Posted: Tuesday 02nd June 2020
Jim Broome was not untypical of many of his era as a skilled builder of quality frames for a mainly local clientele. He carried on his business initially in parallel with his day job as a Post Office Telecommunications worker.
Jim was born on Christmas Day 1916 and lived to 64. He began business in a small shop in Tatton Street, Salford, in which his wife served in the shop while he carried on the tasks of frame repairs and building in a back room workshop. This was apparently no mass production process with brazing hearths and complex jigs and fixtures. Frames were assembled from Reynolds 531 with the aid of an acetylene torch for brazing. It seems that about 200 frames were his total output (mine is No 191).
In later years Jim gave up his day job and opened larger premises at 169/171 Regent Road, Salford.
These were close enough to the Coronation Street TV set to require some of Jim’s stock in trade as props. His interest in amateur dramatics drew him in with a non-speaking part in the popular soap and another TV production. The shop closed in the late 1960’s and the area was subsequently comprehensively redeveloped. Below is the scan of an advert for ‘Jim Broome of Salford’ at his Regent Road address as published in Sporting Cyclist of June 1964. It lists his ‘531 Special’ with Campag front and rear ends at 16 Gns (£16 16s). Vertical drop-outs are £1 3s 6d extra.
Jim Broome had been a member of the Stretford Wheelers from the 1930’s and was highly regarded, eventually becoming an official of the Manchester District Time Trial Association. Many of his machines bore conventional head and seat tube transfers with the maker’s initials and shop address on a shield and scroll design. These were complemented by ‘Jim Broome’ in bold white script on the down tube sides and repeated much smaller on each chain stay behind the bottom bracket.