Swansea 1950 Don Hill

Don HILL 21.03.1928 - 18.01.2000

My father’s cycling career had ended before I was born. He was a hoarder and never threw anything away so stuck up on the wall in the garage was his 8 speed Swansea road bike. It was in very poor condition when I took it down and fully restored it using all original parts other than the seat.

There were wheels hanging from the rafters and hubs, cranks, pedals, headsets and a multitude of other bits and pieces, stored away in army ammunition boxes.

Substantial trophies and prizes aplenty were stashed away out of sight.

He had also collected a plethora of newspaper articles torn from the paper and placed into a cardboard chocolate box. 

Photographs from the many races he was have been kept too with the times and positions of each of the riders down to 5th place carefully recorded on the back of each picture.

Dad never spoke about his racing career however his collection told the story without words. The Swansea Shield is part of that record and a 9 ct medal for another race win always formed part of that memory.

It wasn't until Mesothelioma took his life in 2000 and the family moved to clean up the hoard of stuff dad had collected that the extent of what he had achieved came to light. 

In 1951 he represented Western Australia at the National Road Championship in Queensland and had carefully stored his State Rep Jacket and WA cycling jersey.

Strangely he had also kept cycling jerseys he had worn when he'd come off his bike in track races. Torn and shredded in most cases, oh I wish I had the opportunity to ask "what on earth were you thinking".

Kim Hill
Photos by Matt Wikstrom - The Bike Mason

MH Jones c. 1990

Eddie O'Hara was a W.A. cyclist whose career highlights include winning the gruelling 116 mile Beverley-to-Perth and Midland 100 (mile) race.

Described by his contemporaries as a perfectionist and frame connoisseur, he had this frame built in the early 90’s “to the highest specification possible” (to quote Milton Jones himself).

When Eddie’s son inherited the bike, a surprise in itself given Eddie’s penchant for constantly upgrading his bikes, he was disappointed in being unable to find a buyer for it.  

Resigned to the notion that the MHJones/Capo brand was the problem, he sanded off the decals and soon enough had a buyer asking him to confirm shipping costs to the eastern states. 

Making clear his preference to sell locally, the frame was bought by the WAHCC member in July 2016, the day before seeking the shipping quote.

The bike was repainted in blue again and rebuilt over a 12 month period.

The component choice and mix of MHJones and Capo branding, it was hoped, would increase the awareness of Milton Jones whose bikes carried many State Champions and broke numerous Australian and World Records.

(Milton Jones was a founding member of the WA Historical Cycle Club.)

Groupset - Shimano Dura Ace 74xx 
eat post & stem - Dura Ace ax
Brake calipers - Dura Ace 7700

Rims - Mavic Open 4CD
Bars - Cinelli Giro D'Italia

Ascot c. 1940

In 1941, a promising 19yo cyclist named Cyril Sumner lined up with 40 other competitors at the start of the gruelling, gravelly 116mile Beverley-to-Perth handicap road race. 

Cyril rode this circa 1938-41 5A Ascot to 8th place overall. He finished in a time of 6hrs 12mins – remaining ahead of the vastly experienced and defending champ and scratchman, the legendary Bill “Tito” Bonser who, that year, set the fastest overall race time again.

For his effort, Cyril won a “special racing machine”, a new lightweight and ornately lugged Swansea racing frame numbered 6864.

Long neglected, Cyril’s son had the Ascot and Swansea frames repainted in 1982 as part of a “father & son” project to help Cyril recuperate from a major heart operation.

Cyril’s elderly children passed the Ascot and never built Swansea frame to the club member who has since replaced the “budget upgrades” with period correct items. They include the Wrights leather seat and GB brake caliper and lever.  With no one he knew interested in the bikes, Cyril’s son said “it would have been a shame to take it all to the tip”.

Crank – BSA
Chainring - Williams stamped 1938
Wheels – Made in Australia Dunlop steel rims
Freewheel - TDC

Ian C Reid 1965

This classic 1965 Ian C. Reid was built in the current Perth based owner's home town in Northamptonshire, UK. It was originally built for Roger Watson, a racer with the Mid Devon Road Club.

Ian Reid was a top level cyclist and participated in seven Tour of Britain during the 1960s and went in to business in 1962 with Roy Cottingham, a fellow racing cyclist, to build and sell custom built cycle frames. This beautiful example was built in March 1965 and painted by Ian himself.

It is completely original and features chromed hand-cut lugs and is fitted with first-generation Campagnolo Record cranks, derailleurs and hubs, MAFAC brakes, MAVIC tubular rims and of course a Brooks Professional saddle. Ian only made a small number of frames. He still has the last one he built in 1967.

Ephgrave 1961

This Ephgrave No. 1  was originally purchased in 1961 from Ephgrave as a custom order by Stanley Warren of Clarence Road, Grays, Essex, UK. Stanley owned and operated a bicycle shop in Gray however it is unclear if he inherited his Grandfathers shop or opened his own. He is survived by his granddaughter.

In 1969 a local lad purchased it from the shop, it was sold by him to it's current owner in 2016, shipped to Australia and has been restored retaining the original components and colourways.

LE Type 1 lugs
Original Groupset, albeit she did have a right “bar end” shifter fitted when received.
Original Colourset & lining.  
Campagnolo Gran Sport hubs, front & rear derailleurs. Stronglight Depose cranks. Weinmann Brake set.
Nitor Saddle.

More information about Ephgrave on the Classic Lightweights site.

Hickling & Co. Penny Farthing c.1885

A narrow rim racing penny. This bike is likely have been made specifically for racing as the introduction of the safety bicycle half a decade earlier rendered penny farthings obsolete for transport and other forms of recreational riding. The narrow rim is of a type that was used for racing pennys. It's racing heritage is also evidenced by the bolt on (as opposed to brazed on) mounting step.
The seat bracket is engraved Hickling & Co, The Pilot Racer,  Maidenhead. The wheel is a “hollow rim” design identified with a small brass plate on the bike rim; Warwicks Patent Hollow Rim No 4957 SEPT 1882.
The Pilot Co. was founded in 1868 by H. J. Timberlake, trading as Timberlake and Co. He introduced a solid rubber tyre secured to the metal rim by a wire running through the centre of the tyre. He also invented the front wheel roller brake, operated by rack and pinion from a twisting handlebar. Later the business was acquired by Hickling and Co, and given by them as security to the rubber manufacturers who made tyres for them. In 1886 the goodwill was purchased by C. J. Reynolds, who carried on the business till 1900, when he closed down.

Raleigh Town Bike c. 1902

Malvern Star 2 Star 1933

The stars in fork crown of Malvern Stars were first mentioned in what is believed to be the 1933 catalogue, and were applied to most models the following year. The paint is likely to be a later repaint.

Rear brake: Philco
Saddle: Brooks
Frame number: 28036

Michaux Velocipede 1860's

Whether Pierre Michaux or his son Ernest, or a workman in their employ named Lallement, was the first to think of fitting cranks and pedals to the front wheel of the hobby-horse has never been definitively established. This we do know however, that the cycling era dates from the Michaux-made pedal-driven Velocipede of 1865.

At the Paris Exhibition of 1867 Michaux Velocipedes were shown and examples were purchased by Rowley B. Turner who persuaded his firm, the Coventry Sewing Machine Co., to make these "Boneshakers" for the French market.

This example formed a part of the Holmes a Court Collection for many years and has recently been brought back to rideable condition by its current owner, who, despite its weight and steel "tyres" insists that it is fact reasonably comfortable over short distances.

Colnago Oval CX c. 1982

The Colnago Oval CX was a limited production bike between 1981-1983 and predates the development and use of aerodynamic features by the US cycling team in the 1984 Olympics. Columbus ovalised tubing was used for its aerodynamic qualities along with internally routed brake and shift cables through the frame. The ovalised tubing also addressed criticisms regarding frame stiffness that had been levelled at Colnago and was the first of a series of production bikes that featured crimped tubing.

Drivetrain and brakes: Campagnolo Super Record
Stem: 3TTT Pantographed "Ernesto Colnago"
Handlebars: Cinelli Giro d'Italia
Seat: Selle Italia Turbo
Seatpost: 20mm pantographed with cloverleaf
Hubs: Campagnolo

Swansea 5 Swan 1959

This Swansea 5 Swan road bike was owned and raced by Stewart Bonser. It features road dropouts and derailleur gears, unusual on a Swansea. In common with many Australian bikes that have been ridden over a long period it has been periodically updated and sports a mix of componentry from the fifties to the eighties.

Crankset BSA fluted

Bars Cinelli

Headstem Weinmann

Brakes Weinmann Vainquer 999 Centrepull with Weinmann levers

Rear Derailleur Campagnolo Nuovo Record

Front Derailleur Campagnolo

Hubs Campagolo

Rims Mavic singles


Turner c. 1905

This Turner was bought at a bicycle swap meet some year's ago and has been dated to between 1900 and 1910 by it's current owner. The addition of a non-period Philco rear brake adds to practical ride-ability. The original saddle has been recovered. The one piece handlebar and stem is typical of many of the period with no forward reach.

Hubs British Hub Co

Pinarello Super Record 1984-86

Stem Cinelli 1A (105cm)

Saddle Brooks B17 Narrow

Handlebar Cinelli Campione del Mondo 66-40 (42cm)

Headset Campagnolo Super Record

 Seatpost Campagnolo Super Record 27.2

Bottom Braket Campagnolo Super Record ITA 36 x 24

Brakes Campagnolo Super Record

Crankset Campagnolo Super Record 170, 53/42

Brake Levers Campagnolo Super Record (drilled)

Hubs Campagnolo Record, low flange

Front Derailleur Campagnolo Super Record, braze on

Rims Mavic SSC Paris-Roubaix

Rear Derailleur Campagnolo Super Record

Freewheel Regina CX/CX-S, 7 speed, 14-24

Shift Levers Campagnolo Super Record

Pedals Shimano 105

Rossignoli c. 1948







Rossignoli have been building bikes in Milan since 1900. It is likely that this 8 speed racer dates from the late forties; its rare Simplex Tour de France 'gate changer' front derailleur was manufactured from 1947-49. The bike also features Campagnolo's Cambio Corsa rear shifter mechanism which is operated by two levers mounted on the rear stays.  One lever operates the derailleur while the other loosens the wheel in the dropouts to allow for chain re-tensioning. 

Judged best Vintage Bike at the 2014 Giro d'Perth

Stem Cinelli steel oval logo

Saddle Selle Export

Handlebar Cinelli steel model 14

Headset Magistroni with headclip

Seatpost steel

Bottom Bracket Magistroni

Brakes San Giorgio

Crankset Magistroni double chainwheels

Brake Levers San Giorgio

Hubs Campagnolo with open C quick release levers

Front Derailleur Simplex TdF gate changer

Rims Ambrosio alloy clinchers 700C



 Rear Derailleur Campagnolo Cambio Corsa

Freewheel Regina 4 cog

Pedals Sheffield steel











The Royal Mail Penny Farthing

"Pennies" first appeared in 1869, superseding bone shakers. Both styles of bicycle had pedals and cranks directly coupled to the driven wheel, however the invention of the tension spoked wheel made possible the larger wheel diameters, and higher effective gearing, of the penny farthing.

Pennies ruled the roost for only a decade and a half, supplanted by the "safety" bicycle of 1885 and the pneumatic tyre of 1889.

This penny was built by the Royal Machine Manufacturing Co. of Birmingham, England. Royal began life as The Royal Sewing Machine Co, changing it's name in 1882. The company ceased trading in 1888.

M.H. Jones Tandem Trike

Built by local builder Milton Jones this trike was used to take blind riders on excursions. 

Cobra Thuderbolt 1969

A typical dragster of the period, this Cobra Thunderbolt Hi Riser has been dated using the Sturmey Archer hub. The SA 5 speed geared hub is operated by a twin shift lever.

Swansea 4 Swan 1945

Rotrax Vel d'Hiv 1956

Rotrax Vel d'Hiv

Frame 22½"  -  Frame No. 56436
 -  Nervex lugs - Ekla crowned forks - track rear ends

Wheels Harden large flange hub front, modern Ventura coaster brake laced to modern H+Son TB14 rims 32/36

Chainset Stronglight 49d 48t chainring

Pedals Lyotard 460

Gears single speed

Stem/Bars GB alloy Spearpoint stem Renolds Marsh pattern bars

Headset Gnutti

Saddle Brooks B17

Rotrax Cycles of Southampton was founded in 1945, pipping Mercian Cycles at the post for the title of the oldest framebuilder in the UK still in business.

Rotrax is one of the slightly less well known framebuilders in the UK but the quality of many of their frames in the early 1950s was as good as the very best available anywhere. The attention to detail on their top models was exquisite.

This classic English lightweight sports beautifully ornate hand-filed frame lugs, as was the style of the period. The restoration includes a modern coaster brake rear hub, seatpost and rims. 

The model name Vel D’Hiv was cycling slang for the Parisian Vélodrome d’Hiver or Winter Velodrome.

​Delivery Bike - Maker & year unknown

Delivery Bike - Maker and year unknown


Wheels Rear; Renak coaster brake hub laced to Westwood rim. Front: Sturmey Archer drum brake.

Chainset Williams

Gears single speed

Saddle Bell

Special Features fork mounted spoke actuated bell with bar mounted adjuster, period head and tail lamps.