Tollis frames x 2

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spirito
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby spirito » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:30 am

Overclocked wrote: I am Russell Tollis's grandson ...


8) :D

This is one of the sweetest things to happen on these pages !!!

I hope one day we can see your Tollis and I'm sure were all eager for any information you might wish to share with us about Russel, his father and the Shop. BTW, what size you ride?

As Karen mentioned Jim had nothing but good things to say about his short tenure at the Tollis workshop in the late 50's (after Smith Sons & Rees ??) and others I have met have said that Russel was very supportive and did many great things for the grassroots racing scene, up and coming riders and the top riders of the day. A true gentleman.

Glad you joined us :wink:
Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.

cludence
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby cludence » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:52 am

spirito wrote:
Glad you joined us :wink:


And we hope you stay.. :D

Overclocked
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby Overclocked » Wed Mar 24, 2010 12:49 pm

Thank you all for your warm welcome, :D

Karen, I don't remember Jim, but i have spoken with mum this morning and she remembers Jim fondly, yes it was the late 50's when Jim worked at the Mascot shop.
I live in canberra, but the family are all up on the Central Coast so i travel through sydney quite a bit.
I have realised too that i called my grandfather Russell, his real name was Donald, but all of his good friends called him Russell.

Roger, thank you so much for your kind offer, I will take you up on that sometime. I am 6ft.

Roger I can tell you that your bikes were painted by Laurie Curtis, he worked for Russell for a very long time, he is in his 90's. Mum still has regular contact with him.

The person I remember best from the shop was Val Bathurst, he worked for Russell for approx 25 years and as Russell use to say he was the most talented frame welder/bike mechanic he had ever seen, even at the age of 14 years old, sadly Val has past on.

The shop was sold in 1978 to John and Margaret McLauglan, john has also passed but Margaret is still a very keen enthusiast.Margaret lives in Newcastle now.

My uncle John worked in the shop in his school and Uni holidays and worked along side Jim Bundy.

My tollis cycle is in storage atm, but you have given me the motivation to get it and put it back on the road where it belongs,I'll have to post some photos .

I used to spend my school holidays in the shop, I used to grab every finished bike in for repair and fly around Mascot on them, full size road bikes , when I was six lol.

Of course Russell taught me to ride, mum was horrified. he took off my training wheels at 3 years old and threw me down the driveway, all was good, he always said the best way to learn was sink or swim

Russell was still riding in his 80's, he had a titianium framed race bike he built, even as a 10 year old I could lift the bike with one finger, it is now in the possesion of a relative, I'd love to get it back but sadly Russell built it for his weight and I am too heavy :cry:

Roger, I'll need to check, I don't know if one is still around at Mum's but I might have one of Russell's hand made bike repair stands he used at the shop and then at home in retirement, it held the top of the frame via a clamp and was about 5-6 foot off the ground for easy access, chances are that your bikes were actually assembled on the same stand .

If anyone has any questions I'll do my best to get some answers for you

cludence
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby cludence » Wed Mar 24, 2010 1:48 pm

To have a tollis family member turn up on the forum was surprise enough, now to find out Laurie Curtis is still with us!

Jim and several other people were under the impression he had passed on a long time ago.
I just phoned Jim and he was very happy to hear he is still around and is keen to get in touch with him and said he would also love to hear from your mum. So many of the old schooler have long passed and given many were once like family, Jim loves hearing from them.

Why am I excited? Because I have several frames here painted by Laurie and his work is amazing. It is something you just can't replicate so those frames I am keeping original.

When I get a chance later this evening I will scan some adverts I have from the shop.

Hope to see your bike out of storage soon and pics of it's progress getting back on the road. There are two great mechanics down near Canberra so should you need any help/parts I can pass on their details to you.

Karen.

Overclocked
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby Overclocked » Wed Mar 24, 2010 2:54 pm

Thanks Karen, it only needs two tubes and a wash lol, Russell taught me to fix my own bikes from about 7-8 years and I ended up a motor mechanic, although I don't work on the tools anymore.

I need to edit my earlier post, Pat Kelly painted all the bikes in the 50's and then laurie Curtis took over in the 60's

Also Mum spoke with Laurie's son 3 months ago and he was fine, although he was very,very ill for a long time years ago which may be why people were unaware he is still with us.

I am still overwhelmed that 3 years after his passing and over 30 years since retirement so many people still respect/admire Tollis cycles :)

cludence
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby cludence » Wed Mar 24, 2010 4:02 pm

It's a small world. I have a frame here that was painted by Pat Kelly. -Unfortunately not a tollis, it is an unknown one.

Karen.

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spirito
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby spirito » Wed Mar 24, 2010 8:20 pm

cludence wrote:It's a small world. I have a frame here that was painted by Pat Kelly. -Unfortunately not a tollis, it is an unknown one.

Karen.


Pat Kelly worked at Smith Sons & Rees with Jim. Different section of course but Jim talked about how the top painter's who did box lining, scrolls and hand touch flourishes earned more money than the actual frame builders. Such was the demand and importance on top paintwork which for it's type and era is distinctly Australian, and now recognized worldwide as a typical feature.

I think Jim mentioed that Pat loved a drink, especially when working to steady the hands a little. And he liked to dance .... Tango, Rhumba, Cha-Cha, he did it all.

Overclocked - thanks for sharing your family history, such details are invaluable and we all appreciate knowing a little more about Tollis'. :wink:

Here's another Tollis frame ... or at least i think it is, it wears Reno'd By Tollis and has some distinct artwork that might be Pat Kelly's.

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Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.

Overclocked
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby Overclocked » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:03 am

Hi Spirito,

Would you be interested in selling that as is?

PM me if you are, I 'd like to get my hands on one and restore it for my uncle.

If anyone else has a Tollis they would be interested in parting with, please let me know :D

daacha
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby daacha » Fri Mar 26, 2010 11:34 am

For someone like myself with great interest (but little knowledge) of Australian Cycling history, threads like these are like the Holy Grail. :D
Talk about a history lesson. :mrgreen:

daacha

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spirito
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby spirito » Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:48 pm

Overclocked wrote:Hi Spirito,

Would you be interested in selling that as is?

PM me if you are, I 'd like to get my hands on one and restore it for my uncle.

If anyone else has a Tollis they would be interested in parting with, please let me know :D


Sell it .... :?: You can have it :wink:

I got a call from a friend about an old rider who had a few old bikes in his attic. A lovely gentleman who was in the Botany Amateur Cycling Club (BACC) rider in fact. He was selling his house and moving to Queensland. He hadn't ridden in years and these frames and some parts had been in his attic for many, many years and had accumulated a thick layer of grime and dust which in a way had almost preserved them. I didn't know that till I had got them home. They looked a mess as they were and I could see that they were too big for me but he seemed a nice man, they looked like quite a bit of history and they seemed to be otherwise destined for land fill. I spoke a little bit with the owner of the bikes and his son and my intention had been simply to act as a guardian or custodian and make sure they fell in the right hands. Of the four Tollis frames 2 are with Roger, one (pictured below) is with another gentleman who I know will also do it justice and build it up accordingly and this last frame, which has a few scars and warts but beneath lies a real beauty, is yours and I'd be honoured to pass it into your hands with what history I know of it's owner. In fact I'm happy to say, I had a hunch from the beginning that this would be a happy story and with a little patience I've found the right home for them all.

At 6 foot you will be able to make the above frame work for you fit wise. The paint will come up quite well with a bit of work and some touching up where needed. And there's a few odd parts from that era that might suit it.

I'll PM you and we can tee up a meeting. I live a few k's from the old King St, Mascot shop. I have pics of all the bikes, and in fact maybe we could organize a Tollis Fest and have them all together.

This is the fourth Tollis. It was almost Roger's but we found it had issues with the brake bridge and needed work/rebrazing. Jim Bundy saved the day and the original paint, I'll make enquiry to see if it has been built up and if there's any pics.

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Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.

cludence
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby cludence » Sat Mar 27, 2010 1:31 am

What a great thread this has become. I've had a hell of a day so it was nice to sit down and read your message Spirito.
I had a hunch you still had that frame available and I knew you would offer it for no cost because as Jim says: "you always do the right thing by people". I have to agree with him.

On the tollis topic Spirito, I recall Lynn mentioning he knew a grandson or nephew from the family. Not sure who etc but something he spoke to me about several years ago when looking for a tollis himself.

Very small world.

Karen.

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spirito
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby spirito » Sat Mar 27, 2010 2:20 pm

It's no biggie really ... some things just pan out sweet like that :wink:
Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.

cludence
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby cludence » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:37 pm

Yes but whether it is a biggie or not, it is still a nice gesture.

It's ironic as I recall you offering this frame to someone else not long ago. So glad they didnt take you up on the offer. :)

flashrider
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby flashrider » Sat Mar 27, 2010 3:49 pm

Sell it .... You can have it


Man, that's amazing..... Sounds like you were the right person to look after those frames...I think bikes find you, not the other way round. I have been thinking about trying to find a Swansea, as my Granddad rode one in the thirties as a lad. I rang a chap who had an ad for a vintage 30's racer, more to pick his brains and now I have the opportunity to get hold of a 4 Swan. This thread has been really nice. :D
Projectus Distractus Maxima.

cludence
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby cludence » Sat Mar 27, 2010 4:05 pm

Flashrider, that is great to hear. Well done and I agree, some bikes do find you. Look forward to seeing some pics.

Maybe we need to start a post on stories about old bikes that have found their way to good homes by chance meetings etc?

I have a few stories such as these and I am sure many other people do too.

Karen.

Johnj
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby Johnj » Sat Mar 27, 2010 11:05 pm

So would you believe, I'm the love child of Donald Tollis (snr)? ... Oh well, it was worth a try.

I'm really enjoying reading this thread, but I wish someone would offer me a free Tollis frame :lol:. Looks like I'll just have to buy one....

Incidentally, my research suggests Donald Edwin Tollis set up his cycle works in 1916, not 1922 (according to family history here).

rogerrabbit
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby rogerrabbit » Mon Apr 05, 2010 11:35 am

I have been riding the later Tollis, and I am getting a lot of horizontal movement in the wheels (front in particular) with them rubbing on the brake pads if standing up and moving the bike side to side. Initially I thought this was a bit weird and maybe the wheels were not laced that tight, but the wheels were fine. It seems to be simply a characteristic of the fork with a long thin relatively horizontal section at the bottom. This design gives a very supple ride, but it also has a lot of inherent flex for the same reason. The moral of the story is that the bike needs to be ridden smoothly if you dont want the brakes rubbing.

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spirito
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby spirito » Wed Apr 07, 2010 10:41 am

rogerrabbit wrote:I have been riding the later Tollis, and I am getting a lot of horizontal movement in the wheels (front in particular) with them rubbing on the brake pads if standing up and moving the bike side to side. Initially I thought this was a bit weird and maybe the wheels were not laced that tight, but the wheels were fine. It seems to be simply a characteristic of the fork with a long thin relatively horizontal section at the bottom. This design gives a very supple ride, but it also has a lot of inherent flex for the same reason. The moral of the story is that the bike needs to be ridden smoothly if you don't want the brakes rubbing.


Do you have much room to adjust the brakes a little wider at the rim and still have sufficient brake pull from the levers? Not ideal but I think it's a bit hilly in your riding area and it's far from ideal to not be able to ride out of the saddle.
Cranky Jim wrote: God did not invent gears. Men invented gears ... because we are not gods.

jasonmercer
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby jasonmercer » Wed Nov 19, 2014 2:08 pm

Hi everyone
I am a relative of the Tollis family My Great Grand father was a Tollis and i am led to believe Donald Tollis (Russells Tollis's Father) was my Great Grand fathers Uncle Russell might be able to verify this My Grand fathers name was Leslie Tollis from Randwick. I have a book from my Grandmother and in it it states that because Tollis's have been here for more than 200 years every Tollis is related. It is cool to have such heritage and learning off this cycle shop awesome. :D

ironhanglider
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby ironhanglider » Wed Nov 19, 2014 9:42 pm

There is a Tollis that makes a regular appearance in the bike cage at work here in Belconnen.

8)

Sadly Overclocked doesn't seem to be a current forum member.

Cheers,

Cameron
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backontrack
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby backontrack » Tue Jul 10, 2018 6:51 pm

Hi, I am new to forums , I accidentally came across this one.
I have found my fathers old Tollis that was given to him by a Mister Tollis at Mascot. My Dad is a local doctor who looked after him in the 1970's. He apparently made up 4 bikes and gave them to the doctors who treated him?
It has been kept in a farm shed in Berry for over 40 years. The condition is not great, the original fork were replaced when the front wheel came off when I was riding to school without the knowledge of dad. No one was allowed to ride the bike bar him.
I would love to bring it back to life so would welcome any advice .
Many thanks,
Ian

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P!N20
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby P!N20 » Fri Jul 13, 2018 10:16 am

^ Can you post up some photos?

Bathurst
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Re: Tollis frames x 2

Postby Bathurst » Sat Jul 14, 2018 8:12 pm

I stumbled on this forum while doing a search on Tollis bicycles. My father worked in the King St store at Mascot for many years. It was extremely touching to hear the very kind words by Overclocked about my father, Val Bathurst. Russell Tollis was known to me as "Uncle Russ" and I remember earning pocket money spoking wheels while watching black and white tv at home. Dad would load them up in the car and take them to Uncle Russ's place at Blakehurst. Russ and his wife were always wonderful hosts. I spent many hours in the garage at home watching dad brazing bike frames from nothing more that a box of tubes and a set of brackets. He would heat up the forks and use different diameter car wheel rims to get just the right sweep on each set of forks. Unfortunately I never really learnt the craft but I do remember the frames dad built were always in demand and he took great pride and care in his work. As a young boy my time in the workshop with my father and the visits to Uncle Russ's place were some of the happiest times of my childhood. It is wonderful that there are people out there who appreciate what my dad was able to manufacture. It is ironic that dad passed away at the young age of 59 of a heart attack. He had just come home from a 12km bike ride. Cycling was always a part of his life and I have no doubt he would be amazed at the level of technology and interest in cycling today. It is only now at the age of 56 that I wished I still had one of his bikes. This forum gives me hope that one day I may be able to find one for sale.

Trafman
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Re: Tollis frames x 2. Hi all it’s a very interning thread

Postby Trafman » Sun Aug 26, 2018 8:24 am

Hi all I’m loving this thread
I have a tollis I’m restoring and if someone can help me re where to get replacement tollis stickers I’d be very grateful

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