Early '70's Clive Stuart ANYONE...?
Does anybody have info on the Clive Stuart brand of bicycles???
I have one from the very early '70's and cannot find info on them. The unusual part is the 531 sticker combined with stamped steel drop outs.
Any leads to C.S. history would be greatly appreciated!
I worked at Clive Stuart Cycles in Catford
Having worked at Clive Stuart Cycles almost from the start until the company finished I have first-hand knowledge of this short-lived company. (I cannot remember the exact dates of trading)
Prior to working at Clive Stuarts I worked for Hinds Cycles of Lewisham which was closing down, I already knew Ken Bird and contacted him about a job at Clive Stuarts in Catford the main branch, who had just opened and started almost straight away.
The business was owned by brothers Clive and Stuart Biddulph hence the name, a couple of young entrepreneurs of which Clive (who used to visit in his Rolls Royce!) was the one with a cycling interest.
Ken Bird did not build frames he was a mechanic and wheel-builder like myself, but was the manager of the Catford branch, I then became assistant manager although for most of the time I was the only person in the shop!
There were two other shops if I remember correctly Stoke-on-Trent and Welling in Kent the Stoke on Trent shop was bought by Brian Rourke who is still in business and the Welling shop was bought by Ken and Alec Bird (it was Alec who built frames not Ken). Ken Bird died a few years ago I do not know any more about Alec Bird, all I do remember is how much the two of them argued!
Clive Stuarts did have a racing team with Ken Bird as the manager, I remember Reg Barnett as one of the riders I believe Geoff Wyles may have been another. The team colours were Canary Yellow and Black with a logo that represented a spinning wheel and arrows going outwards.
I have no idea why the shops closed apart from the Biddulph brother running out of money probably due to the expense of running a professional cycling team and not enough money coming into the business.
When Clive Stuarts closed I then went and worked at The Holdsworthy Co. which from the description of your frame is probably where it was made if it does not have Campagnolo fork ends. The Holdsworthy Co. made all of the cheaper Clive Stuart Cycles which had plain plate fork ends and possibly a three digit frame number, although I do not believe any were exported so cannot think how it got to the USA! The bikes were supplied complete to Clive Stuarts and our only involvement was to check the bikes ready for sale. The equipment was basic Campagnolo Equipe gears probably with Weinmann centre pull brakes alloy screw on hubs, 27" x 1 1/4" steel rims, Dunlop Tyres steel plain seat post, steel Williams chainset and Brooks saddle
For information Holdsworthy also made Claud Butler,Holdsworth and Freddie Grubb cycles although the separate Holdsworth shops which were not owned by Holdsworthy also built their own bikes.
I worked for The Holdsworthy Co. for several years but sadly they also closed. I never worked another cycle company and chose a career in computers instead!
Hope this all of use to somebody.