A F Weaver (The Glade) - 1936
Posted: Wednesday 12th August 2020
20¾ inch. Un-numbered frame built in circa 1936.This is a short distance time-trial (racing) machine and weighs in at a light 16 ¾ lbs
A complete machine with exotic period components to complement this astonishingly well crafted frame, it was built by Archie Weaver, a master craftsman, for his own use and remained with him and later his son, until the ends of their lives. This is believed to be a unique cycle, certainly no other example like this is known to exist. A.F.Weaver had a cycle shop at 597 Leyton High Street in Leytonstone East London
How long owned: First time in about 1999 and then again in 2006.
How was it acquired:
I have owned this machine two times and have thus doubled the pleasure by acquiring it twice. John Malseed “found” it originally on the death of Archie Weaver‘s son Brian who was killed whilst racing. It originally came with Weaver’s own tricycle as well. Mervyn Cook owned it for some years in the middle of this period but later sold it back to me .
The Features that make it special:
This truly is one of those perfect frames. Delicate is the word that best describes the finesse of workmanship shown in this frame. It is precision lug filing at its very finest and really is a work of art. It has survived with its original finish which is an unusual blue and silver. There are numerous chips to the paintwork but it is my intention to do a meticulous touch up job in the near future.
The single front brake (see image below) is an early version of the Ambra Superga: note the leaf-spring in it. These were Italian brakes imported into Britain by Tabucchi of East Sheen, one of the major Continental cycling equipment importers of the day. Note the hand-made brake lever held to the bars by a spoke and nipple.
This machine is a treasure-trove of rare and very light components. Note the pre-war version of Duprat octagon shaped hollow cranks with the makers marks engraved down the rear and hollow BB axle and alloy chainring. It has a matched very light Weaver stem and alloy head clip. This cycle reflects the machining capabilities of Archie Weaver. It has many unique bolts made of alloy including even the back axle!
When originally found the rims were 26” Fiamme sprints but Mervyn Cook felt that they were a little too fragile and replaced these with period 26″ Constrictor sprints.
Note the Cyclo Oppy toe-clips and the bell (above) which has a machined alloy dome and components within it, surely all done by Archie. All time-trialists had to carry a bell at that time.
Anything else: Although the frame is a A.F. Weaver, the name that appeared over the shop front, the head-badge states “The Glade”, which almost certainly refers to the nearby Glade Cycling Club. Archie is known to have had associations with both The Glade and the also nearby Glendene CC which have (or had?) the Weaver Trophy.
This head badge shows the 32nd milestone on the A11 (the main road out of London to Norwich) which was the centre for sporting cyclists for many years, the milestone is still there!
A further final note: when Rene Menzies made his successful attempt to break the annual mileage record in 1937 he started his ride on a Weaver cycle.