Classic Lightweights UK
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Whitaker and Mapplebeck/Russell - 1955

Submitted by Derek Browne



 1955 Whitaker and Mapplebeck  badged as Ken Russell - see below
Conloy alloy rims on  Airlite large-flange quick-release hubs
Chainset Stronglight 49D cranks with T.A. adaptor set with 52/44 rings
Pedals Lyotard alloy quill
Gears Campagnolo Gran Sport
Brakes Mafac Racer
Stem/Bars Cinelli steel stem with Cinelli model 64. badged
Saddle  Brooks B17 Standard Competition (butchered)
Extra details  Tyres - Continental 27"x1"1/8" Nearest to Dunlop Road Racing I know of, in formation of the tread.

In 1950/51 Ken Russell rode for the I.T.P.( Independant Totaliser Pools) team, riding in both Brighton to Glasgow races of these years. In 1952 he won the 14-day Daily Express Tour of Britain riding for Ellis-Briggs as a sole rider. He continued to ride for Ellis- Briggs. in 1953 and 1954. In 1955 he formed a team along with Jim Wilson of Wilson Cycles, Sheffield and they rode bikes built by Wilson Cyles designed by Ken Russell, the frame were badged up "Ken Russell". In the programme for the 1955 Tour of Britain. Ken is down as having won 8 races in 1955 prior to the "Tour".  One of his best performances, riding against the top trade teams of B.S.A., Hercules, Viking and Wearwell was probably finising a close third behind Ian Steel in the Tour of the Pennines.

Ian Steel pips Ken Russell (Russell Cycles) to the line for second place in the 1955 Tour of the Pennines

Ken formed the team in the early part of the 1955 season, with frames built by James Frederick Wilson ( J. F. Wilson ) Cycles, and the origional team was known as Russell Cycles. It became Russ/Wilson Cycles, in September of the year, to participate in the Butlins sponsored Tour of Britain. Above is a photo of the sprint for 2nd place in the Tour of the Pennines, between Ken, and Ian Steel, Brian Robinson, had finished 24 seconds clear. after breaking away, on the final climb, with about a mile left in the race. I was there on the day, as a 19 year old spectator.


I have had a set of "Ken Russell" transfers for some time, and have been looking for a suitable frame for them. I eventually found one, in pretty bad condition, and the result is as shown in attached photos. A lot of Yorkshire B.L.R.C. riders rode on these frames, and some had their own frames re-badged with the K.R. transfers. The frame I found is a mid 50s "Ticker" i.e. Whittaker & Mapplebeck, so it is typical, of the type of bike which would carry these transfers. I would love to find an original J.F. Wilson frame!

Ken Russell head/down tube transfer with Tour of Britain winner design

Original Ken Russell transfers

'League' transfer - British League of Racing Cyclists

Headline banner of  The Leaguer from 1955.