• Image of Allin  'road path bike'. 22 1/2"
  • Image of Allin  'road path bike'. 22 1/2"
  • Image of Allin  'road path bike'. 22 1/2"
  • Image of Allin  'road path bike'. 22 1/2"
  • Image of Allin  'road path bike'. 22 1/2"

Absolutely stunning Allin.

Keith Butler, son of Stan Butler adds the following:

Allins was started before the First World War by A H Allin and it is believed to have premises at 132 Whitehorse Road. These they kept until they went to 81A Whitehorse Road at an unknown date. Arch was in business with Grubbs both sides of the Great War but it would appear to be a rather loose arrangement. Arch was definitely on his own in the mid-1920s and at 132 Whitehorse Road.

Mr father and 'Ching' Allin went into partnership after the Second World War and began trading at 81A. Very shortly after that they bought 57/59 Whitehorse Road. This was well before 1950 as I have a photograph taken of Dad, Ching and myself outside on opening day - probably 1947 or 1948. It was a single shop premises but sometime before they bought it, numbers 57/59 had been converted from an Ice Cream Parlour that had combined two shops. It had solid concrete floors downstairs and while there were cellars they were sealed off as more often than not they were subject to flood water! That part of Croydon was, at one time, a gravel pit!

The 1963 Belgique model was indeed designed as a racing frame I rode the original in Belgium and won the Professional/Independent National Championship on it in 1964. This was in Gitane blue resprayed to look like my given 'pro' machine which actually weighed many kilos more than the Allin. I do not have this frame now as it went under a car nearly taking me with it in the 1970s.

When I returned to the UK at the end of 1966 I signed up with Viking Cycles but they went bust so I rode a couple of seasons as an 'Allin' professional getting 2nd place in the National Professional Sprint Championship.

Allins did make Bicycle Polo frames. Originally they were built by 'Norman' down in Ashford in Kent but when this firm went bust Allins started to build their own. The Norwood Paragon team, of which Ching was a regular member won the National Championship in 1933 and then every year until 1939. After the war they won it again but 'anno domini' took its toll and the next to last time they won it was 1950. The last time they took the title it was played at Cowdray Park before Prince Philip and was the 'warm-up' match before the Horse Polo National Championship. In this match they beat Solihull and it was a question of youth and speed against age and craft. This time the age and craft won and I was there to see it happen.

George Brake was the man instrumental in promoting bicycle polo. They actually had a summer season playing at the football grounds of Brentford, Chelsea, Arsenal and Crystal Palace and , I think, four other teams. Normally the games were played on Council recreation parks. In the Croydon area Coulsdon, Mogador and Purley Way were the most used but Tooting Bec and other grounds around London were utilised as competition was centred on the whole London area. The grounds at Mogador had an unfortunate experience during the War when a solitary bomb demolished the shed Polo bikes were stored.

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