Claud Butler Branded componentry.

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WyvernRH
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Claud Butler Branded componentry.

Postby WyvernRH » Mon May 15, 2017 2:50 pm

As well as building frames, Claud Butler sold a range of 'branded' components to accompany the frames. Unlike the Allez and Lytalloy parts from Holdsworth and Hobbs, AFAIK these components seem to be high quality parts from the range of an existing manufacturer engraved or stamped with the Claud butler name.
In my collection I have a Tandem Chainset (Willaims?), several cottered axles (Brampton?), a 30's steel handlebar/stem combo and a set of Balilla brakes all marked with the Claud Butler name in blocks or scripts.

Now to the point of the post. I have being trying to do some web research on what components were actually offered by Claud Butler over the years and what sort of quantity were sold. So far I have come up pretty much blank. Everyone seems to know that components were available and some period adverts mention that such things could be bought but no catalogs, lists or pictures seem to exist.

So can any web search expert help me out here please? Or if anyone has some documentation in there collection I would be willing to pay for it to be scanned.

I have a suspicion that some stuff was done 'on demand'. I have seen a pair of AirLite high flange alloy hubs engraved 'Claud Butler' on a bike back in the UK but only that pair, no others. Given I have only seen one pair of 'Speedwell' engraved hubs in Oz this may be just that they were rare but who knows....

Richard

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Claud Butler Branded componentry.

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Mon May 15, 2017 4:46 pm

Richard,
did you look through this catalogue?
and this catalogue has a few items
http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/ca ... logue.html (read each page, including the 'Alternatives' at the end
and this page mentions the bottom bracket shell
http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/claudbutler.html

Philip
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WyvernRH
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Re: Claud Butler Branded componentry.

Postby WyvernRH » Tue May 16, 2017 12:14 pm

Clydesdale Scot wrote:Richard,
did you look through this catalogue?
and this catalogue has a few items
http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/ca ... logue.html (read each page, including the 'Alternatives' at the end
and this page mentions the bottom bracket shell
http://www.classiclightweights.co.uk/claudbutler.html

Philip


Thanks for the heads up Philip, I had found the pre-WWII catalogue on the VCC site but that appears to be the sum total of any images or listing I can find on the web. Even the well informed nkilgariff has nothing on his site except the odd mention in the back of some of the catalogues.

The catalogues often mention the CB custom components as 'available to order' although I was told (many years ago) by the old bloke at what is now Stratton Cycles in Wandsworth that they had a CB display case with parts back in the 50's when it was a CB depot.

I actually have the 1938 catalogue, I went and hunted it down as my CB Tourist Anglais is a 1938 model (my first restoration!)


Cheers
Richard

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Clydesdale Scot
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Re: Claud Butler Branded componentry.

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Tue May 16, 2017 5:32 pm

Richard,
you didn't list what resources you had found, so it was hard to know what you had.

I also have searched through all of the V-CC's The Boneshaker and News and Views and didn't see any articles relating to Claud Butler components.
If you wanted you could ask the ME for Claud Butlers at the V-CC, ask on Classic Rendezvous or ask on the facebook group Vintage Bicycles UK.

I suspect WW2 greatly interferred with Claud's marketing plans, then the post war shortages, then his financial difficulties put paid to his dream.

You might be interested in reading the typewritten 1947 'catalogue' from Hobbs of Barbican, where the frustration of post WW2 shortages is documented
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WyvernRH
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Re: Claud Butler Branded componentry.

Postby WyvernRH » Wed May 17, 2017 9:16 pm

Clydesdale Scot wrote:Richard,
you didn't list what resources you had found, so it was hard to know what you had.

I also have searched through all of the V-CC's The Boneshaker and News and Views and didn't see any articles relating to Claud Butler components.
If you wanted you could ask the ME for Claud Butlers at the V-CC, ask on Classic Rendezvous or ask on the facebook group Vintage Bicycles UK.

I suspect WW2 greatly interferred with Claud's marketing plans, then the post war shortages, then his financial difficulties put paid to his dream.

You might be interested in reading the typewritten 1947 'catalogue' from Hobbs of Barbican, where the frustration of post WW2 shortages is documented


Yes, sorry, I should have listed the sources I had already, however you covered all the bases that I had found so far on the web.
Hmm, the ME at the V-CC - I must re-join the V-CC and ask... good idea.

I think your proposition that post war Claud Butler never really got going at full speed might well be true. However I think this was true of a lot of the UK high-end bicycle industry. Despite the surge in post war sales, the mid 50's financial and oil crisis followed by an upswing in small car ownership did for a lot of people, not only Claud. However, surely his personal financial problems as well as his struggle with the drink did not help.

Still given the great public recognition that the brand achieved, you would have thought the 'custom' parts should have done better. Holdsworth certainly did well with the Allez brand but had a more diverse production base. None of the old blokes that I drank with back in the day had anything to do with the 'management' end of the business, they were all builders or machinists and only had tales to tell of the frame/bicycle works at Clapham. So the 'parts' business seems to have been separate from that. Even given the business was going downhill from 1955 onward it still seems odd that there are no post-war components catalogues or listings around given the folk history that mentions them in the South West London area.

Richard

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Re: Claud Butler Branded componentry.

Postby Clydesdale Scot » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:42 am

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WyvernRH
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Re: Claud Butler Branded componentry.

Postby WyvernRH » Fri Sep 01, 2017 10:09 am



Thanks for the heads up Philip! Tempted...but he is asking a fair bit for the condition.

Richard

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