Claud Butler, born in 1903 was the son of a worker in the silk industry who thought his son would follow him into the trade. Instead he developed an interest in cycling, joining Balham cycling club.
He worked for the Halford Cycle Company as a mechanic and then as a salesman, and then in February 1928 opened a bicycle shop at 8 Lavender Road, Clapham Junction.
Claud began building bicycle frames and within four years had opened branches in Lewisham, Wandsworth, Harringay, East Ham, and Nottingham.
During the 1930s Claud Butler accomplished many technical achievements, pioneering many of the present-day developments. Among those with the C.B. hallmark was the origination of the bicycle which dispensed with the old 69 degrees parallel frames; the development of the short wheel-base tandem in 1935; and the introduction of three speeds on tricycles.
He sponsored international racers such as Reg Harris and Eileen Sheridan. His bikes were ridden at world championships across Europe and Claud Butler bikes competed at the Los Angeles Olympics in 1932.
By the mid-fifties the glory days were over and in 1956 Claud Butler declared bankruptcy. The trade name was bought Alan Hill of Hill Special who sold it on to Holdsworth in 1957. Holdsworth continued to manufacture Claud Butler badged frames until 1987 when they also got into difficulties and were sold to Falcon Cycles who sell Claud Butler badged bikes to this day.
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