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Quick, T J

Posted: Thursday 04th June 2020

Author: Bryan Clarke

Tom Quick was an important post-war South London frame builder for which there is little written down. I found the following on Retro Bike posted in 2013 by his brother in Law which gives a potted history:

“Tom Quick my Brother in law retired and sold his shop in Forest Hill, South London but it did not last very long under the new owners.

Tom is now in his 80s and was building bikes for most of his working life, he built his first frame in the garden shed, took it to Holdsworths and asked them to check it over and they offered him a job as a frame builder so that was where he started.

He later set up on his own building frames in the back of the Don Louis shop in Dulwich Road then opened his own shop just a few doors down the road. He then moved to a workshop in Battersea followed by a move to Forest Hill, he also did other engineering works.

If you remember the “Goodies” on TV, Tom made the triplet that they use to ride.  Hope this is a little help for you, my son has one of the few mountain bikes he made.”

There is now no trace of his shop at 230 Stanstead Road Forest Hill as the row of shops have been cleverly converted into period town houses. I bought a small racing bike for one of my sons from him and he repaired a similar bike that belonged to my other son that had been in an accident.

Tom advertised in ‘The Bicycle’ from at least 1952 at 123 Dulwich Road (Don Louis premises) and moved to 109 Dulwich Road in 1953.

So far I can find no adverts for him from the 1960s in the Cycling press. The Norman Kilgarif website states that he built Holdsworth shop specials from around 1970 and those under the Roy Thame name from 1975 until 1995, he seems to have retired in 2000.

I am sure there are those out there who can give us further insight into Tom’s long career as a frame builder.

Neil Manning (Condor Cycles) adds the following:

I started working with Tom in ’87 straight out of school, someone left so I jumped at the chance and asked if he needed help. Everything on your site sounds about right.

From what Tom told me he used to race with Ron Cooper and Ron used to come round regularly to use the shot blast machine we had.
He also built cars in his time before moving to the Stanstead Road site. I remember about him working for Holdsworths, we made the Allez branded pannier racks for them even when I was there.

We also did trade work for the Holdsworth shop and Roy Thame – making new frames under their brand names. He also did work for other local shops, resprays and repairs.

Behind the shop was a workshop, but out of the rear of the building was a paint shed and a large workshop where we did metalwork. He employed a few people at some point, but when I was there it was just the three of us. We made all of the shoe racks for K-Shoes shops plus other assorted jobs like chimney breast supports, gas fire bases which had to be custom made and even high end light fittings for offices up in the city. It all supplemented the income as the shop was pretty quiet during the week.

We took orders on Saturdays and then worked on new frames and repairs/resprays during the week.

Tom was/is a genius with making things, we did everything including tandems, trikes, lo profile, BMX, he even invented his own bike that split in half to fit in the boot of a car. As a keen golfer he created his own electric golf trolley which we made for a while. If he couldn’t find a part he would just make it. I remember the local chrome platers ruined a pair of American classic car bumpers so we filled in the holes with plates and got them back to how they should look, it was such an interesting time with so many varied jobs.

Tom is doing well at 88 years old and still making things in his garage.

Thanks for reading

Posted: Thursday 04th June 2020

Author: Bryan Clarke

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