I thought while I was in the mood I would continue strolling down memory lane.
My own CS frame was built by Bill Gray, we used to visit his workshop regularly and to a cycling mad teenager an absolute treasure house. As well as his fine racing frames, I was lucky enough to aquire one of his track frames also, he built novelty bikes for circus and stage performers. The type that steer the wrong way and mini bikes and uni-cycles. I did not know until much later but my brother owned a Bill Gray built Cycle Speedway bike. The scene was quite strong in the early Sixties, my brother rode for the Beckenham Monarchs, Beckenham being not a million miles from Wandsworth it all made perfect sense. I remember it was all chrome with a single low ratio freewheel, perfect for dirt tracking which is what I used it for. I am sure such a bike from that era is now a rarity. I would dearly love to still own the three BG's that have passed through my hands.
The service car bike rack mentioned in an earlier posting was designed and built by Alec at the Orpington shop. It was a modern miracle of engineering and featured Campagnolo drop outs; I had a little hand in its construction and certainly witnessed much colourful language when fitting it to the afformentioned Ford Zodiac. The vehicle certainly generated much interest, especially when being driven round the South Circular. Alec and I were talking about it earlier this year, the whole hingeing mechanism was quite ingenious and the forerunner of what you see on team cars now; though I suspect they are not constructed on a driveway with a fourteen year old wielding a brazing torch. health and Safety inspectors would have had a field day. That and heating up baked beans with oxy-acetylene would in this modern age have had us closed down.
Alecs frame building was very good, his eye for detail especially so; the sacrifice of course is speed and then as now people wanted their frames by yesterday which irritated the life out of Alec and made him slower. There is one on the Fixed Gear Gallery, but I am not sure it is one of his even though the transfers are correct. The relatively small number of frames built mean that both Clive Stuart and and Ken/Alec Bird frames have been somewhat overshadowed by other makes. This is a great shame because at the top of their game bikes were built to rival anything coming out of Italy.
One last thing I don't think I have seen it posted but John Clary achieved, if that is the right word, the Lanterne Rouge riding a Clive Stuart.
I will rack my brains and try and remember some other sippets.