Finally on the road, here is my 1937 Bates.
The short take: It rides wonderfully. Its responsive when you step on it, feels quick without being harsh, and its incredibly lightweight.
The longer story: After many years of searching for a Bates in my size I finally found my quarry on eBay and scored it for what I would consider an excellent value. Just the frame and fork and as is apparent, not original paint. Happily the serials on the fork and frame match and correspond to being constructed pre-war, most likely around 1937. I don't have the sense that anything was added to this frame after its initial construction although anything is possible… there is a cable stop on the chain stay, ostensibly for a derailleur or possibly even an IGH, and stops on the top tube for the rear brake.
Obviously everything about this build is completely wrong. The component group is pat. '72 Campagnolo NR with lo-flange Campagnolo hubs laced to Rigida rims. Bars/Stem are Cinelli, Lyotard Berthet pedals, and top it off with some Weinmann centerpulls. All wrong. But in a way it feels so right.
This isn't the final solution for this frame. It will no doubt undergo a major change in components, likely over the winter. This is mainly a proof of concept that I can build it up with modern (by 1937 standards) parts, and that it fits well and I like the ride. So far i'm hitting on all points.