Les Ephgrave is considered one of the master craftsman of the post war era. Les (also known known as Lou to his closest friends), built his last frame circa 1968. He worked for Harry Resch, then on to Claud Butler’s. He went on his own in 1948. His brother Norman joined him.
When orders were low, they produced steel shop fittings, shelving etc., which is where the trade-mark ‘lollypops’ and bars on the seat stay caps came from. These were the waste/cut-outs from that shelving production.
Len Phipps, the well known lug cutter, learned from Lou Ephgrave during the 1960s. Len would visit the Ephgrave frame building shop in Clapton, London on his Saturday’s off to watch the ‘master’ at work. Len reports that Lou Ephgrave DID cut all the Ephgrave frame set lugs himself.
Les died in 1969 of cancer. His brother eventually emigrated to Australia and he died there in 1980.
Chris Colyer's frame number 3420LE
“I bought the frame in c. 1962 from Marsh Cycles in Blatchington Road,
Hove, East Sussex. The frame was new when I bought it but I am not aware of how long it might have been in stock. The frame started out life as a track frame and after approximately one year of track racing I decided this wasn’t for me and I had the track ends replaced with Campagnolo ends.”