Classic Lightweights UK
Major Brothers touring - 1959
Owned by: Steve Griffith
Major Bros, 1959 'Touring' model, the last owner being a keen member of the Rough Stuff Fellowship this bike has conquered many of the blue-riband Scottish and Welsh rough stuff crossings notably the toughest challenge of them all the Lairig Ghru (27 miles from Aviemore to Braemer much of it across a boulder field carrying the bike).
Major Bros were a small shop/builder based in Thornton Heath SE London , popular with local CTC riders the half dozen or so Major's I have seen have all been touring.clubman machines, this one features some unique engineering solutions. The brothers Frank and Arthur ended up falling out and setting up rival shops. The orginal shop finally closed in 1969 although no frames were built after about 1962.
It is interesting to compare this to a clubman /racing frame of the time. Tourists recognised the advantages of cantillever brakes - tremenduous stopping power and less mechanism to get clogged up with mud. Sturmeys were viewed as less prone to damage and the FM (four-speed medium) was the favoured gear. Alloy cranks were expensive and viewed as not as durable as steel, the 26" wheels gave better mudguard clearance, nevertheless there are some things in common with more sportier machines eg the Brooks B17, FB front hub and the Campag headset.
Steve would like to get hold of some Major Brothers transfers - if you are able to help contact via the webmaster, email address on home page.
© 2011 Classic Lightweights