apprenticeship I believe at the Claud Butler "school" of frame builders,
(Bill Gray, Fred Dean & Geo. Stratton et al) he became an exceptional
frame builder, certainly worthy of the title master builder and a major
contributor to the heritage of British bespoke lightweight frame builders,
he was as well known for his ideas and innovations as well as for the
supreme quality of his builds."
"He had a small shop in Gillingham, Kent where he built not only his frames but also his own workshop tools, but the majority of his work carried other shops brand names and logos as he was often commissioned to build racing and
touring frames for many different independent cycle outlets, I remember Youngs of Lewisham (SE London) being one of the many who used Bill to build their top of the range racing frames, these were badged up as a "Grandini", they very distinctive with their lugwork and were often thought to be an Italian marque to those who were unaware of the frame's provenance, even to a young 'oik of club rider like myself back in the early 60's the quality of the build was apparent, unfortunately they were far too expensive for my wage packet!"
The first frame that I can recall seeing
with Bill's own name on the down tube was our club's time trial champion
(Tom Smith/CC Bexley) who had ordered a Bill Philbrook "Special" this was
lugless, each oval tube flowed into each other, ultra short wheelbase that
you couldn't put a Rizla fag paper between tube and wheel!, Campag. brake
calipers with hidden recessed nuts in the rear bridge and back of the fork
crown, modified aero brake levers ......where were the cables? these were
routed through the bars and inside the top tube (unheard of back then in
1970), this head turner of a bike was finished in a beautiful shimmering
metallic Kingfisher blue that faded through various harmonizing shades
into gold and burgundy.............. wish I still had a photo!"
Griff King-Spooner (London UK)
time trial frame
|Ray Green's frame set|
Griff King-Spooner's Bill Philbrook Aero Special
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