SJH

Vintage, yesteryear and retro biking

SJH

Postby PLANEIMAGES » Mon Feb 23, 2009 6:05 pm

Does anyone have a full history of SJH cycles?

I know the shop was in Parramatta and that the owner of another large shop in Parramatta apparently owns the name.

I have owned an SJH, which my parents bought for me from a racer who lived in the Haberfield are circa 1950 when I was 10 years old. The frame number is 1397.

Thus I have owned the beautiful machine for nearly 60 years. The rear wheel had a double free-wheel hub on one side and a fixed wheel on the other. I think she had brakes but I can remember a frightening header when the fixed wheel wasn't enough to hold her down the hill on Gilba Road.

There were no derailleurs fitted, so the ratios had to be changed according to the type of ride.

I was "king of the kids" in the Girraween and Five Dock areas. Then I rode from Fairbairn RAAF station to Duntroon Public School for 3 months on and off in early 1953 when we lived on the base.

We moved to Townsville (Garbutt RAAF) in 1955 and lived there for another 4 months.

Blaxland in the the Blue Mountains became our home until about 1964. By that time I had moved into cars.

The SJH was laid up on the wall of a shed at my Grandfather's house at Five Dock and the alloy rims died.

In circa 1977, Kevin Pascoe rebuilt the SJH for me with good gear which was as close to original as possible.

The frame was painted black with gold pin-striping. We had some John Player Team Lotus stickers from my time in England and Europe so these were worked into the design. Even the guys at Club Lotus accepted her as an associate member at a motorkhana.

She has a 10 speed derailleur set up, alloy cranks and chain-wheel, alloy bars and stem, alloy side-pull brakes, alloy 28" wheels with, yes, butterfly nuts on the axles. I believe this is very "retro".

I rode her on and off but, again, stored her in the garage at home but this time took steps to preserve the machine.

This week I fitted some new 27" tyres with French-valve tubes and polished the aluminium rims and hubs.

What a joy to ride.

I look forward to hearing from anyone who knows about SJHs.

Photos when I am allowed to post.

:D
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by BNA » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:43 pm

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Postby Kev365428 » Mon Feb 23, 2009 8:43 pm

I have moved this thread to the Retro section where it is more suited.

I certainly look forward to see some pics when your able PLANEIMAGES.

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Postby 531db » Mon Feb 23, 2009 10:22 pm

Kid Carbine - you have been called :!: ............. :D
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Postby cludence » Tue Feb 24, 2009 11:26 am

I am currently having a tantrum, it is my dream to find a SJH roadie one day. I'm jealous!

Wheres the pics, looking forward to seeing it.
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SJH Pix

Postby PLANEIMAGES » Tue Feb 24, 2009 6:52 pm

Pix will be posted as soon as the system allows.
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Postby Kev365428 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:02 pm

Pix of the SJH as promised.

Settle down now Karen.

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SJH

Postby PLANEIMAGES » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:04 pm

Wow, that was quick, thanks Kev.
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Postby Kev365428 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 7:17 pm

I'm here to please. :D

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Postby cludence » Tue Feb 24, 2009 8:31 pm

Thanks for the pics. The bike is stunning. Definately worth bringing along to the upcoming retro ride/get together at Homebush.

Karen.
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:21 pm

Ahhh, the lovely SJH.

It would seem that the current owner of the name was a personal friend of Bob Jones [the last owner of SJH, circa early 50's to about 1984] from when he was a kid untill Bob's death in 1984.
Ownership of the business & all its assets passed to the current owner when Bob passed away. While the two bike shops had technicaly been business rivals, the two families were near lifelong friends.

My stepfather rode & raced SJH bikes with the Penrith cycle club during the 1930's & early 40's.
My first bike was one of his hand-me-down SJH's.

There are five other SJH bikes owned by forum members.
One is a lovely Circa 1959 road bike that is still with it's original owner in the Blue Mountains area.
Another forum member has four bikes, being an early 50's built-to-order 10 speed road racer, an early 50's chrome plated single speed, a built-to-order late 50's track racer that had been owned by well known rider Arthur Dunn, & another early 60's track bike.

I believe that SJH opened it's doors in a premesis that was almost directly opposite from the second & last place of business back in 1929.
The initials stand for Sidney John Hilsden & he sold the shop to A Ross in 1949 so as to enter the automotive business world. Hildsen's for Holden was an oft heard line in his radio adverts during the 60's & possibly the 70's. I believe that the dealership was on Parramatta Rd. Ashfield.

A Ross is thought to be the father of J. Ross [Jock] who also rode with the Penrith boys in the 1930's [So did Lennie Rogers].

Ross did not keep the business for very long & sold it to the partnership of Way & Jones. Eventually Way went his own way leaving the shop in the hands of Bob Jones who was still operating the business when he passed away aged about 91.

Hopefuly this is of some help.

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Last edited by Kid_Carbine on Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:37 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Postby cludence » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:23 pm

I have one but it is only a ladies one. :(
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Tue Feb 24, 2009 10:31 pm

My appologies Cludence, I knew of yours but rudely forgot to include it.
It might be a ladies bike, but it's not "only" a ladies bike as these also had an important role to play in the history of cycling in Australia
Is this one a 'reno', or was that the Lennie Rogers?

Either way, it passed through the SJH shop & therefore is a real one.
Sorry for leaving you out.
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SJH

Postby PLANEIMAGES » Wed Feb 25, 2009 3:06 pm

Thanks for the information. I suspect mine was bought from Arthur Dunn. Did he live in Haberfield?

My bike was originally finished in gold but I don't recall if it had the white bands like the one in the photo. The bars were deep like the gold bike.

Can you imagine a 10-year-old kid with a bike like that in 1950? No one ever got near me on the streets. It is a different story these days but she flies a bit too fast for me and the brakes are kept warm down hills. Ah, the recklessness of youth.

My parents were far from wealthy and I think the whole family, both sides who lived respectively in Five Dock and Rodd Point, might have chipped in. My parents did not even own a car until 1954.

At one stage my wife and I lived at Lakemba (Roselands) in the mid- 1970s so the SJH must have been done up closer to 1975 than the date I said earlier. On one occasion I climbed the fence to the old Wiley Park velodrome for some illicit laps.

Scary on the banking.
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:12 pm

Bob Jones was a pretty good frame builder & the good bikes had their frames built in-house, but they used two or three specialist painters & the gold one was done by Laurie Curtis.

I had two separate oldtimers from the Sydney cycle industry who both knew Way & Jones as well as Laurie Curtis [& other painters] & both nominated Laurie as the painter of that frame as soon as they laid eyes on it, so it clearly has some readily identifiable characteristics. Perhaps it's the bands on the seat tube.

The Sydney cycle industry was still a fairly close knit community in the period before the faceless overseas interests took over all the icons & drove the little shops into extinction, so everybody pretty much knew everybody & it must have been a good life for those who were the backbone of the industry in the 1930's through to even the early 80's.

I don't know where Arthur Dunn lived but I can probably find out [eventually] I know that both he & his brother who was also a well known rider, have 'passed on' so I am unable to do much by way of further research.

I have the headtube of another SJH on my desk & it has writen on it the name of A. Ross so the frame it came from was new somewhere between 1949 & perhaps 1953 or so.

SJH was just a little part of a greater industry but they contributed greatly to the whole cycling world in the portion of western Sydney that they serviced & the name deserves to be preserved & remembered.

I'm trying to do my bit. [Yes, the four bikes are mine.]
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SJH

Postby PLANEIMAGES » Wed Feb 25, 2009 7:36 pm

Thank you for that extra information. This is very much appreciated.

One day I may have the frame repainted in the original gold and I hope I can find someone who can emulate the original work.

I reckon the street in Haberfield would have been either Northcote, Walker or possibly even Wattle between Ramsay St and Parramatta Road. How's that for memory back 58 or so years? ( I cheated by looking at the Gregory's map but I have a mental image of going to the chap's home to try the bike).

The current JPS livery will give the Heart Foundation lot apoplexy. I'll probably be shot for displaying a cigarette brand. Even Biante models of racing saloons which were sponsored by fag companies may not carry the offending words. Net nannies.

I also recall going to the SJH shop just before it closed. Opposite the big shopping centre. I have also chatted with the owner of the surviving bike shop in Parramatta about SJHs.

Unkind, jealous kids at Girraween used to say that SJH stood for "Sydney Junk Heap". Their words were covered in my dust. Read it and weep.

Another ride around the block tonight and the hills are getting shallower every time.
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Postby Kid_Carbine » Wed Feb 25, 2009 10:56 pm

Ahhh, screw the heart foundation, if they want to have a heart attack over your bike's livery, ... then let them.

The original site of the first SJH shop now has part of that big shopping center [Westfield] built on top of it. The deal was that Westfield would provide another business site for the bike shop & one was found just across the road.

The department store that was bought to provide the largest portion of the Westfield site was a Grace Bros. store & I can remember going into the store many times in my younger days.

Back then a young boy like me could [& did] safely cycle right through the Parramatta CBD & all over the district, but these days I would want a Panzer to drive in Parramatta.

I delivered newspapers for a Northmead newsagent [Quinlans] over an 18 month period on two hand-me-down SJH bikes. [one suffered a broken down tube while I was riding it] This made me enough money to buy a sparkling new 1963 Speedwell Flash from the Jock Ross bike shop in Penrith. It cost fifty quid with alloy rims & a three speed Sturmey Archer hub gear.
It was flash by name & flash in appearance too.
I think they call that 'progress'
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Postby MichaelB » Thu Feb 26, 2009 8:00 am

Will look fantastic when given a spit and polish.

Always loved the JPS Beemers when they were racing. Just need a Black beemer to go with the bike now .....

635CSi would be nice :D
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SJH

Postby PLANEIMAGES » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:36 pm

Thanks. You're right.

The rags will have to come out. Funny how photos bring out the signs of patina.

No Beemers for me unfortunately. A 1948 MG TC is not far away completion of a "ground-up" restoration from a "basket case". The chassis is potentially drivable and the body is due soon. The rolling chassis won its class in the MGCC NSW concours d'elegance last year so my spit must work sometimes.

Now, how do I carry the SJH on the back of a TC?
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Re: SJH

Postby il padrone » Sat Feb 28, 2009 4:58 pm

PLANEIMAGES wrote:Now, how do I carry the SJH on the back of a TC?

Upright behind the driver's seat?

Strapped in place on the passenger side running board?

:wink:
Riding bikes in traffic - what seems dangerous is usually safe; what seems safe is often more dangerous.
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SJH

Postby PLANEIMAGES » Sat Feb 28, 2009 5:08 pm

Ah, thanks.
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Re: SJH

Postby AUbicycles » Tue Dec 01, 2009 6:03 am

I received an email from David B from Woolondilly and we have agreed to post here as it could be interesting - with regard to SJH Bicycles.

David B wrote:I was just reading on your website that somebody had a SJH since he was a young nipper. My father was contracted to SJH as their leading rider in I think the 30s and/or 40s. His photo was in the top right hand corner of all their paperwork. His name was Pat Barrett and he won a NSW tandem title with Jock Ross who owned a shop in Penrith.

When I was about 12, dad commissioned Jock to do up a racing bike for me. It turned out to be one of Lenny Rogers old cast off track bikes. Dad also ran 2nd in the Melbourne to Horsham 1 day race, and somewhere at home we still have his 10 shilling cheque.



Cheers
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Re: SJH

Postby cludence » Tue Dec 01, 2009 9:56 pm

Wow, what a great letter.

If you can encourage the person to join the forum it would be great. I'd love to know the measurements of his frame that had belonged to Lennie Rogers. I also have a frame here believed to have been Lennies and I would love to confirm it by checking the sizing.

When I get a chance I will also post a pic of a friends SJH that was Renno'd by Jock Ross. Its stunning.

Karen.
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Re: SJH

Postby AUbicycles » Thu Dec 03, 2009 8:31 am

PM sent!
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Re: SJH

Postby cludence » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:32 pm

This is a friends bike and it is believed it was renno'd by Jock Ross whilst he had the SJH store. Whether it was orginally a SJH made frame, I am not sure. Either way, it is definately stunning.

I love the stem!

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Re: SJH

Postby jaseyjase » Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:35 pm

wow..thats gorgeous, really nice lugwork, specially on the stem!
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