To avoid going off on a complete tangent this will be my last post on the subject of Webb forks ! I had the opportunity to refer the issue to the most knowledgeable historian of Birmingham industrial heritage I know – Andrew Marfell. Andrew confirmed that there was no connection between the two companies and (perhaps unsurprisingly) was able to relate stories about both.
In 1973 he took a Scott frame and forks to Percival Brothers & Webb who were then operating from Cattell Sreet, near to the Birmingham City FC ground. The proprietor was a Ray Wale who operated the business in a very small way with maybe just one “boy” employee. Andrew recalls that the boy dealt with all customer enquires and Mr Wale never met customers but did all the work, for which he had a very good reputation. This was except for his paintwork which was terrible and the returned parts always needed stripping and re-painting.
Andrew was also acquainted with a director of the Wolseley-Hughes Group of which H C Webb & Company was a subsidiary. he acknowledged to Andrew that Webbs “had thrown the industry away” after the war when the motorcycle manufactures converted over to sprung forks or Dowty, like Scott did almost over night. The transition must have really surprised the company when you consider the many thousands of sets of girder forks that Webb produced for the War department Norton and Matchless bikes during the war.
No more. I really need to get out more !