Photo essay of the restoration of the Melly Family 1963 “G.R. Reed”  commissioned by Seán Melly

Mr. John Melly put a £1.00 deposit on the bike in August ’63.

Total cost £32-3s-6d*

The sterling equivalent of £32-3s-6d in 1963 is £623.12. Average annual salary was £725. Average car cost £850.

Original receipt


G. R. Reed on ‘Classic Lightweights‘ website:

G.R. Reed of 147 Kingston Road, Wimbledon was a very well known  bike shop that imported, what at the time was seen as rather exotic continental equipment such as Campagnolo, Stronglight, TA, Ambrosio, Universal, Gnutti, and Fiamme. They advertised regularly in cycling magazines with prices that generally undercut the official importers, this made them very popular, and like many lightweight dealers around the country at this time, a meeting place for local clubmen. Mr. John Melly was such a ‘clubman’

1958 G.R. Reed ‘Leo Star’

The G.R. Reed 2019 (age 56 and a little the worse for wear!)

You can almost see the dreaded ‘collar’!
The chrome didn’t survive the years so well

The conversation with Ger Conlon (who did the work on the frame) started like this: “Hi Ger, I’ve a bike with a collar and some chrome” – Brendan Hennessy (OldVelo and eternal optimist)

The first reaction another OldVelo had when he first saw the results of Ger Conlon’s work was: “Who did the work on the frame Bren, Paul Daniels?”

Some of the parts and wheels survived the ravages of time better than others.

  • Wheels:  Fiamme high pressure 27 x 1 ¼” rims on Milremo large flange hubset with tubular tyres
  • Chainset: Cottered and Cotterless
  • Pedals: Cyclo pedals with GB stainless toeclips
  • Gears:  Zeus
  • Brakes:  Mafac ‘Racer’ 
  • Bars:  GB Maes bars
  • Saddle:  Brooks?

Checking the threads and pressing the headset:

Refurbished Mafac ‘Racer’ brakes and single speed chainset:

Wheels – Old and New

The G.R. Reed, serial number 1281152 from 1963, has now been returned the the Melly family where it will once again see service and bring joy and more fond memories to it’s owners:

Frame number stamped on the steering column
The original proud owner, Mr John Melly RIP.
The Reed was returned to Seán Melly after a pizza and glass of wine in that great Italian cycling themed restaurant, Romano’s on Capel Street in Dublin.

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