Saturday, March 17, 2012


Above:Support for Head/ down tube

Extra long seat stay spear points are very elegant.

Above; H T signed in brazing wire, with full colour Butler decal, notice the super tidy lug work.

B 37 Brooks saddle, with alloy chassis.


  1. The information that you have so far is very reliable. You are indeed a very lucky (and I feel worthy) holder of this machine. To add further to the story, Turtill did a lot of motorpacing and he also competed in two man six day races in Australia. He was a life long friend of Hubert Opperman who captained a team to Europe which included Turtill. Either 35 or 37. Opperman went onto further fame in politics, and even to this day Malvern star make an "Oppy" model. Hubert did work for Bruce Small (Malvern Star), initially selling bikes door to door, which was apparently quite common, and rose to manage their Sydney cycle works during WW2. Hubert and Rita returned to NZ on the birth of their daughter Judy in 1945. Huberts widow Rita is living in Ashburton. Rita is 106. I interviewed Rita about 15 years ago, and she was sharp as a tack and reminisced about hers and Huberts fantastic life together. Hubert went onto many exploits booting around a 1930's Cadillac in many car rallies such as the "Irishman Creek". Further their son Tyrell together with Gary Mulholland designed built and raced a Cessna engineed sports car together. This car is being restored in Riverton.
    Having had the privilege to know Hubert briefly, he was a humble gentleman. His life was very largely devoted to bikes; making, selling, and mostly riding the wheels off them. (His father was a cycle mechanic as well, and I haven't been able to validate, but had heard he raced Pennys). It is disappointing and puzzling that he is not better known here. We seem more interested in Italian cycle builders and riders, when in our own backyard was greatness.
    Incidentally if you would like some photos (nowhere up to your magnificent efforts) I have the last bike that Hubert built, dated 1954. This is just a few snippets, from a life which I believe is "Bert Munro" like in a sense. Cheers and keep up the great blogs. Ross Clinton

  2. Hi Ross, thank you for that interesting information, I would love to feature some photos of your Turtill.

  3. Thank you. I was told very fond stories of Hubert and Rita by my mother. Hubert lived with them in Melbourne many years ago. Condolences to all from the family of Nell Armfield.