The Claud Butler was built by my friend George Bolton, 90 year old retired aeronautical engineer and vintage/classic bike expert. Most of the parts were sourced from e-bay and specialist dealers. Everything is correct for the bike except for a few compromises. For example, the handlebar is a new Nito track bar from Japan - it looks close the the original judged from photos.
George gave me a pair of Bluemes muguards in mint condition, probably from the 1970s but the design little changed from 1940. The same applies to the new Brooks Saddle which gives the re-creation a top dollor finishing touch.
Prestige Plating of Mexborough did the chromwork. They don't advertise, all their work comes by personal recommendation. A husband and wife team, Diane takes the calls is knowledgable and very helpful, you feel confident that she knows exactly what is needed for specific vintage parts. They re-plated the Williams chainwheel and cranks, the stem, brake levers the Chater Lee Light Bracket and some components of the Resilion brakeset.
The Webb pedals came ready restored to a high standard. They have larger than standard bearings (5/16") and an aluminium alloy centre spindle with a neat quick release dust cap.
Resilion were the brakes to have in the 1930s. Their cantilever action provided powerful stopping power, although they were complex and heavy. They are so old and complex, that I think I did well to purchase the best complete set in good condition that I could find. They do come up from time to time, but you need to avoid buying a tandem set by mistake. I avoided dismantling the cables and callipers, but was able to remove some of the brightwork for plating. Overall a good compromise I think.
The four speed Sturmey Archer hub gear was a rarity pre-war. I purchased several, often finding that what looked like a complete unit turned out to have a vital part missing. George had a complete understanding and expertise of theses hubs which proved invaluable. Perhaps one of the rarest parts was the Sturmey Archer pre-war 4-speed trigger for changing gear. Finding one at all is hard, let alone one that is in working order is hard, mine came at quite a price!
Complete, my Miss Modern re-creation looks fantastic with its chrome-work and gorgeous leather saddle. It has plenty of talking points such as the cantilever brakes, the hub gears, wing nuts for the wheels and grease nipples on headset and bottom bracket. Despite being termed a 'Lightweight', its pretty hefty to lift.
Whats next? An assessment of how it rides. I hope this will be the subject of future post. And......
STOP PRESS! A Marguerite enthusiast has contacted me, and he has the original! - watch this space.
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