It is with great sadness that I place this tribute.
We come back from our Christmas break to the news that Ron Cooper, world renowned Master Bicycle Frame Builder, passed away aged 80 years in mid December. This is a sad loss for the bicycle industry and lovers of true Artisan craftsman. As Brockley was Ron’s “old stomping ground”, I thought I would put a little piece together showing our respect for a true Jedi and to let local people know of another great thing to come out of our area.
Ron spent many of his years building greatly sought after bicycle frames in and around the Brockley area. At one time he had a shop and did his frame building in premises on the Honor Oak parade of shops. In more recent years he moved to Crayford where he continued to build frames three days a week. He truly did what he loved to the very end.
Having started to build frames just over 18 months ago, I was extremely fortunate to spend a good amount of time with Ron. Sometimes it would just be bumping into him at the frame suppliers and having a good old natter about passing the baton to the next generation. Other times it would be going down to where he crafted many of his 7000 plus frames to get some advice.
Not only would he put me right on aspects of frame building, but also show me skills that just can’t be found in a book. In return, I was able to source him new and old materials that matched his particular way of building frames. The time I was lucky enough to spend with Ron is something I will always cherish and hope to be able to carry the skill of hand building frames on through another generation.
If you would like to know more about him you won’t have much trouble finding information on Google.
May he rest in peace and long live the craft he so loved and developed over a career spanning 67 years.