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Geoff Clark’s racing career, albeit quite short, is well documented. I have to mention at this point, that I wouldn’t have been able to compile this short history without the invaluable assistance of a number of people including first and foremost, Derek Browne fellow V-CC member, who was responsible for doing virtually all of the leg-work on my behalf, who, lives locally to Bradford and the locations associated with Geoff; Ken Russell, famous international racing cyclist, friend and rival of Geoff’s; Richard Hoddinott (V-CC), whom I must blame for first getting me into this situation by selling me one of Geoff Clark’s first frames; Tony Tomkins, V-CC member and fellow Bradford Racing Cyclists Club (BRCC) member of Geoff Clark.Plus a number of enthusiasts who currently own examples of Geoff’s frames. in 1942* and arguably one of the most influential people in the road racing movement at this time, in the opinion of Derek Browne and Ken Russell.
He also had to cycle in sub-zero temperatures, and through smog and forest fires in North America.
Geoff Clark was born in 1923 and came to prominence during the period of the Second World War, when he was a successful Bradford Racing Cyclists Club (BRCC) cyclist and competitor. I have yet to establish how Geoff wasn’t called up for military service during WWII as he would have been 19 at this time. Road Race - Llangollen to Wolverhampton in 1942, along with 32 other competitors which, interestingly, didn’t include Percy Stallard! He rode in the first National RR Championship, 1943; the first Stage Race in Gt. Although the results of his placing are not known at this stage.
He became one of the founding 24 cyclists led by Percy Stallard of Wolverhampton, in establishing the B. It has been suggested that it was colour blindness, but this wouldn’t have precluded an administrative role of some kind. In the post war years he participated in the first ‘Victory Tour’ – Brighton to Glasgow, held in 1945 over 5 days and 542 miles, finishing second overall and winning one stage, the London to Wolverhampton.
I have since learnt that although it bears, along with a known earlier extant frame, the name of Geoff Clark, it was in fact built by an ex Ellis-Briggs builder by the name of Sunter (Christian name unknown), who in turn was taught by Jack Briggs.
My frame has all the hall-marks of Briggs detailing it would seem, and copied by Sunter’s building technique.
He is described as white, between 20-30 years of age, approximately 5ft 9in tall with short spiked hair. Anyone with information that could assist the investigation should phone North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 1, and speak to the Force Control Room. Alternatively, phone Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
The cyclist, who lives in Edinburgh, told the BBC he had had an “incredible experience” and he had “redefined the limits of endurance sport”.
POLICE are investigating after a female cyclist was physically assaulted by a man in York city centre.
The assault happened in Low Ousegate, between 2.30pm and 3pm last Saturday, and involved the victim, a female cyclist aged in her late 40s, and an unknown male suspect, North Yorkshire Police said.
The frame which first ‘kick-started’ my quest for knowledge about the man and his career is a superb, but simple example of a circa 1950, first-generation Nervex Pro lugged frame built with such fine detail and finishing, it suggested that it simply couldn’t have been built by a novice frame builder.
Yet here was a frame built at a time when Geoff was winning races!
The numbering at this time appears to be unique for GC. Frame building in around 1950/1 was undertaken in Geoff’s auto electrical premises, which was as a shed-come-garage at Newall Street, Bradford.