Champion rider joins master frame builders at Roberts Rendezvous

Star builders and riders at Roberts Rendezvous 

Photo above courtesy Lawrence Lawry.

The remarkable Roberts Rendezvous rally re-united 50 Roberts bikes with their master frame builders in London’s grand Guildhall Yard. Frame builders Geoff Roberts (son of Roberts founder Charlie Roberts), Winston Vaz and Adrian Parry were joined by former Roberts employees Adam Horton, Brian Phillips (mechanic) and Neil Carlson (website author) for a celebration of one of London’s finest bike makers. The event was attended by some 60 Roberts’ enthusiasts who were treated to a tribute to Charlie Roberts’s skills from Maurice Burton, Britain’s first black cycling champion and an enthralling Q&A session with the frame builders and other staff. All three of the builders now have their own workshops (Geoff Roberts Frames, Varonha (Winston Vaz) and Six Four Frameworks (Adrian Parry)). 

Image above: Maurice Burton with  Roberts frame builders and staff. Courtesy TB 

Among the many interesting revelations,  attendees discovered that Roberts built bikes for the Status Quo rock group as well as for world champion Tony Doyle ; MTB winners Dave Gould, Dave Hemmings and  Tim Baker; national TT champion Michael Hutchison and, of course, Maurice Burton (now owner of De Ver Cycles in Streatham). 

The mystery of the early Roberts frame numbering system became even more complex when we learned that numbers we entered in note books and when a new note book was started the count may well have started from scratch again.  We also heared that very early Roberts frames has wrapover stays similar to those used at Holdsworth in the 1960s when Charlie Roberts was works manager there.  

Prize winners - Image above courtesy Lawrence Lawry

At a grand prize giving, medals in the shape of the Roberts head badge (key ring versions from this site) , designed and donated by co-organiser Neil Carlson, were presented along with cycling books. Attendees received copies of Fred the Magic Bicycle children’s book, donated by its author, and co-organiser, Tom Bogdanowicz and a post-event raffle is being held for an amazing discount off a product (frame, frame build lesson or re-spray) at Geoff Robert Frameworks donated by Geoff. Many thanks to all who came, especially the Roberts crew, to the event and post-event drinks. Also many thanks to the City of London , the London Cycling Campaign and Rob Lister who provided a super venue and help with logistics.   

Anyone with an interest in Roberts is invited to send an email to info@lcc.org.uk with Roberts in the subject line. You can also subscruibe, free, to the LCC newsletter which regaualrly provides updates on events and campaiging issues. Another Roberts event in 2020 is under consideration. The Roberts history page is here and will be updated in due course. 

More photos on flickr and at robertscycles.com where there is also a crowd  funding call for a new Roberts Cycles jersey and you may still be able to get a commemorative key ring if there are any left. 

And finally a shot of the prize winning fleur-de-lis track Roberts