Wednesday, 24 February 2010


'Dan Rudge built the first Rudge High bicycles in 1870. In 1894 it merged with the Whitworth Cycle Co to form Rudge-Whitworth. They made an excellent reputation for themselves over the next twenty years for producing a full range of beautifully made machines with many clever and unique features and ridden by King George V and family.

Their road racers were widely used and they diversified into motorcycles in the early 20th century. In 1935 they were bought by EMI (the record company) and under Jack Lauterwasser¹s direction produced some superb top end racers as well as more mundane machines. EMI however soon decided that cycles were not for them and Rudge was sold to Raleigh in 1943. Raleigh had acquired Humber in 1933 and were to acquire many others after WWII and soon used the Rudge name to badge engineer what were essentially Raleigh machines with Rudge pattern fork crown and chainwheel. Hence there were Rudge versions of the Lenton and of the Clubmen.

The name was finally killed sometime I think in the early 60s in Britain but may well have been used in export markets later. In Britain the name used on rebadged Montague folders in about 1989.'

Hilary Stone on Classic Rendezvous, 26th June 2000

Image from Jim Langley's treasure trove of a site