Classic Lightweights UK
Author Peter Underwood
We have a page on Vic Edwards (Classic Builders) under his trading name of Rondinella. but I feel we should also make mention of the frame building that he carried out for many of the top frame 'builders'. It is obvious that Vic must have been highly respected as a builder by his peers as he built for so many.
Vic Edwards built his frames in a small
workshop in Crow Lane,
Romford, Essex. His own frames he built under the name of Rondinella,
which is Italian
for Swallow. Vic operated in this way in
seventies through to mid-to-late eighties until a stroke stopped him
All Vic’s own frames were enamelled by a local
at Gallows Corner, also in Romford. Prior
his own business Vic worked for other famous frame builders: these
included Hobbs of Barbican, where he was said to have built a
number of their Blue Riband frames, Alf Hetchins, E G Bates and for
Monty Young at
Condor. He was regarded as a highly skilled framebuilder.
Below are some examples of his work on his Rondinella frames:
Above left to right: Vic Edwards/Rondinella topeye, Vic Edwards/Rondinella head transfer, Vic Edwards/Rondinella fork crown
Geoff Nagle, a Vic Edwards admirer, spoke to Monty at
about the era when Vic built for them. Monty told him that he
as working there from the late 60s to early 80s. He said that
of Vic's frames had a V prefix to the frame number on both the bottom
bracket and fork stem. He also said that he was one of the very best
craftsmen he came across and his work was held in very high
regard. Geoff thought he worked at Condor earlier, at the same time as
Hurlow perhaps. He was certainly making his own frames in the back of a
in Ilford in 1957.
La Varesina details and 'Bianchi' badge on seat tube
Personal details hand written
Down tube name hand painted
Roger also comissioned Vic Edwards to build him a bright green 'Bianchi' around 1959. This seems to suggest that Roger had some arrangement to ride Bianchi but had Edwards' frames sprayed to look like his sponsor's machines. This is known to have happened right through from pre-war to present day when not all machines ridden by professional riders are what they seem to be. This even happens today in the world of carbon frames as I learned when talking to someone from a company making very high specification frames.
Thanks to Bob Johnson, David Martin, Geoff Nagle.
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