> The archives have a bunch on Pananini, but nothing on Pagnini. I'll be interested to learn if it is a "new one". If it really is paganini, the archives will show this excellent post by John Barron of a note he got from a friend, Bob Williams: (excerpt). Lou Deeter, Orlando FL
"I think that Norris Lockley gave the most complete account. I also lived in Gent for a few years '79, '83, '84. I had the privilege of living with Madame Rosa Deserck. It was her son (Paul) who at that time ran Plum Vainquer (Plume of the Victor). In fact he had a chain of Plums all over Flanders, about 12 in all. He also ran a large wholesale concern from the shop originally and later in the town of Gavre, about 30? miles southeast of Gent. This concern was Veltec Belgium. I'm not sure what his territory was but I believe it also covered part of Germany. There was a Veltec Holland run by a man known to me only as Mr. Krieke.
This firm did, at that time, import frames from Italy, from a firm that made the Concorde mark as well. Most of them came in unpainted (perhaps primered). There was a small paint shop in the back of Rosa's house where much painting was done. Later all of the painting was done in the large warehouse in Gavre. Mr. Lockley was correct in stating that they were of a fairly high quality of workmanship and detailed with fine paintwork and engraved parts just like the Colnagos and Masis of that day. Most of the tubing stickers were Columbus SL although I think some may have also been made with 531 ( not sure on that). The main shop in Gent sponsored one of the larger clubs in the area under the Plum Vainquer banner. A number of professional riders also were seen on these bikes as well. Often these were pros who were not on large sponsored teams and so purchased their own bikes. I know a few of the professional sixday riders from Belgium rode the bikes on the track as well as on the road. The bikes carried the Plum Vainquier name in '79 but by the time I returned the Paganini label was also being sold.
I purchased a Paganini track bike from them in '84. It is nothing special just a good working standard track bike. I still have it and have been riding it ever since. In this age of aluminum and carbon it is a bit of a classic.
The Desnerck family is one that had a long history of involvement with the sport. Grandfather Desnerck started the Plum Vainquer shop in the teens or twenty's, I believe, in it's present location. His son (Rosa's husband) then ran it for many years. He was very involved in the racing scene over the years (his mother in law, Rosa's mother rented a room to Cecil Mockridge in the '50s (as noted in his book). Paul (Rosa's son) took over the shop in the '70s, I think, and continued the tradition of furthering the sport by servicing the racing community. The shop was sold a number of years ago and Veltec is also gone. The shop does not cater as heavily to the racing trade these days but still has a good selection of high level equipment. There is also an interesting collection of very old bicycles including some older racing machines.
Just some more musings to add to the discussion.
I too am wishing I were back in Gent!
National Sports Center, Blaine, Minnesota