Archive for April, 2007

Bill Philbrook


It is my intention to write a tribute to Bill Philbrook who was, in my opinion, a frame builder of unmatched ability. Perhaps more importantly he was a really interesting and nice man. Unfortunately I am struggling to obtain hard facts about his career. I know he worked for Claud Butler and Gillotts and when I first met him in 1978 he had a business in Arden Street, Gillingham, Kent. He was a club cyclist and I believe he had raced in his youth.

I have three of Bill’s frames and the photos of the seat lug are from a 1978 road frame. The lug started as a Prugnat long point before Bill reduced it to next to nothing. I don’t expect that the lug adds anything to the structural integrity of the frame, that came from the perfect mitreing and brazing.

I came across these photos on a Lambretta owners’ forum. Many thanks to whoever posted them.  What a trip down memory lane. Does anybody know who the young guy is? Could it be Jeff Lyon I wonder.

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Victorious Pendleton

vp.jpg I want to believe that all those lottery millions are being spent on a worthwhile cause yet I cannot become enthusiastic about Britain’s track success. I would much prefer Bradley Wiggins to get one podium place in the Tour of Flanders than win a hat full of track Golds.

It is not difficult, however, to enthuse about the wonderful Victoria Pendleton who today won a third gold medal. I guess this makes her the most successful British sprinter of all time, Reg Harris included. Yet could she look less like a sprinter? More like size zero!

Surely Victoria has the perfect build to transfer to the road. With Nicole Cooke leading her out she would be unbeatable in the Olympic road race. I guess she will prefer the more certain success of the track and the funding that comes with it rather than try for the far greater prestige of uncertain success on the road.

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