I found something special recently. Well, to be more correct, my mum found something special and gave it to me. This is a catalogue from Bob Jackson Cycles in Leeds.
Bob Jackson is still a going concern, and several of the models in these pages are still available. They will also build custom frames.
We have it because my dad bought a Bob Jackson tourer when he lived in Cambridge in 1976. I have the receipt – he paid £199 from Ben Hayward & Son, ‘Cycle, Radio & Electrical Agents’ of Trumpington Street, Cambridge.
That’s about £1460 in 2014 money.
It was a magnificent bike, and he rode it thousands of kilometres around the UK, then brought it back to Australia.
In fact, he was almost certainly riding it the day I was born. He was touring around northern Victoria with a group of school kids, because he was a teacher and used to take groups of students on multi-day touring trips. I was born a few weeks early, and this being many years before the invention of the mobile phone, it was several days before he was able to be tracked down.
My mum forgave him.
When I got a bit older, he took me along on some of these trips. It’s pretty unequivocal that that’s where my love of cycling came from.
He rode that bike to work nearly every day. That was when nobody rode bikes.
So Bob Jackson is a name that I’ve known my whole life. They’re beautiful frames, one of the most revered of English frame builders, and still sought after.
My dad is no longer with us, but his Bob Jackson is still in the family. I’m just waiting to grow into it.
I’m not sure of the date this was published. I found another catalogue dated 1993, but that is not in colour. I suspect dad was sniffing around for a possible N+1 opportunity, but it was vetoed by my school fees. This may be from around the same time, but I’m not enough of an expert on components from the 1970’s/80’s/90’s to be able to tell.