Archive for November, 2012

Keith Coppell R.I.P.

keith Coppell S'port dinner Keith presenting the prizes at the Southport Cycling Club annual dinner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Sad news I am afraid. I have just heard that Keith has died at his home at Lydiate. Earlier this year I had a long telephone conversation with Keith and I greatly enjoyed hearing his tales of the Liverpool bike trade particularly his time working for Harry and Jim Quinn.

Keith was raised in the Liverpool district of Norris Green along with his four siblings. His later education was at Walton Technical College and on leaving he was apprenticed to a firm of piano manufacturers. By this time Keith had joined the Melling Wheelers and was riding time trials. He was called up to do his national service and unusually volunteered to serve for three years with the King’s (Liverpool) Regiment as a regular soldier presumably for the       enhanced pay. He was stationed in Germany.

On being demobbed Keith worked at Walvale Cycles not surprisingly at Walton Vale in north Liverpool. He later moved to Harry Quinn working at both Kirkdale and Walton Vale and it was here that he started frame building. At this time Keith was living at Upholland near Wigan and cycling to work most days so he was getting in plenty of miles. During his time at Harry Quinn he was the mechanic for the Harry Quinn-Castrol Oil racing team that included Bill Bradley, Stan Brittain and John Geddes.

On leaving Harry Quinn, I think when the business folded in Liverpool, Keith opened a tobacconists in Maghull which he later turned in to his bike shop. It was then that he built frames under his own name. I  have one of his frames and it is a very neat job but has no special features to set the pulse racing, much like a typical Harry Quinn in fact.

 Keith was a member of the Crosby CC together with his old mate Norman Rainford. He leaves three children. By the way former England winger Steve Coppell was also born in Norris Green. I wonder if there is a family connection?

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