into one.
|In the last years of the 1939-45 war Harry
Manager at A.S.Gillotts, was carefully planning
foresaw a big demand for cycles and wanted to be able to
the best. With this in mind, he was in contact with Jim
who was employed on war work at Woolwich Arsenal, Jim had
master framebuilder at Hobbs of Barbican before the war and was
desperate to escape the drudgery of working at the Arsenal.
the closing weeks of the war it became possible for Jim to leave as
long as he had another job to go to. As a result, the very
war ended in May 1945 Jim began framebuilding for Gillott at
Southampton Way, London. Harry had acquired some
tubes and lugs before the war so they were able to make about 20 frames
in the first year. As demand increased Harry took on more staff, always
monitoring employees by keeping a close eye on the quality of their
Bill Philbrook joined Gillotts in 1946, he was born in Sydenham and had
been employed at Buckleys of Forest Hill in the pre-war
years. Harry took on several other frame builders as
as a young apprentice called Ron Cooper.
Ron showed a natural aptitude
with the torch after being tutored by Bill and also by Len Hart who
specialized in fillet brazing and after a couple of years had taught
Ron the complex art of building bi-laminated frames.
Harry was expanding the business now as he had a 49% control which he
had negotiated with Arthur Gillott, who was in poor health at this
time. A G spent most of his time in the Brixton
Atlantic Avenue, the address that gave the name to Gillott’s
lugless model the L 'Atlantique. A third
opened in Portsmouth so Harry spent a lot of time on the road fetching
and delivering bikes and frames for repair as well as a weekly trip up
to Vaughans in Birmingham for lugs, brackets and braze-ons etc. Tubes
were from Accles and Pollock and Reynolds but A&P steerers were
always preferred for some reason.
Carrington (right) and Ron Cooper together again at the V-CC Family Day
Herne Hill Cycle Track in 2000 where Mark Steven's arranged an
outstanding display of Gillotts
Horace Tribe, taken in 1952. He
was the manager of Gillott's shop in Portsmouth. Also a
cyclist he was in the Gosport CC team which won the Catford 24 in that
Here is an image (by
of a 1948 Gillott Spear tapertube frame. The fork crown is
J B twin-plate named after Gillott worker Ron Brown.
The Spear lugs and the R J B fork crown were used until 1958
they were phased out. The taper seat and down tubes can be
in the image. These were brazed into a specially produced bottom
bracket shell which was designed to take the larger diameter tubes.
When the stocks of these special bottom brackets ran out
builders of taper tube frames took, out of necessity, to using brazed
(welded) construction for the bottom bracket.