1957 #5085 BLRC Road Bike (Olympic Massed Start?)

Owned by wife of “WyvernRH”, Newcastle, NSW, Aus. Previous owner based Sydney.

Rebuild spec:

Wheels – Normandy hubs (flip-flop rear), Weinmann alloy 27″ rims
Stem – GB Spearpoint alloy, Bars – Reynolds alloy. Shimmed to fit the stem properly
Brakes – Mafac Racer
Chainset – TA alloy three arm – 44T ring
Pedals – Milremo
Toeclips -Ale
Gears – Simplex JUY51 twin cable
Freewheel – Atom 4 speed 3/32″ 14 – 20
Seatpost – alloy Birmalex
Saddle – Wrights

Extracts from owner’s comments: The marque expert places it about the mid 50’s and that seems about right as it has a ‘British League of Racing Cyclists’ decal above the seat tube panel.

The Nervex ‘Legare’ lugs have all been nicely thinned and finished, especially the bottom bracket with neat detailing of the stay stay tops and rear brake bridge. Looks like it was originally a 4 or 5 speed, probably with a Simplex rear gear as it was owned by a BLRC rider…

The frame number is 50855. Which is well out of the normal Carpenter sequence. However the frame, from the details on the bridges and chain stay tops etc etc and the paintwork, it is obviously a Carpenter and the marque specialist in the VCC agrees. He suggests one of two reasons for the odd frame number and that it is actually 5085 which would would make it mid to late 50’s which seems about right.
The last 5 in the number on the frame is not quite on the same alignment and font as the rest (stamping on the fork matches the number but all the numbers/font/alignment look pretty similar). In the mid fifties apparently Mr Carpenter was taken very ill so the running of the shop fell onto Mrs Carpenter and the frame building was farmed out to various local craftsman builders (all pretty high class names I have to add) and this was frame 5085 by builder 5 (whoever that was). Nervex Legare lugs are also rare on Carpenters, normally he preferred a simple lug, although it was not unknown.

I never met Mr Carpenter but the stories around the clubs in South London had him as a nice chap if you knew him but ferocious in the defense of his quality frame building and wheel building (he had his own stickers for rims on wheels he built too) People had been known to get the bum’s rush from his shop for being a smart arse …..So I can’t see him buying in block builds from Claud Butler in Clapham or Holdsworth in Putney like other shops.

Seat stay wrap-over is not the usual scalloped version.