Maker who was the go-to framebuilder for American start-ups in the 1970s is 100-years-old

Ernie Witcomb has celebrated his 100th birthday with a pub meal with his family, reports the south-east London newspaper News Shopper.

In the 1970s Witcomb's small bike shop in Tanner's Hill, Deptford, was the destination of choice for would-be American framebuilders. Witcomb Cycles trained the likes of Richard Sachs, Peter Weigle, Chris Chance and Ben Serotta.

Witcomb Lightweight Cycles was started in 1952 with Witcomb retiring in 1998. The business was continued by his son, Barry, until 2009.

The business exported frames into the US during the 1970s bike boom, with Sachs and Weigle later opening Witcomb USA in 1972.

Ernie Witcomb with his son, Barry

Ernie Witcomb with his son, Barry

Barry Witcomb told the News Shopper: "[My father was a] go-getter, always looking to improve and get more business.”

A road racer in the 1950s, Ernie Witcomb said: "I think to reach 100 you need to be active, be kind and enjoy a sweet sherry."

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