Hetchins Catalog, 1935

Begin at the beginning, a 1935 catalog, the first one of which we have any confirmed evidence.

Click here to download the complete 1935 catalog in pdf format. The link should open a pdf reader (plug-in) on a separate tab in your browser, allowing you to flip back and forth between the catalog and this page.

Note on the cover two addresses: Seven Sisters Road, Tottenham, and Lea Bridge Road, Leyton. At this time, Hyman Hetchin had his home appliances shop in Tottenham, selling bog-standard Raleighs (among other marques) as well as gramophones, and Jack Denny had his (and his father's) frame-building operation in Lea Bridge Road. The two operations would later be consolidated into the Tottenham premises. I will skip over the inside front cover and first page, as Jack and Hyman speak for themselves.

Starting on page two, the available models are listed and described, as follows:

Brilliant No.2, frame/fork only
Superbe Road, complete bike
Brilliant No.1, complete bike
De Luxe, complete bike
Ideal, complete
Ladies Ideal, complete
Ideal No.1 tandem
De Luxe tandem

For those who may have wondered, what exactly was the difference between, for example, a Brilliant No.1 and Brilliant No.2, we may find some answers here. The Brilliant No.2 is described as a racing bike with a 40.5 inch wheelbase and 11 inch bracket height, whereas the Brilliant No.1 and De Luxe have a 40.75 inch wheelbase and 10.75 bracket height. If the illustration is to be believed, the st and ht angles on the No.1 were much shallower. The remaining differences between the No.1 and the De Luxe appear to be the equipment supplied. The De Luxe is illustrated with straight stays, but the text states that vibrant stays are also available.

The Brilliant No.2 is described as "semi-upright", whereas the No.2 and the De Luxe are described as "either semi-upright or ordinary." Now, would some VCC member kindly enlighten us as to the meaning of these terms?

Frame geometry for the Superbe Road model is not specified, however it was available with either 26 or 27 inch wheels.

Page 6 features the Ideal model, for the "clubman", with 41.5 inch wheelbase and 10.75 bracket height, and Brampton fittings. The Brilliants, 1 & 2, came with BSA or Chater fittings. There is also a Ladies De Luxe with the same geometry, available with BSA, Chater, or Brampton fittings.

Pages 8 and 9 feature tandems, Ideal No.1 "for clubmen", or De Luxe, both with 65 inch wheelbases; the difference is in the diagonal tube: the Ideal (on the left) has a diagonal from the stoker's st straight through to the ht, whereas the De Luxe (on the right) has a shorter diagonal from the stoker's bb to the captain's seat lug.

The catalog concludes with an order form on page 12, and the inside cover has a gear ratio chart. Also note the hours of business: weekdays, Saturdays, and Sundays until 2 p.m. (However, I have it on good authority that Hyman, an orthodox Jew, would not run the cash register on a Saturday; this task was delegated to shop staff.)