Classic Lightweights UK
Author Peter Underwood
Possibly one of the firm's first claims to fame came when Ken Russell, sponsored by Ellis-Briggs, but riding as a lone entry, won the 1952 Tour of Britain competing against works and national teams. Ken had been trained in frame building at the nearby company of Whitaker & Mapplebeck, having started there at the age of 17 (1948), before moving to E-B in 1952. No doubt he spent time working in the business as well as training and racing, as was common back in the 1950s. Ken's results in this race were:1st overall - Tour of Britain winning:
Stage 2 Southsea – Weymouth 85½ miles
Stage 5 Aberystwyth-Blackpool 179miles
Stage 11 Newcastle – Scarborough 88 miles
A very detailed and interestig insight into Ken's early years and his solo win in the 1952 Tour of Britain
published by the Daily Telegraph
In 1953, Ellis-Briggs produced five framesets including:
International - £16 5s 0d (see page from catalogue below showing details of their top frame)
Superbe - £14 5s 0d
Allrounder - £11 5s 0d
Allrounder (all-chrome) - £15 5s 0d
Competition - £12 19s 6d
Which makes one wonder why they produced the cheapest frame as an all-chrome model, bringing its price up almost to that of the dearest.
Other well known Ellis-Briggs riders included Beryl Burton, Brian Robinson Peter Procter, Danny Horton and Arthur Metcalfe.
Des Robinson riding his Ellis-Briggs in the World Selection Race at Donnington Park, 1950
Doug Fattic from Michigan relates:
It was nice to see Ellis-Briggs frames included in your website. I'm an American that apprenticed there in 1975. There is not a week that goes by when I don't think back thankfully for the opportunity they provided me. Actually I'm even more thankful in hindsight than I was at the time. It wasn't just by luck alone - I visited about every English framebuilder looking for a place to learn. Even so I don't think I could have found a better place and neither did they have to accept my request. Their on-the-premises framebuilding was only part of a bigger operation, as such they didn't need to rush making a frame to keep their books in the black. They were great people and I'll see if I can write something up about my experience.
tells us that the shop in Castleford was E E Rodgers, on the Junction
of Pontefract Road and Ferrybbridge Road. It was a meeting place for
cyclists and the "finish" of many a sprint. The manager was a prickly
character called Howard and his mechanic was Gordon. I bought
my first real bike there, a Wearwell Shadow, they stocked most parts
but would also order for you if you wanted something not in stock.
J T Rodgers was a bike and fishing tackle shop in Crossgates, Leeds, I believe they are still there but only sell fishing gear.Webmaster: This is a very brief note of what I have learned about Ellis-Briggs but if you know more please let me know (email on Home page).
© 2012 Classic Lightweights