Wednesday, January 10, 2007

F H Pratt Cycles

Nostalgia publication - recently released by the V-CC, ‘Frederick H. Pratt & Son – Complete Cycle Engineers’. This shop at Salfords on the A23 main road which many of us will have known, was sadly closed during last year. The 55 years history was written into a book by the V-CC’s ‘Media Watch’ reporter Alvin Smith and was funded by the John Pinkerton Memorial Publishing Fund.
Its an interesting story of the demanding fight by Fred and his severely disabled wife Joan who was a sister to the famous Claud Butler, together with their son Noel, to keep the shop at Salfords alive. Fred was employed by Claud Butler in his frame building workshops where he was responsible for the design of the patented Claud Butler Ultra Short Wheelbase rear bracket for tandems developed in the mid – 1930s. The USWB Tandem was owned by a number of members of this DA. Derek Robinson has recently reconditioned his fine example of this famous design tandem. Fred promoted and built frames from Salfords with the unusual design concept which he developed and called 'The Jack Knife'. The book refers to ownership of Jack Knife frames by a number of Redhill Cycle Club and Kingston Phoenix Road Club members which included owner Noel Pratt and writer Clive Oxx who is pictured in the book riding his first Time Trial looking very youthful and described as ‘one of the new likely racing lads in 1952’.
For anyone interested, a copy can be obtained via Clive by telephoning 0208 647 0766

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