Posted: Tuesday 02nd June 2020
Phil Easton owns a frame with some interesting history. It was one of Claud Butler’s attempts to relaunch himself, financed by Evelyn Hamilton with whom he had been ‘very friendly’ over the years. She had ridden for him in the thirties before she rode her own machines and had sold machines in her own name at Streatham in London, which I guess could have been made for her by C B. In the late 50s C B had got into financial difficulties over unpaid tax bills and gone into receivership. He then attempted to launch ‘The New Claud’ backed by Evelyn Hamilton’s money in the winter of 1959/60. The Official Receiver had sold three of C B’s logos and badges, hence the ‘Hamilton Butler’ and ‘New Claud’ transfers. There was some controversy over his continued use of a CB head transfer.
This frame is believed to be a 1958/59 Hamilton-Butler “The New Claud”. Phil thinks the “Old Claud” made better frames. Be that as it may, it is a bit of an interesting “end of a era” relic which Phil intends to keep in ‘as is’ condition.
As can be seen from the image on the left, the quality of the lugwork is not what one would have expected from Claud Butler at his best.
As he would have lost his frame-building equipment and staff by then it is assumed that the frames were made by another builder.
It is said that there was an initial order from Claud which was paid for – but a larger subsequent order went unpaid, so that was the end of the venture. To date we haven’t established who built these frames but have been told that it wasn’t Wally Green.
Evelyn Hamilton later retired to Swaffham in Norfolk, where she became a local councillor. She died in 2005. Evelyn told her local paper (The Thetford and Watton Times – August 19th, 1983) that during the war she worked at a restaurant in Paris and colluded with the French Resistance by passing on information and transcribing documents. There is a fascinating and visually informative photo album of Evelyn Hamilton at: