Geoff Clark - 1952/3
Posted: Thursday 13th August 2020
|Frame||Geoff Clark frame No. 142 built with Oscar Egg lugs; Seat tube 21", top tube 21". Origionally it had a Cyclo dropout with a gear hanger, but Don Berry who was the 2nd owner ( He gave it to me) used it for cyclo cross, and he cut the gear hanger off to use Campag with a bolt on hanger.|
|Wheels||Wheels - Mavic wired-on rims on Campag large-flange Q/R hubs
( Fiamme sprints on Airlite small-flange Q/R when displaying)
|Chainset||Stronglight 49D 165 double with T.A. criterium 50/44 rings|
|Pedals||Campag Gran Sport with Christophe alloy clips and Binda straps|
|Gears||Campag Nuovo Record rear, early record front with handlebar end controls.
( Campag Gran Sport rear and Matchbox front when displaying)
|Stem/Bars||Cinelli steel stem/engraved "Giro" bars|
|Saddle||Early Brooks Professional on 2-bolt Campag 27.0 seatpin|
|Extra Details||Bottle cages--Vit downtube and handlebar fitting, Pennine CO2 pump on brazed on boss.|
The early frames were built by a chap called Sunter who learned his craft from Jack Briggs of Ellis Briggs. Because Geoff Clark was one of the top B.L.R.C. riders (He was one of the 14 founder members of the “League in 1943) many of the local “League” boys rode his frames. Phil Ellison used this frame to win the Telegraph & Argus sponsored 3-Day Race in 1955 and also used it to win the Yorkshire “Div” Champs, before turning Independant for Ellis Briggs.
Phil Ellison who had the frame built says he started racing on the frame when he was a junior i.e.sixteen years old. This would be in 1953, and he remembers Geoff and his frame builder working on the frame over the winter of 1952/3. This makes me wonder if the frame no.142 means the 14th frame built in the year of 1952. I have re-searched Geoffs racing career, and in the 1950 Brighton to Glasgow stage race, his profession is given as Automobile Electrician, so the earliest he could have set up his cycle shop must have been 1951? It is proving very hard to find anyone who knows the exact date,
Geoff Clark was, apart from being one of the pioneers of the “League”, one of the best riders of his era. He was one of the competitors in the 1st road race to be run on open roads in England. The Llangollen to Wolverhampton in 1942 and was the winner of the 1948 Brighton – to Glasgow. He would have won the Tour of Poland but crashed badly whilst wearing the leaders jersey with 2 days remaining.
According to Ken Russell, Geoff was natural stage rider who got stonger the longer the race went on. Off the bike he was a gentle caring person, he is in now, in his late 80s.